Wednesday, November 28, 2007


My friend Sarah's blog inspired this one.

In this picture are my daughter and my cousin Janny's kids, Janet Joy (who we lovingly call J.J.) and Caleb (also known as K-Bob). It was taken at Thanksgiving, at the end of a long fun-filled, food-filled, family-filled day. To me, it embodies more than just a day. This picture represents the past, the present, and hopefully the future.

My cousin Janny and I were born six weeks apart. Our parents are twins, and we grew up almost as sisters. Janny is the older one, and she has always done things before me. She learned to read before I did. She started dating before I did. She got married before I did. She had kids before I did. She is competing in triatholons before I am. In many ways, she is like my older sister even though only six weeks separate us.

And I am so thankful that she is the older one, for I have learned so much from her. I find myself continually calling her, asking her advice on something whether it's how to make a certain dish or how to get Elizabeth to sleep at night. She is an incredible woman of God and an incredible wealth of knowledge. I am always in awe of how much she knows and how much she does. But most of all, she is an incredible encourager, and when the chips are down, I know I can always count on her to fill my bucket and give me a good laugh.

Janny's kids, J.J. and Caleb, have been anxiously waiting for Elizabeth to "grow up" and play with them, and this Thanksgiving, she finally was able to. Janny brought a huge bag of Mega-Blocks, and the three of them played for hours together in the middle of my mom's living room, oblivious to the football and food preparation going on. As I sat there and watched them play, I quietly enjoyed the beginnings of their relationships as cousins. It was sweet to hear Elizabeth say, "J.J." and it was precious to watch Caleb instruct Elizabeth on how to build a car. They will be good older siblings for her.

I pray that my children will have strong relationships with their cousins like I do. There is nothing quite like it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year. I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday by far. Perhaps because it is a simple holiday with no intentional commercialism attached to it. Perhaps because it has all of the yummy foods included in it. Or perhaps because it is all about looking back on the year and reflecting on all that we have been given, instead of complaining about what we haven't.

This year has been difficult for me, and lately I have been focusing on what I don't have. So tonight I want to focus on what I do have and what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my daughter, who is growing and maturing so quickly. She amazes me everyday.

I am thankful for my new baby, who is also growing so quickly. I can't wait to meet him or her in a few months.

I am thankful for my husband, who works hard to make my dreams come true. I know he sacrifices satisfaction in his career so that we can be where we are today. He also worked so hard to find good nannies for our daughter when I had to go back to work. And I'm thankful for our nannies who take such good care of my pride and joy.

I am thankful for my job at Eisenhower Elementary. When things were so up in the air, GGUSD could have put me anywhere. I'm thankful I landed right back where I started.

I am thankful for my family, especially my parents. Sometimes I feel they are working harder to support me now than when I was younger, and I want them to know that I could not make it without them.

I'm thankful for my friends who haven't given up on me as my life has changed so dramatically. Thank you to Lori who faithfully calls me every week, and to Sarah who encourages me to blog even after a two month break. Thank you to Jenny who sends me pictures of her babies in England and still connects with me even though it must seem like I've fallen off the face of the earth. And thank you to Pamie who clips a victory verse to my box everyday at work. I never get to thank her enough.

But most of all, I'm thankful for a Father who sustains me and comforts me during these stressful times. I'm thankful for these valleys in which He teaches me and strengthens me so much. I feel like a different person now, and although I know that the storms will continue to come, I know I will make it through them because He stands with me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ode to Jennie

OK. I usually write about my life, my family, or things that the Lord is teaching me. But tonight I must write about something a little less important. Tonight I must express my sadness at the voting off of Jennie Garth from "Dancing with the Stars".

I have been a Jennie Garth fan for a long time. Yes, I watched "Beverly Hills 90210" way back when, and yes, I secretly tried to dress like Jennie's character Kelly Taylor. (But then again, in the 90's, who didn't?) I cheered when she finally got together with Dylan McKay, and I cried when she and Brandon decided not to get married. I watched "9-0" (as my fellow fans call it) loyally until the end, and I must say I was relieved when Jennie Garth reappeared on television with the show "What I Like About You." I know most people believe that the star of that show was Amanda Bynes, but for us "9-0" fans, we know who the real star was. (Jennie, that is.)

When "Dancing with the Stars" revealed their list of celebrities this season, I was more than ecstatic to see my girl Jennie on the list. It has been several years since she has been on network television on a weekly basis. She started off okay as a dancer, but then she had that horrible fall. As she said tonight, that was probably the best thing to happen to her because since then, she has worked so hard and she has improved so much. Every week I have spent all of my votes on her, dialing in 1-800-868-3401 over and over until the operator tells me I have no more votes left on that phone. But alas, last night it was not enough. Despite my 15 votes, she just couldn't beat the Osmond machine that has wrongfully launched Marie Osmond into the finals. Such is life.

Honestly, though, I have a great deal of respect for Jennie Garth. She is beautiful, she doesn't believe in plastic surgery (her solution to growing old in Hollywood is to move to Idaho!), she is an incredible mother of 3 beautiful girls, and she truly is real. She has showed her emotions through this whole "Dancing with the Stars" competition, and for anyone who knows me, you know how much I appreciate that. She is a true star in my eyes, and I am so sad to see her go.

OK. Now I can sleep tonight.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Favorite Moments

At eighteen months, here are some of my favorite moments with Elizabeth:
  • listening to her laugh uncontrollably as she plays with her daddy
  • telling her "I have a secret" and then whispering in her ear "Psss Psss Psss Psss"
  • watching her figure something out (like how to unlock the tot locks on the cabinets) for the first time and then beaming with pride
  • getting a wet, slobbery kiss from her on the lips
  • having her identify the parts of her body
  • watching her look for the foam letters I, X, Y, and J in the bathtub
  • reading the same book over and over and over to her
  • watching her talk back to the finger puppet in her Little Lamb book
  • hearing her imitate an elephant and watching her do the hand motions that go with the sound
  • listening to her identify all the members of my family (Mama, Dada, Papa, Maama, CeCe)
  • watching her read her nursery rhymes book and doing the motions that go with each rhyme
  • kissing the soft, blond curls (that I prayed for when I was pregnant!) on the top of her head
  • praying with her at dinnertime and watching her bow her head and say "Amen" when we finish
  • watching her suck her two fingers and knowing that at eighteen months, she already has her nervous habit

Thank you, Lord, for the incredible privilege of being able to watch her develop into who you have created her to be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Boy or Girl?

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and what an emotional day it was for me. It started out exciting, seeing a close up view of our baby, watching it's four-chambered heart beat so strongly, examining it's profile for resemblances of either myself or my husband. It's amazing how much you can see in such a blurry black and white image. Already I can tell that this child has a completely different profile than Elizabeth does. The head is bigger, the nose is sharper, the chin is more defined. I remember when we had our ultrasound for Elizabeth that I was convinced she looked like me. Everyone thought I was crazy saying that based on an ultrasound, but I could see my profile in her. And sure enough, as she's grown older, she may look like her daddy face on, but from the side she is surely my child. I told my husband that this child must look like him.

I then went from excitement to worry for my new baby. Worry because I can already tell that people aren't as excited about this baby as they were for my first baby. When I got pregnant with Elizabeth, I received tons of cards from friends and family. When I got pregnant this time, I received three. I understand the novelty of having a baby has gone away for us because we supposedly know what we are doing now, but I still want this baby to feel special and wanted and celebrated. I want this child to know that it was a miracle that God created, not just an accident that happened one night. I worry that this child won't be as amazing as Elizabeth is and won't get the same attention that she does. And I worry that I will then try to overcompensate for it and cause an issue between my children. I worry, and I worry until God tells me not to worry anymore. It doesn't make a difference in the situation. This baby is what it is, and there is no changing that. I simply need to love my children the way God commands me to, and trust Him with their lives the way I do with my own.

We didn't find out the sex of the baby, so don't even ask. I know, I know...we're no fun that way. Call us old-fashioned. We like to have the surprise at the end. So what do you think...boy or girl?

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Good Mother

Hello. I'm back. It's been 2 1/2 months, and for those of you who are reading this, thanks for not giving up on me! I knew I would return. It just took me a little while to get adjusted to my new situation in life. "My Life as I Know It" changed dramatically in September, and I am just now settling into my new "life as I know it." I feel in a way like I've moved houses and have now unpacked all my boxes, set up each room in the house, found where the nearest grocery store is, and returned to the routine of my life.

Through all of this change in my life, I've learned a lot. I won't bore you with all that I've learned, but I will share the one major lesson God has taught me. I used to think a good mother was one who stayed home, took care of her children and her home, and taught her children everything they needed to know in life. That was my dream, my goal, my purpose as a mother. When I suddenly had to go back to work full time and semi-abandon that dream, I was devastated (as evidenced by the last few blogs I wrote). I now understand that a good mother isn't necessarily one who stays a home. And a good mother isn't necessarily one who works full-time either. A good mother is one who does what is needed for her family at this season of time. And that is what I have done. I choose to work full-time at this time in my life because it is what my family needs me to do. Perhaps at another time in my life, I won't have to work full-time and I will be able to see my dream come true. But if that never occurs, that's okay because I know that I am doing what the Lord has called me to do, and that is to take care of my family.

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
...She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
...She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed:
her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
(various verses from Proverbs 31)

To all of the mothers out there, here's to you for doing what your family needs you to do!

My Life As I Know It

The Blog of Robyn C. Liskey