The day to day, comical happenings and sweet moments from my life as a nanny.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moving

Well, well, well...this whole, not having internet thing seems to be hurting my blogging consistancy.
So much has happened in the last three weeks and so many times I have had stories that I've wanted to get on and share, but alas...traveling, moving, working and not being up to date with technology has continued to slow me down in the blog world.

A few weeks ago I was at camp with our youth group (which I wrote about earlier), then went from there to Cincinnati to nanny for the week and then on to Louisville to meet up with Angie at the last Deeper Still conference (which was incredible).      The conference was something that I wanted to share about for some time because it held so many special moments for me on so many levels. I missed the session the first night, BUT I did make up for it by getting to hang out with Angie, Melanie and Sophie....who all provided me with some wonderful laughter. A much needed night of good conversation and humor. If you haven't followed any of them on their blogs you most definitely should!  

The next day was filled with incredible speakers, fellowship with my sweet friend Sarah and even a quick backstage run in with Beth Moore....my goodness that woman radiates Jesus to everyone she comes in contact with. phew. incredible.
I've been lingering in the lessons taught that day by Beth and Priscilla about taking sabbath, the gifts each generation has to offer and the need to be united not in competition in ministry.

So good.

I over-all it was a great weekend to lead into what was lying ahead. I got home and my roommate and I moved and what was supposed to be a nice, organized, slow move turned into a frantic, unplanned overnight move.

Long story.

 Moving is never uneventful when it comes to me and Jenna.  We have been best friends since Freshman year of college...which will be six years in October. We were also roommates throughout college and to say we have moved together is an understatement. Not ony did we move in and out of dorms every year, we've also moved from states away to get here and since living here have moved several times. Not a single move has been easy or uneventful.

So after getting stuck in a hail storm,
video

wading through a flooded parking lot,


spilling paint,
discovering a broken counter,
 taking a break to test out pillows and spend a gift certificate,
getting rocking chairs stuck in doors,

 keeping Little Ceaser's in business for a week,

   and frantically trying to find a truck last minute...of course all with the help of some awesome friends we got our whole apartment painted and everything moved in on time. We may or may not have shed some tears through the process and made some promises to never ever move again, but through it all we are constantly reminded that the little frustrations in life tend to be the things we laugh about the hardest and our most treasured moments as friends together. It's the adventures that make our story what it is.


Now we are waiting for living room furniture and staring at piles while laughing through the memories of how we got here.

I AM so excited to share our apartment transformation and am trying to be real patient. We are on a very tight budget but wanted to switch things up...since we had the same decorations and lots of mismatched things collected from college and the last two years. I am a lover of projects and decided to take on the large project of re-doing all of our furniture and creating a whole feel using very little money. So excited to share the results with you all.


I also have some other news that I have been keeping under wraps and I'm getting closer to being able to share it with you...some big plans and big step of faith coming soon!

Also in the big news area....WE'RE GETTING INTERNET! Hurray. So I can finally start blogging more.
That's it. My quick little update on why I've been M.I.A.
Gonna go work on changing my address, pretending there are no boxes to unpack while I enjoy a day off by the pool catching up on life. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"My girls"

This is way over-due, but I have been dying to share some very special pictures with you of some very, very, VERY special people in my life.  Before I do though let me just brag on them a little bit...is that ok?
good.

well, if you don't want to read through the bragging you can skip on down to photos. ;)

So I get to spend my days with five precious little girls. Four from one family and one from another family (nannying for two musician families keeps me constantly on the go). Not only do I get to spend my time with these girls, but I am beyond blessed to get to spend time with their parents...especially their moms. I seriously go home at night and spend the drive thanking God for placing such wise, spiritual examples in my life.

I began working for the family with the one baby girl just over three months ago and I already feel like I've known them for years. So much of that is because her mom takes time to really invest in conversation and dive into what is going on in life. Lately we've been going to Cincinnati (well, Florence KY actually, but Cincinnati sounds more exciting) once a month for a week, so we gets lots of time to talk. I am constantly blown away and so ready to take in her story and her wisdom. Love them so much. And if you couldn't tell already I am slightly obsessed and adore their precious daughter.

Now the OTHER family I have been nannying for, for over a year and they truly feel like my Nashville family. I mean who goes to their boss' house in their PJs at 10pm to watch Toddlers and Tiaras?? (don't judge us...the psychologist in me just loves analyzing the people in that show).

They are very special to me to say the least and I am honored to have them in my life. The ministry that Todd and Angie commit their time to and the transparency with which they live life is a constant example of how we as Christians are called to live. I have learned so much from them  and continue to learn and be challenged through the way they live their lives.  

Now their girls....they mean the world to me.  Each one has such a unique personality and to have spent so much time now watching each of them grow and start to discover their own likes and dislikes, emotions, preferences, etc is so much fun. I could write a book about each one of them so instead I'll just say they are each incredible and their own little ways.
They are going to be some incredibly talented, tender hearted girls just like their parents(did I mention the outfits they're wearing in the photos were made by Angie? shhh don't tell her I'm bragging on her).

So anyway, I was so excited to do an official photo session with them, because the only other official one we had done was Charlotte's newborn photos....a year ago.

Crazy!

Where did the time go?

I was going to just pick a few to show you, but then I started stressing out going through the hundreds we took and the favorites started piling up. It seemed to be easier just to throw them all together, add some cheesy, sentimental music and make a slide-show. 


Here they are sorry there are so many and it turned into a ridiculously long slide show, but I've been dying to show off my gorgeous girls and they are way too photogenic and expressive to just choose one of each...




video

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Created to Serve

So far I'm failing at this whole "regular blogging" thing. We are constantly checking our budget and scraping the last of the pay-checks to pay bills and internet just isn't on the list. Oh the days of being a college grad trying to make it in the real world.

My "normal" life (which is far from anything normal) had me sitting in a 24 hour laundry mat today in Florence. KY with a baby to entertain and gross camp clothes in the washer....


I tried to take advantage of the wireless and get this written, but of course when the baby wakes up and needs entertaining and the only outlet is back behind the arcade games....it's pretty much insanity. I looked just a little strange and out of place with my fancy computer, ringless finger, hyper baby and sweat dripping down my face...just thought you should have a nice vivid image....

Seriously why do they not put air conditioning in a laundry mat...I mean with 20 dryers running and 105 degree weather outside...I was sweating like a pig.
Do pigs even sweat?
I dunno....




Isn't she adorable?

ok focus.



 So this past Thursday we packed 100 kids in a hot school bus and headed for the middle of nowhere Kentucky for a hill billy themed summer youth camp.


Sounds exciting right?

Well when you describe running around all day in the hot sun, listening (and watching) high-school drama play out, keeping middle schoolers in line, and doing hand-checks throughout the whole thing it may not sounds exactly like the best way to spend a weekend. At least I wasn't so sure it's how I wanted to spend my weekend.  

Until....

I did.



Now not saying there wasn't drama, hand-checks and pesky little middle schoolers. There were. But I truly loved every minute of it. It reminded me of a promise I made back when I was in High School. I made a promise to God that if He ever opened the door for me to walk alongside and speak into young students' lives that I wouldn't walk past with my eyes blinded, but instead would jump in head first  and be the person to them that I always wanted in my own life.




We did some crazy things and heard some crazy good messages. Small groups were awesome and the girls dove right into getting real with each other and dealing with some tough issues. I was so proud of them. I learn so much from them and their passion for life. While at the same time I try so hard not to get frustrated when I see them walking down destructive paths, heading for heartbreak...I want so badly to fix it and have them learn from my mistakes instead.

Phew.

What a good lesson in patience and giving it up to God.

Deep down though,
These kids are amazing.

 I have never seen such a close-knit group and I've never seen High Schoolers lead and welcome in Middle Schoolers like this group does. I was truly sad to have to leave early and miss out on any part of the experience.  That one break through, that one heart-felt discovery, that one kid that has finally broken down a wall is worth every bit of boy drama, gossip, and tough confrontation.  Not to mention summer camp is a great excuse to bring out the youth in you. I mean when else does a 24 year old get a chance to play on a giant slip n slide, go tubing,  or plan pranks without being called completely immature?




I had a blast.

And despite being covered in sunburn, bruises and not being able to move a single muscle without pain (my goodness I think I'm getting old)....I feel completely refreshed and ready to continue walking with my girls and encouraging them as they face hard decisions and situations in their young lives.


Someone made a comment today about me coming straight from youth camp to nannying out of town for a week and how I'm called to work with kids.
Such a simple comment, but it struck me smack in the face.
So many times I try to run away from what I do best and what I really do enjoy doing. I get it in my head that I have to do more things that are age appropriate for a single, child-less 24 year old and that I need to try to step out of always playing caretaker.  Then at camp, without thinking, I fall into taking the role of camp nurse, making sure kids are drinking water and listening to people joke about me being "Mommy Kelsey" or "Nanny Kelsey".
 For some reason I take it as a bad thing, but it's who I am.
It's who God has called me to be.

And I love it.

I like serving with my hands, getting dirty, comforting people, guiding young people. I don't mind  blood, cleaning cuts on feet, changing diapers and getting baby-food spit at me. It really doesn't bother me. 

I realize that as much as I tell my youth girls that they need to not worry about what other people think and they can be what they feel God calling them to be, not what other's tell them to be....I do the same thing. I listen to all these people tell me I need to just live a life more appropriate to my age and I listen.  
Don't get me wrong, there is some truth to it and I need to learn to take time to myself, hang out with people my age and seperate myself sometimes. But I need to remember I am an all or nothing person and be aware when I'm thinking in extremes.

Extremes are not always the answer.

This weekend was a good reminder. 
Balance can be found. 
I can fully be who God created me to be and use the gifts and passions He gave me and still take time to myself. 
Funny how quick I can lose sight of such a simple concept. 


Anyway it's a crazy two weeks.
Now I'm ready to get home...from camp I was picked up and headed straight to Cincinatti with one of the ladies I nanny for and her sweet baby girl (see photos from our past trip below), and from here I get dropped off with Todd and Angie and their sweet girls in Louisville...then finally home on Saturday night...only to move that week.

phew.

never a dull moment.

Maybe one day I will know what "normal life" is.

maybe.
or maybe I don't want to.

So that is my update....so very deep I know...but felt I needed to at least give a little update on life and share some fun photos.

Be looking for a slideshow from the Smith family photo session!!! Working on it now and going to get it up this week. Such a beautiful family, so dear to my heart.

I am so incredibly blessed.

*F.Y.I. the pictures lately are taken from my phone...I know, I know...I'm a photography and I love photography...but lately it's just too crazy to be dragging a big camera around. I need full use of my two hands to chase after kids so my phone has become my new best friend. Don't be judging the bad quality pics....although I do love instagram :)*