Dèjà Vu

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The packing has begun!  How is it possible that I am sitting among boxes and bubble wrap again!?  It was only 8 months ago that we reduced our household to a 16 foot moving truck and traversed 2,000 miles to start a new life in a new location...and now, we're packing again!


I'll admit, there are about a zillion ways in which this move is easier.  For starters, we're only moving about 2 miles away instead of 2,000.  And most of all, we're not bidding a tearful good-bye to an entire lifestyle and community of people and places we hold dearly in our hearts.  I'm soooo glad I (please, Lord) never have to do that again.

But, as we settled in to our little abode, we've managed to accumulate plenty of stuff that now has to be sorted, piled, boxed, and moved.  The process of carrying our life two miles down the road is more annoyance than anything else.  Lucky for me, as a mother of two little ones, I've been mastering the art of inconvenience for a while now.

After weeks of explaining that "packing up and moving" did not equal "saying goodbye to the life you know" to my daughters, we're finally on an upswing of understanding what this stressful time is all about.  This is all a MAJOR UPGRADE for us, and one that kind of blindsided us suddenly with an avalanche of blessing.  While we're not gaining much square footage, we're adding a big yard (fenced!) to our lives, as well as an additional room that will promptly be turned into go-yell-and-scream-in-there-and-play-until-you-drop-toyland space.  Yes, I can't wait until my girls get their little play room (which means that yes, they will still be sharing a bedroom.)

All this to say, our lives have been turned a little upside down for the time being, but in a wonderful way.  The chaos reminds us that not only do we not know what the future holds, but we don't know what blessings are around the bend either.  God is always working behind the scenes for our good and His glory, and I don't want this crazy time to distract me from the fact that this is a ridiculous GIFT that I can't wait to use however God allows.

I'm praying for God to really show us how this home and space can be used to benefit others, how we can appropriately and cheerfully get to know our neighbors, and for God to reveal how this whole shebang fits into His plan for our life as a family.  Buying a house was surprisingly one of the least stressful events of my life, and I never thought something so major could go so smoothly.  Clearly, God has plans for this move that are bigger than anything a Medium Uhaul Box could ever contain.

I'm placing our belongings into boxes, taping them up, awaiting the move this weekend that will forever shape the course our family takes.  But, as I sift through our stuff, I want to remain focused on the unseen, and I pray that this process helps mold me into the homeowner that represents more than someone who just pays a mortgage each month.  I don't know what all is in store for us in our new little neighborhood two miles down the road...but, one thing is for certain.  It's not the distance travelled that changes your life, it's the willingness to be moved that makes the difference.

Move me, Lord.

We Bought A House!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sooooo.... WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

The new Pardy Palace!
I can hardly believe it is real.  This is a long time coming and an enormous dream come true!  God's provision and generosity in our lives continues to blow me away.  I can hardly believe that mere months ago we were moving into an apartment sight-unseen, jobless, and had many question marks in our future.  

Now, we are holding keys to our new HOME, ready to sink deep roots into Nashville and establish our family in a real neighborhood.  Not to mention, we can let our girls run wild and scream with reckless abandon without apologizing to our neighbors later!
Closing Day!
We closed on the house LAST WEEK and have already started painting walls.  We are incredibly blessed that the home is rather move-in ready, so we are having a blast looking at swatches and new door knobs and curtains...little things to make it ours

Here is a little slideshow of the house...BEFORE photos, anyway!  I will be sure and post updated photos after we move in (2 weeks to go) and get all our changes made.  

The New Pardy HOME! 
Come visit us!

video

It's a small, 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath ranch style home with a BIG, fenced backyard!  I can't wait to kick the kids out into the yard once it's above freezing!  As you can see, these are photos from when the home was "staged to sell", but at least it gives you a glimpse inside.

I can't wait to share more about this HOUSE journey with you!  



Nice to Meet You

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today, for the very first time, Daphne introduced herself.  It was only a couple weeks ago I heard her say her name for the very first time.  Don't get me wrong, she is a chatterbox, a total flibber de gibbet, but she hasn't referred to herself until now (besides the word MINE which comes out of her 2-and-a-half-year-old mouth every five seconds).

But, today, as we saw some friends that we knew while we were at McDonald's, she proudly put her hand on her chest and expressed "I'm Daphne" (well, really it was more "I Daffeee") but it was otherwise clear as a sunny spring day!

It flashed in my mind how profound this kind of thing is for her little world.  Her proud little stance, her confident expression, and her then repetitive nature to clarify over and over and over again "I'm Daphne, I'm Daphne, I'm Daphne...and hey, you over there, in case you missed it, I'm Daphne." (Maybe not that last part.)

I don't know when it clicked in her head that her name was "who she is", but it makes me wonder how those little wheels are spinning in there, and what she thinks of when she says her name?  With both my girls, I'm prayerfully careful to find out who they are, who they want to be, and how they see themselves.  Sure, this is what you get when your mother is becoming a therapist (sorry, girls!); but, nevertheless, I want to be cautious not to just project my own ideas or labels of who I think they are, should be, or will be.

Daphne Mabel Valentine Pardy is as lovable as her name protests.  In fact, her name means "Victory in love" and it wasn't without many exhaustively, pregnant hours of thought (as I'm sure you could have guessed) that her name came about.  I know that it will be some time before she is able to state her entire moniker, but I pray that she attributes herself the thoughtfulness that went into it.

Of course we always want our children to like the names we've chosen for them.  But, beyond that (and much, much moreso) I want her to grow in this confidence that she knows who she is and that the amount of love that went into her name was merely the tip of the iceberg of what surrounds her.  As lovable as she is, she is also feisty, with a temper that is short and stout (much like her toddler figure at the moment).  She is fearless and expressive, and channels that into many naughty feats that challenge my compassion on a moment-by-moment basis.

Names are not fates.  I couldn't have ever found just the right name that would have fully encapsulated or determined the person that was brought into this world on the day she was born.  (If that were the case I would have named both my daughters Quiet and Calm!)  But, as this little girl develops and learns and grows into the person God has called her to be, I pray that I can continue to be amazed by her and look at her with fresh eyes each time she expresses who she is.

So, that each time she says in her own way, "I'm Daphne!" I can genuinely and wholeheartedly respond, "Nice to meet you."

Bedtime Battles

Monday, February 3, 2014

I never imagined that bedtime with little ones would be easy, per se, but nothing could have prepared me for the battles my husband and I face with our girls every night around 6, 7, 8, 9pm or later.  Sigh.

I figured when I entered into motherhood that I was signing a sure-fire contract that guaranteed a dramatic loss in sleep.  I knew that I'd be up nursing a baby in the middle of the night, that there would come time for nightmares or extra drinks of water.  I imagined a wee one pleading for extra story books or being afraid of the dark.  This all seemed obvious to the territory I was about to encounter.  But, all this to say that I have greatly underestimated this monstrosity we call "bedtime".

It all looks so innocent!
Having a 4-year-old and 2-and-a-half-year-old sharing a room has not been without its challenges.  When we first threw them into the den together (lion's den, I mean) it took several weeks before the crying and gnashing of teeth yielded to a steady moan.  The hyperbole of having two little girls share a room is that there are moments so precious that you can hardly stand the cuteness, immediately followed by sounds of WWIII (or maybe WW Z) taking place.

One second they are gibberishly singing their rendition of "Sisters" from White Christmas at full volume, with giggles on beat and squeals of joy and clapping at the end.  Two seconds later, just as my full heart is returning to normal Grinch size, I hear thunks, clanks, yelling, growling, screaming and crying.

My shocked nervous system fluctuates instantaneously from thinking surely a tragedy has occurred, and if not, then I'm about to bring the hammer down on some serious naughtiness.  The distance between my full-fledged compassion, to my blistering parent-rage is a very short step.  It's like I've gone bipolar and I'm either Mother Theresa or Benecio Del Toro, nothing in between.

Bedtime clearly brings out the best/worst in my parenting skills.  The unpredictability of each night is one of the most frustrating factors to me.  While variety can be fun in other areas of my life, when it comes to schedule, I embrace structure.  Routine keeps me sane and on track, and certainly I think consistency is a key cornerstone to any parenting tactic (or so I've been led to believe).  But, our stringent routine seems to have zero bearing on the outcome of my children's sleepiness.

They could have played outside all day, gone swimming, or to an amusement park, or to the library, or shopping, or all of the above...and they would fight going to bed.  They could have had a quiet day at home, with limited distractions, calming music or storybooks, healthy meals and a decent rest time...and they would fight going to bed.  By the time they actually fall asleep, they could sleep through the night, or they could be up four times.  They could come crawl up into our bed half-way into the night.  THERE'S JUST NO TELLING.

I'm not sure if I'm writing this post to reach out for advice, prayers, or outright sympathy (I'm not beyond this).  But, mostly, I just wanted to throw this truth out there to let other zombie-mothers know they YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  I've read multiple "sleeping" books.  I feel like I've tried it all (I'm sure I have not, and I'm open to your input!) And the craziest thing is, my children function well and don't appear tired...they just don't sleep.  (I should probably mention that I come from a long line of terrible sleepers, so yes this is definitely hereditary to an extent!)

One thing's for certain, my zombie-cubs are keeping me on my toes for seeking new, unattainable levels of grace and patience that I never knew existed.  My consumption of coffee in the morning is probably directly proportionate to the number of times I grasped at mercy the night before.  It might be a long time until my kids get the hang of how genuinely sweet the gift of sleep truly is, but until that day comes, I'm prayerful that these chaotic hours of my day are not wasted on frustration.

I'm losing plenty of bedtime battles, but in the long run, I think I'm winning a new capacity for compassion (or appreciation for it!) which can only come from God's grace.

God bless the sleepless parents out there!  Keep it up - you're in good company!
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