Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Still Clinging

A random series of events led me to my own archives this morning. This post jumped out - and brought back both renewed tears, and renewed faith.

Some days I'm not that far from where I was one-month-plus-a-day after Autumn died. But the fact that I am still here - despite the weakness and sorrow - proves how real, faithful and good Jesus is.

Reading that post gave me a glimpse of how deep my grief was. Some of you were total strangers to me and yet you entered into my grief willingly and with whole-hearts. For those of you still continue to grace us with your love and care - thank you. It means more than I can say.

With love,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Future?

My little teenager in the making.
(She has her Uncle Cody's iPod.)
The funny thing is that she figured out how to work the thing faster than I did.

I don't even know what to say.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cue That Paul McCartney Song

"Simplee... haaveeing... a WONDERFUL Christ-mas-time." (repeat!)
So I'll be the first to admit that I've done a super-crummy job of posting pretty much since we got back from BC in November. I did have a couple of rough weeks - but by God' s amazing grace, I've not only survived - but thrived. (cliche alert! ;))

I'm anticipating Christmas - time with family, mostly. And I'm so excited for Peyton to open her gifts. Last year was wonderful to have her - but let's face it: 2-month-olds are kinda boring. We just propped her up on a pillow and let her stare at the tree. :)

This year, however, is going to be awesome.

Thank-you, THANK-YOU to everyone who has been praying for us. I was thinking about that the other day as I was driving somewhere. What a gift it is to know that people care enough about us to carry us to God! It comforts me more than I can say.

I picked up a little stuffed puppy for Autumn's grave. If she would have liked puppies half as much as her little sister I think it is appropriate. I'm waiting for a warm enough day that our whole family can visit. Maybe even Christmas day... we'll see.

If I don't post before Christmas: Merry Christmas everyone!
With love,
kendall (and the other two Manzville residents... grin)

Monday, December 14, 2009

And Sings My Soul

Today while walking, this song came up with the perspective I need for life. This past week has been a battle, but God is using a lot of things to remind me of where he's brought me from.
My heart's cry is the chorus...

"Bring The Rain"
Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray,
"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain."
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain?
So I pray,
"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain."

*This song is on my list at the side: it's a random cycle - but if you click "forward" enough you'll eventually find it if you want to listen to it.

Home of Ch-ch-ch-champions

I'm so very thankful I don't live in Edmonton. :)

In case the link doesn't work, I'll expand.

Edmonton had the dubious distinction of being the second-coldest place on earth Saturday night. Only 2 degrees below a Siberian outpost. It was -46 Celsius before windchill. Fahrenheit? (Cover your eyes my Arizonan friends) -50.8 degrees.

Seriously? Wow. I don't feel so bad about my -26 today, even if it does feel like -40. You can convert that yourselves with my handy-dandy calculator on the sidebar if you'd like.

Or, if you're reading this within a 100-mile radius, maybe you just don't want to think about it.


Saturday, December 12, 2009


To all those who have been and continue to pray for our family - thank you. The comments and emails have been so good for my heart.

Today the tears came. The timing was strange, though. I was about to get on the treadmill and checked email before I turned on my blog music. The comments poured in - and just reading them, I broke down. I felt my way over to the chair in the corner of our office and wept.

I'm so thankful Kurt was here to hold me... but my tears brought such a sense of relief. The catharsis was almost tangible. I felt I could breath again - deeply and down to my toes - and that has been a challenge as the grief has built up over the past few days. I am thankful to my faithful God... I know I am not alone. I am blessed to have so many carrying me to Him when I feel too weak to do it alone.

I'm not out of this yet - but I am feeling the glimmer of hope. So thank you again.
With love,

Friday, December 11, 2009

In The Rough

For some reason, this day has felt all wrong.
I'm discontent.
I often scoff at the hormone excuse... but I'm in a real battle for happiness... for no apparent reason.

Or - depending on how self-justified I'm feeling - I feel like I have lots of reasons.

I miss Autumn. Worse than it's been in a while.

I got an email today notifying me that someone has subscribed to my YouTube videos. I checked it out, only to find that this person also subscribed to a number of heartbreaking videos from parents with children who had either died, or were sick.
I know - I know better! - that it's not a good idea for me to look at that kind of stuff. Even on a good day, it's an area I have almost no tolerance for. My own grief is magnified in the face of other people's sufferings. The covering on that wound is fragile and soft - easily breached.

And yet I watched. Or linked to blogs and read.
With tears.
I hate suffering. I hate that babies die.

Over 2 years ago, I said goodbye to a daughter I never got a chance to know. And today - reading other people's stories - it's all right here. (pointing to my heart) Heavy, achy grief that sinks down deep.

Like I said: a rough day so far.
I need time with God - but today the Casting Crowns song, "East to West" is speaking to my mood.
"I start the day, the war begins - endless reminding of my sin. And time and time again your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in.
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from you leaving me this way...."

Fighting for joy is hard work. I'm weak.
If you could pray for me, I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It's funny when I reorganize my day because I think Peyton will probably wake up soon - and then she sleeps for another hour-and-a-half. (shaking head with a sigh)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ahhh... Toasty!

I used to mock my mom for this.
(I know - I'm a bad daughter.)
Now Kurt and I eagerly watch the calender with bated anticipation rivaled only by Christmas morning itself...

It's time for the Fireplace Channel (in HD, no less!)!!

(Peyton is pointing and saying, "Hot.")
24 hours a day. 7 days a week.
Yuletide spirit on Star Choice 268...
And a merry Christmas to all 'cause it's free!


We literally giggled when it showed up on our TV listings. We were so sad last year when they cut it off after New Year's Day.
Look - the irony of me having a real-live fireplace right beside the tv isn't lost on me, okay? I just like my fires big.
And it's mine (all mine!) to enjoy for a whole month.
Bring on the eggnog and Christmas jingles - this girl's got the spirit!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Snickers in the Afternoon

And I don't mean the candy-bar!

I was waiting for Peyton to wake up from her nap and turned on the tv to pass the last few minutes. America's Funniest Home Videos was on and I have to say I've forgotten how crazy-funny that show is. I have tear-stains down my cheeks and a big grin on my face. Good way to meet my daughter after her nap, right?

It only makes me hope I can catch all my kid's embarrassing moments on camera and profit from them! :-D

Saturday, November 21, 2009

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

I have to say that listening to the bible on CD while walking on the treadmill has been a really good thing. I can walk while I work my way through the Word - two things that are both necessary and enjoyable for me.


Then I hit Leviticus.

This is dry stuff, baby.

"Burn this."
"Don't eat that."
"Dress this way."
"Sprinkle blood over there."
"This is 'unclean'."
"This is 'clean'."

... yikes.

So, if nothing else, this section of scripture is making me unspeakably thankful for the new Covenant which says, "You can't do it. Jesus did it. Trust Him."

Score. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Aquarium

Baby Peyton: meet Baby Beluga.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Manz Clan In Vancouver

Where we've been since October 31st. :)
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Canada's Next Top Model

Don't you just love the pose? (snicker)
My Grandma made the sweater she's wearing - cute, huh?
I hope for her sake that she doesn't still have those sweet little cankles when she's 16...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Arm Hurts

Thank you H1N1 immunization!

I am gonna feel really bad for my little girlie when she gets it because I (as not only an "adult", but a "health-care provider") understand why I'm waking up when I roll over onto my left arm. I simply hiss, "Ouucchhhh!", readjust my position, and go back to sleep.

It's gonna be a long couple of days if my daughter has the same level of discomfort. Hello baby tylenol!

Speaking of the virus I cannot make myself call "Swine Flu" (p-touie!):
Need some accurate, credible, and non-media biased info on the virus?
Check out this link (even you, my American friends, 'cause I watch your media too and it's awful about this!):

Lots of good info: including the truth about the vaccine and the so-called "new" way of preparing it (which I recently learned has been used with success in Europe's regular flu-vaccine since 1997) and who it is and is not safe for. The Public Health Agency of Canada is about as unbiased as you can get... so I trust this info. It isn't the prettiest website (government), but you should be able to find the answers to your questions. Hope it helps!

Speaking of the dread virus: I've been "trained" to assist with the mass public immunizations starting the week of November 16th. They know there aren't enough Public Health Nurses - so they've recruited more of us to work with them. Good times! (tongue in cheek)

All joking aside - I really am admiring my health regions proactive approach to this pandemic. And they should be prepared, you know. We've been expecting one of these for over 10 years... it's nice to see it pay-off in an organized and methodical fashion. Well done, PAPHR! :)

Alrighty then: thanks for bringing the counter over 80,000. Amazing! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Still The One"

I become this man's wife 6 years ago.
I could be flippant and say, "best decision I ever made" - but I know it's a total God-thing. I couldn't have chosen so well for myself. :)
After the exhausting emotions of the week leading up to our anniversary, my husband did a wonderful, thoughtful and amazing thing: he took me away! :)
Peyton had her first overnight away from us (and did wonderfully, I might add) and Kurt and I made a getaway to Elk Ridge to stay in their (let us give a round of applause to my notoriously-frugal husband!) 4-star hotel. We went down the waterslide (the fastest one I've been on in my life), hot-tubed, ate well and (cough-cough) rekindled a little romance. It was - for lack of a better adjective - awesome.
Beautiful scenery notwithstanding, we both must have commented at least a dozen times how great it was to be with each other - and just each other. No appointments to keep, no rushing to work, no 1-year old needing attention, no meals to make... we loved every moment of it. :)

The last two anniversaries have kinda been write-offs. Obviously, two years ago we were burying Autumn, and last year we were in the middle of enjoying our newborn daughter.
Neither occasion left much time for us. And that's where it all started: becoming Mrs Manz is what put me on this life-path. There is no one else on earth so well-matched for me: no one who could have been such a comfort and joy to me over all the events of the past 6 years.

I love you, Kurt Manz. So very much. Thank you for choosing me, and living out the vows you said to me 6 years ago. Neither of us could have anticipated the valley we would walk through together - but even in the midst of turmoil (this past-week included) you are still the one who makes me smile, laugh and lift my heart heavenward. You cause me to reflect on Jesus and how good He is for giving us to each other. Happy 6th anniversary, Baby.
(Hmmm.... this reminds me I need to get these pants hemmed...)
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Me and My Girls

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two Years

I miss you, Autumn.

My arms still ache to hold you. I can't believe I was able to let you go and walk away... let alone watch your casket being lowered into the earth. While I type, "Praise You in This Storm" is playing. Fitting...

This morning your sister cried at twenty-after-seven, and I thought, "What I wouldn't have given to hear that sound two years ago."

I'm so thankful for your life. Short as it was, it was given to us to enjoy. And we have been changed for the better because of you.

Happy birthday, my beautiful firstborn baby-girl.

I love you always and forever,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Cake of Tears

There is a desert called a "Score" Cake that I really like.
Basically, it's chocolate with holes punched through and then those holes are filled with caramel sauce. The overall effect is eating chocolate cake with bursts of that buttery "other" flavor. I'm no baker, but that is the best way I could think of to describe the overall vibe of yesterday.

Depending on the time of day, grief and joy took alternate turns being the chocolate and caramel. One could not be completely separate from the other. I could say that they enriched each other - and maybe someday I'll come to that conclusion. But for the most part it felt like a battle that I didn't want to fight. I didn't have the energy - and it ended up being a really hard night.

I'm not sure what I was expecting. I do know that the day I've set apart in my mind to celebrate Autumn's life is tomorrow. But at the same time was the inescapable knowledge that the 19th was the day my life changed forever with the realization she had left us.

The day was mostly joyful: just me and Peyton playing and cuddling and walking. She "helped" with laundry (which means I had to do it twice) and it was relaxing and reflective. But the back of my mind was keeping an eye on the clock with the knowledge that at this time of day two years ago it wasn't known to me yet that Autumn had died.

As the day moved towards 5 pm, I found myself clinging not only to Peyton tighter, but crying out to the Lord in my heart-of-hearts... because I was remembering. The choking despair. The grief. The agony and disbelief. I told my mom it was like darkness at the edges of my sunshine. I knew it was there waiting to be acknowledged and dealt with.

After Kurt came home I let him take care of Peyton and then went to spend some time dealing with the memories that were pushed aside by the joyful circumstances of last year. It wasn't even a conscious thing. I was brushing my teeth remembering the nurses carefully schooled calm manner after the heartbeat wasn't found. The doctor's approaches - the one who told us there was no heartbeat and the one who came in and almost cheerfully told us what we would have to do the next day. Other than the perfunctory "I'm sorry for your loss", it seemed like it was a mere medical issue for him: get the "fetus" out. (We both dealt with a lot of bitterness towards him... whoever he was.)

I keep two prayer journals: one for myself and one for Peyton. (My goal is to have a gift for her someday that shows the ultimate love possible: carrying her to Jesus. I hope I can keep it up if the Lord gives us more kids...) and I crawled into bed and poured out my heart to the Lord in a way I haven't in a long, long time.

In some ways it feels unfair to Peyton that she should share her birthday with my loss. It obviously wasn't a big deal to her this time: she's only one and oblivious to anything but her own needs. But what about the future? How do I explain to a little girl that I am joyful for her if she sees tears on my face? I think, "This is why I didn't want this day!" and yet - as I've said numerous times before - God gave her to me on this day. It's as close to saying, "I told you so!" to the Lord as I can get.

... since I typed the above, my daughter has awakened and given me a smile that would light up the night-sky. :)
Weeping came last night - wrapped in Autumn's blanket and overcome with memories of loss. But God's mercies are new every morning. Today they took the shape of a gap-toothed one-year-old who giggled, "Ma-ma!" when I entered the room. She is here. And He did not leave me on October 19th, 2007.

October 19th, 2008 did happen.
And now - so has October 19th, 2009.
He is faithful.

And this morning, my heart can be peaceful because of that truth. I'm bruised - achy in spirit... but I'm alive and clinging to Him with the sure knowledge that He has held, is holding, and will continue to hold me for the rest of my tomorrows.

Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One Full Year...

Enough said... :-D

October 19th

And then (some story left out... this is the edited version) there you were!

Beautiful. Warm. Squirmy. Crying.
Looking around like you were oh-so-puzzled at the scenery change.

Everything was so opposite the year before. It was stunning. Even a year later I can't quite wrap my mind around the significance of it all.
It was the 19th of October. One year (plus a half-hour) since the last time I felt your sister move.

Who am I to question the wisdom of a God who gave, then took and then gave again in an abundant and incomprehensible way?
I had to remind Daddy to get the camera. It was good it was ready to go - because all he wanted to do was stare at you. It is amazing he found it with his eyes trained on the warmer where our doctor was giving you your first check-up. :)
There were no tears for either of us, much to my surprise. I think I was just in shock that after everything - all the waiting, praying, fighting anxiety... you were here.
I called your Nana and Papa at 4 in the morning with the announcement that I was ready to tell them your name. :) They were the first of many who shed tears of joy one year ago with the words, "Praise God!".

And today, Peyton Grace Elaine, I shed tears of pure happiness for the gift of you.

Your preciousness is magnified one-million-fold because of the events that preceded your birth. I have been changed by God for you. You're sick and cranky with a runny nose... and I am still so humbled and awed by the opportunity to become your mother exactly one year after I had to say goodbye to Autumn.
Happy birthday, my little-love.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18th

Having to wait a full 24 hours after the first induction attempt was difficult. We managed to go uptown the night before and get your Daddy a haircut. I was so nauseous from contractions as I waiting in the parking lot that I literally threw up. (there you go folks! a little-known Mrs Manz labor-trivia factoid!) But those painful suckers faded out around 10 pm - and I was only 2 centimeters.


Day two started slowly. We waited - as patiently as possible. Your Daddy's expressions in the bottom right-hand of the collage tell the tale. :)
I had a feeling God was going to give you to us on the anniversary of your sister's death.
I didn't want that.

When my water finally broke with hours to spare until October 19th, I was ecstatic! Not only was I 6 centimeters, but I had a fair amount of confidence that - like it had been with Autumn - your labor would be swift.

They rushed us down to the delivery room and hooked us up to the monitor that had been so conspicuously absent the year before. It was almost enough to bring tears even through the distracting haze of pain I had until my epidural kicked in. There it was: your little heart beating fierce and strong even amidst the contractions.

In the picture above I'm holding up 8 fingers: that was 8 centimeters. But the nurse discouraged pushing because you were still so high. Daddy relaxed as best he could (tough job to hold down that leather recliner!), and we took a few more pictures: him with "you" in my belly and the monitor in the middle of a contraction. Good times... (rolling eyes)

Anxiously, we watched the clock creep closer to midnight...
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17th

My dear daughter,
One year ago today the journey began. The journey that brought us to meet you: our child of joy restored and hope fulfilled.
We got the call and headed to the hospital - knowing (hoping and praying, actually) that the next time we walked through the door of our house we would have our little girl with us.
The first attempt at induction wasn't the most effective. Contractions - too weak to progress anything, but strong enough to make me very uncomfortable.
The waiting seemed endless. It was especially hard for your Daddy.
... as you can tell. (Sympathy pains, I think...) The nurses we so kind to let him stay with me in the hospital room overnight. I think they realized I was serious when I said (without malice), "If he goes, I go."
But feeling your strong and healthy movements inside me and hearing your heart on the monitor while seeing the nurse's positive and relaxed faces... it was all bearable for the hope of meeting you soon...
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leavin' On a Jet-Plane

We did it!
Our tickets for Hawaii are booked! :-D

After the excitement faded a little, the reality of holding an 18-month old on my lap for 9 hours started to kick in.


The way down isn't too bad: first to Denver (3 hours) then to Los Angeles (1.5 hrs) and then a "short" jaunt to the island (6 (gulp!) hours). At least it's broken down a bit, right?


Coming home means leaving Honolulu at 11:45 pm and flying all night to Denver. We don't get off the plane until 9:30 the next morning. I'm kinda shuddering. What if she is restless and loud? Other people probably want to sleep during that flight...

The blessing of being with my family (mom, dad, 2 brothers and sis-in-law) is helping the anxiety a little bit - but I really am a little nervous. And it's over 6 months away!

We'll have a test-run at the end of the month when Kurt, Peyton and I fly to Vancouver. That's only a 3 hour trip. To quote Kurt: "We'll just have to have lots and LOTS of books."
... AND make sure she looks super-dooper cute, just in case she is cranky. :)
(Did I mention we're flying out of S'toon on October 31st? :-D)

Monday, October 5, 2009

How Did I GET Here???

So I'm 29...



But really?

The closeness of my birthday to the births of both my daughters really set the tone for each of the past two years. I just posted on facebook the reflection that my 27th year was the hardest of my life. By comparison, my 28th was so full of relief and restoration... it truly is like night and day for me. Look at the difference a year can make...I feel no less loved by God because of my 27th - in fact, the remembrance of my 27th is what gives me security and assurance for my 29th. I have no doubt He will hold me through whatever my future holds - because He already has proven Himself so strong.

"Because He lives -
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives...
- all fear is gone.
Because I know -
HE holds the future.
And life is worth the living -
just because He lives..."

But so crazy that I'm almost 30, though...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Tale of Two Bugs

The other day at Superstore they had boxes of bananas that had not been unpacked yet. The bananas that were peeking through the cardboard were bright and fresh and firm looking... unlike the ones on display which were looking pathetically limp and showing some signs of wear and tear.

- and on a side note I was there at 10 am and the fruit was already picked over. Good grief...

Anyway, all the other customers were sticking their hands into the half-opened boxes to grab the fresh, plump new fruit and I was halfway there, too. When all of a sudden I thought, "Black Widow Spider."

Perhaps I am an ignorant Northerner. You know - that one that goes to Arizona or Texas and expects rattlesnakes to be in the toilet? That's me.

I try to not be controlled by these expectations that the locals would label as totally irrational... but geez... don't some Americans come to Canada and expect to see Polar Bears on the lawn?

Ha! You see? I am justified!

I think I've watched one too many episodes of 'Rescue NINE-One-One'. (Remember the way William Shatner used to say it??? Spooky...)

You know: it's that episode. When they zoom in on the little spider that has been uprooted from it's South American home and slowly craawwwlllssss onto the fresh banana and BITES with lighting-fast accuracy the unsuspecting Canadian's hand. And the Canadian woman says, "ouch!" then rubs her hand all puzzled-like and goes on with her business until the coma sets in and the local doctors don't know what to do because it isn't like there are a lot of Black Widow bites in Saskatoon, right?

Well, I all but heard William Shatner narrating as my hand drew near to the banana box.

Suffice to say that semi-bruised bananas graced my fruit bowl this week. Which leads to another issue.

Fruit flies. Fruit flies make me say, "AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!" There is actually one flying around my head as I type so that above exclamation really just happened. It's like blogging in Real Time! Don't you feel connected?

While within the top 5 of things I hate with a passion that could lead to irrationality - they are not deadly. To my knowledge, there have been no fruit fly stories on 'Rescue NINE-One-One' .

Remind me of that as I teeter on the edge of sanity dealing with the little suckers... 'cause I'm wondering if mine could be the first case for mister Shatner.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Breakfast Foods(?)

I probably could give my daughter peas and broccoli for breakfast - but I'd probably gag.
The only veggie I can handle before noon is a hash-brown... and the jury is till out as to whether that constitutes as one with all that lovely grease and crispiness.... 'scuse me whilst I meditate on that for a moment... Yum!

But I digress!!

Peyton wouldn't care. Lets face it: she hasn't exactly been a foodie to this stage. Milk, milk, milk... anything she has to chew is a novelty.

But as I was scrambling this morning to mush together bananas and apples for her breakfast while she howled impatiently from her highchair I mentioned to her that she was lucky I have breakfast standards which don't include squash. Apples and bananas are an acceptable breakfast.

Ironically, I'd eat Honey Nut Cheerios anytime of the day or night... so breakfast food can be carried over. But a chunk of sweet potato in the morning would just feel wrong somehow.

Do so-called "breakfast foods" have a strict cateory in your house?

Anyway... I had better go and defrost the bacon for my supper tonight.
Harvest widows break all the rules. ;-D

It's Harvest! (Expect pictures...)

Family photo - September 2009
(We should have had glasses for miss-squints, I think...)

Visiting Kurt at work.
(Peyton keeping an eye on the dog...)

The truck Kurt was driving that day.

And a glamor shot for all my fans... ;-D
Peyton looks like she's cut in stone, though... chuckle!

With the puppy belonging to the farm we were beside that day.
A perfect fall day... praise God!

Driving with Daddy (not really... just waiting for the combine.)
Don't you just love the sippy-cup dashboard accessory? :)

Waving to Daddy while he was unloading the wheat into the bin.
(And yet he still managed to take a picture for me... what a sweetie!)

Such a happy girl with her Daddy!

My favorite farmer... and Kurt. (lol!)

I must say it is a lot easier to get in and out of the truck this year. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

This is NOT Peyton

But it's so cute I had to post it. :)
(She does this kind of thing, too... but I have a dead battery on my video camera...)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Forget Sports!

I need to find out where my daughter can learn to do this.
I just hope she can teach me...

(You may want to pause the music player...)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good and Better

I have a cold - but the Riders won (big time).
Peyton is having a crying fit - but Kurt is dealing with it in the other room.
Overall? Not a bad moment. :-D

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Girl

My Peyton-of-Grace,
Do you now how rich I am to be your mommy? When I say "I love you" my heart nearly bursts with thankfulness and joy that the Lord has given you to me!
All of you is precious. Your sweet smiles. The way you squeal when you see your daddy. Your babbling. The way you are learning to "share" (although you require it to be given right back to you so you can "share" again.) The way you play "peek-a-boo" with your hands on your ears. Your sleepy actions - rubbing your face in my shoulders and cuddling. Bath and bedtimes. Moody and crazy times... your love for your "Gary-bear". :)
Who am I that I should receive such grace? I am overcome with God's kindness through you, my sweet and miraculous baby girl.
You cause me to glorify God in a way no other gift has ever done... and I am so very humbled.
I love you more than I can express,

Friday, August 28, 2009


I'd like for you to meet the newest member of the Manz automotive family: Our brand-new (to us) 2007 Honda CR-V!
(Okay - it can snow now 'cause I've got my 4x4!)
So this has been a big vehicle purchase year for us - the van in February and the CR-V now... we should be done for a while now, though! :)
(hope! hope!)
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 Months Old

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Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday Peyton found Autumn's bear. She was really quite fascinated by it and proceeded to climb all over it and give it crazy kisses.

As I watched her with amusement, I found myself wishing I could be telling a certain 22-month old that she has to share with her baby sister. The whole scenario played out in my mind - complete with a tantrum on Peyton's part after her sister ripped the bear out of her arms with a vehement, "MINE!". (small smile)

There are some days when the business of life makes the loss feels far away.

Sweet moments with an (almost) 10-month-old and a teddy bear can bring it back close enough to cause tears...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Case Anyone is Wondering Where I've Been...

I guess I should mention that I'm taking a blogging/facebook hiatus. :)

I plan (hope) to get back into the swing of things come fall when things slow down a bit - but suffice to say that we have a TON of stuff going on (nothing bad, praising God...) and computer time is hard to come by.

Thanks for checking, though! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Tale of Two Bathrooms

We have three bathrooms in this house. Odd way to start a post, I know - but stick with me if you can...

When we moved here last year in May, I put all my stuff into the ensuite off of our bedroom - but Kurt decided to keep his toothbrush and other personal toiletries in he main bathroom off of the kitchen because there was very little room in the ensuite cupboard. We've been talking for a while about when Peyton and possible siblings (no! not yet!) start to use that bathroom more often he should move his stuff into "my" bathroom.

But honestly?

I'm kinda selfish with my space. I've got more stuff - and it tends to take up both drawers and under the sink. And since he never really complained about having to go to the other bathroom to put on his deodorant in the morning, it just kinda stayed that way.

But two weeks ago, we bought a toothbrush. Not just any toothbrush. A Phillips Sonic toothbrush. I haven't had this much fun brushing my teeth since I had those little chewy-things in grade 4 where all the guckies on your teeth became obvious. But this brush needs to plug in. So after much rearranging of the limited counter space in our bathroom, we made room for it - mainly because I was tired of going to the main bathroom to brush my teeth. (chuckle)

But that's not the point of this story. (Although it has taken up half a page already.)
The point is that while I was rearranging in order to put the Phillips Sonic toothbrush in our bathroom, I found space for his toiletries. (All 3 of them...)

So this morning - after I brushed my teeth and got happy, and he was finishing up getting ready for the day - I said to him, "I think you can move your stuff into this bathroom now."
He froze, and was like, "Seriously??
(I'm chuckling just remembering...)
And I was like, "Yeah - seriously. I cleared a space in the drawer."

So he went to the other bathroom and got this stuff and brought it back into our room. After he put his stuff in the drawer we just looked at each other and grinned like something momentous had happened. I threw myself in his arms and said what we were both thinking:

"We just moved in together!"

Romantic, no?
What can I say: after almost 6 years, you gotta take the excitement where you can. (lol!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

9 Months Old

... and two more teeth today! :)
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Friday, July 17, 2009

July (holy cow!) 17th

Some stuff:

- Second of 3 weddings to be attended this summer tomorrow. Congratulations Darcy and Sam!

- My girlie cannot decide where she wants to crawl or walk. Her newest thing is holding on to the furniture and then totally letting go - standing there for a while with no hands and then grabbing on to the furniture again and clapping while braced with her elbows. She's oh-so-proud of herself.

- Activia is a rip-off! They say to take the 14-day challenge but only sell sets of 12 and 24. So you HAVE to buy more! I love it though... I didn't realize what a good-tasting yogurt it was. But still!

- We're having a little bit of trouble keeping up with the yardwork with our schedules. Kurt actually phoned the neighbors last night to ask if he could cut his grass after 9pm. They were fine with it - but that was the soonest he could get out there. Sigh.

- I actually like the colder weather. I know the crops are having a hard time... but I feel a lot better when it's mild.

- I've been working more than the previously decided on 1-day per week - but by God's grace it hasn't been too bad. I have willing babysitters, and I work super-close to home so I've been able to go home and nurse Peyton at lunch a lot of days. And my manager and coworkers have been really great about letting me do some half-days... so I can still go in and help with the heavy hours and have either the morning or afternoon off. And Kurt is happy because there is a little bit more money coming in.

- Speaking of money: Does anyone watch "Til Debt Do Us Part"? Well, watching it with Kurt dramatically changed my life. This is typed tongue-in-cheek and kinda whiny.
We are now on a cash-only budget. To say I was reluctant would be an understatement. I love Visa. Don't get me wrong - I'm careful with it and we always pay it off... but what are a few more dollars at WalMart on a Visa, right? Right. And besides - we get points!
But NOW I look at my dwindling cash-stash and think: "Hmmm... maybe I don't need that recipe book today." or "Maybe I should wait until next month to buy some more flower pots." or "I guess I could live without Party Lite for a few months." *Sigh* (the last one is a kicker...)
We haven't cut up our credit or debit cards - it's an honor system and I'm glad Kurt trusts me to not be sneaky. Besides - he gave me the bulk of our 'disposable' cash and only kept a fraction for himself... so that makes up for the crazy idea, I guess. ;)

- I should go walk now - Peyton is sleeping and I've got to redeem the time. The best thing I've done in a long time was start to listen to the bible on CD while exercising. Treadmill time isn't exactly heavy-duty mental work... so I'm get about a half-hour of uninterupted time in the bible - it's just that instead of me reading it it's being read to me. I've noticed a huge change in my prayer life and my appreciation of Jesus grows daily - and as a side-effect my butt is getting smaller! Sweet, right? I know. :-D

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Blood Song

Pause my music player before you start this video. I just want to say that 'gospel/soul' isn't really my type of music - but this video may convert me. (No pun intended...)

Words fail.

I could not even begin to choose my favorite parts - but the "Whooo-oooo-yeah. Uh-h-h." at the start, and the little bum-wiggle around the 1:20 mark are the front runners right now.

Let me know what you think. :)

(thanks for letting me pinch if from your blog, Janelle!)

She Likes to Move-it, Move-it

So all of a sudden I have this little girl who likes to move around all over the house. She isn't exactly crawling - but does manage to get pretty far between bum-scoots, rolling and just general squirmyness. (not a word, I know...)
Exhibit A:The "I tent my bum and spin in circles" move. Very effective for subtle movement which takes Mommy a while to notice."What mom? You didn't see or hear me moving down the hallway? Hmmm - I have no clue how I got here either!"
Exhibit B:
The, "Hey! If I can get my bum on lino I can really slide far!" move.
She had been over by us on the couch and made her way (with purpose) to the kitchen where she could try and pull herself up on the kitchen chair. She didn't get it that time - but the other day I found her standing up in her crib.
Exhibit C:
The, "I don't like to lay where mommy puts me in the crib so I'm gonna sit up and move around until I get so tired I just literally fall over and go to sleep" move. (I don't make these names up, you know... ;-D)I found her at the bottom of the crib all bent over. All I can say is that it's a good thing little kids have almost no stiffly-formed bones and joints - an adult in this position would suffer for days afterward!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rainy Day

It was supposed to have been a yard-work day. But we woke up to rain and a house that was only 21 degrees! So it came down to coffee in our jammies with the fireplace on - and cuddling while watching the Rider game. Our girlie is very happy to have her daddy in the house with us this morning - a rare occurrence!
As I type, I can hear Kurt is trying to teach her to say, "Go Roughriders!" "Touchdown!" and "Yaaaaay!"
I think we should work on "Mommy" first - but whatever...
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