Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Night

The past few days have been interesting. Yesterday Matthew napped ALL day I had to actually wake him up because it was almost bedtime. Today he napped 30 min and cried all day. And these past few days, every waking moment he wants to nurse. ALL DAY LONG! I really think it is a growth spurt. I put him to bed tonight and and hour or so later he woke up hysterical till he was fed. So. All that to say. Goodnight. I will be blogging about Christmas once I find a moment that my baby is not ripping at my shirt and fussing all day. GOOD NIGHT!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

True Identity

I have been meaning to write about identity for a long time. It is the topic I have struggled and battled with personally for so long. And I cannot think of any other way to explain it than through my personal life journey so far to the most recent discovery of my identity.

I don't really know why I was the target, but elementary school and middle school were awful for my little heart. I was the quiet nice girl. So, I was the target of awful awful teasing. My mom said I would just come home crying all the time. I could never be mean back and I am still thankful for that. I remember a girl actually telling the entire 5th grade class to not talk to me and they all listened. Just because I was the new girl. I remember reading an old journal entry saying that I had no friends. So sad. I really would have been such a nice friend to someone. I know once I got to middle school which was my first time in a public school, I was instantly made fun of because I was the pastors kid. I remember someone calling me a b**** the first time they met me and I had never even said a word than maybe "hello" to them - in 7th grade. I was made fun of because I didn't swear, because I didn't make out with boys in 7th grade. Seriously, soooo silly. I was called a poser once because I had the same shoes on as someone else. I never even knew they owned them. Anyways, let me tell you. It was no fun, those years. I just wanted to be at home with my loving family.

Then something shifted in about 10th grade. I started to run. I made varsity soccer in 10th grade after being off a year with my knee surgery and I ran. I ran and ran and ran, and I never stopped, it seemed. I started to get in shape. I started to get really skinny. Then guys began to have little crushes on me and it felt nice. I didn't date any of them until my junior year if I recall. I found the "perfect" guy that everyone thought was nice and cute and we proceeded to date for 3.5 years. I started to feel amazing and I started to stop eating. The lack of nutrition was never encouraged by anyone close to me but complements from outsiders surely fed into my ways. My family and my boyfriend's family kept a steady eye on me as I look back, but dating this guy, and staying as skinny as I could started to become my purpose and my obsession. I would wake up at 5:30am and take a short 3 mile run on the treadmill before school. After school I would either go to soccer practice or go on a 5 mile run. If I ate something crappy, I would run again. I wouldn't go out somewhere unless I had my run in. I would run in blizzards. NO JOKE. Like a Western New York snowstorm. Ok, so sometimes I miss that motivation. I would run on Holidays or else I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy the day. I then got to be soccer captain and somehow got Homecoming Queen. I got soccer awards naming me the "energizer bunny award" and "the forest gump award" . It felt good and from an outsider I looked like I had it all together but on the inside I was dieing. I just wanted to somehow feel ok if I wasn't perfect at something, but I just never could. My high school relationship soon blossomed into marriage talk in my first few years of college. Then God clearly told me in one moment that he was not the one and that as we were good for each other he had our lives on different paths and he would have people even better than we thought. Heartbreaking to say the least but probably the best thing that ever happened to me. After I moved a state away I had to deal with these insecurities. I was no longer a girlfriend to the popular guy, I was no longer able to find the motivation run more than once a day. I was confused and spent many nights on my bed in dark depression just crying out to God for answers. In the midst of all this, he began to put new passions on my heart and I started to see outside of my tiny little world. I started to discover more of him, outside of my church denomination, outside of my frame of thought. I grew a heart for the poor and for the nations. With many missions trips to follow, molding me in so many ways, the World Race strikes me as one that will have forever changed me. The girls on that trip did not allow any negative talk about ourselves for the year we were together. By the end, I learned my identity to be in Christ. My identity is not in any title other than that I am God's Redeemed Daughter. THAT will never change. Any other title I have has the potential to change but I will always have a place in God's kingdom. I will always be loved and given an outpouring of grace. I can make mistakes and I don't have to be perfect. I married a man who has challenged me in many ways. He does not allow false identities to come into my mind. I for once can say I feel no need to comment on my weight in a way as to degrade myself. I can go without running for a while and be just fine. It took years to break this. YEARS! It has only been in the most recent months that I have felt this secure in who I am. I have never been more joyful even when I am not perfect to the world. I know my God loves me and that is what matters. It is a freedom I longed for and I Know it now. YAY!

Friday, December 23, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

are my two front teeth.

That is right. Matthews two top teeth have both popped through this past week.
Just in time for Christmas. Just in time for some better sleep during the Holidays! OH YAH!
Oh. And they are so cute!

On top of that, he is now pulling to standing, climbing up to reach into his toy box and throwing a little ball, not just rolling it. It is pretty cute. I love playing with him so much.

Salsa and Christmas

After a visit from my new friend Melissa yesterday and a fun night of Salsa dancing with a friend last night, I am officially ready for more fun in the next few days. Mikes brother and his wife are here from New York and I am sooo excited. They have not seen Matthew since he was just a little little baby since his visits are rare from being in the Navy. So excited for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Watching His Childhood

I want to observe Matthews days, and think to myself, "would this be a childhood that he would grow up positively talking about later in life?"  My husband and I both liked being kids, and I am ever so thankful for the home life I grew up in. My childhood sometimes is just as familiar to me as yesterday. I can still smell and remember feelings from my childhood. I could write a book series on memories I have. I loved everything about being with my family. We are all very content with where we are in life now, but we often talk about how much we miss the days of being together as the Bickel clan because it was so wonderful. I don't want to go back, however some days I miss studying on the counter with hot chocolate with my entire family in one room, talking, hysterically laughing, fighting over clothes, talking deep, exercising, eating, loving, playing music, playing games together, creating, reading, with so many friends constantly in and out. It all happened together. And I pray this for my children too; that life in the Murphy home would be a place to create a positive childhood.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Oh. And my awful blurry pictures, are all from my flip phone.
YES! I still have a flip phone.
I am not responsible enough with my phone to have anything more expensive.

A Murphy Favorite

A Murphy favorite stopped by for part of the day today. 
I could never refuse a cookie dough date with the famous Caitlin.
She made her way from Georgia for Christmas and we were so stoked to see her.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Dancing Christmas Time

I love the good old Christmas music. 
But I really love newly created beats. 
Matthew and I dance a lot and so this new found Christmas song is perfect. 
You really cannot help but dance. 
I mean, Matthew and I don't hold back.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Double Whammy

Matthew just developed a cold AND is finishing up cutting his top two teeth.
So basically sleep has been a bit rough. 
Poor little person. 
But, it is pretty awesome having a little guy just digging the cuddles today. 
OH was he digging it.
They were full of kisses and hugs and his head on my shoulder, all initiated by him. 
I just love how he shows affection nowadays.
It is only 7:30, but yes, I will go to bed.
Who knows what the night will look like.


Yesterday was just what I needed. After spending some alone time with my niece and nephew while Mike watched Matthew, I was able to come home, put Matthew down for his nap, and get excited for Kara to come over. Kara will always be in my life. Even though we went three years without seeing each other last, after living together for college and becoming the closest of friends I will forever feel like we were just hanging out the other day even if it has been a while. We can completely be ourselves around each other which I feel is so rare. I can be quirky, weird, serious, corny, forgetful, surface, and deep with this girl and 100% relaxed. She has always made me laugh and feel loved. I was so happy that she made the hour or so trip to come and see us. It was fun to talk about our many memories, the recent past, present, and future.

Well, when not taking care of her farm animals one of the perks about this girl is her brilliance in the art of Physical Therapy. I studied with her in school and I am not joking when I say she is brilliant, out of the box, supernatural gifting in healing people. She won't take all the credit, she knows God has given her knowledge that she cannot explain. The waiting list to get in with her is long and she isn't afraid to admit how much she is worth in the field, honestly, in the most humble way ever. Well the girl worked on me last night, and I feel like a 12 year old kid ready to play soccer after she realigned my body. Not only that, but my jaw is so much better after being locked for 3 months. YAY!

I love her and Matthew and I cannot wait to go up to her farm this summer when it is warmer and Matthew can appreciate the horses. =) Happy for friends.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


A Letter

Dear Baby Matthew,

Oh my goodness! You are getting to my emotions today. I am full of joy just thinking of all the little moments in the past few days. Yesterday I was laying on the floor with you and you crawled up to me and pursed your little lips and gave me a big wet kiss on my lips. Then you backed away and gave me the biggest smile ever and spit out your tongue and wrapped your arms around my neck. Seriously? Seriously. Uhh. I love you. 

And then today. Watching you be all sweet at moms group and just sit there so calm and take in all the craziness from all the older kids. You are just so sweet and I know you will be such good friend to so many other kids.

Today you also melted into me and hugged me and just cooed and hummed to yourself while we just let each other know just how much we loved each other in that moment. 

And then, just today, your third tooth is peaking through those gums, you learned how to crawl up the one step from our family room to the kitchen and now you are babbling, not just making squeeky noises. And I heard you say, "ma ma" three times today. I was so proud of you for finally figuring out that step you have worked so hard at and then to crawl over it, look at me, and go "ma ma ma". I don't know if you know what you are saying or if you just found a new sound, but it brought tears to my eyes and makes me feel like a piece of heaven just fell in our home. With all the love and blessing you bring I am sure that more and more of Jesus' character is being revield through your unconditional love to me. 

Oh baby Matthew. I cannot express how much I love you. And I want you to know that I will always love you no matter what decisions you make. No matter how your life turns out, I will always be so proud of you, just by the way you love. THAT is what matters to me. That you know how loved you are and daddy and I just cannot stop telling you that because you need to know. I heard a story of a father saying before that he didnt love his daughter because she could dance, or because she had pretty hair, or because she was funny.  But he loved her because she was her. Same for you Matthew. My love for you will never be any more because of how you look or how smart you are or how much money you make or things that make you seem awesome to the world. I will always love you just because you are YOU. Just because you are Matthew. Jesus has given you such a big heart and I know he will use it for such great things in His kingdom.

I love you Matthew. I couldn't ask for more right now.


Mom's Group

Matthew and I went to mom's group today at my friends house since we had the car. Such a great time. He loved it and loved watching the other kids. He is going through so much developmentally and it is really nice to see how he interacts with other kids. He is such a sweetie.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Next Thing

You were all right. All of you who told me that with a baby, you think you figured it out, and then the next thing happens and they go and change on you again. I just cannot believe how quickly those things happen. Mostly true since he turned 6 months. But my goodness. I remember my mother-in-law saying, "you will think you have the perfect schedule, and then they start teething, or something else." Last week I would have told you I wanted 6 children. Matthew was sleeping almost 13 hours at night. He would coo and sing himself to sleep in his crib for both his naps. I could predict what times he was ready to go down and he would nap LONG. It was 5 days of pure bliss. Then, Saturday, something happened. I don't really know what it was. But it has progressively turned into hysterical screaming at nap time even if I hold him, if i put him down in his crib, he pulls himself to the rails and shakes them back and forth while screaming. I don't know, but I see those little white spots breaking through the top of his upper gum, and he has also learned how to get himself on his knees and just seems so restless during nap time. I just figure that I should remain happy happy mom today and hope it rubs off on the little guy. But, it has been a great few days with my sister. We had a fail attempt at some cookies, but it was great to catch up. Have a good rest of the week!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Last night mike and I sat across from each other with Matthew in front of me and rolled his ball back and forth. Now he sits by himself, opposite from one of us, and rolls it back and forth all by himself. I cannot believe my little 8 month old does that already. But it is the cutest thing ever.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oh Fun!

This weekend has been great so far. Yesterday my dearest friend, Natalie, came over. We go way back to the days we would go running and roller blade for hours and spend the evening eating fruit and talking and laughing like crazy about everything till we were too tired. I miss her and it was wonderful to have her elegant presence over here to meet Matthew and catch up.

Today our little family went out for more Christmas shopping and I got to take a TWO HOUR nap this evening while Mike got Matthew fed, bathed, and put to bed. What a nice treat; however, I am WIDE awake at 10:30pm. Oh well, because I had the energy, I was able to energetically worship and dance and do some wonderful inspirational projects.

Tomorrow night I will finally get to visit my friends Detroit apartment for a grand time at her party and then my little sister will be staying with us for the next few days. Wahoo!

Little Mister Murphy is just the sweetest and we have had some great family time. 
Here are a few shots of his last few days.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

house goals and mother teresa

ME: My next house goal is to make our bathroom organic.
MIKE: My next house goal is to make frozen pudding pops.


ME: If Mother Teresa was still here, I would totally have her be our babysitter.
MIKE: Mmmm. I'd require a background check.


my little sister has worked with kids for years as a career. so she gave me some great ideas to do with matthew in the inside this winter. we started with some finger painting today. im not gonna lie, he hated it at first because it wasnt food.  when i put him in the highchair he was so excited to eat at first. have i mentioned he would eat all day if he could?  but, eventually, he had fun moving his fingers around the paint, he will eventually get it. i like tomorrows activity we are doing. i read it somewhere, i cant wait to try it out.

gosh he is growing so fast.
and he is just so handsome.

on the move

I took Mike to work yesterday so that Matthew and I could spend the day out. Because of the work distance, Matthew was in the car for 3 hours yesterday. needless to say, he screamed the last 45 minutes yelling "get me out, I just want to mooove." Sad. I wanted it to be an enjoyable thing for him to be out. It was for a bit, but man was he whooped from being stuck in the car seat. But as you can see above, he was happy to be back in our living room crawling around. And in the leaves; how cute. I love him. He is the cutest ever.

Lessons From A Life Coach

In California, I met a couple who both are successful Life Coaches, and a lot of other things. They write books and have radio shows, and are very very successful. They are so passionate about moving forward. Counseling is great and has a wonderful purpose in healing, but they said there is just a point in life, where you move on from the past and move forward. My sister went over a few things she learned from them and one always stood out to me.

Small goals. Small goals. When we are focused on one big huge monster of a goal, when we fail at it, you jump back to the start. But if you are constantly making and reaching small goals and you mess up in there, more than often, you just go back a little. For example. Health. I could say, " i want to be healthy, so let me write a list of everything I need to do to be healthy." so I decide, to be healthy, i will eat this this and that and dont eat that or this. And i will drink 8 glasses of water, exercise 5 times a week, make sure my food is organic, make sure i dont eat past 7. on and on. well when one thing on that list fails, it all fails, if you are trying to accomplish the list. so instead, i say, for the next month I want to drink 8 glasses of water a day. make a habit of it, and then move onto the next goal of exercising 3 times a week. and on and on.

I am a dreamer. BIG TIME. i think of a lot of things that i want to do in life. But it stops there. I get stuck. I spend so much time thinking of the final product that I don't even get past the thought. So for a while I know that it has been time to set myself small goals. i can tend to come up with big ellaborate lists of life goals and things i want to accomplish, but i know for me, as I pray, I must start with one small thing at a time. I think every week i will set myself one goal. I have to keep it simple for myself or I get caught up in the "list." Each goal i will set a reasonable time frame and move forward. And hopefully any of my family and friends reading this can hold me accountable.

This is never about me becoming more successful for "me", I pray that all things I do in life bring Glory to God and have purpose in his Kingdom and can be used to bless others.

MY FIRST GOAL: This will be done by Monday morning. I went to be a Physical Therapist Assistant and worked as such for two years. I want to stay home with Matthew but work a few hours here and there on the weekend. I love it, I love taking care of people, and it just is good to keep my skills up. Well, to do that, I need to get some simple paper work in the mail and to the right people to get my license official in the State of Michigan. I have taken MONTHS to get this done and all I need to do now is send it and answer a few questions on a mini open book test. SO EASY. So that is my first goal. Get that in the mail and stop thinking about my next goal till that is done. whew.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Little Guy

My love for Matthew is so intense.
I just want time to freeze so we can just always be together.
That is really just how I feel right now.
I love how tight he holds me.
I just cant get enough.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crawling For The Winter

Matthew decided to start crawling today. He even attempted to go up a step. Apparently he was pretty motivated. I didn't see any signs of him getting past the little belly scoot, but out of nowhere, he popped up on his hands and knees and off he went. It got a ton faster as the day went on too. One moment he is sitting on the floor in his room while I put his clothes away and the next I look over and he is off to the living room. It has begun, and we cannot go back now. =) I love it.
Also, because of the energy he is burning, he doesn't stop eating. That is not an exaggeration. He only stops if we take him out of the highchair to give him a break to do other things. 

But Christmas time is coming, and Matthew is not interested or impressed with anyones tree or decorations, including ours. Which may be a good thing with the crawling.

And here are a few of my first Winter thoughts as I was driving home tonight in the snow.

* I DO NOT miss having to get in the car in the morning for work in the winter. Perks of a stay at home mom.

* "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" ???? MY GOSH. Can I say MORBID?

* I miss the anticipation of snow days when I was in school; however, I lived in Western New York in those days, and we had double the snow as we do in Michigan and had WAAAAY less snow days then they get here. But I was thinking, if we decide to home school our kids, I will definitely let them have snow days if the school district we live in has one. I mean, that would be one lame part of homeschooling; not having snow days. But we will.

* I know people hate snow. But seriously, it is one of the most beautiful things ever.

* Driving safe in the snow takes on a whole new level with a baby.

* Christmas time is awesome. I love hot chocolate.

That's all for now. Happy decorating.

The Weekend

I had a blast this weekend. Went out to dinner for my friends birthday and got to decorate a bit, get our tree, and watch "Elf" with some friends. This morning I feel like someone took a brick to my head tho. Did not have a good start to my day, but I am praying for redemption, hardcore. And today my son has been playing and making loud sweet sounds in his crib this morning, and even tho it is awesome, i wish he was quiet about it so i could keep sleeping.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Small Life

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void" - (from the movie, "youve got mail")

Right now, my life seems small. Example. Tonight was a more eventful night. I got out of the house and made my way to the dollar store to pick up random Christmas craft ingredients to DIY my Christmas decorations this year. Well, I guess if you move a million times in 3 years, you are more at risk for missing boxes with Holiday decorations. That would be me. Anyways, we do what normal people do. Wake up, feed the baby, husband go to work, make dinner, decorate for Christmas, talk to my family on the phone all the time, blog, do the dishes, go to bed. Mundane? sometimes. Mostly not. It's simple. Small. VALUABLE. You see, since after I graduated High School, I was always ready to experience the next thing after the next thing. It started with hurricane relief, then sierra leone, then skydiving, than road trips, then climb some mountains, than the east coast, then guatemala, then the world race, then don't stop moving, get married, have a baby. Now, in a house, with a baby, a husband, pinterest, and meal planning. But as I think about this seemingly "normal" life, I am more confidant and content then ever. See before, I felt as though life was pointless unless I had a plane ticket always purchased. For once, I am letting God bring life to my doorstep. I don't need to hop on the next plane to have a valuable life; however, never a bad idea. Right now, he is building up dreams and passion in my heart that I never knew I had. I had no idea I could be a good cook. I had no idea how creative I could be - because you just have to be when you are home all day without a car. I had no idea how much I love organizing. I had no idea more and more how much I want to make people comfortable. As the Lord brought a friend to reside in our basement for now, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve, in this seemingly normal life. To serve him in the ministry of caring for my home and my family. I was telling my friend today that sometimes we need to take small steps before we just try to leap to a major goal. Like I would love to have a house full of children who need a home and love. But God knew, he knew, that at first, I would struggle with just having one. He is building me up as his plans for my life unfold everyday. My life is abundant in His love. This life is simple, and I am content even when I know he has given me dreams in my heart that look different then how I live today. But I believe in his promises and can rest in the NOW, and enjoy what he is doing NOW. So when you feel like your life just feels too simple, too normal. Remember, you are not just a normal person to God, you are unique, and he has a plan stirring up for you in the mundane. Just pay attention to what he is doing within you and let his love make your life full and abundant.