coming Home

i know you all take your iphones to the bathroom with you to check facebook and catch up on blogs, so don't be shy about reading this entire post. IT WILL BE LONG--i know it and haven't even begun writing it.

so, in the absence of our what used to be a good habit of updating the blog, some major life changes have taken place in josh and my lives. if you'll allow me, i'll start at the beginning.  and no offense, but a big reason i'm writing this is to document this story for myself to look back on in the future, so if you find it overly detailed, then just practice your high school skimming skills.  i know you have it in ya.

when josh and i decided to get pregnant, we knew we would both have to go back to work.  for josh, that was (mostly) obvious, and for me, it was something i hoped maybe wouldn't be true, but wasn't shocked at all, and definitely not enough of a deterrent to stop me from wanting to try for kids at this time in our lives.  oh, not to mention, i LOVED my job, felt rewarded by it everyday, and knew that if anyone could "do it", i could. bring on "working-mom" status. ain't no thang.

fast-forward 12 months later, and out pops peyton-the-peanut, the most beautiful thing i've ever laid eyes on, and oh my, was i IN LOVE.  (for those of you counting, no, i was not pregnant for 12 months, it just took us 3 to get a winner...) after a 3 month long maternity leave, one in which my mind TOTALLY changed about going back to work, i dug up the courage to do what i had committed to, and hit the ground running again.

and i did it, somewhat successfully, although always with a struggle, for 10 and a half long and arduous months.

right around then was when i decided that although nana was doing a tremendous job of watching the peanut, loving on her, and bonding with her, it might be time for day care.  yup.  peyton needed something else.  friends, maybe?  baby interaction, i think?  i dunno.  she needed a change, and daycare it would be...! tough decision, but i was ready for it. i called up the daycare we'd found back when we were looking, and was told she could start right away!  perfect!

so you may be as surprised as i was when i hung up the phone and said to myself, "great, that settles it, it's officially time for me to come home from work and be a stay at home mommy."   EXCUSE ME, ME?  WHAT DID YOU/I JUST SAY? THAT'S PURE CRAZY TALK. WE JUST DECIDED ON DAYCARE!! GET BACK TO WORK, YOU NONSENSE-SPITTER. 
moving on...

i called mom that afternoon to tell her that daycare was ready for peyton on monday (with high hopes that mom wouldn't be upset about the change, but mostly, wouldn't be offended.  she wasn't--she understood--kind of).  and there on the phone, mid sentence with mom, as i'm driving under the parking garage stick that threatens to fall on you if you don't gun it after it opens, i pause.  because as i begin to tell her about the weird thought that crossed my mind, and tell her all the reasons WHY it was just really so odd, i realize that i physically CANNOT speak AND listen at the same time.  and GOD WAS SPEAKING TO ME.  in the most audible voice i've ever heard from Him. and He said (and rather sternly, i might add), "gigi, you need to TAKE A STEP OF FAITH.  you need to TRUST ME, and TRUST that I'LL PROVIDE."  whoa. um, okay, sure, riiggghhtt...  except-except-except...GODDDDD, have you SEEN our bills?  our bank account? josh's job situation? trust me, Lord, i want to come home--i desire it more than anything, but this is CRAZY TALK.  we've already run the numbers and we know it doesn't work.  it won't work--it just can't--it doesn't add up. we'll be out on the streets well before christmas.

i had been praying intentionally about peyton's potential upcoming transition from nana's to day care over the past few weeks, and through that had gotten to a great place of communion with God. looking back, i KNOW that's why i was able to hear him as clearly as i did that day.  it was so clear that i flat out couldn't ignore it.   i that evening, i shared my experience with josh, told him what i was thinking and feeling, and in a drop of a hat, got the HUGE NOD to jump on it--he was 150% on board!  "i think that's a great idea, hun. let's do it!"  oh, but babe, are you sure?? i mean, what about all those LOGICAL things that should stop us???!!?!

if we were really going to do this, we were going to need God in a lot of ways.  how would i step away from my job? how would we take the financial hit of going from two salaries down to one?  what would i tell all the people i had made promises to about continuing to work? myself, my husband, my boss, even my daughter, who would benefit from the money i brought home--i'd effectively committed myself to them!  and what would i do with all that time?  that time that i, for the last 6 years, have devoted so heavily to my career, my projects, clients, bosses, and co-workers?  and what if i came home only to find that i really wasn't cut out to be a stay at home mom?  what if i thought it was -- wait for it -- BORING?  but at the end of the day, i knew that more than anything, i yearned to be home with my daughter.  i wanted to be who she relied on; i wanted to know her better than anyone else knew her, i wanted to be the person she could trust for her every need here on earth.  and i wanted to teach her day in and day out about God, love, family, friends, bumps & bruises, and life in general.  i knew from the bottom of my heart that she'd benefit more from my being home than from the money  (i think/hope).  and maybe my husband would too...

in the days and weeks (and ultimately months) that followed, God showed me A LOT MORE than i'd ever expected to see.  through a lot of reading, prayer and reflection, he brought to my attention how much i'd been focusing on the wrong things the past few years (okay, a good chunk of my adult life, really).  i'd been wanting and working (HARD) for the goods of this world--the nice car, the stylish home, the cool gadgets, the office with the view, the clothes and shoes, the shopping trips, the restaurants, the vacations, the lavish business trips, the confidence of a well-respected business woman, the attention, the ability to spend when i wanted, how i wanted, and on what i wanted.  now, none of those things are bad, per se, but they aren't what God wanted me focused on.  not in this season, at least.  maybe they could come as a side dish to working hard, but i began to feel like God didn't really care what i was working on at work anymore.  (and quite frankly, i was losing that passion, too, anyway.) "For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world." 1 John 2: 16.   He wanted me to focus on Him more and on me, less.  if i could learn more about Him, i could tell others more about Him, tell peyton more about Him, and put my time and energy into learning and growing in my faith, understanding the signficance of His sacrifice, and living daily as if it mattered.  because it absolutely does.  it matters more than i think i've even just begun to realize.  and it matters so much that nothing else matters without it! 

so what i first thought had so much to do with being home with my baby ended up having so much more to do with realizing that i matter less and He matters more.  and although i've always "believed" what the Bible says, i'm only now learning more about what it means and how we are to live.  josh and i are learning to place our trust in Him on a day by day, moment by moment basis. and the fruits of that mindset have been an intracately executed plan that did indeed allow me to come home.  over the course of the next three months, josh got a wonderful new job (that he LOVES, by the way), we lowered expenses we had no idea that were even possible to lower, and i've found a happy meduim of being available to work, if needed by myself or my company, but it is no longer the focus of my time and mind.  i am filled with overwhelming gratitude each day that i get to wake up and spend with my daughter.  i love being able to serve my husband at home--not just with food on the table, but also with a clean house and a list of "to-do's" that for once, get "to-done"--something that just "had to give" when i was working full time.  peyton is the coolest little kid, josh is the sweetest man and husband, and i'm the most blessed woman that gets to enjoy those two gifts to their fullest right now...

i know full well that the path i've been afforded is not by my own doing, and i also know it means not that i'm in full favor of God--sheesh, i ruin this beautiful plan of His day after day being flat out stupid--but i'm trusting that He's got big plans for our family, i'm thankful that this is part of our journey, and i'll take it one day at a time willing to be His tool to do His work.

i will mess up. privately. publicly. all ways, really. in fact, by the time you read this, i can almost guarantee i've been selfish, greedy, proud, and lustful for something this world has to offer.  but God is with me, forgiving me, guiding me, and teaching me.  and i hope you'll continue to travel this journey with me as i find out more about what God wants from ME. and... maybe.. if i may be so bold... you... too... ;)


for a little while, i get to be "it"!

a few days ago, peyton went down for late afternoon nap, and in an effort to not wake her from her unusually light, stuffy-nosed induced sleep, i locked myself in my bedroom across the house and just started cleaning--quietly--with no access to the kitchen to do noisy dishes, no access to the front door to take out the trash, no access to the family room to accidentally drop her annoying learning toys. just stuck in my our room--cleaning.

ugh, josh gets so mad when i say "my". he's all, "babe, OUR wedding. OUR baby. OUR room. " FINE, i fold. i'll go ahead and assume this applies to all things of mine. OUR laundry, OUR vacuuming, OUR tv remote and OUR blow-drying of hair and doing makeup!? solid. :)

anyway, there i am, cleaning, by myself, in one room of the house, with no distraction from any other clutter infested part of OUR house. can you say PURE JOY? i can :)  so, what a perfect time to call my mom and chit-chat?!  after we talk shop (aka peyton's eating and sleeping stats), we sidetrack and i find myself sharing with her all that i envision peyton and i doing together as she continues to grow up. peyton. not my mom. well, my mom, too, i guess.

the things i want for peyton and i are the same things i remember of my mom and i. there was so much peace and security in JUST BEING with my mom as a kid.  i had so much fun playing with her when my older brother and sister were in school and it was just the two of us.  i'd sit in the car listening as she sang along to michael bolton and gloria estevan, driving across town to run errands.  we'd hit up party city and the toy store, the grocery store, the oil change place.  we'd stop for lunch and share arby's roast beef sandwiches, then continue to jcpenney for some new clothes.  i'd wait patiently swaying my little legs back and forth under the chair as i waited for what seemed like hours as she got a teeth cleaning in. and i don't remember minding one second of it.  because what was i going to do without her?  mom was my life.  my answer to everything.  my problem solver, my security blanket. my question answerer, my make-it-all-better-gal, my jukebox, entertainer, and resting place. if it weren't for the fast that i was 4, it would have been considered dependant to an unhealthy point on the emotional scale.  but, it wasn't.  it was amazing. life was good.  hanging with mom was all i knew and what made me happiest.  my brother and sister tell me how much i was glued to mom as a kid (as if it was a bad thing) and my dad tells me no one other than family could pick me up or i'd freak.  it's okay.  i don't regret it.  i'm thankful for that time with my mom.  and now, i get to pass that on. 

"where mommy go?", peyton says to the air when i've momentarily disappeared to the other room.  "mommy's in your room putting dirty clothes away, babe."  clack, clack, clack, go her footsteps as i hear her approach.  "mommeeeee!" she squeals, with a smile. "mommy hode-jew, mommy hug-yeww." and after a big fall and some alligator tears, "mommmmmmm, uh, uh, uh, eeeeeeeee, uh, uh, uh." :(

and when we're walking side by side, and out of nowhere she throws her little hand in the air FULLY EXPECTING that mommy will be there to grab it.  she knows i'm there. and she finds security in that. 

it feels good.  it feels REALLY good. and i'm not taking one bit of this for granted.

oh my...

don't even get me started on how sad i am that i've just let this blog go :(  thankful it doesn't show in the way of pants that don't fit or the inability to walk up a hill without huffing and puffing the way "letting yourself go" shows, but it's still not easy to start writing again. 

our last post was at the beginning of summer--peyton doesn't even look like that baby in the pictures anymore!  so much has happened, and i want to share ALL of it.  and i will, in time, share the details of how God has blessed our family these past few months, but for now--the short version.

peyton is 18 months old, today!  she's walking, running, climbing, talking, signing, talking  listening, talking, singing, talking, whistling, and talking.  SHE IS SO FUN!! josh has a (fairly) new job at Broadcom as a sr. buyer in their procurement department, and thoroughly enjoying it!  june is learning what it's like to be treated like a well-cared-for dog instead of a decently-cared-for child--poor thing. and me?  i'm busy being josh's wife, peyton's mommy, junie's walker and petter, and this home's dust picker upper.  oh, and that job thing? well, i was able to step aside from that for a little (undetermined) while. 

we are joyful, healthy, growing, inspired, loved and faithful during this season of our lives.  and i plan to do a better job of sharing our family stories, struggles, and excitement--so bare with me as i work to gear this sucker back up!!