Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mommy Wars

Lately I have seen the topic of stay-at-home moms vs. working moms and other related topics come up in a lot of places.  I don't think there should be a "vs." at all in the conversation.  Aren't all mothers working toward the same goal?  We all just want to take care of our children and our husbands in the best way possible while honoring the Lord above all?  I think each mother experiences some insecurity about her decision to work or stay at home (which is definitely work as well!), which makes it such a emotionally charged topic.  Sometimes there isn't a decision to be made as most arrangements (unfortunately) are due to financial reasons - whether going to work to earn money or staying home to save money on childcare.  Mothers who work outside the home are always concerned that they don't spend enough time at home with their children and that someone else is raising their child 40+ hours a week. Mothers who work inside the home worry that their child is not interacting with other children and that they aren't financially helping fill up the bank account.  We all have different circumstances and life arrangements that best fit us.  We can only pray that wherever our family is, that it is a prayerfully made decision.  God has us and our families uniquely created to fit His sovereign plan for our lives and for His kingdom.  

So before going on the defensive when this topic is brought up, why don't we embrace the situation that we're in and lift each other up as sisters in Christ?  I loved my sister-in-law's post on this the other day with a quote about "good" mothers.  (Here's another article that talks about this topic too). Instead of slinging each other with mud and hateful words and looks, celebrate the role that God has each mother in and encourage her with the difficult parts of that particular arrangement.  It's easy to be judgmental and prideful and jealous in this area of our lives, but God calls us to a be unity of believers.  Each of us has helpful tips we've learned from our daily routines, whether at work or home or church or the ball fields or at the grocery store.  God has blessed us with one of the greatest gifts - our children.  Let's soak up every moment we get with them while they're little (and big too!) because they are valuable and life is fleeting.  Life is hard enough on it's own without the added pressures from each other.  We also are examples to those around us.  Some people have negative opinions of working mother based on their experiences with supposed "Christians" who act completely opposite and others have negative opinions of stay at home mothers because of bad experiences with professing Christians.  Let's honor Christ in all we do and be a living example of His love, lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down.

Go and hug your children and the other mommies in your life.  :)  And throw in an encouraging note or word while you're at it.  :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My favorite things: 4th edition

It's time for another installment of my favorite things at the moment.  Here are my favorite things from the past: 1st edition, 2nd edition3rd edition.  I've compiled a list of my top 10 (plus a bonus) favorite things right now for your reading pleasure plus a funny story.  :) 

1. Weather
Before all this rain (which to be honest, I really love the rain and have enjoyed this week), we were having some pretty amazing weather.  I think it will return starting tomorrow and I will be taking full advantage of the perfect temperatures.

2. Bradford Pears
These have all bloomed and turned in the last 3 weeks around here (I think they're all about green by now), but I just loved driving around town seeing all of the beautiful bradford bears flowering.  We planted two in our backyard last year and they survived the hot summer, so we had our own blooming trees in the backyard.

3. White sheets on our bed/New lamps
I've been wanting new bedding for our room lately with the new headboard Nick built for us.  Our room just felt so dark all the time.  Remember the bedding I chose before?  (Here were the options).  I had it paired with black sheets and pillowcases and it just added to the darkness.  While I was at Walmart about a month ago, I got the urge to buy a set of white sheets and pillowcases so I just did it.  I think it helps so much and has curbed my desire for new bedding for the moment (or at least justifying spending money for it!).  (Of course if this duvet cover and all the accessories were to go on DEEP, and I mean DEEP, discount, I would snatch it up in a second!!)

4. Caleb's hugs
After we changed Caleb's diapers, he stands up on the changing table (top of his dresser) and gives us a big hug - arms around our torso and squeezes tight.  It's the sweetest part of the morning.  And when I pick him up from daycare, he runs across the room with his arms wide open and gives me a big ol' hug.  Precious.

5. Hubby's woodworking
My hubby has been a building machine.  Here are some of his creations:

Desk for his aunt & uncle

TV stand for Mamaw

And some I can't find the pictures for:
Nightstand for master bedroom
TV stand for Tyler & Robyn
Headboard for master bedroom

6. Jolly Rancher - berry
I had a super stressful two weeks in the beginning of this month and so I was stress eating bad.  I blew through a bag of these and they are so good.  I just had to keep my mouth doing something, and these were it. 

7. Louie Giglio DVDs
Back in college, I got to watch the Indescribable video and it is just that, Indescribable.  It is amazing.  The speaker gives a talk (with tons of pictures) about the universe we live in and just how big our God is.  But yet, that same God that created the mind-blowingly enormous universe created each of us and knows us by name.  He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us in the most humiliating and excruciating way.  Wow.  So humbling.  We just got to watch it again in small group a few weeks ago.  I recently ordered three copies of it (one for us, two for family members) as well as another Louie Giglio DVD called How Great Is Our God.  Looking forward to re-watching Indescribable and watching How Great Is Our God for the first time. 

8. Having a clean house
There really is nothing better.  No matter how long it lasts (usually not very), it is such a nice feeling to sit on the couch and not see one thing that has to be done.  Whew.  I guess I better get mine to that state so I can breathe again.  :)

9. Yankee Candle - Hazelnut Toffee
I love Yankee candles.  I wish they weren't so expensive, although they do last for quite awhile.  I bought this one the other day, and wowee does it smell good. 
10. Tulips
A few weeks ago I saw the prettiest tulips at the store while grocery shopping, so I thought I'd indulge and buy a bouquet to have some fresh flowers in the house (this was during all those perfect, sunshine-y days).  Nick asked if I was dropping hints.  Ha!  I wasn't, but if he did want to ever bring me flowers home sometime (I've been loving tulips, especially lately) that I sure wouldn't mind.  I'm a lucky woman because remember that stressful two weeks I mentioned in #6?  Yeah, he brought me home some during that time just to brighten my day.  *Sigh*.

11. Maurice's
Oh boy do I love this store.  So much so that I could get myself in trouble spending money here.  I recently stopped in to purchase a gift card and I couldn't leave without browsing a little of course!  They are almost always having some kind of sale.  I just really love their stuff.  So cute.  If my hips were a little slimmer, I could fit into so many more cute things, but that's a work-in-progress.  :)  I love this place!

Funny story:  The other night I went to the kitchen to get a glass of milk right before bed.  I opened the fridge and was greeted with a bad smell.  I thought, "Oh my gosh - Nick just planted a stinker right here in the fridge and then closed it in.  I am so mad!"  So before I went and accused him of planting a stinker right in the fridge on purpose (disgusting, right?!) I thought I better double-check.  I know, I know, what a strange desire.  Anyway, I opened the fridge and took another whiff just to make sure and sure enough, I just knew he did that (is that even a realistic possibility? I'm thinking no.).  I was so mad!  So I quickly turned around to go tell him what I thought about that when I realized I had just made hard-boiled eggs a few hours ago.  That's where the smell was coming from.  Insert foot in mouth.  Or stink in nose.  I tell you this story so when all of you make hard-boiled eggs for Easter in the next two weeks, you will not go accuse your husbands (or sons) of planting a stinker in the fridge for you to find.  :) 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Weekend

I suppose it's time that I write our Easter post considering that it is a week late.  :)  We started the weekend off with the church pancake breakfast and egg hunt.  This was Caleb's first egg hunt ever and I have to say that he did pretty well.  

Then he found the gravel parking lot and decided it was more fun to hunt for rocks than eggs.  

Afterward Tyler, Robyn and Jackson came over to dye eggs and hang out.  

The dye was kind of crackling, but we decided that it made our eggs look kind of cool.  

Caleb got in on the action.  

Jack too!

Haha - it looks like Caleb was caught red-handed.  

On Easter morning, Caleb woke up to a full Easter basket!  Sidewalk chalk, fishing pole, life jacket, sandals and some peeps.  And some campfire cookers for Mommy & Daddy for future camping trips.

And some fridge magnets.  :)

Caleb all dressed up for church, enjoying a peep.  

Tyler, Robyn and Jackson.  

I think it's so funny that their hands and mouths are exactly the same.  They are definitely Braschlers.  

This is the best one we could get.

Family pictures.

What a wonderful weekend to celebrate Christ's resurrection.  I hope we remember God's gift of His Son everyday with the same gusto as Easter weekend.  He is Risen.  He is Risen indeed!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday.  It's the day we can especially reflect on Christ's death 2000+ years ago.  He was tortured, beaten, humiliated, and murdered on the cross.  And he did that to take on my and your sins.  God sent him because He loves us so much.  More than words can ever even describe.  We taught Caleb to hold his arms out to his side when we say, "How much do we love _______ (mommy/daddy/Jesus/etc.)?"  But the reality is that Jesus loves us so much more than our arms can reach - even more than we can understand in our minds.  What is good about Good Friday?  The best part is that three days later, Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave.  We have hope!  What a thing to celebrate!!  I'm so thankful for this time of year for us to celebrate that Jesus is Risen and death is conquered and we are saved! 

As you go about this weekend, especially today, remember the sacrifice God sent to save us and I pray that your hearts will be touched to know the true power and meaning of Easter.  It's all about Him.  May He receive all the praise and honor and glory. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Illness at the Braschler House

When we Braschlers get sick, we all like to do it at the same time.  Remember back in November?  Yeah, the past week and a half has been another repeat (although different sicknesses this time).  Caleb started with an ear infection and we're pretty positive he ended with hand, foot & mouth disease.  We had one really scary day/night that involved bleeding and swollen gums (even to the point where they swelled over his teeth leading us to think his teeth had fallen out - sounds crazy, but it was just plain scary), calling the hospital/pediatrician on call for advice, and a few sleepless nights.  Luckily, he is like a completely different kid who you never would have guessed was sick just last weekend.  I just got over strep and now Nick has it.  Hopefully he will heal up quickly and we'll be illness free soon.

I'm thankful for Caleb's and my health and praying for a quick recovery for Nick!  Also thankful for medicine and doctors and my super wonderful sis-in-law who brought us a delicious dinner.

In other news, what a beautiful few days it has been!!!!!!!!!!!  I love this weather!!!

Here are some sad pictures of my sick boy. 

He just sat there wanting to watch Veggie Tales.  So sweet.  

And here he is taking his own temperature.  (please note, I do not take his temp in his belly button, that's just where he thinks it fits best I guess).  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012


It has been a full week at the Braschler household, but here are a few pics from last Wednesday night when I got to watch our sweet nephew, Jackson, for a few hours.  

Whoa, Jack!

Aren't they sweet?

These boys definitely look like their daddies a lot.  We are so glad that Caleb gets to have a cousin close in age and close in distance for now.  Sweet memories.