Saturday, January 9, 2010

Life is Too Short

While perusing Facebook today, I found out that a childhood friend had died suddenly. The cause of his death is still unknown, but foul play is not suspected. A medical examiners investigation will take a couple of weeks, but nonetheless, there is a 29 year old man who is no longer with us.

He was only 29. We had known one another since we were infants. Our mom's went to the same church until we were two years old and we didn't see each other again (I don't think) until we were in Kindergarten. I can see it as if it were yesterday though. We saw each other on one of the first days of school - we had different teachers - and RAN to one another and embraced in a hug like only children can. You know....full of unabashed restraint, joy and emotion. We said, "I missed you SO much!" Then we proceeded to tell everyone we were cousins. Yup, we lied, but we were kids and we loved each other as family. we recognized each other is beyond me. I have NO idea. I mean, I really don't think we saw each other from the time my mom found a new church until Kindergarten, but we did.

We were close throughout elementary school, then as often happens, our interests went different ways. We still had some common classes and activities and were still friends, just not close. We chose different extra-curricular activities and therefore different circles of friends. He was still a friend though and SO full of life.

Micah had an infectious laugh and a smile that could brighten your darkest moments. He was such a fun, sweet spirit. An amazingly talented writer. Silly, goofy and caring.

I just wish I had taken the time to email him like I had been intending on. I knew he was on FB, but didn't want to add him without actually talking to him. I've been meaning to for a while, even thought about it last week, but didn't take the time.

So, today....realize that life is short. Sometimes a lot shorter than we expect. Hug your children and your spouse. Call your parents and siblings. Tell them you love them. Don't let out of sight be out of mind. (This is a really hard one for me and allows me to survive being a military family most days.) And if there is someone you have wanted to get back in touch with, by ALL means, do it. Don't wait. You never know when it will be too late.

May Micah rest in peace.

God, be with Micah's family and friends, Father. Give them comfort and peace. Lord, I pray that his life was right with You and that he is celebrating right now. Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Win a FREE Photo Session Kodiak!

So, a bloggy friend - who also happens to live on the same small island and our husbands work together - is an up and coming photographer. Oh, who am I kidding...she already is an amazing photographer. She gets better with every session she puts up on her blog. We've had a session "planned" with her for a while, however the snow has decided not to make an appearance - we want some outdoor winter in Alaska pics. Crazy, right ? Here in ALASKA for cryin' out loud! Don't even get me started how it's colder in TN and FL than it is here.

Anyway....I would love, LOVE, LOVE to win a free session! You could win one too! Visit her blog [Simply b Photos] and enter for YOUR chance to win! Tell her I sent you too. Not that it will help me, but still.

Hopefully the snow will come soon and we can get some great outdoor family shots. We actually want two sessions: one for the four of us and one for us with the Griffin's - of course, they want their own as well, so Melissa, make sure you enter since you are the lucky one.

Oh, and remember to become her fan on Facebook as well for another chance to win!

Hurry! Run, don't walk over to Simply b Photos to enter. The contest ends Jan 15! Go! What are you still here for?

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Just made it with 24 minutes to spare! I have been wanting to post all day, but just haven't gotten around to it. I am going to do my best to be a better blogger this year.

I don't know what God has in store for this blog, or me, or our family for this upcoming year. I DO know that there are going to be a LOT of changes. We will be moving this summer. Where? We haven't been told yet. We are waiting for the ptb to let us know - should be in the Feb/Mar time frame.

The locations on our dream sheet include only those in the lower 48, which will bring us closer to family no matter WHERE we go. This will be nice.

So, do any of you have resolutions for the new year?

I have a few, but these are mostly superficial things: becoming more organized (using the planner from to help with this), blogging at least once a week (not while traveling this summer - I'll do my best then, but can't make promises), getting out of debt (may not be able to pay off my student loans, but we should be close), being a better momma to my precious kiddos by not yelling and spending more quality time with them, and finally, making my marriage bed (sorry if this is TMI for my family, but I really need work in this arena).

I found this website [The Marriage Bed] through a friends blog a few years ago and said to myself, "I really need to do this", but never did. This is the year I DO. Our marriage is beginning to suffer b/c of some issues I have in this area. Not suffer, as in we're rocky or anything, just that I feel that I don't show my kisa love in the way he needs and deserves, which makes me feel incredibly guilty and guilt has no place in a marriage or any other relationship.

Wow...this is really hard to put out there for everyone to read, but I know that I can't be alone in this area, right? Others are going through or have gone through this before? If you are out there, please give me some support and let me know how you got out of the funk.

There are some reasons/excuses for my issues, but I'm going to work through them. My husband knows and understands my issues - which I will likely share at a later time so that I can possibly help others going through the same thing - and doesn't complain or blame me for anything, but I owe this to both of us.

My prayer is that our marriage bond will be strengthened and that we will grow closer to God through this as well.

My spiritual resolutions are made on my birthday (ok, daily - but I make big ones on my birthday) and I'm formulating those now and waiting on God's direction in this area.

What are your resolutions for the upcoming year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Meeting Goals

Tuesday nights in the Koehler household include me going off to my Weight Watchers meeting at 5:30. Usually the kids stay with my kisa, but alas, he had duty tonight. The meetings in which I have the kids with me are always interesting. I think I'm the only one concerned by them, but I'm a bit....anal, I suppose, in trying to insure they aren't disturbing anyone. I fill by bag with a few books and some cars (unless I forget the latter like tonight when that's all my little prince wanted) and pray they allow me to get something out of my meeting.

I've been a member of WW several times in the past few years, but never before have I learned so much and felt like a contributing member of the group. There is an amazing group of women - and now one man, who attends with his wife (a lovely man he is too - this couple spends their Christmas season portraying Father and Mrs. Christmas around the island, which is disturbing to my husband who is worried about Santa being on WW as he is supposed to be fluffy). Anyway....I think it's really taking a toll on me.

Tonight I went to weigh in and during Christmas week I lost 2.8 lbs, bringing my total weight lost since Oct. 6 to just over 15 lbs. I also lost my first 10%, so I was extremely excited. I think I was glowing. However, the kids did well, so they asked for fries for dinner. Off to the drive thru we went and I ate less than usual, but still more than I should have.

I'm trying to determine my ultimate goal. I've been trying to figure it out, but I'm wavering between 125 and 135. I think for now I'm going to leave my ultimate goal up in the air and just go for 135, which is what I weighed when I got pregnant with the princess - after losing 15 lbs with WW.

I feel so accomplished and cannot wait to get started on those next 7 lbs to get to 135. I'm so glad that GOD changed my thought process on why I need to get healthy. I'm no longer just focusing on the numbers, but on actually being healthy and taking care of the body He has blessed me with. I could not do this without him, or the help and support of my amazing husband. He is as excited for me as I am.

Oh, and I have to admit: it certainly does feel good to need new jeans, buy them, then after only a few hours of wearing the new, lower size realizing you should have gone one more size down.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is the Day

Today has not been my finest day. It has just been a really bad day.

The princess (who has been potty training/trained for about 3 or 4 weeks now (I can't remember anymore - I know I'm awful for not keeping up with these things) has been refusing to pee pee for the past few days. I'm talking to the point that she just starts leaking. She always gets so embarrassed and cries when she does it, which makes me feel awful. I hate seeing her sad. I know she needs to go, b/c she walks around holding herself all the day long. She says it hurts, so I sit her on the potty and massage her belly/bladder area and she cries and wants me to stop, causing me to cry, but then she goes potty. Whew. Tonight, while eating dinner, she peed and didn't even realize it, I actually had to say something to her and she looked totally surprised. If this continues for another day or so I may be making a call to the Dr. As an infant she had kidney reflux, but it hasn't given her any problems since, but this CAN'T be good for her to hold it so long. Lovely.

This morning the kids wake up at 6 a.m. Yup. Both of them. This isn't TOO terribly early for the prince, but princess usually sleeps until at least 8, usually I have to wake her up at 8:30. I want to interject that I LOATHE time changes, whoever thought of them did NOT have kids. Anyway, when when we get up this morning, we go downstairs and snuggle for a bit, then I end up being kicked and hit and elbowed and having toys shoved in my face. *sigh*

Ok, snuggle time is over....obviously. Then they start arguing over toys and books and fight me while I try to change a diapers and put panties on a certain little girl - I'm not naming names though.

It doesn't help that when my kisa (knight in shining armor) gets up with the kids he always tells me how good the kids are and how much fun they end up having, even though he's tired and didn't really want to get up with them. WHY can't they do this for me? Every morning is a struggle, it seems.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone tells me how wonderful and well behaved my kids are - even people who don't know me. I know they are great kids, but we've been having some testing of limits at home lately. I'd much rather them test at home, than in public or with sitters.

Back to my day. I decided to make a nice breakfast. I have no idea what possessed me to do this, but I just wanted something warm and not oatmeal. I find a recipe for which we have ALL the ingredients. Yippee!'s only 3 points (yup, doing WW and it's going great so far). Bonus.

I start making breakfast and princess wants on the counter to help. Ok, fine. Then she wants down and up and down and blah, blah, blah. Finally, she has an accident, so I get her settled and run upstairs to find her some more undies and pants and clean up. All the while kisa is sleeping. I'm glad he is though. He deserves it. He is far too good to me and he deserves to sleep in.

He comes down a bit later and attempts to herd the cats - erm, kids - so that I can finish breakfast. Finally, it's finished. It took an hour and a half when it should have only taken 45 minutes. But it's finished and it's an ok breakfast. Princess refuses to eat anything but her apple, but she's not a breakfast person. The prince loves it.

This was just the beginning of my day. It continued on like this all day. We attempted to go for a walk, but kisa and I started arguing as soon as we got out of the driveway, so we didn't walk far or long and I was steaming.

This is NOT something we are used to....arguing, that is. We really never had many of them until we had kids and we had been married over 5 years at that point. It's getting worse, it seems, these days. We discussed it later and realized that we feel all our energy is put towards being "mom and dad" and we just feel like we don't have any left over to be "husband and wife". Not only that...we also haven't done a nightly devotional in a long time and our nightly prayer time as a result has greatly suffered. Any recommendations on couples nightly studies?

After putting the kids down for nap I ran out to the grocery store. I came home with a few things, including a couple gallons of milk. Pulling into the garage, I run into the tool bench, denting it. I think the car is ok, but I'm too upset to look at it now. As I bring the groceries in I realize I'm getting wet and have NO idea why. Then I look down to see a milk trail from the car to the door and milk all over my jeans and shirt. I get inside and and say out loud with a voice filled with tears, "I HATE this day!"

And then GOD spoke. I heard Him LOUD and CLEAR. "This is the day the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

I don't want to hear this right now. I can't find anything to rejoice about today. So I pushed it aside and ignored that thought. Meanwhile, things kept getting worse. The verse came back. Again. And again. And again.

Finally, the kids are asleep and I've been stewing about my day. Kisa and I have apologized, but he's at work and we both are still....not ourselves yet. I hate this. I love him so much and just want to hug him, have him hold me and tell me he loves me that that it will be a better day tomorrow.

So I sit here, at 10:25 p.m. writing this when I wanted to be in bed at 9:30. God had different plans. He nudges me again, "This is the day the LORD has made. REJOICE! Be glad!"

So, why am I glad?

  • I have a Father who loves me and speaks to me and brings me to my knees when I need tonight.
  • I have a husband and two amazing children who love me despite my MANY flaws.
  • My kids tried their hardest to make me feel better tonight by snuggling on the couch with me for over an hour while watching tv (yeah, shouldn't have watched so much today, but hey, I wasn't up for much today).
  • And so, SO much more.

If you made it this far, thanks. Sorry I rambled. I needed to get this off my chest and really have no one to talk to right now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Songbook Sunday

Songbook Sunday is back! I'm not sure I'll do this every Sunday, but hopefully once a month.

This week we sang an oldie, but goodie...It is Well With My Soul. And you know what? It really IS well with my soul! I realized while singing the last verse, that I think for the first time in my life I really do believe with all my heart that it is well. Do I have things to work on? Absolutely! The beauty of it is, that God's grace covers me. Read the words to the last verse with me:

And LORD haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, the LORD shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Is it well with your soul? I pray so. I realized today, that even though it has been a rough week and with all the things going on in the world around us, that you could not wipe the smile off my face while singing praise to GOD this morning. Shouldn't it be like that every day? Not just Sunday's, not just the "good" days? I'm going to strive for that this week. How about you?

Moving on a little bit:

We decided about a month ago that we were going to start taking the kids into church with us for worship, then taking them down to the nursery when the kids are dismissed for children's church. This way they get used to being in service and they love to sing, so they really enjoy it. The first week or two was a bit of a challenge b/c my little prince likes to clap and shout "yay" after every song.

I decided to talk with one of my sisters about how I should get them ready. She suggested starting a quiet time where if they wanted to talk, they could whisper only. We did this every day, starting with 2 minutes (b/c they are 2 years old) and we are now up to 5 minutes. The next week was SO much better. I've now gone two weeks in a row by myself since the husband's been working or gone and they have done great. I'm usually holding the prince since he loves when I sing with/to him while the princess sits on the pew with Peach (our friends daughter) reading a book. She sometimes wants to be held, but not very often. When daddy's there though she will be held by one of us.

I love that I go to church with my best friends - especially since I can't go with family. I love that our kids are "interchangable". The kids move around and sit with ALL of us. I love it. I got choked up on the way to church this morning just thinking about it and how in just eight short months we are going to be moving away. I dread going to church on our last morning. I'm going to be a bumbling mess and they bring families up on the last day to get our "ooo, ahh" gift (I'll explain some time) and have prayers said over us. Yeah, I may just have to skip that.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I have a lot of things going on with me right now. I haven't made a post since July. Why? Eh, I'm not sure. I have intended to sit down and do it, but then something would always happen. Usually I was just exhausted. Sometimes just not feeling very well - been happening a lot lately. An unexpected trip out of town. And just LOTS of soul searching.

Let me start off with the unexpected trip. I received a phone call from my dad at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, July 5 informing me that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night. I'm SO thankful that we made the trip out this past Spring to visit and that she was able to see the kids for the first, and only, time. I loved that they brought a smile to her face. This wasn't an unexpected phone call, but a sad one nonetheless.

Funny though, I haven't cried once about it. I think my initial reaction was to cry, but I went into flight/trip planning mode and pushed the reason out of my mind so that I could find a flight. My husband was SO understanding. He was out of town for work and I got myself and my two toddlers packed and flights arranged from AK to FL in a few hours and was home less than 24 hours after the phone call. I'm so glad that I could be there for my dad and it was great to have that time with family.

Take time to learn from your elders, ask questions. You never know when they won't be able to answer you any longer. I think the reason I haven't cried since is because my perspective changed. While I miss her on this earth, I know that she is happy, healthy and square dancing with Papa in Heaven. I know I will see her again one day.

As for not feeling very well - I've been sick pretty much all summer. Nothing major and nothing that anyone else saw really, except for my husband, but not doing well. On our 7th anniversary (Aug 10) we had to come home early from out date b/c I was sick. I got scared enough to call the Dr and luckily she had a last minute cancellation right before I called. Ok, so LUCK had NOTHING to do with it. It was a complete GOD thing. I went in and she referred me to the general surgeon on the island.

He wanted to see me that day, but it was too nice of a day and we already had plans to go to the beach with the family. So I went the next day and have a test scheduled for this coming up Wednesday. Please pray for me. They have an idea of what may be going on, but I'm praying they are wrong. I don't want to go into details right now, but please be praying for me. The test isn't anything too major and I'm not really worried about the testing, but more about the results. I do know that even if it is what they suspect, it can be dealt with, it just won't be fun.

I'll get to the soul searching in another post. It's a long one in and of itself. Just pray for discernment as I seek God's will for my life.

Meanwhile, we have been picking berries and enjoying any sunny days we get here as this will be our last Alaskan least for a few years.

I do plan on being back more often now and will make my next post very soon.