Monday, July 23, 2012

Celebrating and Crying...

We woke up on Friday and Mama needed something stronger than her normal cup of coffee. We loaded up in the car and headed to Starbucks. 

We've been known to do this in our pajamas. 

That's what a drive thru is for. 

We had plans of going to dinner for our anniversary on Friday evening.  I'm not even going to lie.  Until Alex told me on Thursday evening that Friday was the 20th...I didn't even realize what day it was.  That's the life of a stay-at-home-mom.  The days run together.  I of course knew it was my anniversary when I knew the date but I felt bad that I hadn't made plans for a sitter.  We decided we would take the girls with us.  A romantic dinner...just the four of us. :)  But then my sister, Joy called and asked if she and my brother-in-law could watch the girls for us!  We said yes.

Amelia told me later that evening, "Mama, I had a great time at Aunt Joy's." :)  

Here we are about to leave for dinner.  16 years together...I sure do love this man. 

We made reservations at YaYa's.  This was our first time to eat there.  We had the Mahi-Mahi and Roasted Chicken.  It was perfect.  We had the creme brulee trio for dessert.  Vanilla, Chocolate, and Maple.  The chocolate and maple were my favorites.

While eating dessert we received a phone call that just broke our hearts.  Alex's friend, Denny passed away unexpectedly.  He had a heat stroke.  We weren't able to finish dessert at that point - we both were having a hard time holding it together in the restaurant.  Denny was only 32.  He leaves behind a wife and 4 young children.  Heartbreaking. We have shed so many tears this weekend.  The thought of this young mother all alone to raise their babies...I start crying again just thinking about it.  I do know this...God is good.  He's good all the time.  And even though I can't see the good right now...I'm trusting Him.  He's my anchor.  And He'll be the anchor for these sweet babies and their Mama too.  Will you please pray for this precious family? 

 Alex went to spend some time with Denny's family on Saturday so the girls and I stayed around the house.  Amelia walked in and asked if Sydney would like to come to a tea party on her bed.  She made cookies and everything.  Sydney of course said, yes.  We would hand Sydney her tea cup and she would take it straight to her mouth.  And chew on it. (LOL)

Alex needed some cheering up on Saturday evening, so he decided to take Amelia on a date.  He let Amelia pick the restaurant for their date.  She chose Big Orange. Shocker. :)  They stayed out until 10:00 P.M. She had a great time and I think it lifted Daddy's spirits too.  Sydney and I hung out at the house and had a little date of our own.  She's so stinkin' sweet.  It's hard for me to put her down these days.  She's laughing and "talking" and just lights up when you look at her.

We love our girls to pieces and spends loads of time with them but after receiving the news about Denny...we found ourselves not wanting to let go of our girls all weekend.  We let Amelia lay in bed with us to fall asleep, we hugged them just a little tighter, and gave more kisses than they could probably stand.  We aren't promised tomorrow, folks.  Make the most of every day.  And know where you're going when this life is over.  I'm thankful we will see Denny again.  He's in a much better place than we are and there's a big part of me that longs to be right there with him. This earth is NOT my home.  

My Uncle sent us these lyrics this morning from Matthew West's song "The Reason":

Maybe the reason for the pain
Is so we would pray for strength
And maybe the reason for this strength
Is so that we would not lose hope
And maybe the reason for all hope
Is so that we can face the world
And the reason for the world
Is to make us long for home.

Alex gave his message through tears this morning but he made it through.  I was proud of him. The worship time really ministered to our was exactly what we needed.  I'm so thankful for our worship leader, Rachel.  We had some sweet visitors that actually came up and prayed over Alex after the service.  They could see his heart was hurting.  Believers coming together to worship, to hear the Word, to encourage each other, to pray for one another...that's what church is all about.  So simple yet so necessary.

We headed to Bravo for brunch afterwards.  Amelia had a great appetite and ate really well.  These days, we just never know if the child is going to eat or not.  Sydney had a bottle before our food came and was all smiles from there on out. Doesn't take much to keep her happy.  Full belly and clean diaper and she's set. :)

We headed to Target after lunch to buy Amelia some new pajamas.  They only had one pair so we'll be heading to Carter's this week.  I can't believe she's wearing a size 4 in pajamas...she's two years old!  She is so tall.  She has been waking up with holes in the toes of her pajamas because she's too long for them.  She had several pairs but we've had to throw out all but one. Here she is in her new pajamas before bed. :)

Well, it's time to give Sydney her next bottle.  She's off her schedule today so we're doing a midnight feeding.  After that - bedtime!

Love to all,

Friday, July 20, 2012

16 years together...

Today we celebrate 16 years of marriage. 

Thank you for being my best friend.

Thank you for being an awesome provider.

Thank you for showing our girls what a Godly man looks/acts like.

Thank you for always opening the door for me.

Thank you for changing dirty diapers.

Thank you for being patient with me.

Thank you for telling me I'm beautiful every day.

Thank you for knowing when to just listen.

Thank you for finding ways to make me feel special.

Thank you for always letting me have the last bite of dessert.

Thank you for choosing what's right over what's popular.

Thank you for loving me so well.

I'm proud to be your wife.

I can't imagine doing this thing called life with anyone else but you.

It has been a wonderful 16 years.

Looking forward to another 16 right by your side.

 I love you with all my heart. <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Motherhood is...

Over the last few weeks I've found motherhood to be quite challenging.  Amelia is at an age where she is really expressing herself.  She's showing that strong will and in turn, I'm finding lots of teachable moments throughout our days together.   Lots of instruction going on up in here!

1 Timothy 1:5: "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Yesterday was one of those days.  I felt very defeated by the end of the day.

I honestly felt as if I had run a marathon. 


On gravel. 

And came in last place. 

I had zero energy left by the end of the day.

I sat in the bathtub and cried.  And then got out and cried some more.

I was trying to explain to Alex how I felt and all I could get out is, "this is my job...these girls are my job...and I feel like I didn't do a great job at being a mom today." He reminded me that it was just one day.  Ya know...that my mom-career isn't over.  I get a second chance tomorrow.  And the day after that.

I'm new at this Mom thing.  I mean, I feel new at it - my girls are 2 years old and 4 months old.  I certainly don't feel like I have the whole parenting thing down.  I'm sure I never will.

I know how to care for my to comfort to spend time with to have fun with to put them first.  These things come easy to me.

It's the discipline part that I'm learning. 

The teaching part. 

The part that is going to determine what kind of big people they grow up to be. 

Kind of a big deal. 

 Hebrews 12:11: "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."  

I certainly don't know how to handle every situation and I find myself overwhelmed some days.  I called my Mom last night and she was encouraging as always.  She reminded me to laugh because what happened yesterday was serious but at the same time funny.  I needed to laugh. 

These two girls aren't expecting me to be perfect.  They just need me to be consistent.  Consistent in love, in my time with them, in discipline, in saying I'm sorry when I'm wrong, etc.  Consistency will create the security they need in their lives. 

1 John 3:18: "Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth."

1 Corinthians 13:13: "But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."

I'm finding myself in prayer a lot these days.  I need wisdom.  I need patience.  And then I need more wisdom and patience. :)  God knows my heart.  I just love them so much and I don't want to screw them up. (LOL)

Motherhood is the hardest job I've ever had, yet it's the greatest job I've ever had.

I'm thankful for this job.  I prayed to have this job for many years.  It's a precious gift.

Love to all,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Sisters, sisters

There were never such devoted sisters

Never had to have a chaperone, No sir,
I'm here to keep my eye on her

Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing

All kinds of weather, we stick together

The same in the rain and sun 

Two different faces, but in tight places

We think and we act as one

Those who have seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us...

There's just something special and unique about a sister relationship.
I hope they're best friends when they grow up.
Just like I am with my sisters.

Love to all,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our weekend...

This post really covers our Thursday-Sunday!

Shelby came over on Thursday afternoon to play with Amelia.  She made her a friendship bracelet. Amelia thought that was pretty cool. :)  After Shelby goes home, Amelia will say, "I sure miss my friend, Shelby" for the next two days.  It's so sweet.

We ate out way too much last week.  I was busy finishing up things for a baby shower I was throwing for my sweet friend, Niki, so I didn't really feel like cooking.  Alex was good to me and just took us out to eat.  We let Amelia pick the restaurant on Thursday evening.  She used to always pick Cracker Barrel but lately she wants to go to Big Orange every time.  They have the best burgers and homemade potato chips.  They use local ingredients which I love.  I had the Farmer's Burger.  It had a fried egg and a huge slice of heirloom tomato...YUM!  Amelia and I shared a strawberry shake after dinner - I'm fairly certain she drank more of it than me!  I'm also fairly certain I won't be losing this post-baby weight if I continue to eat burgers with fried eggs. Worth it?  Right now I'm gonna say....yes! :)

We celebrated my nephew's birthday on Friday evening.  Pryce is now 14 years old.  So hard to believe.  My nephews and nieces are growing up so fast. I remember changing their diapers like it was yesterday!  My sis and I start crying just about every time we start talking about it.  There are days that I really wish my girls would stay little forever.

I hosted a baby shower on Saturday morning for my friend, Niki.  She's expecting sweet Nathaniel in September.  On my Mama's birthday, actually!  It has been forever since I've thrown a shower for a baby boy. It was fun!  I'll have more pictures/details/recipes from the shower to post this week.  I had to borrow my friend, Hillary's camera since I still haven't bought a new charger for my camera.  I must do that this week!

Alex took his girls to Bravo on Saturday evening!  This is our new favorite.  We went there on our date night and saw it was a kid friendly place, so we were comfortable taking the girls this time.  Amelia ate SO WELL.  One thing I've learned about having a toddler...they eat when they're hungry.  I try not to worry on the days that all she will eat is applesauce, yogurt, and cheese.  She enjoyed some fried ravioli and then ate a lot of her pasta. 

Her favorite is spaghetti noodles with butter.  She won't eat red sauce or alfredo.  We were impressed/surprised that she has now learned to feed herself spaghetti!  She would twirl the noodles on her fork and they actually made it to her mouth!  She also wanted to keep her napkin in her lap the entire meal.  She's growing up.

I've noticed that people really watch when we take the girls into certain restaurants.  The tables without kiddos almost cringe sometimes when they see us being seated beside them with a toddler and baby.  I always want to tell them, "no worries...they'll behave!" (LOL)  Amelia has started sitting in a regular chair at some restaurants since she's too big for some of the high chairs out there.  She has done so well with staying in her seat.  She sat in her seat the entire meal at Bravo, so we let her sit in our laps when dessert came.

Speaking of dessert.  We had the Ghirardelli chocolate cake.  It had a layer of ganache, whipped cream, and also chocolate whipped cream.  AMAZING.  I would have licked the plate but thought it might draw attention to our table.

We headed home after dinner.  We ended up sitting in the garage watching Polar Express in the car!  Amelia didn't want to get out - she was glued.  We've been watching lots of Christmas movies lately.  Christmas in July!! :)

We went to church this morning and I'm proud to say - we were on time!  A little early actually.  Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this two kiddos thing. Or maybe I should wait and see how next Sunday goes before I claim that. :)  We took a long nap after was SO NICE.

We've been playing games this evening.  I may or may not have yelled "IN YOUR FACE" when I made a match during a game of memory with my toddler.  Alex looked at me like I was insane.  I felt that was a good time to step away and let Daddy play. (LOL)

I'm so happy that tomorrow is Monday.  Our lazy/pajama day.  My laundry room looks like an explosion of towels/clothes went off. I know how I'll be spending my Monday!

Love to all,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our weekend...

We had a busy weekend! 

We actually had a busy week which is rare for us.  We're usually just at home every day but that wasn't the case last week.

This week we're busy planning a baby shower for our friend, Niki!  We can't wait for Saturday.  We love sweet Nathaniel already.

This pic is of my sister, Joy.  Her church went last week to minister to the Burmese community in Kansas City.  Joy has the gift of hospitality.  She loves to cook and have others into her home.  She was able to show the Burmese ladies some recipes and they fixed them meals while there.  They asked the ladies what they wanted to do the next day and they asked for more cooking classes. They wanted Joy to show them how to make hamburgers.  Every time I look at this picture it reminds me that we all have different gifts...different gifts that we should use to minister to others. It's so important to find out what your gifts are and use them...don't let them go to waste!

On Friday we had a play date with our sweet friends, Hillary & Sadie.  The girls had cheese pizza & apple sauce and I made chicken cashew croissants & strawberry romaine salad for the Mamas. 

After two years of car shopping - Alex shocked me with a new car on Friday afternoon!  I knew he had an appointment to see about a car but after two years, you just assume it isn't time yet. :)

I absolutely love it.  It has so much more room than my Altima.

This is a picture of him hanging a bell in the garage so I don't run the car through the house.  When my windshield hits the bell - that means STOP. :)

He knows me well.  I can barely park an Altima.

We made a Target run and Amelia found these hats on a shelf.  She asked Alex if he wanted to be a part of her pirate crew and was constantly asking, "WHAT'S THE SECRET PASSWORD!??"

He would say, "YOHOHO!"

She obviously watches too much Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

She was looking for pirate's treasure through her "binoculaters" as she calls them.

He got some looks in the store but Amelia loved that he wore his pirate hat right along with her.

He's a good Daddy.

Amelia woke up Saturday morning and her cousin, Kandace was here!  She was a happy girl.

After a morning of donut holes and playing...we headed to our niece's birthday party.

The girls were excited!

Laila turned four years old!

Amelia found a guitar and played us a little song.

Sydney hung out with Aunt Sandi.  She turned 4 months old over the weekend.  I told Alex she's going to be toddling around before we know it.  Wish I could keep her small...I love having a baby.

Laila loves dinosaurs and wanted a dinosaur party.  I love that my S-I-L, Jen did this for her.

A lot of Mamas would have talked their girl into having a princess party instead, but not Jen.  Laila had a huge smile on her face with every dinosaur gift she was adorable and I loved seeing her so happy.

She incorporated a little pink into the mix.  It was all so cute!

The cute cupcakes and bottled water.  The take-home was Dino Munch! :)

They had a coloring table.  I loved this idea and will probably use it for a future party.

Amelia colors every day - several times a day.  She loves it.

It was such a fun party!  Jen did a great job of making it special for Laila and her guests.

We were on pins & needles this weekend - waiting for the news from Chad & Faith.

We got the phone call on Saturday evening...they're expecting TWO BABY GIRLS!!!

We're beyond excited for them and can't wait to start shopping!

Saturday was a very hard parenting day.  We were all exhausted by the end of the day.  I'm telling ya, parenting a 2 1/2 year old is not for wimps.  I so desperately want to do right by my children and even more importantly, I want to do right by God.  It's such a great responsibility that He has given us.  Bringing up these two precious girls. I called my Mama on Saturday for parenting advice...she always has words of encouragement for me. 

Despite a hard Saturday, we woke up all smiles on Sunday and ready for a new day!  Her smile is one of the best things about waking up every day.  She always greets me with a smile on her face when she walks into our room in the mornings.  If she doesn't...I know something is wrong. :)

It was a great day.  The message was exactly what I needed. 

Our friend, Tyler was working the sound and took this picture during worship.  That's Amelia and her Daddy.  This picture makes me tear up every time I look at it.

We headed to Olive Garden after church to celebrate my M-I-L's birthday. This picture makes me laugh.  There was a long wait but the kids did great - thanks to iPhones!

Alex watched the girls while I had dinner with girlfriends last night.  We celebrated my friend, Heather's birthday. It was so much fun to get together and just laugh.

I've been working on my Daily 7 today.  The house is a wreck after this weekend. We do very little housework on Saturday and Sunday...those are family days for us.  That means Monday is our day to catch up!

After Amelia did her daily chore (bringing trash cans out of the bathrooms to empty) - we made strawberry muffins.  A great start to our week!

It's going to be a good one...we've already decided. :)

Love to all,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All About Sydney - 4 months!

Sydney, you're 4 months old!!

Stats at your 4 month doctor's appointment:
Weight: 14lbs - 9.5oz 

Length: 24.5"

You're wearing size 3-6 month clothing.

You wear a size 2 diaper.

You're still being swaddled.

You're still in the bassinet beside Mommy's bed.

You're always so happy as soon as you wake up!

You're eating about every 4 hours during the day.
You're taking 3 bottles of formula a day and nurse 3x's a day. 
You're taking 6oz per bottle.

You take your last bottle between 10pm-11pm and sleep until 7am every morning!
You're taking a 3 hour nap in the mornings and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.

You love your bumbo seat.

You rolled over for the first time this month!

You sure have a smile that lights up the room!

Mommy thinks you're such a sweet girl.

Your sister loves you so much. :)

She loves to hold you and give you loves.

We love you so much, Sydney!