It’s official Charlie is half a year old! We have a six month old. Thursday was her half birthday. I really can’t comprehend how this happened. These 6 months have been smiley, exhausting, teaching, grace-filled, and an absolute memory making jackpot.
Over these last 6 months we have been learning and growing and coming together as a family. The fact is WAY too much has happened for me to scratch the surface, so instead I want to focus on the best parenting advice that we have been given.
We have the great examples of our own parents, the support of our peers, and the Bible to guide us as we learn to parent and raise Charlie. She is not terrible two-year-old, a threenager, or even an actual teenager yet (it will be sooner than we know!); however, now is when we start laying the foundation for the road we are headed down as parents.
As we lay this foundation here are the four key tid bits that float around in my head and guide my daily decisions with Charlie:
“A lot of things can wait while you’re holding your kids.”
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
“Just be kind to one another.” (That one is actually some marriage advice that we were given, but I think that it definitely applies to parenting).
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23
What this all boils down to is priorities. These last 6 months Charlie doesn’t know it, but she has been transforming our priorities. Our aim is to have God first followed by family and then everything else. That means when Charlie is napping, I do my devotions before I do the laundry. When she’s awake, I play with her, focus on making her day great before I focus on making mine great. If she and I get the house all clean and Izzy’s fur tumbleweeds vacuumed up that’s an A++ for us, but if all we do is snuggle because she’s having an off day, well that’s an A++ too.
No matter my mood or her mood God gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace every day to help me be the best mom I can be that day. Good day or bad day – I try my best to treasure them because the days can be long but the years are short. When none of us got much sleep and when we are all well rested, we focus on being kind to each other and to Charlie. Kindness makes the good days sweeter and redeems the hard days. Just remember – it’s easier to clean up spilled milk than repair hurt feelings.
I do not follow these pillars perfectly. Some days I see chores undone and feel I failed. Other days I sit back and think it doesn’t matter if the dish washer was unloaded, if dinner was only 2 stars, and the laundry wasn’t folded because I focused on my family and on loving them like Jesus would.
I love watching Charlie learn and grow, and I am learning and growing right beside her.
Thankfulness is a trait that Will and I have endeavored to set as a pillar of our marriage. Considering we’ve only been married for about 4 1/2 years, I’d say that we are still early on in our marriage. That pillar of being thankful is still being formed, and this year I plan to use this blog to help foster that.
One of my goals for 2017 is to blog weekly. I have already failed the first two weeks… To accomplish this goal I realized that I need to ear mark a day for blogging, and Thursdays seem to jump out. When Will and I were dating, for a while we gave is day of the week its own trait. Thursdays were Thankful Thursday. So, at least for the first part of the year, we are embarking on Thankful Thursday – 2017 Edition.
Here’s why I think Thankfulness is so important. If the love of money, or the love of more if you will, is the root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim. 6:10) – then thankfulness is the opposite. Thankfulness is the root of all kinds of goodness. Thankfulness fosters joy, it fosters generosity, it fosters love, patience, and selflessness.
Short and sweet. That is my goal for the year and my heart for this space. I want the Pomeroy Life to keep building and strengthening that pillar of thankfulness. I want to record our daughters smiles and frowns, firsts and falls. To cherish our friends and family. And ultimately to uplift God who blessed me with the breath in my lungs, His Son Jesus, and all the rest which is just the icing on the cake.
Here’s to 2017, to goals, to being thankful! What are some of your goals for 2017? What are you thankful for?
Today I want to tell you the story of how I found out about the Little Pom Pom and how I told Will. December 15th, 2015 was the day that our reality changed. We were not trying, we were trying to be the last hold outs in our friend group to join the parent club.
On December 11th our PRECIOUS niece Annabelle was born. Holding her that evening was one of the happiest faces I have seen on Will in our 5 years together. In the car on the way home that evening Will started asking all kinds questions and worrying that we weren’t prepared for having a kid. My response was “Its ok. We don’t need to stress about it right now. We have no reason to. We don’t have a kid and we aren’t pregnant.” Oh hindsight…
On December 14th, my good friend Joelle and I hosted a Christmas Cookie Swap for all of our girlfriends. Afterwards she and I were talking and catching up, and she asked me about kids. I told her we weren’t trying to jump on that train yet, but it would happen when God wanted it to. I shared with her that I felt as if God had been softening my stubborn heart in that department. She confirmed that by saying she had been watching the change happen in my heart as it was evidenced by the difference in my willingness to be affectionate toward her own children.
The next morning (December 15th) I took a pregnancy test, not because I was late (not abnormal), but because I have always wanted to be able to tell my family in person whenever that time comes. We were leaving for Kansas on the 18th, and on the off chance that we were pregnant I wanted to be able to tell them.
Much to my surprise, the test was positive! And for the first time in my life, my brain was TOTALLY BLANK.
To be sure that this was not a fluke, I took a second test at work later that morning, and it was only faintly positive. Now I am really not sure what’s going on! I made a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. When the doctor walked in the room she said “Well, you are definitely pregnant!”
So now to tell Will.
After the doctor’s office, I went to round up what I needed for telling Will. I was late getting home, so before coming inside I changed into my gym clothes so Will wouldn’t ask me where I had been! Lol!
Will had a really nice Christmas date planned for us that evening (perfect timing!). We were getting dressed up, going to the Cheesecake Factory, driving around to look at Christmas lights and deliver Christmas cards, and coming home to wrap presents and watch Star Wars IV. So I decided to tell him with a gift at the end of the night.
When we got home from our date Will went to get some boxes for wrapping the presents in. In the meantime, I took the clean Home Depot apron his store manager gave me that afternoon, wrote “DAD August 2016” on the apron, filled the box with pom poms and the positive pregnancy test, and wrapped it.
Later in the evening when I finally convinced him to open the present his face was the happiest I have ever seen! He pulled me into his lap and could say nothing but “SERIOUSLY?!” for the next few minutes. To this day I think he glows more than I do.
Sorry for the length of this post, but I never want to forget a moment of this adventure! Especially the joy and love of finding out and how I told Will.
Soon I will post about telling our family and friends too. Thank you for treasuring and celebrating this child with us!
February 7th is one of our favorite days of the year. It’s our “Valentine’s Day.” Five years ago it was Super Bowl weekend and a farm boy from Kentucky (Will) had come all the way to Kansas to take a jock he met in China out on our first date. February 7th is the day that Will and I officially started down this road of life together.
Last year on February 7th we purchased our first home! This year on February 7th we filled our home with some of our favorite people and announced the coming our first child! Little Pom Pom coming Aug 22nd (ish), 2016!!!!
I could tell you story after story of our shock in finding out we are pregnant, our conversations, my irrational fear that we weren’t actually pregnant, when we heard the heart beat and saw the little gummy-bear-looking baby growing inside of me, family and friends’ reactions, and ways that God has already blessed and reassured us that this is HIS timing and HIS story. I am not going to tell you those stories right now. For now pictures are worth a thousand words.
The leaves are dropping like it’s hot around here, and the temperature is falling with them. Autumn is falling into winter, and the holidays are on the horizon. The beginning of October always marks the start of a very busy end of the year season for us, but this year October has been particularly insane. In fact, I really do not know how we are already finding ourselves at the end of it?!
Where is this going? This is not a time management tutorial or an October recap. This is an exhortation to have the courage to try. So why intro with a paragraph about how busy we are and how will be? Because, life will probably always be busy. As long as we live in this fast-paced American culture, there’s rarely going to be a “good” time to try new things, and there will probably never be the “perfect” time for it. We have to create those moments for ourselves.
I recently applied for a new job (and got it!). When I was contemplating if I should throw my resume at the listing Will sent me, he encouraged me with the age old adage “Nothing ventured; nothing gained.” So I made the time and ventured, and God opened doors. Sometimes we try new things and they don’t take off or they progress very slowly. Like our grocery delivery and menu planning business – we made the time (a lot of it) to start that, but it’s progressing more slowly than the new job.
In both situations, we mustered up the courage to try something. This is a lesson that we have been learning this year. It’s not necessarily about the outcome as much as it is having the courage to try.
Our prayer, and the way we navigate life has always been to ask God to open the doors He wants us to walk through and close all others. But inherent in that method is that we have the courage to knock on doors. If we don’t knock how will we know what’s opened or closed?
Will’s a great example of this. That man has gone to so many interviews. He’s knocked on the doors of multiple companies, made it very far into the interview process, but at the final decision time – God closed the door. I respect that courage to put himself out there and to try. It might not have ended up in a new career, a move, a raise, x, y, or z…. but they have all been growing experiences and have given him glimpses into other careers which has helped him shape his desires for what he wants out of life and deepened his appreciation for where God has us right now.
So, nothing ventured; nothing gained. What is it that you want to try, but haven’t worked up the courage to make a reality yet?
It could be something small and simple like homemade bread or recreating a favorite recipe your grandma makes. Maybe you want to learn a new skill like website design or knitting. Maybe you want to buy a house, but you are too afraid to even knock on the door and find out if that’s a real possibility for you. Maybe it’s your relationships – maybe you need the courage to try to get plugged in more and open up. Maybe it’s applying for jobs to find out what is out there and begin figuring out what you want to do for a living. Maybe you want to lose a couple of pounds, be able to lift a certain weight, or run a certain distance, but you are afraid to make the lifestyle changes.
Whatever the task is that you are afraid of – try it. Knock on that door. It might fling open and be easy to walk through, or it might open to some steep stairs to climb on the other side. It might stay shut. The important thing is that we try. Courage, character, memories, talents…. All of these things require action. Do you have the courage to try?
I don’t know if you know this, but the first day of Autumn was last week! And the weather has started to cool down.
Fall is our favorite season in the Pomeroy Life. It has the crispest air, the sweetest fragrances, the best flavors, snuggly clothes, and beautiful colors that only come around one a year.
I have already been fully embracing Fall and all of its flavors! Last weekend I made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and my mom’s apple bread recipe. Both were delicious, but they do not nearly satisfy my quota of Fall activities.
I want to do savor every ounce of Autumn that God sends our way! Here is our 2015 Fall Bucket List to help accomplish that.
Pause to enjoy the season – this season of the year and this season of life. What is the point of a Fall Bucket List if there’s no increase in the enjoyment of life and connection with those around us because of it? We have a really busy Autumn this year, and I don’t want to allow busyness to trick me into missing our favorite time of year.
We are off to a good start. We made Apple Fest this year into a #thePomeroyDen outing. It was a great send off to Haiti, and a nice to make memories/have an excuse to take pictures with the people we have been doing live with over the last six months.
As many of you know, Devra and I will be leaving for Haiti this weekend. We have so many things left to do before we go! We are excited about this trip, and are praying that God will use us while we are there.
I doubt that we will have access to the internet while we are in country, so we would like to leave prayer requests here for anyone that would pray for our trip.
Keep the stress level low, as we pack and get ready to leave. Will works until the wee hours of the morning the day that we leave, so time is short. Devra has a lot of homework to finish that is due while we are on the trip.
Safe travel for the team. We are flying into Miami Saturday afternoon, sleeping there, and then departing to Haiti (Cap Haitien) Sunday morning.
That the team would keep in good health! And not be bitten by very many mosquitos.
That we would be stripped of our own expectations of the trip, and be open to whatever it is that is needed when we arrive. It sounds like we will be spending the majority of our time with the students (K-12) – whether that be playing with them or teaching English.
That we would be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Haiti.
Good stories to encourage you all with once we return.
As you read scripture, you see snapshots of the global church – Paul writing to his church plants. We would love to be able to feel connected to the global church again, and we think this is our opportunity to do so. Please be praying for our hearts and minds to be open as we follow through on this call to Haiti!
And for all of you who have helped us get here and are helping send us off – Thank you! We wouldn’t be here without your support.
We mentioned in our 3 year anniversary post that we went to Colorado for a weekend get away to celebrate, adventure, and get away from the normal routine for minute. We only had a weekend to work with, which normally causes us to decide to stay more local. I am so glad that we decided to take that trip. It was worth every penny, and we want to go back!
We took this trip because we remembered the wise Pomeroy family adage that Will grew up with – Money is for making memories. We want to make memories, we want to see the world, to stand in awe of the imagination and power of our Creator, and to have our eyes opened to the people around us.
Her was our Itinerary:
Friday – Leave for Colorado after work (we flew)
Saturday – Explore Denver, White Water Rafting, Reds vs. Rockies Game
Sunday – Pike’s Peak and Garden of the Gods
Monday – Fly Home
Pretty intense weekend schedule. Especially that first day. Will had started his day at Home Depot at 4 am that morning (after we bought our first car together the night before). For this trip, we flew standby. Well, we did not make the first flight out of Lexington which meant we were only left with one shot to get from Atlanta to Denver that night. Will has a higher status than I do. There were 4 open seats and 12 standby passengers wanting them. Will was cleared, but I was dead last. This is where God comes in and does cool stuff, and our gate agent was extremely kind. She knew Will was waiting for me, and she began calling off names of passengers who had not boarded. Every time some one did not respond she would give a standby a seat. All the way down to me – the last seat on the plane. I feel bad for those 8 people who missed their flight, but I am so grateful we made it!
When we landed in Denver it was midnight, Will got the rental car (which we found a great coupon for on Retail me Not & we got cash back for from Ebates), and I was negotiating us a hotel on my handy dandy Price Line app. BUT since it was after midnight, we realized a little too late that it had booked our hotel for the next night… We thought we were going to have to pull a Joseph and Mary because there was no room in any inn…. no matter how sketchy it was. Finally, we found a hotel. By the time we got to bed it was 2 am MST meaning it was 4 am our time and my trouper of a husband had been up for 24 hours. And you know what? He was still gracious, and caring, and great despite it!
We slept in, and woke up to the mountains =)
We explored downtown Denver and headed out into the foothills for a white-water rafting adventure! I am so glad that Will requested we do that, and I am glad we spent the money on it (also found a coupon). It is a memory that we will both hold on to – one of the ones full of smiles and laughter.
After our rafting excursion we drove back into Denver, checked in at the hotel and walked to the baseball stadium… that flueky hotel booking ended up being a big win! We had an awesome corner room in downtown Denver walking distance from Coors Field where we had seats 6 rows from the first base foul line to watch (got a deal on Score Big) Johny Cueto on his final day as a Red.
BUT because of the hotel that night being in Denver and not Colorado Springs we decided to not hike Pike’s Peak because of how early we would have had to wake up. Instead, we slept in a little, had some breakfast, and drove down Colorado Springs. We went to Garden of the Gods and hiked around a little, drove through some tourist traps, did some souvenir shopping (I got a t-shirt, a coffee mug, and huckleberry tea! Will got a t-shirt and a sticker for Robert), and then we drove the toll road up Pike’s Peak and hiked around at the top.
Altitude sickness is a realllll thing when you gain 7,000+ feet that quickly. But that didn’t stop us from soaking in all the views, trying out the world-famous doughnuts sold at the summit, and exploring a little.
We drove back to Denver. Even the drives are wonderful. You’re driving along the foothills, and it’s just beautiful. Consequently, we also “decided” that instead of getting a farm in a couple of years, we want to own a mountain (aka a foothill) with cows. Will said he would even learn to ride a horse!
PS… Denver is home to the best gluten free pizza. If you find yourself in town stop at Tony P’s Pizzeria.
All of that to say, I seriously cannot stress enough how much you need to go to Colorado – even if it is just for the weekend. We only used one vacation day (actually only half a vacation day because I worked extra the rest of the week), and you can find coupons, and/or just do free/cheap things like compare Garden of the Gods to Pride Rock from The Lion King. Go hiking. Explore the city. Drive up Pike’s Peak. Visit the cliff dwellings. Go to a baseball game.
But what it really comes down to it – travel. Make it a priority. Realize it’s money well spent. With a little planning you can do it much cheaper too!
So you only have a weekend? No big deal. You might not be able to do EVERYTHING, but you can do some things, maybe even several things! Who knows what memories and discoveries you will make along the way!
We mentioned in our post about year three that on top of buying a house this year, we also bought a car. Another new adventure for the two of us. We knew this purchase was coming soon-ish as Ellie (Devra’s car) will be turning 20 next year, and Eddy (Will’s car) was a 1999 Ford Taurus.
With both of our cars being 90’s babies, we knew that one of them was going to need replacing soon. Consequently, we had been saving our pennies for a new car for the last two years. The plan was to replace Ellie in the beginning of 2016 with a small SUV.
Well, like most plans we make in life – God had some different timing in mind. Instead of saving for another 5 months and replacing Ellie, we had a nice surprise of Will’s check engine light coming on. Eddy’s transmission was going out, for a car that’s only worth about a grand, that’s a kiss of death.
We were given estimates to replace the transmission, and decided that it wasn’t worth it. We weren’t quite where we wanted to be with our car fund yet, but buying an SUV was a strategic move we felt we should do. We want to start a farm in the next few years, and the SUV would be part of that. We also have two old cars that aren’t always so reliable and wanted the peace of mind knowing we have one car we can count on to get us to Kansas and back at Christmas without worry.
The next week was very stressful and exhausting. Eddy sat motionlessly in the driveway – saving the last few moments of a working transmission for the drive to the dealership to trade him in. Will and I shared Ellie…. Which was challenging because we don’t work the same schedule and we were trying to go here and there looking at cars.
We knew we weren’t buying a NEW car (probably never will). We knew we wanted a 2008-2012 Ford Escape with low miles and preferably all-wheel/4-wheel drive. AND we had a very strict price point. We had been saving for a new car because if at all possible we don’t want to have car payments. Every sales person would offer us financing, and every time we would say no. It was tempting, but we stood our ground.
Here’s where the story of buying a car really starts
What we were looking for is the magic combo everyone is looking for. As soon as an Escape meeting our criteria would hit the lot – it would be gone. After a week of spending every spare moment looking on line for possible car candidates and multiple hours every day going around to various dealerships we finally had it narrowed down. It was Thursday night, we were leaving for Colorado the next day, and we wanted a car to come home to.
We landed in a predicament between a blue Escape with 119K miles on it with a warranty from the dealership (due to the high miles) for exactly the amount we had in the car savings fund, and a red Escape with 54K miles on it and a price that needed to come down for us to consider throwing extra money at it.
We found ourselves with no time and no space to make a big decision. I will spare you the details of the whole scenario. In two separate cars, we were in transit from one dealership to another. We used those moments to pray, seek godly counsel, listen, and try to discern the best decision for Team Pomeroy. We asked God to give us peace about which car to pick.
When I got in that red Escape to meet Will at the dealership, I was overwhelmed with a peace I hadn’t felt yet during this process. I beat Will to the dealership, but he had told me the price we needed to be able to buy the Red Escape. I walked in and told the salesman that the mechanic said the car was great and we agreed with him. I told him we had another car offer on the table that worked for our budget, but that this was the car we wanted and we needed the price to come down.
While he went to get a piece of paper that Will had but I didn’t, Will arrived at the dealership. He looked at me and said “This is the car, Wifey. This is the car we want.” God had given us both peace about the decision. What happened next was even better – Nick, the salesman, came back with a new offer on the car. The price was exactly what Will said he would sign on the dotted line for, BUT I had not told the salesman that price. It was just further confirmation that we were making the right choice.
Will let me write the big check, and less than 24 hours before leaving on our anniversary trip we brought Robert into the Pomeroy Life.
I am going to miss having matching cars, but we learned so much through the process of buying a car. We learned about all the fees that get added to the sticker price of a car. More importantly we grew in our ability to listen to each other, to stick to our principles, to weigh options, to humbly seek counsel, and to work together as a team.
Robert is hubster’s new car. He was sweet to offer that I get the new car and he take mine since we had been planning to replace Ellie, but I told him that I get to spend money on school, a gym membership, races to run in, house projects… all he wants money for is the occasional lunch out with his coworkers. He should get the new car. What a man though. Such a servant.
As for Robert’s name, Eddy was easy to name. He nearly matched Ellie so he needed a matching name. But where to start with Robert?! For those of you who didn’t know me before I was Devra Pomeroy, I used to be Devra Redford. When I would tell people how to spell my name I would say “Redford, like a red Ford truck.” Consequently, before I was married I really wanted a red Ford. At first Will suggested we name the Escape Redford, but I just didn’t think that was right. Then he had the brilliant idea of naming it Robert, Robert RedFord.
So there you have it folks. The story of our new addition.
I remember writing last year for our anniversary, that not a lot that had changed on the outside part of our lives… the part that everyone gets to see. Year 3 was different. In fact, the majority of the landmark happenings of year 3 were the type that everyone gets to see – at least those that keep up with us regularly.
We made the largest purchase of our life this year – we bought a house! Home ownership is awesome – even if your furnace goes out in the middle of winter (right after you buy the house).
We opened our home to a couple of roommates, which has enriched our lives in a way that is difficult to express. Let’s just say that life is best lived in community – even it means late nights sometimes.
We got to go on a mini vacation to Colorado, which was a major goal for us to do last year, and we signed up for a short-term mission trip to Haiti, another goal we had set. Travel and missions are two of our passions/values that’s we don’t want to lose touch with.
I know it may sound repetitive, but possibly the biggest obstacle of our relationship in year 3 was communication. Buying a home changed our lives, but the learning how to communicate our wants and needs to each other during that process will last us much longer than the house will. Having roommates has given us another avenue to better our communication – especially about who parks where in the driveway every night! It also has helped us to cherish our time together and communicate more effectively in those moments.
We learned a lot about how to be on each other’s side in year 2, but in year 3 we got to live it out. We have encouraged each other in our personal goals (like Devra’s marathon and school), supported each other professionally (as Will was promoted to department head at Home Depot and starting a business together), learned how to be a shoulder for each other to lean on in the midst of adversity,and perhaps most valuably we’ve learned how to be loyal and supportive of each other even when we don’t agree. We are each other’s best friend and biggest ally.
In summary, Year 3 has been a year of action; a year of putting into action all of the values and passions we spent years 1 & 2 formulating. It’s not standing for it if you don’t live it out.
All things considered… we love each other very much. Love is still a choice, and we continue to learn how to best show that love to each other. We’ve made great strides in not going to sleep angry and being kind to one another… just like my grandpa taught us.
(more on our 3 year wedding anniversary trip to come in a later post)