Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Looooong Time Ago

That is when I last posted. This crazy month has been so crazy. We've been in and out of so much this month! Here's what I haven't posted so far:

1. We went on vacation with the Campbell side of our family. It was so fun, and Micah and Levi got to play and play at the lake house we went to!

2. We had a really fun easter, and Levi looked so cute. We had a fun easter egg hunt at Mimi and Pops' house. L and Micah looked so cute finding eggs. Then we spent Sunday at Yaya and Uncle Duck's house eating and egg hunting and dying Easter eggs. So fun.

3. Sean surprised me with a super fun anniversary weekend at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. And Surprise! The Millers were there! We had a lot of fun, even though the boys played raquetball and ski ball while Nicole and I talked and watched Tangled :) It was such a fun surprise, the boys did good :)

4. Levi spent the weekend with Gigi and Papa, and came back really spoiled. He keeps telling me no and throwing fits. I expected it, but it is driving me crazy!

Aaaand, he's crying now, so I have to get him up from a nap. I will post pictures soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did that happen, or was it a dream?

Okay, so 7 is too early to take my meds. Thank you Jared, Shane, Natalie, Nate, and of course precious Sean for putting up with/carrying me last night. That was rough.

Speaking of Natalie and Nate (the Hissins), I want to publicly say on my blog that you two are amazing. I won't share all of the reasons you are so amazing for two reasons: Natalie might pee her pants from embarrassment, and I won't steal your reward in Heaven by giving it to you here (see Matthew ch 6). But I do want you to see in front of everyone that I am so incredibly grateful to you two for all you have done for Sean and Levi and me. You have blessed our family beyond belief. If you aren't friends with Nate and Natalie, you should be :)
Here's a video of Levi saying thank you to the Hissins.
In case you can't understand him, the first think he says is Nate, and then you can probably hear me telling him the rest. :)

video

Thursday, March 3, 2011

They Touched This Morning...

Okay, so quick fun fact about my Sean and me: We are no-touch sleepers. We will sometimes cuddle before we go to sleep, but there is not now, nor has there ever been any sleep touching in our marriage. After we have cuddled an adequate amount of time for one or both of us, we retreat to our edges of the bed, and sleep soundly and independently. We just like our space.

Well this morning I had a hard time sleeping. I woke up at 5:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep. I got up, checked my email, looked at some stuff online, you know. The usual stuff you do when you can't sleep. But then I finally decided that I should try and sleep in the few precious hours left before I had a screaming toddler to tend to. So I got back in bed.

And then they touched. Our heels. My Sean and I had a brief moment of sleep connection. Well, he was asleep. I was awake. And for some reason, the slight brush of his heel on mine just filled me up! I was flooded with the sheer amount of emotion I feel for him. I adore that man. He has made me a better person. In more than one way.

There is always that rubbing and chipping away at you that happens when you are learning to live with someone else. Grrrr, it can be frustrating. But it is one of the Lord's beautiful refining tools. Not to make us happy, but to make us holy.

But it isn't just that rough sandpaper-y change that Sean has enacted in me. He has taught me so much. He is genuine--all the time. He ALWAYS thinks the best of people no matter what, even when they disappoint him again and again. He knows how to be content. He is very slow to anger. He is incredibly teachable and open minded. He stands firm on his beliefs, but is willing to change how he thinks at the Lord's calling. I want to be more like him.

So...just a post to say I love him. He is perfect for me. And I'm going to try and convince him to snuggle tonight. Until it's time to sleep, of course :)

















Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Public Enemy #1

Yes folks. Get a good look at this milk crusted face. This is public enemy #1.

Don't believe me? Ask the Rushings. Or the Travis fam, Or the Pattersons x 2. Or the Campbells Senior. Their snot-soaked tissue piles will be all the evidence you need.

If you see this baby, do NOT kiss him. Do NOT pinch his chubby little cheeks, however tempting it may be. You know what? Don't even look at him. Or your tissue pile will be mountainous as well.

So Levi got RSV. Somehow. Even though this little criminal's daddy is often gone early and back late, he somehow passed it on to him. Shortly after Levi was caught coughing in his baby cousin's face, Judah received the precious gift of RSV as well. After a weekend of playing at Mimi and Pops's house, Mimi, Pops, Micah, and Aunt Rachael contracted said virus. Micah became L's parter in crime by passing it to his Patterson cousins, Sam and Ben, and they graciously shared with their parents as well.

So there are several criminals of the irresistibly cute variety out there, armed and dangerous. And their parents may be dangerous as well, for a different reason: they feel like poop and have to care for small children who feel like poop, and these children are the reason they feel like poop in the first place. This situation is wildly out of control!

But not really. It is just a stinky situation. For everyone. Even Public Enemy #1. He's feeling a tad better, but he hasn't seen Mommy or Daddy in over 24 hours, so he will be getting to the end of his brighter side fairly soon. He's definitely not used to being away from me for more than a few hours. But he'll survive. It's me that might not. I miss my little "Typhoid Mary." I'm prepared to harbor the tiny fugitive should he come back into my custody.

So seriously, I took 2 Nyquil and an Ambien before writing this so I'm not sure how long I will actually write something that makes sense. Especially because before I proofread I typed "serioulsy" and "sence" and those are not words. Not at all.

Also I wanted to support my claims that there are in fact mountains of tissues. I wanted to do this by showing you a picture. But even my camera is so grossed out by my snot tissue mountain, it will not come out of hiding to capture a shot.

Well in all honesty I fell asleep while writing this last night and fell out of my chair. On the floor! I need to go to bed earlier.
.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Humility, Power, and the Green Bay Packers

Here is a precious picture of the generations of Campbell men enjoying football together. Read on to hear the great Campbell/Travis/Rushing/Patterson story of the Super Bowl.

Okay, so we were so excited to take little L-man out in the snow. We thought it would be joyous and wonderful. In our new-parent visions of snow days, Levi would jump and frolic, making snowmen, snow balls and snow angels all morning long. Ahhh, but reality sets in when he only lasts 4 and 1/2 minutes and sits on the ground and cries as if we were torturing him. He did make one snow ball before he went into a full on meltdown. Here he is looking semi-happy.

So of course, the only option you have after being covered in snow against your will is to strip down to your diaper and snuggle with Dad!

And I had to add, that on this particular snow day, Levi decided to take up photography as a hobby. This is his first expression of himself through art:

I have to say, not bad for a tiny, uncoordinated baby. In fact, I say it is quite artistic.

So let me tell you about the best Super Bowl ever. As you may know, my father is a die-hard, sweat and tears, winning or losing, share-holding, cheese hat-wearing, green and gold Packer fan. Throughout the many years of disappointing football, he has supported them faithfully. Farve or no Farve, playoff games or epic fails, regardless of the climate of the NFL, my dad will not give up on the Pack. Never ever.

So of course, as you can assume, this was a big day for him. And we HAD to have a Super Bowl party. (Well actually we wanted to send him to the game SO BADLY. But 2200 dollars a seat just isn't realistic, Mr. Jones! It is outrageous. That's what it is) So because actually attending was just not going to happen, we decided to have a party at my parents house.

Now the back story. My in laws are die-hard Cowboy fans. We have watched games together before, and there was much trash-talk and gnashing of teeth. But we wanted so badly for all of the family to be together. So we set it up. We made it happen and my in-laws came ready to support my dad. They came through BEAUTIFULLY! At one point, the entire room was chanting "GO PACK GO!" I was so touched by how supportive they were of my dad and his team. I married into the BEST family in the world. Except maybe for the family Sean married into :) Here is a picture my mom took in the middle of the festivities.

And here's a secret: I am so relieved that the Pack came through, because I think my father would have imploded and caused a giant black hole in the universe had the outcome been different. More than once I thought we were doomed. Ahhh, but if for grace!

And of course, Micah and Levi could care less about the game, but they learned so much about sharing! Oh, isn't it fun to teach your children how to share? Man. We are sinful and selfish from birth, for sure. But how deep is the Father's mercy! Here they are reading a book together. Love. Them.

Also, my sweet baby nephew Judah was dedicated to the Lord by his precious parents last Sunday. They were asked to choose "Godly influences" for their children, somewhat similar to a God parent. These people were committing to praying for the child and influencing them throughout their lives for the Gospel. I was honored, and humbled to stand on stage and make that commitment to my sister, brother in law and sweet baby Judah. We also got to pray over him. What an honor. Mmmm.

As for me, I am being refined. And it is powerful, and painful, and wonderful. I feel like the Lord has put two words heavy on my heart lately, and working through them has been difficult and freeing.

The first thing I feel like He is putting before me is humility. So many verses of Scripture jumped out at me as I read, calling me to humility. At first I was confused, because I understood humility as the opposite of pride. And my understanding of pride was that the prideful think they are more important, or better than everyone else. And that isn't me. If anything, I think EVERYONE is better than me. My insecurities consume me sometimes. They affect how I dress, how I behave, even how I worship sometimes. So surely I don't struggle with pride.

Ohhhhh. This part hurts. The Lord spoke clearly to me. He laid on my heart that pride isn't always thinking you are better or more important than other people. It's when your thoughts are consumed with YOU and not the interests of others.

My insecurity prohibits me from exhibiting true humility. Humility isn't feeling badly about yourself. Humility is being consumed with the interests of others. It is loving Jesus so much, that you love His church, His people more than you love yourself. When I am consumed with whether or not I am doing the right thing, saying the right thing, worshipping the right way, wearing the right clothes I am focused on ME ME ME! That is not humility. That is the sneaky, ugly pride that masquerades as humility. And I am so glad that I serve a God that doesn't let the sneaky, ugly sin hide in the darkness. He brings everything to light and frees us from the bondage of those sneaky, ugly sins. I desire humility.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2

Since this post is ridiculously long, I will share about POWER in my next post! If you catch me in my pride, call me out in the name of Jesus! Speak Truth with power over me, friends! I will respond in humility :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Little Things



Okay, so I am convinced that God chose me to be Levi's mommy for many reasons. I don't know all of them. But I feel like many of them are for my own benefit, rather than his. That little boy punches me in the stomach with more conviction than I can keep up with! Every day I feel like he is teaching me something else about my faith and God's desire for my relationship with Him.

Example #1: Like I wrote in my last post, my son has a love for the stories and words of God in scripture that even I envy. He is passionate about listening to the Word. Every night he wants to hear a story about "Seesus." He looks forward to it, tries to
make his time in the Word come faster. He has listened to the entire Jesus Storybook Bible 3 times. Somehow of all the books in his little library, he know
s this one is different, and he delights in it. Oh how I long for his delight in the Word.

Example #2: A few afternoons ago, my mom and sister and I were eating at a cute little tea room in Haltom City called Sipliciteas at Lonestar Antiques with Levi and Baby Judah. The first thing we did was ask for some crackers for the L-man because he gets crazy without something to play with or eat. As soon as he got is crackers he started whining loudly and reaching across the table for me. After we tried to shush him, he reached out his h
and again and bowed his head. He was reminding us that not even his hunger or desire to play was more important than being grateful for the Giver of all good things. Now, we do pray before every meal when we are out with my family. He has seen it many times. But he wasn't joining in a prayer. He was demanding that we stop and thank God. Now, I know that my son doesn't know exactly what he is doing. I know that his understanding is
extremely limited. But that doesn't change what Abba Father is using him to show me. He speaks loudly and clearly through my child.

"Through the praise of children and infants You have esta
blished a stronghold against Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2

Those are very profound things he teaches me about loving God. About passionate desire for Him.

But my precious Levi also teaches me through his disobedience. He is so strong willed. Which means he will be a powerful leader...if I can reign it in a bit.
The other day I was playing with him in the living room, and he said "Bye bye mama," and went in his room. I watched him go down the hall and start playing with some toys. Now I try and always keep his door open when he's in there, even if he wants to play alone. He always tries t
o shut it. But usually I am able to foil all of his attempts. But this particular day, he evaded my intervention. He shut the door. I could hear him giggle after it closed, he was so happy! He had been wanting to shut that door as long as he could remember. And then, after his brief moment of victory, he realized he was alone. Closing the door had separated us. He couldn't see me, and he panicked. That hard-headed little stinker started cryi
ng out to me and pounding his little fists on the door. I empathized with him in that moment. I have felt that very same way. I have closed the door on my Jesus to keep Him from seeing what I was doing. And in the midst of my disobedience I realize that I can't see Him. I realize that I'm alone, that it has separated us and I panic. And His mercy reaches out to me as I cry out and po
und on the door.

So wow, one little bitty one year old has definitely brought to light so many spiritual truths. He is a little ball of conviction, and a picture of forgiveness and mercy.

Especially when he gets drunk on milk and picks his nose.
or wears my underwear as a tie.



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Seesus


Weird title, right? I thought it was weird too when it was shouted at me by my worried-looking one-year-old. Now, in all fairness, I shouldn't be surprised that I have no idea what he is trying to say. Most of the time he just talks jibberish to himself. But he looked REALLY upset and kept saying "Seesus" and running away in an effort to help me see that he actually wanted me to follow him and find out for my self why "Seesus" was such an urgent matter.

So he went into the study (We are at my parents house) and grabbed a book. This book just happened to be The Jesus Storybook Bible. (If you haven't heard about this book and you have a small child, go here to check it out.)

Yes, friends. My baby, my little baby that I birthed a mere 1 year ago, was saying "Jesus," and wanting me to share in his exploration of who Jesus is. It was the single most fulfilling moment of motherhood I have yet to experience. It will probably remain the most fulfilling until the day my precious son falls at the feet of his Jesus and enters into the family of the redeemed. And he will. Even now at such a young age, his heart is stirred toward the Lover of his soul and a passion for the Word. And I have prayed for that since the moment I found out I was going to be his mommy.

But guiding him on that path is painful, can I get an amen? There is no step by step manual for raising my son to be a godly man. I can't find a book that will help me to ensure that he will fall prostrate before the wounded feet of Christ and give his life to the merciful God that I serve. But the Word seems clear that God expects me to leave deep footprints for my baby to follow. Amazon can't help me. But the precious, sacred, holy Word of God poured out on me can.

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads." Deuteronomy 6:6-8

"he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 32:46

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death. Proverbs :19:18

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Proverbs 29:17

And there are so many more. God has given me everything that I need for a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). He did not call me to motherhood without equipping me to do so. He has chosen me to be Levi's mommy. And I can't imagine a greater, more important calling.

He will know that love is not rude. He will now that the Lord will fight for him, he will need only to be still. He will be told the depth of mercy his daddy and I have experienced. We will not forget. We will make those footprints deep.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ohhh, so he's THAT kid.

Yes, my friends. He IS that kid. And he is not ashamed. Nor am I. Be free, beloved child. Free to pick your nose in public no matter what the consequence. Social norms have no power over you. Outcast or not, your nasal passages will remain unobstructed!

And thanks for brightening an otherwise dull family picture. You are a rock star.

But seriously, I hope Levi always remembers to be exactly who he is, unashamedly. He has a big personality, and I hope he holds onto it.

Here he is, trying to French kiss his cousin Micah. And Micah is trying to bite his face off. This photo belongs in National Geographic! Ahh, the memories. These two are already best friends. They each carry around a picture of each other and kiss and hold the picture. Levi put his in his super secret hideout in his room. (Behind the changing table in the hole where the diaper genie goes. Don't tell him I know where it is.)

He has recently learned to say "Help," which comes out "Hup," and "taco" which is "tah-oh." His favorite words are "Ya-Ya," "Cot," (Uncle Scott), "Papa", "Mama", "Dah-dih", and "Uh-oh." He also loves to ride in his new red wagon, and anytime he sees it he says "Papa walk!" He is also a good baby, and really takes care of me when I am so sick I can't get off the couch. I love him. He is brave and independent, and has a smile that melts my heart. I mean, look at this smile:

I love being your mommy, Levi Travis Campbell! You are precious to me!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lame. So lame.

That is what I am, friends. Lame! I can't believe I didn't blog for the entire Christmas season! Here is my excuse: My husband was out of school! Because of this, I was busy busy chasing after two boys for a month. I think that is a valid reason.

So over the break, we played and played! Well, the boys played more than I did; I did more watching than playing. My health is improving in some ways, and worsening in other ways.

Quick health update before some seriously funny Levi moments. I have seen my doctor several times throughout this whole ordeal. She sent me to a neuro-urologist, a special neurologist and a neuro-ophthalmologist. Lots of doctor visits. Here are my symptoms and then we are moving on. Symptom # 1: Eye pain. The eye pain is usually semi-manageable, but there are days (like today) that I cannot even think because the pain is so severe. Eye pain is probably the worst pain I've had from MS. This could be/probably is due to permanent nerve damage from optic neuritis. Pain management is all we can do for that. Symptom #2: Fatigue. I know it sounds like no big deal, I mean, everyone gets fatigued. But I have days (like today again) that I cannot get out of bed. My body will not cooperate and it doesn't matter what is going on, I cannot get up. I cry a lot during these times. Before Christmas I was walking with a cane almost every day. Symptom #3: Electric shocks. These go from my head or shoulders down my body. When they are happening, sometimes my hands twitch and I can't hold a butter knife or put a straw into my Chick-fil-a sweet tea. My dexterity disappears. The doc thinks these are probably seizures. Bummer. I will update when I have some solid answers. Pray that they don't get worse. They are the most scary and uncomfortable symptom I've ever had.

Okay, so that is public enemies #s 1, 2, and 3. But I am NOT unhappy. I am Not letting Satan turn something God intends to be refining into something disheartening. By His grace I have been able to continue serving at church on the worship team, and I have been so blessed by them. They have helped me up and down the stairs, let me use chairs, and been understanding when I needed a mic stand for support while we were leading. God is so overwhelmingly good. He deliberately puts us in situations that call for total dependence on Him and his mercy. Then He powerfully administers His grace in unimaginable ways. I am in awe of Him daily. He quiets my anxious spirit and comforts my broken heart.

And the Word says that "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." I can hold out for that. I have Hope. And HE will not disappoint.

So on to Levi, who is probably the only reason anyone reads this blog anyway :) Its okay, I am getting used to being popular by way of my child. So Levi...I don't even know what to say about him. He is busy. And very...physical. He wears me out. The doc has told me that I need at least one, but preferably 2 days a week that I am not the sole caregiver. But I'm fearful that he will have killed me before those two days a week. He's EVERYWHERE. And he is precious. His favorite word right now is "Daddy" which he pronounces "Dad-dih." He also says "Mama" but only because he wants me to say "Levi" and then he repeats "Mama" and we go on and on like this. He loves balls, and is usually carrying one at all times. He got a bowling set for Christmas and enjoys knocking the pins over with his teeball bat. He loves is blue bear, which we affectionately call "Stinky Bear" because, well, he is very stinky. We wash him, soak him with oxyclean, but he is still stinky. And no other stuffed toy will do. Stinky Bear is starting to look very "Velveteen Rabbit"-ish. Maybe he will turn into a REAL 8 inch high blue bear.

Levi also loves baths. If the bathroom door opens for any reason, he is at the tub faster than I can catch him, with one leg already climbing in. When he does get in the bath he says "Bubbles!" He loves bubbles in his bath. He also loves his cousin Micah. He talks about Micah when he plays sometimes, but the name comes out "Cock." And when Micah hears Levi say cock, he says "Doo Doo." It is hilarious. Levi is a little rough for Micah right now, but I think they will grow into each other.

There is so much more to say, but this post is super long. I will start posting more often, and shorter posts. And pictures will come next time!