Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dear Joshua: Mommy Loves Bedtime

Joshua, 

I absolutely love bedtime. Not because I get three-ish hours of time to myself, though that is more amazing than I ever thought possible, but because I love spending time with you in your room. I love zipping you into your sleeper, I love playing with you on the floor, I love chasing you across the room, and dragging you away from the humidifier. I love pulling you into my lap, nursing you one last time, wrapping you all warm and snuggly in a blanket. I love reading you a book, and singing "You Are My Sunshine" and "Have I Told You Lately that I Love You" while you wiggle around and suck on your fingers. I love saying "Sleepy time, Mommy loves you!" over and over and over, and I love when you bend backward in my lap to grin joyfully at Stanley the Monkey. I love saying "Dear Jesus, thank you for Joshua ... Help him to sleep! Amen!" 

But most of all, I love when you heave a sigh, lay your little hand on my shoulder, and rest your cheek on your arm. Your eyes start to droop, your little red lips hang open, and you begin to drift off to sleep. 

And my heart bursts with sheer joy and awe--I am a Mommy, and you are my baby boy. Forever and ever. 

Mommy loves you Little Buddy! 8 months old, and more and more adorable each and every day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

2009: Brief recap! Our last Christmas letter was at the end of 2008. We were in the throes of infertility and were feeling very discouraged and depleted. The verses I listed above actually led me to get a second tattoo, and use the Hebrew word for “Rest”. That, along with my other tattoo, Hebrew word for “Hope”, were good, and sometimes hard, reminders to us on our journey.  2009 was difficult; almost every single one of our close friends gave birth to children.  It seemed like we were destined to be childless until … August of 2009, we discovered God had answered our prayers and we were pregnant!  The pregnancy topped off a long journey, during which we learned many lessons.  I was surprised to find, however, that pregnancy didn’t make me automatically feel better.  And I’m not referring to morning sickness. J  I still had to struggle with God.  Even though He had showed us His plan and blessed us with a pregnancy, I was dealing with residual anger and was quite confused.  He was patient with me, and has since allowed me to process my journey with infertility, and continues to use my blog (www.rememberjed.blogspot.com) to be a source of hope and inspiration for dozens of women who have or are experiencing struggles.  Infertility does not have to be a silent, hidden struggle!  I’m humbled and honored that God would use my words and often very raw emotions to speak to others.  God is good, all the time.

2010: A year of blessings and incredible change!  Joshua Nelson Lindeen entered our lives 13 days early on April 22- a whole 6 lbs 13 oz.  I accomplished my goal of natural childbirth—and I don’t regret it! J  Josh is our joy.  His smile is infectious; he’s finally learning how to sleep; he is army-crawling surprisingly fast; loves peas, bananas, and carrots, and keeps us on our toes.  We are just soaking up every moment of parenthood.
ERIK loves being a father.  He has often said that it’s funny- all the clich├ęs you hear are true!  It’s amazing how much love you can feel for this tiny human.  Erik has now been at Discovery Christian Church in Broomfield for 3 1/2 years as the Pastor of Worship Arts and Student Ministries.  He loves leading worship almost every Sunday morning, leading the Wednesday night youth ministry, and really enjoyed the opportunities he has had to preach on a few Sunday mornings.  One of Erik's highlights this year was planning and running a Fall Retreat for the teens from Discovery and another local church.  Discovery sent 42 adults and teens on the retreat and saw 10 students give their lives to Christ and one student feel called into full time ministry!  It was a great weekend and definitely a highlight in his 10 years of doing ministry.
Another highlight was finally getting a smart phone this summer.  He loves his iPhone 4!  (Maybe a little too much in Kristin's opinion).  Erik also saved his pennies from teaching guitar and bought himself a Gibson Les Paul Standard, a guitar he has wanted for over 12 years.  Erik's five guitars often take over our dining room, but I guess that's what you get when you are married to a musician!
KRISTIN I absolutely love being Josh’s mom. The last 7 months have been the most exhilarating and exhausting months ever. J  I love my son to pieces, and still breathe thanks to the Lord everyday for allowing me the incredible opportunity to be a mom.  I waited so long for this … and it’s more than I ever dreamed it could be.  I still work for my Dad at QBQ, Inc.  Learning to balance working from home with ministry, family, friends, and now a baby has been a bit of a challenge—one that I’m still working on.  But I am forever grateful for a job that allows me such flexibility!  I still do a fair amount of traveling, so Erik and Josh get to spend good quality time together while Mommy is away.  I’m into my third year of mentoring a group of girls at church.  Three of these girls have stuck with me since Fall of 2008, while two joined our group last year.  I’m thrilled to be able to do life with these young ladies, and pray that I can make a lasting impact in their lives for Christ.
Joy and love to you and yours! With love and in awe of God’s goodness,
The Lindeens

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1/4 Life Crisis

Erik labeled it: my quarter life crisis. It's here.

I'm told it's fairly normal for a new mom to go through this. I'm told that I'll figure out, that things will become clear.

All I can do is hope that that's true!

I love what I do--speaking on QBQ! www.QBQ.com--and it's a great job that allows me to do what I love and am good at, while staying home with Joshua. I've been doing it for 2 1/2 years, and have learned a lot.

But I'm starting to get the itch. What itch you say? The itch to speak on my own content. The desire to have something that's mine.

Problem: I have no ideas.
Other problem: I'm not an entrepreneur/idea/vision person.

So, here I sit, with the desire to "make something of myself" or whatever, but no ideas on how to do it, or what to make it out of.

Now that the "itch" has arrived, perhaps the ideas will come ... I just hope it's not another 2 1/2 years.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Honking Mom, Giggling Boy

I just spent a full 7 minutes giggling with my son. All out laughing. If I used the acronym "LOL", I would use it here. But to be honest, I dislike that acronym. I've used it once--literally once--in my whole life. For some reason, I just don't like it. But I digress...

As I said, I just spent a good long while laughing with Josh. He was splayed out across my lap, and we were chilling in the rocking chair in his room. Yesterday, he discovered that Mommy has white, shiny things in her mouth that click when she moves her lips. For some reason, these things (aka my teeth) are extremely amusing. Josh loves prying my lips apart with his index finger for a look at my pearly whites. And if I give him a toothy grin and click my jaws together, I am delighted with his hysterical laughter. Then, tonight, while we were doing this, Josh noticed that I had something else in my mouth--green, chewy and minty. GUM. Oh boy .... I blew a few bubbles for him, but it didn't bring laughter. He turned on his serious face and studied and studied and studied. He was entranced with my gum. Randomly, I "honked". I quite quietly, and in a normal voice, said, "Honk, honk!" Gone was the serious face, and instead, joyous giggles. I would say "Honk Honk Honk" in my normal voice, and he would erupt in giggles. This went on for probably 5 minutes, which for a kid who gets hiccups after two giggles, is a super long time!

What a thrill--an honor really--for me to sit with my child, and laugh myself silly. I ended up with sore cheeks and a side ache.

It was glorious!

And then, to top it off, he hiccuped and spew regurgitated milk all over my shoulder.

And I said, "Honk Honk Honk" and he giggled some more. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Tree

I set to work decorating our Christmas tree for the season, and I decided I would take a picture of each ornament. Over the years, my Mom has given me most of these, and each one has special memories. 
Given to Erik and me: Our First Home, Christmas of 2005

I actually bought this one: Joshua's first Christmas!

Our first Christmas: 2005

This basket of kittens was always one of my favorites to hang. From my Uncle Mark in 1991.

This pudgy kitty was given to me in 1987 by my Aunt Tricia. I was 4 1/2.

Aunt Tricia also gave me this Popcorn Mouse in 1986.


This trio of fashion forward mice came to me one by one in '00, '01, and '02 from my Mom.

I love Raggedy Ann and Andy! Given by my Mom in '04. She marked the box "The last one :(" thinking she'd be done giving me ornaments because I'd be married. She hasn't stopped. :)

This adorable pair came into my life in 2006 from--yep you guessed it--my Mom.

1994: From my Mom.

Also 1991, from my Mom. Notice the mouse theme? :)

2007--my ornaments are becoming more grown up!

This guy creeps me out. He's to Erik from my Mom. 2007

He's such a happy little musician! 1996 from the Mother.

Random. She's not a mouse. 1995 from my Mom.

1995 as well--the year of the cartoons I guess! Our cats, no matter where on the tree we put him, always find Tweety!!

1998

i LOVE this set! Mom gave the whole thing to me in 2003.

So adorable!


The cats always find this guy as well. Not sure why they love him but they do!






I LOVE LOVE the snowman!



Last but not least, my Mexican mouse from 1992.





Yay for Christmas, traditions and wonderful memories! Thanks for all the ornaments throughout the years Mom--love 'em!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dear Joshua: No Spitting

Dear Joshua, my beloved son,

I know you think it's hilarious to stick your tongue out, suck in air, and blow raspberries like a boy impersonating an elephant, but it's kinda gross when you do this at dinner time when Mommy has just fed you a large spoonful of carrots.

Carrots stain.

But laughter soothes the soul. And my oh my, dear son, do you make Mommy laugh lately. A lot. And hard.

Erik said to me the other day, "Yeah, I could skip the first four months." And while the Mommy in me immediately says, "Oh but all those cuddly moments when he learned to sleep, and learned to nurse, and learned to smile, and learned to recognize me ..." Yes, all those moments are precious, and the newborn stage is definitely something to remember and cherish ... however, 6 months was a huge break through, and 7 months is amping up to be fairly hilarious.

The impish grins, the silly looks, the excitement of sitting and standing and crawling, and yes, even the spitting--man, this is super fun! Yay Josh!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dear Kristin, Re: Formulas. With love, Lysa (Thanks Amber)

 My friend Amber sent me this devotional today. Very timely. :) I've re-posted it with full credit to the original author. Check out her site! http://lysaterkeurst.com/


November 18, 2010 
The Formula 
Lysa TerKeurst
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Romans 12:2a (NIV)         

When I was a young mom, I was desperate for a formula. I truly thought there must be a formula I could plug my family into that would yield great kids. And there were plenty of moms that tried to convince me they had the formula.

"Bottle feed and never let them sleep in your bed."
"Breastfeed until they are 3 and give them the security of sleeping between you and your husband every night."
"Don't ever send them to pre-school. It will be detrimental to their social development."
"Send them to pre-school right away - it's crucial for their social development."
"TV is good."
"TV is bad."
"They must read by age 5."
"Let them take their time learning to read. You'll ruin their love for books if you force them."
"Step in and model healthy conflict resolution when they argue with their siblings."
"Let them handle things on their own."
"Be there 24/7 for your kids."
"Don't be a helicopter mom. Give your kids room to discover who they are without you hovering over them."

Seriously, it's a wonder we moms figure anything out with all the conflicting information and advice we get. I spent the first five years of motherhood convinced I was messing my kids up beyond repair. And it wasn't for lack of trying. Heavens no. I was serious about gathering every morsel of information I could and trying with all my might to decode "the formula."

Well, here's the deal. I now have kids ranging in ages from 22 to 11 and this is my very best advice in regards to the formula. There isn't one.

There is no perfect parenting formula. What works for one kid may not work for another. The seemingly perfect algorithm one family follows could be disastrous for another.

We weren't made to follow formulas. We were made to follow Jesus. Period.

This is true with parenting but it's also true with every other aspect of our lives as well. We were made to follow Jesus' lead in our marriages, our jobs, our ministries, our churches, our friendships, our everything.

In Romans 12:2 Paul so powerfully reminds us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will."

We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level what does this look like?

It's a simple woman who humbly acknowledges how much she doesn't know about life and readily admits how much she needs Jesus. Not just in spiritual sense...this woman needs Jesus in every way. All throughout her day, she can be heard whispering heart-felt pleas to her Jesus saying, "Show me the way, show me the way, show me the way."

And as she does this, she loosens her grip on all the formulas thrown at her and courageously embraces His gentle voice behind her saying, "This is the way, now walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Overwhelmed, Sleep Deprived and Paralyzed

Books should  be helpful right? Others' experiences should shed light, agreed? I'm beginning to think that's just not true.

Right now, I have a stack of books I'd like to burn, theories colliding in my head that I'd like to demolish, and a baby upstairs who I love deeply, but who needs to sleep in longer chunks at night.

I apparently can't learn the secrets of the baby whisperer, I am not baby wise, this home does not house the happiest baby on the block, we're never going to have healthy sleep habits, sleeping easy is a fantasy and I'll never ever be able to say to my child "Good night sleep tight!" because it just won't be true.

I'm not discouraged or anything. Really, I'm not.

"Consistency is vital" "Don't respond to night wakings with food" "Dream feed" "Don't dream feed" "Soothe the baby" "Don't soothe the baby" "Soothe the baby, but don't touch the baby" "Still offer one-two night feedings" "6 months and older don't need food at night" "Let the baby cry" "Don't let the baby cry" "Stay in the baby's room" "Don't stay in the baby's room"

Dear Lord, PLEASE, what is the answer? My goodness. Everyone and their dog has an opinion about how to get the poor baby to sleep. I'm so mixed up inside, overwhelmed, and sleep deprived that I'm literally paralyzed. I can't make a decision, and when I do, I don't stick to it in the middle of the night because I'm so tired, I can't think straight.

I'd love to end this blog with some pithy answer, or snappy phrase that pulls it all together and adds a splash of humor and hope ...

But I'm just. too. tired.

Off to crank up to coffee pot, and attempt to avoid thinking about the night that is inevitably coming.

Really, I'm not discouraged. Not at all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Power of Prayer

The most amazing thing just happened. At 8:49pm I powered down my computer, saying to myself, "Kristin, for real--walk away." Seriously. The computer is so addicting. (and yet, here I am--back to it. You'll understand why. I just had to blog!!)

I mentally forced myself to head not for the T.V. or for bed, but for my leather easy chair to spend some time with God. 

As much as I teach teens the importance of daily time with God, I struggle to put it into practice. I know you understand--do as I say, not as I do. Yaddy yadda. 

Well, tonight was going to be different. As I sat down in the chair, I checked my CrackBerry one last time and noticed a prayer request email from a friend at church. I read the email, and started to pray. Pretty much I decided to pray because if I don't pray then and there when I say I'll pray for someone, I often forget to pray at all. So I've made it a practice to at least send up that very first prayer when I make the promise to pray. Make sense?

Praying for this young man undergoing lung transplant surgery, led me to pray for a young dad at our church who is struggling with cancer. I was, for the first time in weeks, spending real prayer time with God.

Not prayer time on the fly, at the stoplights, in between feedings, and amidst emails. I was actually sitting still, eyes closed, no other sounds around me. 

It had been a while since I'd done this. Man, did it feel good to talk with my Father. 

Prayers for others led to prayers for myself, prayers to change me, convict me, discipline me....those prayers led to praise and thanks. Praise for being the God of Peace, Strength and Love. Thanks for answered prayers and guidance.

I was getting all misty eyed, talking to my Savior when the phone rang--Erik's ring tone.

Hmm....keep praying to God? Or answer call from the Husband? I figured God would understand that I needed to make sure Erik didn't need something. So I answered.

And that's when the amazing thing happened. 

See, for a week, I've been praying HARD for a certain someone to come to a certain student retreat next weekend.

Well, tonight, that certain someone signed up.

God answers prayers. Period. Sometimes He takes a long time (i.e. Joshua Nelson Lindeen). Sometimes His answer is not what we wanted (i.e. all the prayers for healing that didn't end with healing). And sometimes, He answers quickly in the way we had imagined.

Praise be to the God of answered prayers! 

May He continue to answer, as we continue to pray.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hmm....Pictures from Month 3....





Missed a couple on the previous blog! Ha!

3 + 3 = 6

Dear Josh: 

I cannot believe the Little Buddy is 6 months old! So much has changed ... you're so alert, active, and developing your own little personality. People kept telling me that as you grow, it just gets better. Well, they're right! What a joy you are in our lives. I tell you all the time--"Joshua, Mommy loves you, and you are my joy! You crack me up!" You are seriously funny. I can't wait to watch you continue to develop into the Little Man you're going to be. 

You're grabby, and smiley. Drooly (oh. so. much. drool.) and giggly. Slightly crabby and very opinionated (I suppose that continues to escalate?) Here are some of my fav pics from the last 3 months, since that last picture blog.