In Light of Lafayette

Terrible things happen all over the world, every single day.  It is a sad truth of this world.  However, Governor Bobby Jindal said it best when he said, “You never expect it to happen here.”  It isn’t that we roll over each morning and put on our blinders before getting out of bed.  It’s just that Louisiana is blessed to be a God fearing, bible thumping state full of good ole boys and southern hospitality.  We know such tragic acts are a possibility (hence so many of our residents packing heat), but we also feel a little safe here.  I’ll agree with all you naysayers, sometimes we feel a little too safe.  However, I’m not sure that’s always such a bad thing.  I don’t want my children growing up in a place where they have to fear going out to a movie, or the mall, or any other place outside of the home.  You can be aware of the possibility of danger and still feel extremely comfortable in your surroundings.

What happened in Lafayette is a tragedy.  My heart hurts for the families of the victims, for those injured, for those who witnessed the event, and for our great state.  However, my heart also is hurt for the man who committed such a horrendous act, as well as his family.  That man obviously had demons; he had a very deep struggle.  His actions portray a very lost man, living without the love of Jesus within a very lost world.  There are people out there who knew him: friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, etc.  Can you possibly imagine how they must feel?  I know I can’t.  My heart hurts for those people, too.

So what now?  Well, now we pray.  We pray for all of those touched by this event.  And yes…we pray for those who have a desire to boycott the funerals of the victims.  We should not only pray for ‘friends’, but ‘foes’ as well.  This is a group of people who have been deceived and taught immense untruth.  So yes, they need our prayers.  This is also a time for unity and brotherhood.  This is a time where you get to see that southern hospitality I mentioned shine bright.  Just watch!

Those of you who don’t know the love of Jesus are likely saying, “Where was your God when this man opened fire on innocent people?”  Let me tell you:

  • He was with the victims as their earthly lives were taken too soon.
  • He was with the bystanders as they were struck with fear and began to flee the building.
  • He was with those who were injured.  He heard their plees and prayers, and brought help.
  • He was with those who were so brave as to run toward the deadly action to help others.
  • He was with the policemen and emergency responders as they arrived to the scene to assess people and what aid was needed.
  • He was with the two teachers, as one shielded her friend, likely sparing her life.  That is courage and love granted by God.
  • He was with the doctors and nurses as they welcomed each patient with reassurance, and provided them with the necessary medical help they needed.
  • He was with the families and friends of the victims, holding and comforting them as they received the terrible news.
  • He was with the families and friends of each of the movie goers as they waited to hear from loved ones, not knowing if they were hurt or not.
  • He was with all of the residents of Louisiana as they heard the news.
  • He was with our Governor, protecting him has he traveled to Lafayette.  He gave Gov. Jindal wisdom as to how to address press, residents, those injured, and the victims’ families.
  • He was also with the shooter’s family and friends as they heard the terrible news of what he had done.  He held them; helped them to try to understand.
  • He was with the residents of Lafayette the morning after, giving them the courage to begin a new day.
  • He will continue to be with each of these in the days ahead.

My God was there.  He had a lot of work that night.  No job is too big…or too small.  God was there, and He will continue to be there.  That my friends, is how sometimes we can feel ‘a little too safe’.  With God we have nothing to fear!

God Bless!

This one’s for the hubs…

All I can say is I am blessed by my husband.  Coach isn’t perfect, and I don’t expect perfect.  In fact, I hold little expectations of my husband.  Most of you are thinking, “Wow…that isn’t saying much about him and your relationship.”  Hear me out though…if I don’t hold expectations of his actions and reactions, then I never have to be disappointed.  It isn’t fair for me to set the bar too high.  If I expect an extravagant surprise for Mother’s Day in the form of a week long vacation to a tropical paradise, I’m setting myself up for disappointment because that isn’t the reality of our lives.  We are teachers, we have children, and many responsibilities.  However, had I held this expectation, and Coach not done something so grand, I would have been unhappy with what he did give me.  I would have cheated myself and my husband out of the joy that was there.  Make sense??

Obviously, I hold expectations in the sense of my husband’s character, but I try very hard not to hold any in terms of actions and reactions.  I’ve found that this always allows me to feel the true joy of the moment.  With that being said, I will tell you that my hubby has done some pretty awesome things for me lately.  Sunday, we will be travelling to New Orleans to see Garth Brooks in concert.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love Garth Brooks!  This is a huge deal for me!  I am pumped y’all!!  And it doesn’t end there…at the end of the month, on my birthday, we are going to stay at the Myrtles Plantation!  It is one of America’s most haunted homes (insert creepy music).  I’ve toured the plantation during the day as a kid, and ever since I have wanted to stay there and really get the full experience.  Aside from the scare factor, the history of the place is pretty amazing, too.  Both of these are bucket list items I can now scratch off.  The concert was a bit of surprise to me, but I had not a clue about the stay at the Myrtles Plantation.  Coach did good didn’t he!

Yes, my hubby has gifted me with two great experiences lately, but please understand that is not why I am blessed by him.  Those are just bonuses! 😉  The real blessing is in his character.  He is a wonderful father to our girls; very involved.  He is a loving, respectful husband who always thinks of me before himself.  He works hard to provide for us, all while being an amazing example to all of our adopted daughters (those are our softball players).  He is a good friend to all, with a helping heart.  Above all, he is a man of God.  I am so thankful that god designed him with me in mind.

❤ Ashley

Nine Months

It has been a long nine months since my last post.  Do you know how long that is?!  You could have had a baby without me ever knowing!  A lot can happen in nine months.  I am terribly sorry!  I guess that goes to show just how busy our family has been.  Let me catch you up…

  • The baby is now a 14 month old TODDLER!!!  Where did the time go?  We celebrated her big day with a Minnie Mouse party…she adores that bow wearing mouse.
  • I survived the school year…data and all!  Don’t tell anyone, but amidst all the crazy I love it!
  • Sassy showed 2nd grade who is boss…as if we ever questioned that!  Seriously, she blew it out of the water!
  • Our softball team set some school records.  We had a very successful season, and are very proud of our “adopted daughters”.
  • Over Thanksgiving break we went to Disney World.  Best vacation ever!
  • Our end of school/summer vacation was to Branson.  Not so fun….a virus began taking us out one by one the night we arrived.  It was certainly memorable, but not the way we imagined.

These are the main points of the year, and brings us to present day.  I am currently at a four day AP training.  While the training isn’t the most fun in the world, I am here with my ‘teaching BFF’ as I call her.  In all honesty, she has become a real BFF…she is me and I am her; it is freaky, but I love her.  I could not have survived the school year without her.  I’ve enjoyed her company immensely this week.  It is the first time I’ve left my baby for more than the day for work, and I couldn’t have done it without her.  I learned so many things from teaching this past year that I want to share, but that will have to wait for another day as sleep is calling my name.

I wish this post was more interesting, but I guess it comes with the territory when you go without posting so long.  My goal is to be much more active on here from this point on.  I missed out on sharing so much with you during the school year.  I hope I can recall some of those things over the next month to share with you.

The Changing of Seasons

Just as the seasons change, life so changes.

Fall is in the air, and our family is adjusting to a season of change. Not only did we add another Kees to the roster, but mama is working full-time now. I certainly was not looking for this change, but for some reason God brought it to us. Mind you, on top of Sassy going to public school. Can you say…crazy!!! That is how I feel most days. It’s up at 5:00 am, home around 3:45, 2nd grade homework, coaching responsibilities, baby, teacher homework, housework, next day prep, and hopefully bed by 10:00 pm. On a good day, which seems all too rare, we get a decent home cooked dinner in. Coach is typically away from home five evenings a week, which makes this mama weary. Most days I am asking, “Why, Lord?” What was so wrong with my staying home and caring for my children? What was wrong with having a clean home daily, and dinner on the table when my husband arrived home? I haven’t figured any of that out yet. I’m working each day to survive and adjust. It isn’t easy, but it is getting easier.

As I sit here in the dark, with only the television on, playing one of my favorite Christmas movies, and soak in the sweet ambiance of pumpkin candles brightly glowing, I can only smile. The week has been less than ideal, that is for certain. However, this week did end on a sweet note. I came home and spent my evening without a million chores, or homework, or lunches to make. I spent my evening with my girls; caring for them, talking with them, and playing with them. We all needed it. My sweet baby even let me rock her to sleep without a fight. This has not happened in a very long time. It was as if she knew what her mama’s heart needed. Sometimes, amidst all the craziness of the changing of seasons, we forget to be thankful that the seasons do change, and that we are here to experience them.

It’s not worth crying over spilt milk…or is it?!

Before our little Rosie was even conceived I had plans of breastfeeding. I had heard horror stories of mastitis and thrush, and well…you name it. Regardless of all those stories (which did worry me), I held strong to my desire. Sassy was a formula baby, and turned out fine..healthy as a horse. I was young, working, and in school with a full load of classes so I didn’t give breastfeeding her the first thought. With Rosie it was all just the opposite. I had great plans of breastfeeding, ordered the best pump, bought all the milk storage bags, and nursing gear you could ever imagine needing. I was ready! WRONG!!! I never could have imagined all the issues I would face in breastfeeding. My baby is three months old and I’m lucky to be able to get her a bottle a day pumping. My supply took a hard hit months ago and I’ve struggled building it back since. One night I had just finished pumping before bed and accidentally knocked over the bottle of milk. My husband giggled and I just looked up in tears. It was funny, but when you struggle to produce so little, it’s also really sad. He quickly helped me clean up and assured me that I was doing great and any breast milk is better than none. So I’m here to tell you ladies that if you ever struggle with breastfeeding, you are not alone. You rock! It’s ok to cry over that spilt milk, heck it’s like liquid gold really! Keep up the good work and if/when you choose to stop breastfeeding/pumping it’s ok; you are an amazing mother. And if never opt to breastfeeding a single child, you are an amazing mother. Your worth is not found in how you choose to feed your baby.

Overdue Update

I am so sorry it has taken so very long for me to post an update. I hadn’t realized how long it’s been. Time flies!

1. Rosalie (Rosie) Joy was born April 10, 2014 via c-section. She was 8lb 1oz and 21 3/4 in long. My beautiful baby is now 12 weeks old. I had been praying for a vbac, but she was breech. After trying all the flipping positions, chiropractic adjustment, and an external cephalic version, Dr. M decided for whatever reason she was not turning and at 7 days away from my due date, I was all baby and she was out of room. So 2 days later we went in for a section. It was pretty rough because Rosie was breech, twisted, and hung up in my abdominal muscles. My doctor had to extend my previous scar and cut some of my muscle in order to get her out. Aside from that struggle it was an amazing, family centered birth experience. I was able to hold her immediately and have her with me in recovery and nurse. I am so thankful for my doctor and the amazing nurses I had who fought for me to have the experience I did. Rosie now sits up with help, jabbers all the time, gives the sweetest smiles, eats cereal and 1st foods. We adore her!

2. Sassy is an amazing big sister! She is so proud of Baby Rosie.

3. Homeschool continued on after Rosie came. It was a change, but we made it through. We are still doing some work during the summer. And there may be a big announcement coming soon about this. Stay tuned!

4. We love our new home!! The space we have here is awesome. It is so nice to be able to have the whole family over with plenty of space.

5. A few months ago we lost our sweet Dachshund, Ginger. We miss her every single day. Bolt missed her a lot the first couple days, but is doing much better. It was very sad for us, and very sudden and unexpected. That sweet girl had been through a lot in her life.

6. Since having Rosie I have had no more pcos issues/symptoms. I hope that this will continue. I have been working to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, which is a huge help for those with pcos. I gained about 12-15 pounds with this last pregnancy, and lost about 25 pounds in the first 6 weeks postpartum. I was thrilled with that!

Quick Update

I figure it is due time for a little update on life around the Kees household.

1. I will be 19 weeks along this Tuesday, and our little girl is doing great!  I go on the 26th for my anatomy ultrasound, which is where they check to make sure she has all the right parts in all the right places.  I’m confident all is well!  So far, pregnancy has been wonderful!  I have not had any problems!  That is a huge blessing!

2. Hopefully, after many months, we will be closing on our new home this Wednesday!  Of course things always go wrong, so please don’t think I am counting my chickens before they hatch here.  That is the current plan, and we are praying it happens that way, and that soon.

3. Kees Academy is on break at the moment due to the move.  During break we do anything educational, anytime we can.  It might be having a random math lesson one day, and working on reading three days later.  Sometimes I just go with whatever Sassy may have questions about…she asks, I answer, research with her, and check out books on the subject for her.  So let me just say school (and life) have been a bit interesting lately.

4. Coach is now in basketball season.  I am not sure if this is good or bad at the moment.  Football season is wrapping up, so that means the amount of time he is away to referee has greatly decreased, which we like.  However, the first week of basketball season, we only saw the man 1 day!  This week they have their 5-day long tournament.  Yes, that is correct…it is FIVE days long!!  The up side is that we will see him every single day because we will be working the concession stand.  Yes, (hopefully) all while moving to a new home.  Crazy busy, but isn’t God good!!

Please forgive me for not posting more often for you!  As you can somewhat see…it’s been a little crazy.  We love every minute of our crazy though!  Once we get settled into our new place I plan to post a lot more often!  So…something for us all to look forward to!

Thanks for reading!!