Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- A Review

There were too many blessings to count this year.  Including the birth of our son, (who we kind of like), our family welcomed 3 more babies. Aaron and I have a new god-daughter, who is so dainty and perfect.   It is amazing to see how large our immediate brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews are.  The house is total chaos when we are all together, and I love it!  Another huge blessing was Aaron working out our plan so that I could go part time and just be in charge of high school ministry (see work).  We paid off over 20,000 in debt, including one of our cars.  Aaron (the husband) is doing an excellent job planning for our future.  We got to take the baby on his first vacation and Aaron and I got to get away for our own weekend of Romance.  All and all, a pretty incredible year. And, of course, another little one on the way, is pretty much fantastic.

With change, comes challenge.  Trying to balance being a wife, a mom, a youth minister, a daughter, a sibling and a friend has been way more difficult than I expected.  Some areas I have been intentional about, some I have let go.  We see these challenges as opportunities to grow and be patient with ourselves.  I wish I could be so many things that I am not, wish I could have a few more hours in each day, wish I had my thank you cards done from my baby shower…but alas, I take a deep breath and look towards next year.

Our kid is literally the love of our life.  I knew being a mother would change everything. I didn’t fully anticipate how much loving such an amazing little person would radically effect everything I know.  We laugh off when people tell us how cute he is, but let me take this opportunity to say, our kid is really cute.  His cheeks are so squeezable.  His giggle is infectious.  I call him, ‘inspector monchichi’ because he studies things.  He studies faces, people, toys, etc…he makes little goals in his mind of things he wants to grab, etc..and makes it happen.  He screams in a talking voice that I am trying to quiet and just love.  He is not perfect, he gives us a run for our money in terms of fussiness when he is not happy.  He is already SUPER stubborn and quick to anger (wonder where he got that from?), but I swear, he gives me his ear –to-ear  smile and I am like putty in his hands.  Watching him learn to crawl, play on his own, babble, and repeat has been wonderful. Watching him watch his daddy is amazing.  He is a ball of joy that has changed every aspect of our lives and we dig it.

Marriage is HARD work, but we are getting better at it.  Selfless love is a foreign concept in our world and not celebrated by many, so in some ways, we have to learn this behavior.  I figure for 29 years I was alone, for 11 of those years I pretty much did what I want, when I wanted…so this has been QUITE the experience for me.  I married a patient good man though, and I feel like we get better at it every day.  Our fights will always be there (Bickersons anyone?), but we are getting better at not giving in to radical anger and day-long fights.  We are getting better at forgiveness and active love. We are getting better at marriage, and I think our kid helps.  I married the man that most makes me laugh, and most drives me crazy- and it is obvious in every aspect of our relationship.  We got to go away for a weekend and are pretty committed to doing that at least once a year.  I truly believe that being in love is the best gift we can give our kids, and so, we work at it!

Work was the biggest surprise of 2011.  Turns out, being a CYM is like the most difficult job ever (not really, but kind of) for having young children.  I though the flexibility, hours, nights, weekends, lack of daycare, would make it so easy. I was VERY.WRONG.  Going to wyd, was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.  Being away from my child for 2 weeks is something I will NEVER do again.  I am learning to ask for help, relying on good adults and good teen leaders.  I am going to try in 2012 to figure out how to ‘turn off’ work when I am not at work, stick to 30 hours a week and not to sweat the small stuff.  Having a babysitter come to the house for 1 of the work days should make a huge difference.  We will continue to evaluate  how to balance work and family. 

Community /Fellowship
Most of our friendships this year have changed and evolved.  We find that the time that we have to give to our friends is precious and we need to use it wisely.  We are getting better at picking and choosing what things to be involved in and when we just need a night in.  As we go from one child to two, I am sure there will be even further settling of our friendships.  We find that those that can be patient with us continue to stay in our lives, but also, that we need to make a better effort to show those that our in our lives how much they mean to us.

This one has been a challenge. With the craziness of the past couple of years, I find that the discipline I once had in my prayer life has slacked a bit, (a bit being a huge under-exaggeration).  I find we do the bare minimum, prayers with the child every night, occasional prayers as a couple, Mass once a week, confession every four months, that is about it.  In 2012, one of my major goals is to be discipline about my faith life, but more on that in a future post.

All and all 2011 was good to us!  Hope it was fantastic for youJ

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in pictures

We had such a great Christmas, enjoy!
Michigan State Penny Bank from Mom's boss:)

Love hangin' with auntie Theresa

My cousin Rocky cracks me up!

IT'S SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love this guy!

He is awesome!

Stocking Stuffer

Mr. and Mrs. Clause

Lighting the candle for the Christ Child

The Polish Wigilia Queen

Putting baby Jesus in His cradle. Right before Har-Har broke off his arm:)

Christmas morning note from Santa

Hey, he wrote me a note!

I get presents!  I love wrapping paper

oh my gosh, there is more!!!

opening presents is fantastic fun


Look dad, it is an elephant

I am worn out, but I get a stocking too!!!

Oh my goodness this is fun!

I love my grammy!

This morning.

"Aaron, were you nervous when you asked my dad to marry me"- Me
"Um, a little Bit"- Aaron
"Did your voice crack?"- Me
"Once or twice"- Aaron
"What did you say?"- Me
"Can I take this burden off your hands"- Aaron

Well done wilkerson, well done!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear Jesus

Please help me to remember every time I throw up, that I am growing a healthy child within.

Please help me to remember as insomnia hits due to hormonal changes,  that those are the same hormonal changes creating my baby's smile

Please help me to remember when I am so tired I could fall asleep at the table,  that baby's giggles are perhaps the most lovely thing to hear.

Please help me to remember as I get up five times during one single night to pee, that there are many women who would like to have a child but are currently being told no.

Please help me to remember as I complain day in and day out about not handling pregnancy well, that the miracle of cooking a child is a deep and special mystery.

Please help to remember when my energy is too zapped to care for Baby number 1, that having them so close together will provide for each a best friend.

Please help to remember when I want to kill my husband because he doesn't fully get how difficult this can be, that many men don't lift a finger to help their wives and many women have to go through pregnancy alone.

Please help me to remember when I feel sorry for myself because of how sick I am feeling, how tired I am, etc..., that having a child is actually the coolest gift possible.

Lord, help me to walk more gracefully with this pregnancy.


Monday, December 12, 2011

OH MY...

Friday was a bad day.  I mean a real no good, very bad day!  The job was stressful, the pregnancy was making me sick, the baby was whiney, it was a bad, bad day.  I needed a good weekend and a good weekend I got.  Would you like to know why it was good?  Great! I shall tell you.
There was VERY little housecleaning done this weekend.  Although the messes are piling up, I decided this weekend very little housecleaning would get done.  Dishes got done, a couple of loads of laundry, but other than that…nothing!  Right now, I am looking at a family room full of mess (I mean baby toys, ALL.OVER) but that is okay, it was worth it.
There was TONS of snuggling this weekend.  When we weren’t doing something (we had a lot of ‘commitments’ this weekend), we were pretty much snuggling.  Love snuggles on the couch, baby snuggles at night, it was perfect.
There was LOTS of pajama wearing.  Though this weekend cannot count as an official ‘pajama weekend’ because we did a lot of stuff, when we weren’t doing stuff, we were in pajamas.
There was very little cooking.  And that, is lovely.
We watched ‘Jack Frost’, one of my favorite holiday movies (don’t get nervous, I said ‘holiday’ because to call it a Christmas movie would not be a fact, for it is not about Christmas or Jesus).
The baby really just keeps getting cuter.  He plays by himself, makes the cutest sounds, smiles in a way that pretty much takes your heart and melts it down, and he is doing this head cock thing that is SO adorable.  Pretty much, he is the best.  And we are blessed
And Finally…
...We took time to just slow down.  We didn’t shop (though there is shopping to do), we didn’t clean (though the house is a mess), we didn’t go anywhere we didn’t have to (though there are things we could have done).  Life gets SO busy this time a year, but what makes this time of year special is snuggles on the couch under the light of the Christmas tree.

We all have a crud ton of stuff to do.  I remember a youth speaker talking about how it seems to be the ‘Litany of the Busy’ nowadays.  We all try to prove to one another how busy we are.  I do that ALL.THE.TIME.  And gosh, we are busy.  BUT, if we don’t slow down, what is the freaking point of staying so darn busy?  So, I encourage you to take an hour, a day, a weekend to purposefully try to do nothing but enjoy those around you.  If those around you means your best friends, hang out with them without worrying about what you should be doing.  If those around you means your spouse or significant other, spend time just talking.  If those around you means your extended family, share giggles with them.  And if those around you means your spouse and children, take some time to just to be present with them.
Those are my words of wisdom for you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LAST NIGHT 11:00 pm

"Hey it's really snowing outside, it looks so pretty"-  Aaron, after getting home
"Wanna go outside and kiss"-  Mary, being kind of funny
"Sure, put on your shoes"-   Aaron

I did, we did, it was lovely.


Monday, December 5, 2011


Aaron knows that I love to go away. I love hotels, I love road trips, I love plane rides, I love anything associated with travel. I LOVE me some adventures.  SO, for the past 8 months he has been planning a mini-get away for him and I.  We were set to go to Grand Rapids to celebrate our first anniversary, the birth of our first son, my 31st birthday, 2 years of non-smoking and a bunch of other really neat things along the way.  Whenever I would give him a hard time about not celebrating something, he’d say, ‘just wait until Grand Rapids’. Well, ladies and gentleman, Grand Rapids was FINALLY here this weekend.  And it lived up to every promise he made.

The trip started with a fight (no, the Wilkersons fighting…I don’t believe it).  We were running late leaving and I wanted Aaron to switch our reservation from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.  At first, he resisted.  This done made me so mad.  I have a time obsession…so, this was not the way to start of the weekend.  ‘FINE!’ I shouted, ‘ILL JUST GO TO THE RESTAURANT IN FREAKING SWEATPANTS’ (insert choice words where you’d like).  But things only went up from there.

When we got to the hotel, I immediately started to tear up.  The hotel is so super fancy, and in one of the several lobbies, there were Christmas trees and a band playing Christmas music.  It was like a movie!!!  After we checked in, Aaron led us upstairs.  The hotel that we were staying at was the ‘Amway Grand’ which is SUPER fancy.  As we searched for our room, we ended up at the end of the hall, a suite.  “That can’t be right” said my love, and then put in the key and opened the door.  Aaron had booked us a suite.  A two room, two bath, fancy bathrobe SUITE!  For a girl that loves her some fancy hotels, it was too much to handle.  Of course, I started sobbing like a baby.  You see, I gave Aaron a hard time about rolling all celebrations into one, so I kept telling him that Grand Rapids better be freaking amazing.  I told him I expected surprises and too many great moments to count.  When we walked in the hotel room, I felt like such a brat.  I kept crying and saying, ‘you didn’t have to do this’.  To which he responded, ‘just wait’.  Then we got dressed up to go to a fancy restaurant called Cygnus 27 at the top of the hotel (note to self- If you know your husband hates turtle necks, do not ‘surprise’ him with an outfit of a long skirt and turtle neck, or you will be forced to change). 

Dinner at Cygnus 27 was delicious (after I christened their bathroom with a little bit of ‘morning, afternoon and evening’ sickness- I am SO sick of puking btw).  Aaron ordered the filet minion and lobster cakes to start.  I ordered amish chicken and tempura battered sea scallops to start.  The food was so good. I swear it was the best chicken I have ever had in my LIFE!  Aaron kept checking his watch and said we had to leave by 9:30.  At around 9:20 pm we began to leave.  

We took an elevator downstairs and Aaron led us to the REALLY fancy lobby and out the door to Monroe street.  As soon as we walked out the door I saw it, a snow white HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had always, always, always wanted to ride in one.  It was fantastic.  I, of course, was crying hysterically, but we got in and covered ourselves with a super warm blanket.  We then proceeded to see the sites of downtown Grand Rapids in an exceptional way.  Aaron told me about his college experience and I tried so very hard to be VERY present in this truly wonderful moment.

After, we went back to our hotel and ordered room service for dessert (because that is what fancy people do). I had crème brule and Aaron had a fancy brownie.  It was awesome. 
 We went to bed so very thankful for each other and for not having to wake up to get bottles ready.  We do so love our munch, but it was a nice break.

In the morning, we woke up and ordered super fancy Bed and Breakfast.  The  pictures speak for themselves.  
We then spent the morning lounging around, checking out the view, snuggling under covers and relaxing.  For lunch, Aaron took me to his favorite Yesterdog and we got ourselves some cheese dogs (yum).
  Then, we ended up at Wealthy Street Bakery, one of Aaron’s favorites. He got himself a Danish and I got myself a super delicious Pain Au Chocolat.  We brought it back to the hotel and relaxed for the whole afternoon (well, except for when Aaron locked me out of the hotel room on accident and I threw a fit and went and sat in one of the lobbies till he found me).  Lol.

That night, we went to Leo’s Seafood for dinner.  Oh my gosh was it tasty. Aaron had Lobster Tail and I had something called Seafood Newburg.  It was so freaking delicious.  Like, so so so good. 
 I wanted to take home the extras but alas, the purpose of the trip was about to happen, we went and saw Les Miserable.  It was BREATHTAKING.  This is my favorite show and I have seen it a handful of times.  By far, this was the best Jean Val Jean (sp).  His voice brought chills.  And at the end, the final song, tears ran down my face.  I could not applaud louder for such an exceptional cast.  One of the best parts?  The arena was connected to our hotel, so we got to walk straight back without putting our coats on or going out into the cold.  We got home and watched the rest of the MSU/Wisconsin game.  Because MSU fans have been working my last nerve with their hate-orade this football season, it was a little gift from baby Jesus to see them lose before bed!  A bit of pregnancy induced throwing up (the story wouldn’t be complete without it) and we were off to bed.  Our last night in our own Christmas paradise and although it was sad, I was itching to see my baby (I HATE leaving him).

The next morning, we woke up and had a delicious brunch at a place called Charlie’s Crab.  It was super fancy and crazy delicious.  I wasn’t feeling well, so the nourishment was MUCH needed. 
We headed home from there and both raced into my parent’s house to see who would be the first to get to hold the baby.
When we got married, so many older couples told us the importance of going away with your spouse at least once a year for an overnight.  Ours won’t probably be THIS fancy for a really long time, but we have committed to re-energizing our marriage though trips like this (even if that means camping, which Mr. Ramsey might have us do next time).  I truly do believe the best thing you can give your children is to be a loving help-mate to your spouse.  Staying in love is going to take hard work, (1.5 years in with 1 kid and one on the way, this becomes increasingly clear to us)- but we are committed to it and trips like this help!  I have said it before I will say it again, I married a prince.
PS- If you are one of my teenage girls reading this…THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T SETTLE!  Every girl deserves a princess weekendJ

PPS- And we got to come home to this!  Awesome.