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Reflections…and the perfect end to 2011!

The house is quiet…Elianna is napping, and so is hubby.  I’m feeling quiet and contemplative.  Thoughts of “at this time last year” come frequently.  It’s been a crazy full year!

Elianna started off our year by being late.  VERY late!  Last Christmas I was super-pregnant, puking, close to the end of my rope, and NOT enjoying it!  I remember sitting on the couch with Jerry in the light of our tree one evening after Christmas, crying because it felt so much like someone was missing.  “Two” no longer felt complete.  It was time to be Three and I was soooo ready!  This year, I sat on the couch with Jerry in the light of our Christmas tree and cried again.  This time because I was so happy to be holding our beloved baby girl on my lap.  I felt complete, and so content and at peace.  Our little family of three had a WONDERFUL Christmas together!  Christmas is suddenly extra special when you see it through the wonder of a child’s eyes again.  The lights, the tree, the wrapped presents…  I love to watch Elianna and see her taking it all in and thinking and trying to figure it all out.  Everything is still so new.

We started out this year in a new house, trying to unpack and settle in and get things organized and fixed up.  Now, I have a light over my kitchen table that makes the room feel warm and cozy.  I have light covers in the bathroom which make my choice of a bright teal/green/blue color a little less shocking.  (slightly.  But not a whole lot.  But I still like it a lot!)  Elianna has covers on the electrical outlets in her room (that’s a GOOD thing!)  Jerry brought me home a pantry the other day, so the stacks of pails and tubs down the hallway are tucked away on shelves, and I even had extra space to unpack some of my china so we could set the table beautifully for our Christmas meal!  Jerry put up a laundry shelf for me so I would actually be able to see the top of my washer and dryer again if I would just take 5 solid minutes to clean them off!)  We still have an addition that looks like a tornado went through it, and paper trim on some walls in the kitchen, but you can’t do everything in one year, can you!?

We started last year with Jerry limping around gingerly, trying not to further injure his knee.  He had a CT scan in June, surgery in August, and after 6 weeks time off was back to work again in September, doing harvest for my uncle.  He tramped all over in the bush during hunting season, and is threatening to play hockey again in the New Year!  We are grateful that he didn’t have to wait till next year for surgery, and that his knee is fine and he can live an active normal life again.

We started off the year with a wrinkled up baby whose hands and feet looked like she was 80 instead of 8 minutes old and 2 weeks late.  Now she’s crawling, getting into everything, laughing, eating solid foods, and starting to walk and talk.  She said “grandma” during our Christmas in SK, and completely melted Grandma’s heart, I think!  She says mama and dada regularly and sometimes even graces the dog with a word.  We’re thankful she said mama and dada before she said “Measha”!  She is such a joy.  Her smiles and laughs brighten our days and lift our spirits and melt our hearts and we are unbelievably thankful for her.  God knew exactly what we needed — a little girl to be our ray of sunshine!

Jerry is ending this year with a new job — still an electrical apprentice, but getting much more hands on experience.  I was very concerned about him switching jobs, because he had a FANTASTIC boss.  But, God has once again provided another absolutely FANTASTIC boss!  Jerry’s surgery, time off, and harvest work was an excellent transition to this new job, and we are thankful for God’s hand in events.

We started off this year dogless and catless.  Then we were just dogless.  So we got a free dog from ½ hr away…and totaled our car when going to pick it up!  God provided another vehicle for us at the price we needed, and insurance came through enough to cover our costs and we were thankful.  And now had a cat AND a dog.  Then we were catless for a while, because the dog terrified the cat, so we gave the cat away.  Then we got two more cats who knew what a dog was, so now we have 2 cats, and sometimes 2 or 3 dogs, depending on whether the stray dogs are hanging around!

We ended 2010 by coming home early after the New Years’ Eve service because I was sick of the “WHAT?!  You’re STILL pregnant!?” and “Hey, have the baby on MY birthday, Jan ___!” and “Have you tried _____ to get the baby to come?!” comments.  We tried going out for supper for my birthday, but it was a royal failure because every place in our quiet little town was closed – other than A&W, and that’s not a very romantic spot for a New Years’/Birthday supper!  This year my husband took me out for lunch (much better plan!), we went to the Pastor’s house this evening for an impressive show of fireworks, visited for a while after, and then I came home to put Elianna to bed.  She ended my year perfectly by falling asleep in my arms in the light of the Christmas tree.  My unrockable-to-sleep baby.  The one who hasn’t been rocked to sleep since May.  The one who HAS to go scream in her crib before giving in to sleep.  My non-cuddly baby.

The baby I longed for as 2010 ended was the baby sleeping in my arms as 2011 ended.  Perfect!

Baby is obviously a Siebert/Eagles baby!

I came to a conclusion today.  Baby Eagles is just proving that he is indeed, without a shadow of a doubt, a Siebert/Eagles baby.

Now, before you all go freaking out over the fact that I said “he,” NO, we don’t know that he’s a HE, but I much prefer calling it a “he” than an ambiguous, generic “it” that makes it seem like this pregnancy is just a 35 week episode of sickness causes by an abnormal growth in my abdomen!  Besides, it’s somehow been easier all the way along to use the pronoun “he” than “she” — it just comes more naturally and I don’t have to mentally force my brain to change the automatic “he” to “she” before it comes out.  And like someone else said, why waste brain cells fighting pronouns before we know which side we’re fighting on?! (http://inashoe.com/2008/04/its-a-boy-maybe/) Besides…God used the masculine pronoun “he” all throughout the Bible to refer to both genders.  So I figure I’m in good company!

ANYWAY…back to the point.  Sieberts seem to have enormous trouble being on time.  Eagles also seem to have this same difficulty.  So obviously, our baby is just proving that he is an authentic Eagles/Siebert baby!

I’m a strange mix of patience and impatience right now.

Back in mid-December, the Dr. told us Baby might be coming early because he was VERY quiet for several days, and sometimes that is an indication that it is preparing for birth.  So, I looked forward to an early baby — but at the same time hoped it wouldn’t come till Jerry’s play was over.  Then I really hoped it would come early — but first we had to move.  I wanted it to come early, but then I wanted a few days to unpack after moving in.  I would’ve loved for it to arrive over the Christmas holidays, but life was crazy and insane with all the celebrating and company.  Then Christmas was over and everyone went home and I really wanted the baby to come before its due date, but at the same time, I hoped for a few more days to “nest,” put my house back in order, and spend a bit more “just us” time with Jerry.”  Then I hoped for another day or two to finish a blanket I was making for the baby.

Now…the play is over.  We are moved.  Christmas is over.  The baby’s room is ready.  The blanket is ready.  Jerry & I have most thoroughly enjoyed several blissful days of “us” time.  I feel refreshed.  Settled in.  There is nothing looming on the horizon that I must push myself to prepare for.  Nothing to hurry and finish.  The last weeks have been such a panicked rush of frantically trying to get everything done and pushing myself to my limits, and now, suddenly, it is all over.  I don’t need to anymore.  I am ready.  I have meals in the freezer.  The house is unpacked enough to live.  I’m caught up on laundry.  There is bread in the freezer.  But there’s no baby!

It’s so strange not to be pushing ahead to the next thing.  I’m not bored — I doubt that will EVER happen!  But I feel strangely … bored!  aimless.  I think I may not know how to function without that adrenaline coursing through my body!  So I putter through my day .. making applesauce … an extra batch of bread … putting things away here and there … but there’s no panic.  No rush.  Just puttering.  Jerry & I went for a walk when he got home from work yesterday, and enjoyed the new countryside.  He fixed the dryer vent, and I puttered away at the dishes and building his lunch for the next day.  We played a leisurely game before heading to bed.  It’s so strange to slow down!  Since possession date life has been absolutely CRAZY with fixing the house and packing and getting ready to move and for Christmas and company and the baby and now it’s suddenly not and … it’s strange.  I almost don’t know what to do with myself!

Nevertheless, it’s LOVELY to slow down.  To have time to breath.  To sit in my rocker beside the Christmas tree and just watch the snow falling outside in our park.  We saw 3 moose in our back-up spot the other day.  Just chillin’ out, enjoying themselves!  We are thrilled beyond belief to have our own place out in the country now.  It is balm for the soul.  I didn’t realize how much I missed living in the country until now.  It’s so peaceful.

So here we are … enjoying the quietness … God’s winter creation … and waiting for our baby.  Anxious for it to arrive so we can bring it home to our castle.  Missing it, strangely, as we cuddle on the couch in front of our tree in the evening.  How can you miss someone you’ve never met before?  I don’t know.  But our “twosome” is suddenly feeling lonesome.  We are missing our “third.”  So we are eagerly awaiting its arrival.  But enjoying this calm interlude also.

Thankful…

I am thankful for a warm home while the wind whirls snow around outside.  The car’s clutch was really sticky yesterday when I had to go out of town for my community shift.  I think it was in shock!

I am thankful for our little baby.  I am thankful that the sickness means there is a little life growing inside me, and that there is a purpose (well, maybe not purpose, but there is a reason!) for it.  It will go away eventually…and we will have a little baby in its place.  I’d say that will be a fantastic trade! I treasure every kick and roll and jab I feel.  That is the ONE thing I will miss about pregnancy!  I never tire of them.  And I admit I kind of spaced out for part of my CPR class today, and sat there just watching my tummy around all by itself…weird!!!

I’m thankful for a home of our own…even if it’s pretty much in shambles right now, with all the renovations!  I finalized paint colors, figured out the square footage, and bought paint today.  Scary!!!  Well, for an indecisive second-guesser like me, anyway!  I finally told myself that two weeks after it’s painted, I won’t remember that I chose “misty beige” over “almond white” anyway, so just PICK one and and be done already!  I’m thankful that Bethany is here to help us with the work — there is no way we could have done it without her.  Well, we probably could have, but we probably wouldn’t have moved in until March!  I’m thankful for Aunty Esther’s help — she’s spent a couple afternoons out at the house working, and I’m thankful.  Oil-based paint and this pregnant momma aren’t supposed to mix right now, so I have to keep my distance from the house for a couple days.  I’m thankful for those who step in to help out.  I’m thankful for Daniel and Torrey painting the ceilings with Fresh Tex last weekend, and erasing the smoke smell the yellowed ceilings were holding.  I’m thankful Kimberly stayed a week with us and helped Bethany so much.  I’m thankful for a good deal on new kitchen cupboards — they are totally going to change that kitchen!

I’m thankful for my hard-working hubby who is basically working two jobs right now — one to provide for us, and one to ready our new home.  I’m thankful for his patience when I am sick, and for his loving care.  He takes such good care of me!

I’m thankful for our Heavenly Father, who also takes such good care of us, even when we don’t “deserve” it.  I’m thankful He never leaves us, and that He walks through the darkest of valleys with us.

A new home!

We got back from the big city this morning at almost 4 AM.  Yes, we were [are] exhausted.  Yes, we probably are crazy too!  But we got a wonderful deal on a beautiful new set of cupboards.  Well, not new, but new to us.  Plus 3 appliances, and a wooden kitchen table with 4 chairs!  Hear that!?  We’ll actually have 4 chairs all of our own! (right now we are using borrowed ones from my aunt and uncle — and we have to be careful how much company we invite over ’cause we’ll likely run out of chairs!)

The reason for all the supplies?

We went for a walk around mid-Sept, and passed the real estate office.  As usual, we stopped to check out the ads on the door.  Our goal eventually has been to move out of town, but not too far, and have a place for our kids (or kid, depending on if we decide to brave 9 months of sickness again!) to run and play, and for a few animals, etc.  That goal has seemed very impossible, though, considering prices around here.  Back east, you start out cheap in the country and work your way to and expensive house in the city.  Out west, you start out cheap in town and work your way to a nice place in the country, or so it seems.  We were prepared to wait several years and save. But we like to keep an eye on things too, just in case 😉

So we went for this walk, stopped to look at the ads, and found one with a price that shocked us because it seemed close to our range of what we could handle.  We went for a drive to check it out that evening, and arranged to meet with the real estate guy a day later.

To make a really long story short, it looked really hopeful at first.  Then it did NOT.  We reluctantly gave it up and put it all in God’s hands.  And what did He do?  Promptly gave it back to us the next day!  Thus, we know, without a doubt, that we didn’t force this…it was a God-thing, and He clearly opened doors for us.  That is really neat to know, and brings peace when I start to worry about money and Jerry starts to worry about fixing!

So…this is our new home, and we are hoping to move in at the end of the month, if all goes well!

Our new home!

Our new home!

We own a quarter section of land along with it…55 cleared acres, and the rest is bush.  It’s a mobile home with an addition, so we’ll have 4 bedrooms all together, once the addition has been fixed.  It REALLY needs to be fixed because right now it looks like this:

The addition

The addition

It’s got a lot of mold and rot, thanks to a leaky roof that was allowed to leak freely, it seems.  There is a brand new roof on the place now, thankfully.  The living room, kitchen, and bathroom all need a lot of work too, thanks to cigarette smoke, someone having anger issues and taking it out on the walls, and animals in the house.  But from the kitchen to the back of the trailer has been renovated recently, so that part is ready — just needs a wash and a coat of paint due to smoke-smell.

We flew Jerry’s sister Bethany out here to give us a hand with the renovations (she’s a pro!) and help me with packing and cleaning also.  She and Kimberly have accomplished a ton on the house this past week — almost everything that needs ripping out is done, and most of the new drywall is in place!

Progress is being made…we are excited about having our own place and space for kids to run, and being out in the country and going outside and looking up and being able to see the stars instead of street lights.  We will be only 10 minutes out of town, which is a perfect location, and we will be closer to Grandpa & Grandma!  And Jerry will have land he can hunt on, put animals on, build a paintball area on, or a racetrack, kick people off, or whatever he wants!

Front yard

Front yard