Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The never-ending post, seriously, you may never finish it.

Days in the Life...

Monday morning Sofia was passed all around. Everyone in our family adores babies. Everyone.

I cared for her some in the morning so Mom and Aunt Lauren could visit while the kids worked on their school and chores. 

When she returned to Mom, I did another practice math test. It went eh. I didn't do as well as I had hoped. After lunch I looked at it again and started some review. Then decided I was going to need help. 

I was so grateful that Aron was available to come later in the afternoon. Meanwhile I blogged (that was probably the last time I its been a while...sorry), went to the bank, and did a little ironing. 

Math in the afternoon, following over an hour in the morning, when I was tired, equaled going over one question repeatedly for at least 20 minutes and needing chocolate and hugs. Also, 7 times 12 is not 48. And if you correct yourself and say it is 48, that is still not right. (Its really 84.) 

When Aron left I was completely braindead, but the time had been extremely helpful and we did figure out a majority of my issues. 

As you know, I was exhausted, so I was definitely ready for bed by 10:00. Of course, that meant I lay wide awake for an hour. 

Eventually I got hungry (I don't think I forgot to eat that day, but, knowing me, it is possible...) so I got up to eat something, which woke me up even more, and then I was hit by poetry inspiration and spent the next hour writing You are Loved. After that I was able to fall asleep. Ish. Sort of. 

Tuesday morning my alarm went off at 6:00 so that I could receive Kate and Sofia for the day. From the moment Kate arrived she was asking for "baby." And all day she kept telling Sofia "shhhh." Getting just four *ducks* hours of sleep was worth it to spend time with the two of them. 

Kate got hungry about 7:00 and Ava came down to help me. All things considered, Kate and Sofia were very quiet! 

Arms and heart = full. 

We tried to go outside to watch the sunrise, but that only lasted about 12.3 minutes.

My breakfast or Kate's second breakfast? 
(After she coughed on my spoon I left her finish it.)

This was my first time to have Kate and Sofia together, by myself, the whole day. I was sure that I could just coordinate their naps so that I could get things done. Mom and Dad laughed at me! So of course I proved I really could. 

Picture proof: Kate was also asleep and 
I got to sleep for an hour and a half right along with them.

After morning naps, fed, changed, happy,
and me (not pictured), slightly more rested.

Kate ate my lunch in addition to hers. At least I'm trying to eat... Then she helped me put dinner in the crockpot.

I was able to overlap their naps again in the afternoon and got to sleep another 45 minutes. 

After Sofia left and Kate was up, I tried to give her chicken from her food. Kate does not like chicken. So she wouldn't eat it. I was hungry seeing as how I didn't get to eat all of my lunch... and so I pulled chicken out of our fridge and started eating it. Kate came over and wanted it because I was eating it. So I gave her a few bites of mine and then started giving her her own chicken. She ate it all.  

Chloe worked from noon to 3:00 and then came home to play dance music for Kate.

Mom and the littles went to Bubble Land for a good part of the day. When they got back, though, they were all eager to play with Kate. 

When Kate left, even with two naps, I was tired. I did feel accomplished keeping two babies alive and happy, getting dinner in the crockpot, and getting two naps, even if I never did get out of my pajamas, or exercise, or do school, or anything else significant. I actually had realistic goals for my day! Okay, so coordinating their naps wasn't a super realistic goal according to Mom and Dad, and I know that when it's my own kids it will be even more unrealistic, but I still did it, so it was not an UGS day! 

Mom and Dad went over to the little house and the others had a little quiet play time after Kate left. 

Then I was able to exercise, shower, put on different pajamas, and finish dinner. 

After dinner I was kindly encouraged to do some math review and sat down to work for about an hour. I was glad I did (so, thanks for the motivating texts...) because I was able to make even more sense of the concepts Aron and I had worked on the day before. 

I went to bed at 9:00 and had absolutely no trouble sleeping almost 11 hours straight. 

Wednesday morning I was able to complete yet another math practice test and I did better than I had ever done before! I was very grateful since my real CLEP test was scheduled for the next morning. 

I cared for Sofia some while Mom and the littles went to gymnastics, and Chloe and Ava helped Nana with Bible study, and Dad had meetings. 

Before Mom got back I did about 15 cartwheels she was spared a heart attack over my foot since she was not there to see me

While Sofia slept I drank a decaf espresso and tried to get my journal caught up. I was days behind. Which I do not like. To some people who journal, being 5 days behind is totally fine. But when I journal, sometimes I spend as much as 30 minutes or an hour on one day, if it was a full/exciting day. So being 5 days behind meant I had at least 2 to 3 hours of writing to do... 

I made a little progress. Lately so much has been going on and I have had a lot to process. 

Aron arrived about 2:00 to go over my mistakes from the practice test. We got to watch a storm roll in while we worked at the kitchen table. Towards the end of our three hours of math, Mom came and put the cookie jar in front of Aron. She was very grateful to not be the one helping me with math. 

When we finally finished I was exhausted. (There is a reason its called "mental energy", you definitely can use up all your energy, even when you are sitting in one spot.)

Aron challenged me to Chess. I lost twice and then Mia wanted to try. Aron didn't think it would take too long and so agreed. She lasted longer for one game than I did for two games, but still lost. 

I lost more games of ERS after that, but always managed to get second! We won't talk about how for most of the games only Aron and I were playing. Not all of them, but most of them. 

Mom, Dad, and Aron all had a church meeting to go to in the evening and the rest of us stayed home to eat, clean up, and watch "Little Big Shot." 

I journaled more after the others were in bed, but went to bed on time (instead of getting all caught up) so that I would have plenty of rest before my test the next morning. 

Thursday morning I got up after a pretty good night's sleep and got all ready to leave. Before I headed out the door everyone gathered to pray over me. Then I went next door for Nana and Grandfather to also pray with me. 

It was a gorgeous morning. I listened to worship music in the car and did my own praying. Really, I felt very at peace. 

Math is not my strong suit and I really have to work at it (as evidenced by all the study sessions with Aron that lasted for hours). I really wanted to pass this test because it would take care of all my college math credits. I know my peace was not of myself and I could literally feel the prayers of all those who were lifting me up that morning. 

Aron's apartment is a couple miles away from UNT so I parked my car there and he drove me to the college. (Last time I took a test I spent two hours looking for parking, missed my test, and had to reschedule for the next day and have someone drop me off. I did not want to repeat that experience.) 

We were able to purchase a parking pass so I didn't have to walk in alone. (Another thing I was grateful for, walking around the college alone previously made me uncomfortable.) 

I was on time for my test and a tiny bit nervous, but mostly just very focused and ready to do it. 

During the test I was so incredibly focused. I had no distraction, no fear, no nerves, no nothing. About 2/3 of the way through I realized all of that and that's one of the points I could most strongly feel the prayers. Then I went right back into my focused zone. 

I used all the time on the clock, save for 3 minutes. It was close. By the time I was actually hitting submit I was a little nervous. If I'd failed, I would not be able to retake it for 3 months. Finally the results screen loaded. 

I passed with a scaled score of 60! (The range is 20 to 80, a passing score being 50 and above. For my literature CLEP test I passed, but just barely, with a 54.) I did better on a math test than on a reading test! 

I think I sat in the chair with my hands over my mouth in shock, trembling, for at least 3 minutes before I was able to compose myself enough to walk out and get all my forms from the people who run the testing center. 

Then I was able to walk out to the crowded hallway and tell Aron. I was so excited that I had passed, but almost equally excited that I would not have to go out trying not to cry because I'd failed. I was still trembling by the time we got to the car and I got to call Mom and Dad and begin letting everyone who was praying for me know my results. 

If I had failed the test I would have been disappointed and a little discouraged, but I would have been confident that for some reason it was not a part of God's perfect plan for me to pass the test and I could trust Him for the next step. 

Back at Aron's apartment I got my car and headed to Target to purchase a new journal. I was running out of pages and was far enough behind that I would fill the old one before getting caught up. I was indecisive in the journal aisle and still trembling with excitement, so I ended up sort of organizing the whole aisle before deciding on one to buy. 

Then I went to Chick-fil-a to get lunch. (I did eat breakfast before leaving for the test, but I was very hungry when it was over and by the time I'd gotten the journal it was after noon.) 

Chick-fil-a was very crowded, but the line was not too long. As I got in line, I observed a man walk in a side door, wearing a knit hat and sunglasses, neither of which he removed upon his entrance. I thought that was kind of weird, but didn't think about it that much. 

He quickly got in line right next to me and commented to me that he must have picked the wrong time to come eat there because the line was so long. I said something to the effect of, "Don't worry about it, they are fast." and he promptly stuck out his hand and asked for my name. I had no idea what to do, so I swiftly shook his hand and just answered "Lydia." No last name. He said his name and that it was nice to meet me. 

At that point I turned away and moved very close to the woman in line ahead of me. Something did not feel right to me about the exchange and I did not want to talk to him anymore. Not being able to see his face because of the hat and sunglasses made it especially weird. 

After I ordered I did not see him again. 

I chose a seat that allowed me to see most of the restaurant and that was surrounded by other "safe" people (couples and ladies), engaged myself in conversation with one of the older managers, used hand sanitizer, and then kept myself on the alert while I ate. (I was not very hungry anymore...) 

When I left I went to the window to see where my car was and checked the parking lot. Thankfully I was parked right next to the door. If I had not been, I would have asked a worker to walk me out. I had my keys in my hands and walked purposefully to the car. Once I was inside I locked the doors and did not wait around. 

I have no idea if that man had evil intent or was just being friendly. But what I do know is that I was uncomfortable and I was right to listen to the cautioning of the Holy Spirit in me. Being alert and aware was the best thing I could do. 

In the future I would probably not accept the handshake and would let a manager know that I was uncomfortable. Its hard to know what to do, especially when something like that has never happened to you before. If I were with someone else, I would have felt "safer", but I wasn't so I needed to be even more aware. I'm sad that this is the type of world we live in, but I don't want to regret one day that I did not keep myself alert. 

At home everyone wanted to hear about the test and then I went and lay down on my bed for about two hours, I was wiped out. After that I got to snuggle Sofia and visit with Mom and Dad some about work before leaving to take Chloe and Christian to Debate and meet a friend to visit over coffee. 

My friend and I had a wonderful visit and the coffee was very good. About 8:00 I looked down at my almost empty cup and realized with horror that I forgot to order decaf. 

It was such a good latte. Almost worth it. But not quite.

I am very sensitive(?) to caffeine. Normally I only drink it in the morning, if at all. When I have it in the afternoon I have trouble getting to sleep at a normal time. 

I was going to be awake all night. 

Driving Chloe and Christian home I was already feeling energized and wide awake, but I was still mentally tired from my test that morning and was mixing up my words. 

My plan had been to get up at 4:30 the next morning to wash my hair, but since I was going to be up for a while I went ahead and showered. I read until my hair was dry, packed my bag for the next day, and then began catching up my journal. 

This was taken about 12:30. 
Obviously, I was still wide awake.

About 2:00 am I was mostly caught up in my journal, and still very much awake. I remembered that I had forgotten to eat dinner and so crept downstairs to get something. Then got in bed to try to sleep. I think it was probably close to 3:00 when I finally dropped off and my alarm went off at 5:00. 

Friday morning we all got up very early to get into the family truck with Aron and head to Waco for the day. Everyone except Dad and Christian went. I actually didn't feel that tired when I got up and I was the first one down ready to leave at 5:30 when Aron pulled in. 

Mom went to get gas while the others got out of bed and we pulled out of the driveway at 6:00 am. 

Aron used to live in Waco so the idea for the day was to see and do the things he enjoyed there. 

The drive lasted about two hours and was rainy. Everyone was pretty quiet, but nobody slept. 

Our first stop was Cafe Cappuccino for breakfast. Everyone ordered either hot chocolate or coffee (I needed coffee...) and then whatever they wanted for breakfast. Some got pancakes, some waffles, and I tried eggs benedict for the first time. It was good! 

As people finished eating, Mom, Ava, and I all got our hair braided by various other persons at the table. 

It was still raining when we left the restaurant, so Aron drove us all around Waco and showed us where he liked to eat, places he lived, where he went to school, his old church, several parks, and an old railroad bridge over water that he used to climb up and sit on. (I wanted to climb out on it while we were there, but the idea was vetoed. Partly because of rain, partly because the littles couldn't, and partly, I'm guessing, because it wouldn't have been that great of an idea... Still sounded fun to me.) 

After the tour, during which we listened to Toby Mac and Owl City and Aron's tour guide voice, we stopped at a second hand disc golf and board game store. The littles went with Aron to look around and Mom, Chloe, and I sat at a table to rest for the 20 minutes we gave them. 

Then, because we never get to go to Target at home (not), we went to Target. Some people had difficulty avoiding the battery stand without assistance. And what do you know, they had the same journals that our Target has!

By the time we finished there, we were ready to eat burgers, french fries, tater tots, and (for some) Coke, at Captain Billy Whizbang's. I just spelled 'Coke' incorrectly 4 times in a row. Can you tell I never drink it? Or maybe you think that I'm tired. 

None of the littles had ever had Coke before. Only Mia liked it. I have had one Coke and that was in Haiti. (Two year missions trip anniversary post to come next month.) I had a sip of someone's at lunch and did not like it. If I drink soda (which is almost never) I prefer Root Beer, as does most everyone else in our family. 
They could not spell 'Chloe'. 

Mia tasting Coke.

After lunch Mom and I needed caffeine, round two. We went to Common Grounds. If I lived in Waco I would be at that coffee shop often. It was so cute! And the coffee was good.

The inside was too crowded for all of us to be able to sit down so we went to the covered patio to sip for a few minutes. 

It was a little chilly so Mia and Gabe got cozy. 

As it was still raining, we decided to go see "Miracles From Heaven" at the movie theater. (That really was a treat, we don't usually go see movies that have just come out.)

Oh. My. Goodness. Could I have cried any more tears or sobbed any harder? It was extremely good. I definitely recommend it. But be prepared to cry all the tears you had no idea you'd been storing up for decades. I'm pretty sure what little makeup I'd put on that morning was gone and my shirt was most definitely wet. But I promise, it was good! Please, go see it! Just take tissues. We didn't. Only Chloe and Mia did not cry. We decided they have hearts of stone.

As one would expect after such a touching cinematic experience, we were all rather emotionally drained upon our exit of the theater. Hugs helped, but we decided we needed chocolate too.

We picked up cookies and drove to Lover's Leap to eat them while standing on a bench to look out at the view. It was windy, but gorgeous. (None of us had to leap.)

Sweet picture, check.

Silly picture, definitely check. 

The rain had stopped and the sun looked like it might actually make an appearance, and Aron the littles had wiggles to get out, so we went to one of the parks we had driven by earlier. 

Aron and the littles went to play Lava Tag on the play set and then threw discs, while Mom, Chloe, and I checked our phones, talked about the movie, and got the update from Christian and Dad who were at home taking care of meetings, school, and work at the little house. 

After about 30 to 45 minutes, Chloe and I decided to run and catch up with the others, who were just about done throwing discs. We threw with them for a few minutes then headed back to the play ground. The swings were high enough up that Chloe and I got to use them! I love swinging. I still have a tendency to scream while on them, possibly, occasionally, when I'm really high, or not. 

Then we all played a round of Lava Tag, in which I was tagged by Mia (no, I was not going easy on her) and then could not tag anyone else. So we switched to All It which I am much better at.

The sun was out and it warmed up slightly so we ended up staying past 7:00! 

But it was time to hit the road gently

Everyone was appropriately worn out. (I actually was not overly tired considering I'd not slept. I'm sure caffeine helped, but I really was surprised at how much energy I had. I never felt like I was dragging. Also, my foot never hurt while playing the games even though it was the first time since I'd hurt it that I ran around!) 

About 8:00 we drove through Chicken Express (there was no Chick-fil-a) for dinner. Most of us had never eaten there before. 

It was just after 10:00 when we pulled in our driveway and everyone pretty much headed straight to bed. 

Saturday everyone slept in and I didn't hardly move until 10:00. We had a pretty normal Saturday. Mom woke up not feeling great and stayed in bed. Dad and a couple of the others went to work at the little house, and I took an afternoon nap before church. (Not sleeping Thursday night started catching up to me.) 

Everyone except Mom left for church at 4:00. Christian and I played for worship while the others went to Costco. 

After church we visited for a few minutes, but then left with a couple of others to go eat dinner at Rosa's. 

Sunday I slept in a ton again and after brunch took two naps that went into late afternoon. I had a headache and my back was hurting, so it was not hard to decide that I should rest instead of blog. (And that would be why this post is so late...) 

Mom stayed in bed all day and the littles worked on going through their stuff to find things to get rid of. In doing so, they earned ice cream. 

In the evening I felt some better. We had leftovers for dinner, watched "The Willis Clan," and ate ice cream. 

I had not trouble sleeping that night.

That Moment When...

You realize you are going to be up all night because you just drank an entire cup of caffeinated coffee at 8:00 and totally forgot you needed to order decaf.

You are still wide awake at 1:30 am.

The Herd: Quoted 

"How is your foot, Lydia?" -Christian
"Just fine." -Me
"Jump." -Christian
*I jump*
"What are you doing?! Don't do that!!" -Mom

"Are you ready for your Bible, Sofia? Wait...I mean, bottle. I promise I slept 8 hours last night!" -Me

"They will be at Bubble Land for her second birthday." -Mom
*Make a sad moan*
"No! You can't load up Kate and Sofia and go with us." -Mom
"I was going to ask that..." -Me making a face.

"You are still in your pajamas?" -Chloe at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon.
"Of course! I've been keeping two human infants alive all by myself all day." -Me

"Okay, I'm going to stop now. I'm getting hot." -Me
"But you are always hot." -Ava
"My body temperature has risen." -Me

"I was looking at a yellow flower I'd never seen before and there was a bee on it and it was sucking all the chlorine out." -Mia

"Just because I am awake does not mean I am cognate." -Me

"Thingy!" -Me
"Yes, I got it." -Chloe

"The other day I could not remember if I was 18 or 19. I literally sat there for 5 minutes trying to remember how old I was and I was almost freaking out because I really didn't know!" -Me
"You could have just thought about what year you were born and figured it out that way." -Chloe
"I couldn't remember how old I was, do you think I would remember number one, what year I was born, and number two, that I would need to subtract that year from this year, and remember that I'd not had my birthday yet this year?" -Me
"Yeah, never mind." -Chloe

"Can I quote you?" -Me 
"No." -Mom
"I knew the answer." -Me 

"If x equals your love, and you say that you love one person 1.5 times, and another person 1.25 times, and that those times are equal, then x must equal zero. Times meaning times your love." -Chloe administering a third degree burn.  


  1. I loved this super long post. And you'll be glad to know I did finish it :D It's so hilarious that you rearranged the journals at Target XD And congratulations on passing your CLEP!! I'm so happy for you :) It sounds like you had a lovely week. I'm so jealous you got to go to Common Grounds. I've only ever driven past it and Magnolia ;) And congratulations on keeping Kate and Sophia alive. It really is such an accomplishment :D

    (And don't worry, I'm still working on your story and LOVING it :D)

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I know! I was laughing at myself while doing it. Thank you! It was a wonderful week.

      Oh good! I'm so glad!

    I understand about buying journals. That's not a decision meant to be rushed. I mean, like, you'll have to use it, look at it, write in it, for the next who knows how long! Why not find one that you actually like? (And yes, I do rearrange stuff in stores sometimes too...)
    Keeping human beings alive is a good thing. :)
    Yeah, this was kinda really long (of course, my own post for my family this week is well over 2K words, who am I to say?) :P

    1. Thank you! I'm very excited!
      Haha...about that...I fill a journal in about 4-6 still! I want one I will like. And I don't want to buy one that I've used before. So, the options are limited...
      Yes, it is. :)
      Hopefully it was interesting/entertaining/encouraging! We had a very full week, obviously.


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