Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When God Speaks In a Bathroom Stall

My 10 year high school reunion is approaching quickly : about 40 days from now...eeek!  I cannot believe it has been that long since I walked the halls of good 'ole HHS.  Some people dread reunions, but I am actually looking forward to mine.  I had a really good group of girlfriends and those years represent an all around great time in my life.  A lot has happened in my life in 10 years.  Matter of fact, I feel that this 10 years probably will remain the most life-altering decade of my life.  After leaving my parent's home I...


...met a nice guy and had one fun summer of dating.
...One fun summer of dating led to a long distance relationship for a year.
...The LONG distance grew exhausting which led Robb to a new job near Waco.
...New job was not so hot, but relationship was worth it!
...Worth it led to an engagement.
...Engagement led to a June Wedding.
...June wedding was followed by a job offer.
...Job offer was accepted and followed by a move.
...Move meant a new home in Lewisville, TX
...Lewisville, TX meant a new college for me.
...the new job was loved and the college was despised.
...Also despised was the 5 1/2 hour drive home to our family
...The 5 1/2 hour drive home and the despised college led us to...
...a new home in Huntsville, TX
...Huntsville, TX meant a new job in Willis ISD and a new college @...
....SHSU!
....SHSU meant my major would change one 3rd and final time
...except for the minor change from Spanish to marketing
...Minor change led to job in sales and a degree in Communications
...Degree meant I graduated!
....Graduation led to desire to start a family
...Desire to start a family led to fertility treatments
...Fertility treatments led to no where
....No where led to Houston Fertility Institute
...Houston Fertility Institute led to quadruplets
...Quadruplets led to miscarriage of one.
...Miscarriage of one led to delivery of three.
...Delivery of three led to near death for me.
...Near death led to lots of soul searching
...No time for soul searching, babies to tend to!
... 32 diapers a day, 30 bottles a day, and lots of volunteers.
...New family meant another move
...This time our move would be back home
...Back home meant "help" which came in the form of 2 sets of grandparents, great grandparents and anyone else willing to rock or feed a baby!
...a new job for Robb
...another move into our own home (as we were technically borrowing someone's before)
...a new home
...a new job from home which wasn't what it was cracked up to be which led to...
...Kirkland Apparel Co.  which I struggled with in the beginning because I was sick
...sick led to lap. procedure
...lap procedure led to Endometriosis
...Endometriosis led to hysterectomy
...hysterectomy led to wellness doctor
...wellness doctor led to wheat allergy
...wheat allergy led to freedom (strangely enough)
...freedom meant gluten free foods
...gluten free foods meant HEALING! 
...healing meant a great vacation in Hot Springs this summer!
...Hot Springs was hot, but family time was great!

In a nutshell, I know!  And yes, I know that this post is titled "When God speaks in a bathroom stall!"  And that is kind of related and yet unrelated to my reunion.  I have had some deep soul searching this week.  When contemplating this upcoming event, I found myself analyzing my appearance, picking apart my life, and wondering if people will look at me and be disappointed.  Did I turn out like they thought I should?  A swirling vortex of wanting "THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS!"  There, I said it...I have a problem.  If this was an AA meeting it would not be Alcoholics Anonymous it would be Approval Addiction.  

Maybe I am wrong, but I think some young mother's can probably relate.  For me, I always had a "place" growing up.  I was always a label of some sort; a cheerleader, a basketball player, "most likely to"...you know the types of labels you get in school, right?  Even if by default, those labels give you an identity.  Those labels gave me confidence.  As an adult, all those labels were stripped away.  Yes, I got new labels: wife, mother, etc...

After I had the babies, I didn't look like myself (still 50 lbs overweight).  I didn't feel like myself (raging hormones)!  And, therefore I felt blah.  After a few months the blah passed, but my desire for others approval raged on.  The problem with approval addiction, besides the fact that it elevates man's opinion above God's at times, was that I couldn't make people "approve" of me.  It's funny how I chose certain people to be my human "approval gauges."  

I was lonely despite being surrounded with people all the time.  Robb and I had a really good church home in Huntsville and I missed that security.  Now, fast forwarding.

I have realized some things over the past month.  I cannot control how people feel about me.  I try my hardest to be respectful, polite, and to make the Lord proud in my relationships.  I know I am not perfect and have plenty of flaws.  But, I must confess that I have spent a great deal of the last 6 months on overdrive pondering rejection.  "Why do they go out of their way to show me that I am nothing?"  or "I thought they loved me, but now I see that they are simply tolerating me."  Just a few thoughts of many...

Rejection hurts.  Sometimes we imagine it.  Sometimes we create it.  And sometimes, our worst fear comes true and we realize that some people just don't like us.  In school, I tried to be nice to everyone - not just because I wanted them to like me, but because I wanted them to see Jesus in me.   And honestly, until adulthood, usually nice = friendship.  But, as an adult, I have learned that nice can just as easily = rejection.  Over and over and over again.  

So at last, after months of torment, God spoke today.  In a bathroom stall of all places!  And I was transported back to a prayer I prayed one night a few months ago.  The prayer was "make me not care that they don't like me.  This will never change and so You have to make me not care!"  But, God didn't make me not care.  Instead today in the bathroom stall, he told me to quit apologizing for the way he made me.  He showed me that he wants me to "care," but to also be balanced.  To use that desire to befriend others to bring people into His kingdom, to use that desire to please for him not for man, and to be balanced in my thinking.   And even when God speaks in a bathroom stall, the truth always sets us free.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hot Springs

We're back! And maybe you never even knew we were gone, only hint was probably the "lack" of posting being done on my blog. Although social networking can be quite addicting, I did enjoy a true vacation from Tweeting, Blogging, FB-ing, and e-mailing. We went with my family and some friends to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We had a wonderful time! Last year we went to San Antonio for a week and it was ROUGH. The babies age and my illness have made vacations very tiring in the past. It is hard to enjoy anything when you are trying to map out every bathroom from one stop to the next, much less keep tabs on toddling two year olds. But, I must say, one year makes all the difference (and a healed mama makes for a better trip as well).

We hiked, we biked, we canoed, we jet-skied, we swam, we saw alligators, we pet goats, we fed deer, we shopped, we went to Tiny Town, we toured Anthony's Chapel, we rode the Mountain Tower and saw all of Hot Springs from a really high elevation, we Euro Bungied, we traveled through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and back again- and we did it all with only three buckets of "carsick throw up" from Leyton. Lake Hamilton is beautiful and we will surely make that trip sometime again. Definitely reminded me a lot of the Texas Hill Country.

Pictures coming soon!

Jess

Thursday, June 18, 2009




After spending some quality time playing with our sand and water table...
We spent some quality time painting Uncle Will some wall art for his birthday...
Could we possibly have some artists on our hands? You be the judge...
Seth's masterpiece...
Laci's masterpiece...
Leyton's masterpiece...

They had a lot of fun painting  "Unc Will's" birthday present.  And, as always, anytime "birthdays" are mentioned they all bust out singing Happy Birthday and then ask "when we get cake?"


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

G Free on Day...???

I am happy to say that I have lost track of the exact number of weeks I have been gluten free. This is a good thing because it means I am adjusting to a new way of shopping, purchasing, and consuming food. I no longer count the number of days it's been since I was forced to abandon things like cheeze pizza and shrimp alfredo. Gone are the days of happily consuming quesadillas and licking cake batter from the spoon. So long cookie dough and grilled cheese's from Sonic...I will miss you but by no means do you hold me mental hostage anymore (well maybe still a little bit). If only by default, those days are over. I will live longer and certainly live a FULLER less ill life now that "wheat" is gone. So, since it has been awhile, this is what I have been eating:

Breakfast: Thanks to Pamela's products I usually enjoy some gluten free pancakes which are really good. They do not fluff up as much as a traditional pancake, but the taste is the same. I use real Maple Syrup as all the other syrups also contain wheat in the form of "caramel coloring" or "natural flavors." I have heard that Eggo Syrup is okay, but am still researching that as I have gotten mixed answers. Breakfast is the hardest time of the day for me. Since "eggs" were also discovered to be an allergen from my testing, those are out as well. I made a homemade bag of trail mix to which I added raw pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, and yellow raisins. I usually have one or a combination of the following: Trailmix, 1 oz. block cheddar cheese, nitrite free bacon or sausage, fruit, or gluten free pancakes.

Lunch & Dinner: I have been eating alot of salads with Kraft dressings (most of which are gluten free). Some of my favorite lunches & dinners include:

Turkey Salad - Brown ground turkey in a skillet and add in your salad ingredients. Lettuce, pepper jack cheese, red onions, & turkey go well with Kraft Green Goddess dressing or your dressing of choice.

Taco's - Traditionally prepared with corn tortillas or hard shell tacos. When you marinate your meat, use Lea & Perrin's Worchestershire which is gluten free. I try to make sure I have lettuce & tomatoes on hand to up my fiber intake.

Chinese Food - Yes, you can have Chinese food prepared at home and still be G-free. For Chinese food out on the town, I have only been able to find P.F. Chang's to have a G-free menu in honor of us allergy prone individuals. The problem with Chinese food is the Soy Sauce. BUT, Wal-Mart's Great Value Soy Sauce is gluten free. Try this recipe - it is YUMMY!

A little olive oil in the pan with the following (make sure your pan is large):

Bell Pepper (I used 2 Red BP's cut into long strips)
2 cans bean sprouts (or I just got a hefty bag from the produce department)
2 cans or jars of baby corn
1 entire bunch of green onions (chopped)

In a separate pot cook approximately 1 1/2 cups of rice. Let simmer.
I add a couple of generous dashes of soy sauce & Worchestershire to my vegetables until they are soft. Then, add 1 pound of ground meat. Cook thoroughly & salt your meat sparingly (as the soy sauce may be G-Free, but is HIGH in sodium).
Once all is cooked, I mix the meat/vege mixture with my rice. It is SO good.

Polenta - I can honestly say that cooking Polenta was a first that occurred yesterday. I guess I have never known what it was (as I have passed it several times and gave it a puzzling "what are you" look). Apparently, Polenta is basically cornmeal packaged in a similar way that hamburger meat is packaged. It is a substitute for rice, pasta, or potatoes. Can be eaten alone or with a sauce. Here is what I did with it:

Slice the Polenta in 1/2 inch slices.
Olive oil in pan & heat
Place the Polenta in the pan and lightly brown or just leave long enough to heat well. The Polenta is already cooked and simply needs to warm.
Add small purple onions to mix (saute).
Remove all ingredients once through and set aside.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks, (season accordingly), and grill in the same pan.

Then, build your Polenta tower...

Layer 1-2 slices of Polenta
Grilled Onions
Chicken Pieces
Sprinkle cheese on top

Really, good!

Desserts of choice: Pamela's Product Brownies - really tasty (as I just finished a piece prior to posting). Mmmmm...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lil Sprouts, Gettin' Big





Friday, June 12, 2009

WELLonOurwAYWithWELLchecKS

We made the long journey to Conroe Pediatrics today for the babies 3 year well check. I just cannot part with my Doc and his staff (Dr. Keith Macpherson). They have been incredibly accommodating to my lively crew for 3 years now. They squeeze us in, bump us up, rearrange for us, and never complain about back to back appointments for 3 kids (and trust me that is rare). Although the drive wears me out, we will keep heading that direction for now.

Leyton: Leyton was 31 lbs 8 oz. and 36 1/2 inches tall. That puts him in the 50th percentile for weight and 25th percentile in height. But, man are his short little legs strong. :) Leyton has, in the past, been treated for early onset asthma. About a year ago, we weaned him off of those treatments and he seemed okay without them. However, I have remained concerned about his breathing when he exercises or over-exerts himself. When he runs around alot or gets out in the heat, he huffs and puffs much more than Laci and Seth. So, because of this, I asked Dr. Mac if we could get him started on some kind of inhaler for his activities. He plays hard, but I want him to breathe easy and not struggle to keep up with the other kids. So, Dr. Mac agreed and wrote us a scrip for a puffer we can use as a preventative or for times when he might be struggling post-exercise.

Laci: Laci weighed in at 31 lbs 1 oz. which put her in the 25th percentile for weight. She was 37" tall (sorry Leyton) which put her in the 50th percentile for height. She told Dr. Mac her knock knock joke, was a champ for her shot, and then wanted to leave with Dr. Mac. So, he recommended we give them the "don't go with strangers" talk. Yeah, I would have to agree!

Seth: Seth left the other two in the dust as far as size is concerned. He weighed 33 lbs 5 oz. and was in the 50th percentile for weight. Seth was 38 1/4 in height which put him in the 75th percentile! WOW! However, the biggest boy fell the hardest when the shots came out. He had NO idea what was going on and what was about to bite him on the leg. Goliath fell and cried the loudest!

Overall, Dr. Mac was very pleased with their growth, their tricks, their jokes, and how they have developed in general. He gave them a "perfect" report and we are so pleased that they have grown "leaps and bounds" from their fragile 3 lb birth! Thankfully, we are well on our way with our well checks...

Now, all we have left is the eye doctor in August for their yearly check-up and the dentist! I heard there is a great Pediatric dentist in Kingwood that I want to get them in to see soon.

Jess

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flag Football

Our sports night was really fun tonight. Two words. Flag Football. We had 15 adults and 7 children in the nursery. A successful night once again! Next week is volleyball, so come one come all! Now, Robb and I are at home wishing we were there playing again. God is really growing our group and we are excited to watch young adults in our area show up and fellowship with us.

Thursday nights
6:30 - 8:00 pm
First Baptist Liberty
Family Life Center
*Childcare provided.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot Blog Hot Blog Hot Bliggety Blog

So, I've been watching too much Mickey Mouse Club house, can ya tell I live with 3 toddlers? Summer is in full swing and we have not stopped yet. We've been burnin' rubber riding bikes and scootin' up and down our driveway. We've spent our days thus far, slidin' at the park, splashin' around the splashpad, playin' with puppies, and trying new things. I have to say that the babies are at a really fun age. Robb and I have had a blast with them and summer vacation has just started. And speaking of....

Robb: Robb has spent his nights learning to play the guitar on I-life. Every summer he "swears" he is going to learn either the guitar or the harmonica. I hope I-life can work it out and then he can teach me. I don't know that I have the patience or the time to let the computer teach me. He'll have about 6 weeks off and then football will start up, so we are trying to soak up as much family time as possible. These 6 weeks are very precious to us! And I just have to say how proud I am of Robb and all his "Robb" ways. He is a wonderful husband and well...he's downright fun. He's been dominating at Sports Night and dominating as "hero" to the babies. Robb is also working out like a mad man running at the hottest time of the day. Although, one day, I went with him during the hottest part of the day...but since we both were about to pass out after running 2 miles *AT THE HOTTEST PART OF THE DAY* we are re-thinking our work out times. I don't want to have a heat stroke, but that's just me. And speaking of...

Me: I am busy juggling 2 jobs and fighting the urge to join Robb on his summer vacation. The self-employed don't get summers off, but since I don't want to teach for a living, I will press on and continue to resist the urge. On a different note...it's been about 6 weeks minus gluten. I am getting better at avoiding accidental run-ins with my old friend/foe wheat. Although yesterday I was careless while eating out and paid for it this morning. This allergy is actually turning out to be a blessing. When I ingest gluten, I am immediately ill. Although that is inconvenient and not fun, I am glad I have an "instant" alarm system to let me know that something is harming my body. Some people eat as they please, smoke, and drink to their hearts content and they don't have the blessing of an "instant" alarm system. Atleast I am aware of the damage being done and can immediately correct my choices. It's turning about to be a very exciting summer. I am the healthiest I have been in 6 years. I have taken up a new hobby: running. I have been blessed to make some new, Godly girlfriends over the last 6 months. And most exciting of all, God has been opening doors for me to talk about what He has done in my life. I am so grateful for those opportunities, whether face-to-face or via web, article, etc.. to be able to talk about His love and grace. I know that I am living because of Him. I am healed because of Him. And therefore, He deserves all glory and honor. He's been showing me how to let go of the little things, brush off rejection, and embrace all the wonderful relationships He has given me. God's been doing a lot of neat things through me and around me. Can't wait to see what the next few months hold for our family.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

Laci was 3 lb 8 oz.
Seth was 3  lb 2 oz.
Leyton was 3 lb 4 oz.



And they have ALL come such a long way!  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tales from the Crib: Tonight's Prayers

Seth: Thank you Jesus...giggles...for...giggles...amen.

Laci: Thank you for Seth and Leyton...amen.

Leyton: Thank you Jesus for our prayers, AND for Jonah got ate by dat whale, AND that those people were so scared on dat boat, AND dat the whale threw up Jonah into Liberty, Texas! Amen.

...oh my...

                                             ....or leaks!



Saturday, June 6, 2009

Walls

Some people are busy building them. Others dare to live beyond their boundaries. Without walls, we can be vulnerable to attack. With walls, our hearts, minds, and physical bodies are protected. Walls can be spiritual symbols or physical boundaries. My mother spent most of our childhood building walls around us. She was protecting us from the world. Looking back, I am thankful for those walls of protection. Praying over your kids is one way to build up a "spiritual" wall around their bodies and minds. Praying God's word over your children is another way to keep those walls firmly grounded. My mother did this well. Every morning of each day she spent time alone in her room praying for us; for our safety, for our future, for HER strength to teach us the truth.

Our sunday school class is about to start studying the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah knew the value of a wall. Particulary, he grieved over the fact that Jerusalems' walls were broken. Physically, they were subject to attack, mentally they were in fear and broken down, and there was no one organizing help for them. As an adult, I can look back at my life and see the importance of building those "spiritual walls" over our children. And if you want to build a spiritual wall, sometimes it starts by doing something physical. Like, physically changing the television channel to something more appropriate. Or, physically, reading your kids the Bible daily instead of just once a week at church. Robb and I have rules to protect our children for as long as we possibly can. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we have to adjust. But, we try. After studying the first chapter of Nehemiah, I learned a few things about his character, but one characteristic really spoke to my heart.

First, he cared about the lives of others. Nehemiah could not be called "indifferent."

INDIFFERENCE

–noun 1. lack of interest or concern:
2. unimportance; little or no concern:
3. the quality or condition of being indifferent.
4. mediocre quality; mediocrity.

Indifference is the absence of feeling. Maybe you have felt indifferent towards an individual or a situation. Indifference is an easy case to catch in today's day and time. We all are busy by default. Sometimes we seem indifferent just because our schedules do not allow us to stop. Other times, indifference, might be intentional. Indifference can pack a punch, but it can be overcome. Nehemiah wept and fasted when he heard his brother's words concerning Jerusalem.

"...The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire." Nehemiah 1:3

He could have just as easily turned his face and plopped down on his comfy palacial couch. After all, he was a man of importance. He was cultured, handsome, knowledgeable, and most importantly had access to the King. Not just anybody could be a cupbearer to the King. To personally go and help Jerusalem rebuild their walls meant that Nehemiah would be literally going from riches to rags. Indifference could have kept him from God's best. But, Nehemiah conquered indifference and instead "chose" to care. Sometimes caring for others comes naturally and other times it's a choice. But, the truth always sets us free and I know that God has called me to abandon indifference and choose to care (even when it's more comfortable to go about my way).

"They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."
Psalm 34:5

Jess

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake





Again, can you spot the differences in personality here? Leyton ate his cake on the run and all I was able to capture was the remnant of icing he was apparently saving for later (see lower lip area). Seth, a.k.a. sweet lover of the family, chose to disregard any utensils and use what God gave him; his fingers. Laci went the fork route (but later chunked it and followed Seth's methods).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Extra Extra Read All About It

Whoever thought work could feel like a vacation? Apparently, work can ABSOLUTELY feel like a vacation. I went to Huntsville yesterday afternoon for the night and stayed with my grandmother. I was long overdue for a visit with ALL of my grandparents who happen to ALL live in Huntsville. I went to call on churches in the Huntsville area for my new job with Worlds of Wow.

You can check out their website at: www.worldsofwow.com

Although it was kind of hard for me to leave the "trips" I did enjoy the time off. Matter of fact, it felt a little like a ...you guessed it...vacation. 24 hours of silence can do wonders for the mind and body.

In other news, I got my first story published via blog a few days ago. Another big thanks to Karen Jordan for helping me along my little "writing way." I really appreciate you! You can check out that story @: http://blessedjournal.blogspot.com or www.karenjordan.net.

In "triplet prayer" news, I am SO glad I asked them to start praying on their own. Before starting this new trend at night, I have always been the one to pray for everyone. Although they say small prayers throughout the day and we talk about prayer, I never (until last week) started giving them "the spotlight" to pray before bedtime. I have been rolling at some of the things they say. I can already tell, I am going to have to make a book of "triplet prayers" now. Tonight:

Seth:

Dear Jesus (a language that sounded much like chinese to which I understood none of it...giggling...more chinese...amen). Robb said he must have been speaking in tongues! I got a good laugh at his "daddy humor" on that one.

Leyton:

Dear Jesus thank you so much for letting me have fun today with Ooey (nanny). I had fun. Thanks for letting me have fun and ride in mommies car.

Laci:

Dear Jesus thank you for Seth and Leyton. Thank you so much that we got to ride in mommies car and eat at Don Boni (their favorite mexican restaurant in town).

And as far as Robb and I...well I am in my usual "blogspot" while he is giving himself a "pedicure" just like H-nail does. I wish I had a camera to show you the setup that he has. TV tray with "healthy nail gel," and foot cream (along with the sippy cup, Uncle Sam hat, Sonic cup, and laci's hair bow). A foot massager filled with Epsom salt vibrating and "healing" his little toe-toes. And since he filled the massager up to the brim he had to go get a plastic promotional cup to catch the water coming out the end and spilling onto the floor. Life doesn't get much better than this in the Kirkland household. We live to elevate the everyday!

Jessica

Monday, June 1, 2009

Missiles, Mild Fever, & Other Musings

Apparently a "missile" or "UFO" was spotted over Liberty. Or atleast that is what the news crew from Fox 26 was asking people today when we ventured up to Jax Hamburgers to eat dinner. They were interviewing Jax employees and I think I even heard the words "Are you in fear for your life?" Who knew our boredom would have led us to stumble on such "breaking news" in our small town. Go ahead...snicker with me. Now, if it turns out to be a "missile" then that is certainly no laughing matter. But, somehow I seriously doubt it.

Today, I finally ventured to Houston Metro Urology to have the kidney ultrasound done that I have been anticipating for about a month. I hate those type of "no doctor present" exams, because, well...there is no doctor present to immediately tell you the results. So, I find myself straining to read the technicians face, listening to every click, and analyzing every question asked or lack of conversation. Are you with me? Okay, so maybe it's just me that lives in a mild state of paranoia in such situations. But, despite the fact that technicians have a "go ahead and ask but I'm never gonna tell" policy, I, of course, always ask anyway. I hold on to the small chance that they will look into my eyes and have pity on my feeble ability to read the screen. And for once, just TELL ME the results on the spot! Well, today, a little technician with wings must have floated down from the Heavens, because "this" winged technician told me what she saw.

.....NOTHING. No cysts, no kidney stones, just 2 kidneys and a bladder that looked healthy on the screen. Thank you, thank you, thank you God and the little technician from the sky who probably violated some kind of technician oath! For once, I am grateful that someone bent the rules a bit. So, what better way to celebrate a lack of health problems, go shopping. Off to the Galleria we went to...ya know...celebrate $$$

On another note, say a prayer for Leyton. He has a mild fever and will be heading to his favorite place "the doctor." No, really, he actually loves the doctors office and asks to go all the time. But, seriously, we'd appreciate the prayer.

Jessica