Thursday, March 28, 2013

pictures i found on kevin's phone

nora with the most perfect colonel sanders smoothie mustache

matching sissies!


now daddy's turn

(wish this was right side up)
every friday night daddy makes sourdough pizza from scratch and with the leftover dough he makes ruby her own heart-shaped personal pizza


oh gosh, there's one of his pizza's now...

getting ready for our valentine's day date!

eeeeearly morning snuggles. daddy and the girls are usually the ones to come get momma up these days.

oh my gosh, i love you girls.

nora beethoven kiehn

on ruby's 3rd birthday dinner date with daddy!


still not quite awake at her birthday breakfast:)

celebrating our 6th anniversary!!

nora the pioneer, stealing my heart!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ode to hand-me-downs

Oh, Kari Beth High, what would I do without all of your hand-me-downs?!







In every single one of these photos, I am wearing an item or items from my pal KB.
This is a public service announcement to say GIVE YOUR FRIENDS YOUR OLD CLOTHES! What you are tired of looking at in your closet for years is new and fun and exciting to your buddies!
We have been so blessed by receiving tons of hand-me-downs for Ruby and I just love the whole process so much. I love giving away clothes because I know how fun it is to receive them!

Thanks, Kari Beth, for giving me a new wardrobe without spending a dime:)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

for my daughters

I often think of how wonderful it would be to have a record written by my own mother, telling me not just the big things, but the everyday, mothering things that she was going through so that I could read it now as a wife and mother. So, for my girls, I just want you to know:

-I got married at 20 years old (I turned 21 the very next month, but still) and I don't regret it once single ounce. Marriage is a joining of spirits, and the spirit knows no age. Don't ever let your age dictate your abilities. There is much to be said about maturity in the natural realm, but as far as spirit goes - trust that. Your spirit knows no end.

-Currently, I go to bed every night absolutely exhausted. It hits me out of nowhere, my eyes start burning dry, and I start to almost feel sick, I'm so tired.

-Each night after we lay you girls down, your father and I clean. We pass each other throughout our  sweeping and tidying and clothes ironing and smile our tired smiles at each other. Smiles that say "I love you. Man, this season is a tiring one! I love it. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for this life."

-I am always, constantly, and forever will be on the search to make our lives healthier and more natural. Just yesterday Dad smiled at me as I was squealing with delight after finding new research and ideas on natural ways to go deodorant free because of all the toxins and aluminum in it. I find very little as important as our health and I hope to impart that to you. I hope you don't, but should you slightly stray from it as teenagers, I think when you grow older and mature you will realize "dang. mom was right. I feel better when I'm taking care of myself."

-I like to tell myself you'll say "dang, mom was right." a lot.

-Every night, Ruby tries to con us into staying in the room with her for forever. She comes up with whatever she can think of. "all the kisses (mom kiss/eskimo kiss/lizard lady kiss/cow kiss/chicken kiss/etc). pray over me. speak over me. little kiss, big kiss, hug. clap clap (high five)" etc. Then "mommy? will you lay with me please just a little baby tiny bit?"
I am exhausted and want to leave very much.
So I've devised a plan. I lay "with" you but I mostly kind of lay on you, in the name of cuddling. And I know you are thinking gosh, she's heavy and rethinking your invitation for me to lay with you.
After a few moments pass, you always let me go and start to kind of push me up.
"okay, goodnight mommy."
I love it because you feel the nice closure that it was your own decision to let me go, not knowing quite how much I helped.

-I struggle with wanting to control how things pan out for you girls.
I don't totally know what Nora is like yet, but with Ruby, I know Yahweh is going to teach me a big time lesson. Girls can be mean. And I've seen you, at the tender age of three, come to me crying because a little girl has scrunched up her face and said "I DON'T WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU, RUBY!" and you come to me, broken hearted and not understanding because you still so badly want to play with them. And I think
forget them! you're cool Ruby, you don't need mean friends. Go hang out with this sweet friend, they are uplifting and kind.
But you don't understand all that yet.
I wish you did and I wish I could choose your friends and make you be friends with sweet, gentle, mature-for-their-age friends.
I wish I could control who you learned from and picked up actions and sayings from.
And we do our darnedest to protect, but there is no way to control. And honestly, that is very hard for me.
It makes me so sad that you'll probably have to be hurt to learn the hard lessons.

-Don't ever find your identity in anything but Yahweh. Not only will He give you identity, but He IS your identity. We really are His, and have nothing apart from Him. Spending time, thoughts, and resources on anything other than what He has for you is absolutely fruitless and will leave you frustrated and going around in circles. Trying to find SOMETHING that makes you feel like "you" is again, fruitless. It's Yahweh, it always has been and will be Yahweh. He is who you are, He must be your identity.

-I am wired to think so black and white. It either is or it isn't. If I'm going to clean house, picking up won't do - I need to CLEAN. If I'm going to do something I'm going to do it 100%. But that's a small way to think and will pinhole and limit you severely. Leave room for grace. Life doesn't have to be such extremes. (This is also an identity trap, because you tend to make that thing you're doing 100% "your" thing)

-I have spent the last few years walking something out and I know that I had to fight this fight so that it could end with me and not be passed down to you. The spirit of comparison.
Oh, how much time and worry I wasted comparing myself to others.
The way other mom's mothered. Dressed. Did their hair. Exercised. Cooked. Ate. Decorated. Cleaned.
When all along Yahweh was patiently waiting, saying "she doesn't see it yet. She doesn't see that I made her for HER OWN SPECIFIC purpose. It must look different than others', because it is different."
Like I said, I believe that was a spirit that I fought and have cut off within myself and for this family. I prophecy right now that you girls will never be competitive or compare yourselves with one another. Ruby, you are you and not Nora. Nora, you are you and not Ruby. Press into your Daddy and I for identity while you are young, that's our job, and press into Yahweh and focus on what He has for YOU and don't worry about what or who is doing what around you.

-I truly am so deeply in love with your father. He is more than I ever thought I was worthy enough for. The biggest thing is that what we do- we do together. The enemy loves to divide and conquer. It's a choice we make and we have to renew and feed that choice often by our words and actions, but we are inseparable. We are One.

-I hope I pass down to you the "less is more" way of life.
Having gobs and gobs of clothes and home decor and dishes and shoes and STUFF is just making more work for you that takes away from the important things in life. We don't have a whole lot and I already feel overwhelmed with how much we have. Keep it simple, and you won't waste your life away being a slave to your THINGS.

-Some days I wear nice outfits and have my hair and makeup looking beautiful, and some days it's all I can do to even put pants on.

-I work out regularly but I have learned to not make it my life or my identity. It's just an important part of life, to stay healthy. It's not who I am.

-We eat at home 99% of the time. Meals at the table are very important to us and I picture us doing it when everyone is older and the conversation is wonderful and dynamic.

-I have learned and am learning to always, always, always stay humble. Surround yourself with people that know more than you and are further along than you so that you can learn. We will never come to a place that we think "ok, we've got it." because there is ALWAYS more to learn and to receive.

-Ruby, you've been saying "some day, I'm going to get married, and gonna kiss, and you're going to cry!"
Yep.

-I very must struggle with meal planning! It is something I am constantly learning. In the age where everything is easy and convenient yet artificial, it's not an easy task swimming against the current to do things differently. (story of our lives!) So every week, I take on feeding us nutritionally dense, real food and having fun, creative snacks all on a budget. I know the more I do it, the better I'll get at it.  It's worth the struggle, trust me girls. And like I said, it'll only get easier.

You know what? Thinking of you reading this when you are young wives and mothers made me look at things from the big picture angle, and I got an overwhelming peace that you both are going to be amazing women of Yahweh. It's easy to fret about your job as a mother, but the reality of it all is that we do our very best and rely on the Holy Spirit, and He takes it from there. We cannot micro-manage it all. So I can honestly say your daddy and I are raising you with clean hands and a pure heart. We love you both endlessly and are happy to walk with you in this life.
I can't wait to see the women you become!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

slow down


Spring and Fall are such busy times of year, and the bigger our life gets (more children, more responsibilities with work, more connections and relationships, more everything) the busier life seems to get and the faster it seems to fly by.

I love moving and going, teaching my girls about a variety of things, getting them in different environments, etc.
 But there is also much to be said about a stay-home-all-day kind of day.
Where Mama sips of the same cup of coffee all day long, everyone's in their jammies, a load of laundry gets done in between playing on the floor with the babes (while I wish the whole time for a big area rug). A counter top clearing gets interrupted by a nursing session, messes and memories are made, and there is just sweetness in the home.

I am speechlessly thankful for the opportunity to stay home with these children of ours.
To raise them as the Spirit leads.
It's a beautiful life and a beautiful calling.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

nora 7 months


-You are still miss particular. I can't imagine being a baby, how uncomfortable and frustrating at times it can be. 

-I think you might be teething? Who knows. I thought you were teething months ago - wrong.

-You are either so precious and cuddly or so frustrated and clawing and ripping my hair/face/neck/anything. I laugh and say you haven't quite gotten a hold of Psalm 103's "slow to anger" part. You are rather speedy to anger:)


-BUT you also belly laugh more than any baby I know. you like a good, hearty chuckle and we looooove to get you going.

-You're not much of a napper. Sometimes only one during the day. But usually two little short fellas. Very short. Like 20-30 mins.

-You in the bathtub is enough to make the meanest criminal fall to his knees with tenderness and make the Mona Lisa smile. It is pure heaven. Fat, slippery, and having the time of your life. (Imagine wide eyes, open mouthed-smile and kicking legs for most of the time. Mix in a hearty belly laugh at whatever Ruby is doing and you've got bath time)

-Your nicknames lately are
Nora Sue
Nora Suzanne
Nora Suzetters

WHO KNOWS WHY?! We cannot explain what nicknames are formed and said through us. They just come out as naturally as anything.

-Your eyes, I'm not kidding, are like these magical, sparkling little things that dance and go on forever and draw me in like you wouldn't believe. And then on top of them lies the most infallible, long, silky cotton-like eyelashes that have ever been created. Your eyes alone keep you from getting into trouble.

(kevin sent me this pic when I was out running errands one day.)

Nora, sweetie - I give you a 10 out of 10 as my final, overall judgement.
I am loving what you're bringing to this family. 



Monday, March 4, 2013

february 28


Happy Birthday to our extremely 
smart,
thoughtful,
excited,
expressive,
hilarious,
helpful,
curious,
persistent,
obedient,
adventurous
little 3 year old.

We love you so, so much.
-mom + dad

Thursday, March 28, 2013

pictures i found on kevin's phone

nora with the most perfect colonel sanders smoothie mustache

matching sissies!


now daddy's turn

(wish this was right side up)
every friday night daddy makes sourdough pizza from scratch and with the leftover dough he makes ruby her own heart-shaped personal pizza


oh gosh, there's one of his pizza's now...

getting ready for our valentine's day date!

eeeeearly morning snuggles. daddy and the girls are usually the ones to come get momma up these days.

oh my gosh, i love you girls.

nora beethoven kiehn

on ruby's 3rd birthday dinner date with daddy!


still not quite awake at her birthday breakfast:)

celebrating our 6th anniversary!!

nora the pioneer, stealing my heart!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ode to hand-me-downs

Oh, Kari Beth High, what would I do without all of your hand-me-downs?!







In every single one of these photos, I am wearing an item or items from my pal KB.
This is a public service announcement to say GIVE YOUR FRIENDS YOUR OLD CLOTHES! What you are tired of looking at in your closet for years is new and fun and exciting to your buddies!
We have been so blessed by receiving tons of hand-me-downs for Ruby and I just love the whole process so much. I love giving away clothes because I know how fun it is to receive them!

Thanks, Kari Beth, for giving me a new wardrobe without spending a dime:)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

for my daughters

I often think of how wonderful it would be to have a record written by my own mother, telling me not just the big things, but the everyday, mothering things that she was going through so that I could read it now as a wife and mother. So, for my girls, I just want you to know:

-I got married at 20 years old (I turned 21 the very next month, but still) and I don't regret it once single ounce. Marriage is a joining of spirits, and the spirit knows no age. Don't ever let your age dictate your abilities. There is much to be said about maturity in the natural realm, but as far as spirit goes - trust that. Your spirit knows no end.

-Currently, I go to bed every night absolutely exhausted. It hits me out of nowhere, my eyes start burning dry, and I start to almost feel sick, I'm so tired.

-Each night after we lay you girls down, your father and I clean. We pass each other throughout our  sweeping and tidying and clothes ironing and smile our tired smiles at each other. Smiles that say "I love you. Man, this season is a tiring one! I love it. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for this life."

-I am always, constantly, and forever will be on the search to make our lives healthier and more natural. Just yesterday Dad smiled at me as I was squealing with delight after finding new research and ideas on natural ways to go deodorant free because of all the toxins and aluminum in it. I find very little as important as our health and I hope to impart that to you. I hope you don't, but should you slightly stray from it as teenagers, I think when you grow older and mature you will realize "dang. mom was right. I feel better when I'm taking care of myself."

-I like to tell myself you'll say "dang, mom was right." a lot.

-Every night, Ruby tries to con us into staying in the room with her for forever. She comes up with whatever she can think of. "all the kisses (mom kiss/eskimo kiss/lizard lady kiss/cow kiss/chicken kiss/etc). pray over me. speak over me. little kiss, big kiss, hug. clap clap (high five)" etc. Then "mommy? will you lay with me please just a little baby tiny bit?"
I am exhausted and want to leave very much.
So I've devised a plan. I lay "with" you but I mostly kind of lay on you, in the name of cuddling. And I know you are thinking gosh, she's heavy and rethinking your invitation for me to lay with you.
After a few moments pass, you always let me go and start to kind of push me up.
"okay, goodnight mommy."
I love it because you feel the nice closure that it was your own decision to let me go, not knowing quite how much I helped.

-I struggle with wanting to control how things pan out for you girls.
I don't totally know what Nora is like yet, but with Ruby, I know Yahweh is going to teach me a big time lesson. Girls can be mean. And I've seen you, at the tender age of three, come to me crying because a little girl has scrunched up her face and said "I DON'T WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU, RUBY!" and you come to me, broken hearted and not understanding because you still so badly want to play with them. And I think
forget them! you're cool Ruby, you don't need mean friends. Go hang out with this sweet friend, they are uplifting and kind.
But you don't understand all that yet.
I wish you did and I wish I could choose your friends and make you be friends with sweet, gentle, mature-for-their-age friends.
I wish I could control who you learned from and picked up actions and sayings from.
And we do our darnedest to protect, but there is no way to control. And honestly, that is very hard for me.
It makes me so sad that you'll probably have to be hurt to learn the hard lessons.

-Don't ever find your identity in anything but Yahweh. Not only will He give you identity, but He IS your identity. We really are His, and have nothing apart from Him. Spending time, thoughts, and resources on anything other than what He has for you is absolutely fruitless and will leave you frustrated and going around in circles. Trying to find SOMETHING that makes you feel like "you" is again, fruitless. It's Yahweh, it always has been and will be Yahweh. He is who you are, He must be your identity.

-I am wired to think so black and white. It either is or it isn't. If I'm going to clean house, picking up won't do - I need to CLEAN. If I'm going to do something I'm going to do it 100%. But that's a small way to think and will pinhole and limit you severely. Leave room for grace. Life doesn't have to be such extremes. (This is also an identity trap, because you tend to make that thing you're doing 100% "your" thing)

-I have spent the last few years walking something out and I know that I had to fight this fight so that it could end with me and not be passed down to you. The spirit of comparison.
Oh, how much time and worry I wasted comparing myself to others.
The way other mom's mothered. Dressed. Did their hair. Exercised. Cooked. Ate. Decorated. Cleaned.
When all along Yahweh was patiently waiting, saying "she doesn't see it yet. She doesn't see that I made her for HER OWN SPECIFIC purpose. It must look different than others', because it is different."
Like I said, I believe that was a spirit that I fought and have cut off within myself and for this family. I prophecy right now that you girls will never be competitive or compare yourselves with one another. Ruby, you are you and not Nora. Nora, you are you and not Ruby. Press into your Daddy and I for identity while you are young, that's our job, and press into Yahweh and focus on what He has for YOU and don't worry about what or who is doing what around you.

-I truly am so deeply in love with your father. He is more than I ever thought I was worthy enough for. The biggest thing is that what we do- we do together. The enemy loves to divide and conquer. It's a choice we make and we have to renew and feed that choice often by our words and actions, but we are inseparable. We are One.

-I hope I pass down to you the "less is more" way of life.
Having gobs and gobs of clothes and home decor and dishes and shoes and STUFF is just making more work for you that takes away from the important things in life. We don't have a whole lot and I already feel overwhelmed with how much we have. Keep it simple, and you won't waste your life away being a slave to your THINGS.

-Some days I wear nice outfits and have my hair and makeup looking beautiful, and some days it's all I can do to even put pants on.

-I work out regularly but I have learned to not make it my life or my identity. It's just an important part of life, to stay healthy. It's not who I am.

-We eat at home 99% of the time. Meals at the table are very important to us and I picture us doing it when everyone is older and the conversation is wonderful and dynamic.

-I have learned and am learning to always, always, always stay humble. Surround yourself with people that know more than you and are further along than you so that you can learn. We will never come to a place that we think "ok, we've got it." because there is ALWAYS more to learn and to receive.

-Ruby, you've been saying "some day, I'm going to get married, and gonna kiss, and you're going to cry!"
Yep.

-I very must struggle with meal planning! It is something I am constantly learning. In the age where everything is easy and convenient yet artificial, it's not an easy task swimming against the current to do things differently. (story of our lives!) So every week, I take on feeding us nutritionally dense, real food and having fun, creative snacks all on a budget. I know the more I do it, the better I'll get at it.  It's worth the struggle, trust me girls. And like I said, it'll only get easier.

You know what? Thinking of you reading this when you are young wives and mothers made me look at things from the big picture angle, and I got an overwhelming peace that you both are going to be amazing women of Yahweh. It's easy to fret about your job as a mother, but the reality of it all is that we do our very best and rely on the Holy Spirit, and He takes it from there. We cannot micro-manage it all. So I can honestly say your daddy and I are raising you with clean hands and a pure heart. We love you both endlessly and are happy to walk with you in this life.
I can't wait to see the women you become!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

slow down


Spring and Fall are such busy times of year, and the bigger our life gets (more children, more responsibilities with work, more connections and relationships, more everything) the busier life seems to get and the faster it seems to fly by.

I love moving and going, teaching my girls about a variety of things, getting them in different environments, etc.
 But there is also much to be said about a stay-home-all-day kind of day.
Where Mama sips of the same cup of coffee all day long, everyone's in their jammies, a load of laundry gets done in between playing on the floor with the babes (while I wish the whole time for a big area rug). A counter top clearing gets interrupted by a nursing session, messes and memories are made, and there is just sweetness in the home.

I am speechlessly thankful for the opportunity to stay home with these children of ours.
To raise them as the Spirit leads.
It's a beautiful life and a beautiful calling.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

nora 7 months


-You are still miss particular. I can't imagine being a baby, how uncomfortable and frustrating at times it can be. 

-I think you might be teething? Who knows. I thought you were teething months ago - wrong.

-You are either so precious and cuddly or so frustrated and clawing and ripping my hair/face/neck/anything. I laugh and say you haven't quite gotten a hold of Psalm 103's "slow to anger" part. You are rather speedy to anger:)


-BUT you also belly laugh more than any baby I know. you like a good, hearty chuckle and we looooove to get you going.

-You're not much of a napper. Sometimes only one during the day. But usually two little short fellas. Very short. Like 20-30 mins.

-You in the bathtub is enough to make the meanest criminal fall to his knees with tenderness and make the Mona Lisa smile. It is pure heaven. Fat, slippery, and having the time of your life. (Imagine wide eyes, open mouthed-smile and kicking legs for most of the time. Mix in a hearty belly laugh at whatever Ruby is doing and you've got bath time)

-Your nicknames lately are
Nora Sue
Nora Suzanne
Nora Suzetters

WHO KNOWS WHY?! We cannot explain what nicknames are formed and said through us. They just come out as naturally as anything.

-Your eyes, I'm not kidding, are like these magical, sparkling little things that dance and go on forever and draw me in like you wouldn't believe. And then on top of them lies the most infallible, long, silky cotton-like eyelashes that have ever been created. Your eyes alone keep you from getting into trouble.

(kevin sent me this pic when I was out running errands one day.)

Nora, sweetie - I give you a 10 out of 10 as my final, overall judgement.
I am loving what you're bringing to this family. 



Monday, March 4, 2013

february 28


Happy Birthday to our extremely 
smart,
thoughtful,
excited,
expressive,
hilarious,
helpful,
curious,
persistent,
obedient,
adventurous
little 3 year old.

We love you so, so much.
-mom + dad