Thursday, December 22, 2011

Because my previous post left much to be desired, here is some recent adorableness to clean your palate so to speak.
Muh enjoying a bite of his sister's Christmas tree cake.

My little elf girl in front of "her" tree.

On Stinkhorns

There is a lot of good stuff being written on blogs about Christmas right now.  So, in lieu of adding my completely inadequate two cents to the holiday mix, I'm going to write to you today about a war I'm currently waging in my yard.

For starters, it's almost 80 degrees outside today.  Today, December 22nd.  It's also humid and perfect weather for plants.  Many of them are confused.  Our poor little azaleas are already blooming.  It's also perfect weather for fungus or every kind.

About a month ago I started smelling what I thought was a dead animal somewhere in the woods around our yard.  The next day, Els brought me a handful of some salmon-colored something as I was unloading the car.  Two and two were put together when I realized that she smelled awful.  It was that stuff in her hand that smelled like dead animal!  But, what was it?  Upon closer examination I discovered that our flower beds were riddled with what looked like mushroom-sized salmon aliens growing out of the ground.  They were the culprit.  Not only did they smell of carrion, they were covered in flies.  What the heck?

Stinkhorns.  My nemesis.  I do not exaggerate when I say that for the next few days I was so nauseated by these abominations that I could barely eat.  I wanted to puke every time I walked outside and I could not even look at them.  A quick internet search revealed that I was not alone in my plight.  Although some people inexplicably revere them, others, like me, battle with them, and the only solution is to dig them up, tie them up in plastic bags and throw them away. Eggs and all.

Oh yes, I said eggs.  B and I have decided that stinkhorns have included everything evil and disgusting in their make-up.  They are definitely a result of the fall.  They begin innocently enough as little white eggs just under the surface.  Then they burst forth into all of their salmon octopus/alien, green slime-oozing glory.  Did I mention that they smell like death?  They smell like death so that they can attract flies to spread their spores.  I have a friend who says that hell must be covered with stinkhorns and no-see-ums.

So, every day, I walk our flower beds and dig these things up along with any eggs I find.  What can I say, I lead such a glamorous life.

Why do I write this?  Two reasons:  1-To add my voice to the stinkhorn haters out there.  2-If there is someone who reads this who has done battle with these things and won, please, please tell me what you did.

That will be a great Christmas present for me.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Born is the King

If you haven't heard this song yet, you should.  It's had me dancing around the house, in the car, etc. for the last couple of days.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

All Things New

Els:  Mama, what comes afta winta?
Me:  Spring.
Els:  Oh, but we're not on that page right now.
Me:  Right, what page are we on?
Els:  Fall.  (pause)
Els:  Mama, what comes afta night and day?
Me:  Well, babe, they just keep going around and around.  Night and day and night and day.
Els:  No, it goes night then day then summa, then fall, then winta, then Nana's house!

Yesterday I had a killer headache.  They thankfully only happen every once in a while but, oh, when they do I am down for the count.  All day long I could feel it building.  When I take the usual painkillers during the day and nothing happens, I know I'm in for trouble.  B put me to bed shortly after the kids were down for the night because there was nothing else for me to do but try and sleep it off.  I had taken the daily limit of medicine to no avail, and so I knew the Lord Himself would have to heal me.  In the merciful darkness, I prayed and then finally slept.  At one a.m., I awoke, covered in sweat but without pain.  Whenever this happens, I always feel new.  It's hard to explain but basically, when you feel like someone is driving a spike into your head, when that stops, there's no way to feel but new.

I was thinking about this the other day while dusting.  How providential of God to use a chore I despise to bring me truth.  So, there I was, dusting B's night stand when I noticed an etching.  "I love J@$&*#."  A little background for this.  Other than our beautiful, handcrafted bed, our bedroom suit is the same one that I had in high school.  The same one my parent's had when they got married.  The same one that my great-grandfather made.  So, long story short, I permanently carved "I love so-and-so high school boyfriend" in a night stand that is now my husband's.  God redeems all things.  He knows what is best for us.  Always.

And again, I was reading through my journals from college recently when I came across an entry from July 10, 2002 where I was begging God for a husband.  And I was being specific.  I had met a guy that summer at a camp where we both worked and I just knew that he was the one for me.  Except he had a girlfriend.  So, in this entry, I was pouring my heart out to the Lord, begging him with all that I was to somehow make this man fall in love with me.  I was heartsick.  (I actually remember this night now.)  Anyway, in God's divine mercy and love, on July 10, 2004, I married B and not the guy from camp.  (I'm actually not sure that I've ever seen him again.)

He makes all things new.  He redeems all things.  ALL things.  Even the heartached etchings and ramblings of a silly, silly girl.  Therefore I have hope.

"And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'"
-Revelation 21:5a


Monday, November 28, 2011

My Boy is 1

A year ago today we brought a seven pound buddy home from the hospital.  Two days ago we celebrated his first birthday.  I can't believe it.  Where does time go anyway?  First off, he had a BLAST turning one because it meant food.  And if there's one thing Miller loves besides his mama, it's food.  We celebrated with all of his favorites - pickles, grapes, and PB & Js.  He also had two cupcakes and I think he may still be on a sugar high because he has barely napped since then.  (Where oh where did those two to three hour long 10-month-old Miller naps go?)  Miller (and his sister) loved getting all kinds of new dump trucks, cars, and balls to play with.  We finally have some proper little boy toys in our house.  All in all, it was a wonderful day of celebrating our little man!
He loves balloons too!

Thrilled birthday boy!



Monday, November 14, 2011

I keep sitting down at the computer and writing semi-posts and I write them all the time in my head.  The problem is, when I say "I keep sitting down at the computer" I mean "I sit down at the computer, oh, maybe once a week."  So, nothing much happens from me on these here interwebs.  Fortunately, there is much happening here OFF the computer screen.  Days are shorter, but thanks to good-ole' "fall back" nights are also shorter here too.  Still.  Also, thanks to the four teeth Miller has gotten in the last week alone his naps are not predictable and rarely long enough when they happen.  He's currently crying it out because I know homeboy is tired.  (Oh the necessary evils of babyhood!)

As for the good news, after this week, we will only be buying diapers for Miller to wear at night.  He wears cloth diapers during the day and Els is out of them.  Also, no more formula!  Hallelujah!  I don't think that Miller is wild about cow's milk yet, but he's usually slower about adjustments than Els was.  Often, these are the things that fill my days.  Diaper changes, trips to the potty, naps, attempts at naps, snacks, attempts at meals, etc.

Though it may sound monotonous, our days are filled to the brim with excitement and wonder.  That's the joy of having one child on each border of toddlerhood.

So much else to tell, but we may just sack this nap attempt today and get outside.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hi There

My name is Kels and I'm turning into quite the delinquent blogger these days.  We went on a big tour of the South if you will over the past week and a half and neither my house nor my brain has recovered.  So, here I am, not putting away laundry and blogging.  There's a lot going on in and around our life these days and I am left to ponder and pray (while constantly picking up toys so we don't break our necks) and generally wonder.  Instead of trudging you along through all of the gory little details, here are a few snippets from Magee-dom.

This is the view of our back yard between about 7 and 7:15 am.  It's breathtaking and I've been seeing it a lot more lately since I'm *trying* to get up before my kiddos.

Els' first haircut.  She was a champ!

Muh had chocolate cake.  Before his first birthday.  Oh, second children.   Needless to say, he loved it.

We have been finding Els asleep in various places and positions lately.  This is one is my favorite. 

While in Georgia we got together with one of my college roommates and her children.  Els wanted to hold "her baby" like her friend.  

This face.  We see it a lot and it's usually accompanied by growling.  This kid is ALL boy.  
Also not pictured by order of the management:  B has been doing P90X, diet plan and all and he is looking good folks.  (Not that he didn't ever, but what girl doesn't love a few more muscles?)  He forbid me to put up pictoral evidence, though.

And, we got to see a whole lot of family over the past week in Mississippi and Georgia but I'm pretty much terrible at taking pictures, so we don't have many.  It was a great trip and we're thankful that B got the time off to go with us!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

B is for Birthday

Our favorite man about the house hit a big milestone this past week.  I won't tell you which it was, but it wasn't the 2-0 or the 4-0, if you get my drift.  We had a cook out for him on Saturday which, through absolutely no planning of mine, had a theme.  Not only did we grill brats and burgers, B brewed his first batch of all-grain pumpkin ale.  It was all topped off with a giant pan of baklava from the local Greek restaurant.  In short, we celebrated B's birthday with brews, brats, burgers, and baklava.  We had a little chuckle about it.  If only this were Sesame Street.

Happy belated Birthday Babe!  (Ahh, I can't stop myself!)
Yes, we're in a cemetery.  It's a national one that overlooks San Diego.     

Here's the birthday boy with his favorite girl.

This buddy loves his Daddy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

That Tuesday

All day, my mind has constantly wandered back to that infamous day.

It was a Tuesday, a beautiful Tuesday morning at Wingate University.  My best friend/roommate and I didn't have class until 10:30 am, so we had both slept in a bit and spent the morning talking and leisurely getting ready for the day.  Usually, we listened to the radio, but I had just gotten Caedmon's Call's "In the Company of Angels" CD, so we rocked out to it.  I clearly remember that I was wearing my favorite blue capris and a white t-shirt.  My hair was still short-ish from a spur of the moment cut a few months earlier. The day was starting as perfect as possible.

At about 10:15, we finally descended the stairs outside to venture to class.  A friend of ours walked up to us wide-eyed and said, "Someone just flew a plane into the Pentagon."  Now, this guy was a generally goofy person and tended to say things for shock value, so my first impression was 'yeah right.'  But there was something about the seriousness in his face and desperation in his voice that made my stomach drop.  What?  I walked a little faster to my statistics class and found out that the world had changed.  I'm sure my reaction was similar to yours.  Shock, disbelief, utter astonishment, fear.

Classes were canceled for the rest of the day, but for some reason, cross country practice wasn't.  Although, running hard up and down the hills of a nearby farm with some of my closest friends was comforting that day.  It was normal.  We had known it before.  The only other thing any of us had done all day was stare dumbfounded at televisions which played the crashes and crashes and crashes on a loop.

What was going to happen next?  That was the biggest question on my mind.  Fortunately, I had already planned a trip home the following weekend.  There was a lot of construction on 85 South in those days.  I remember crying as I passed crane after crane draped with American flags.  When I returned to school on Sunday night, my roommates and I made a big flag out of construction paper and hung it in our front window.  We cried, we hugged, we prayed.


We hoped.


"We've no abiding city here:
Sad truth! Were this to be our home!
But let this thought our spirits cheer;
We seek a city yet to come."
-Lord's Day Hymn-We've No Abiding City Here by Thomas Kelly

Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy Birthday, Meme!

It's our dear Meme's 74th birthday today, and to celebrate, Els colored her a picture.  I attempted to take a picture of she and Muh holding it, but, as you might imagine, getting a 2 year old and a 9 month old to sit still, look at the camera, smile, and hold a sign, was a tall order.  Here are the out-takes:
1

2

3

We love you, Meme!!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Cuteness


Oh Miller-man, how I love you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Isn't it Love?

B and I were afforded the opportunity to spend an entire 6 days in San Diego earlier this month.  It was amazing.  Not only were we kid-free, we were on the West Coast, and were able to spend a lot of time with some dear old friends.  One night we had dinner with some sweet friends from TBS who are now stationed out there.  Having been married for a little over a year, they decided to ask us "old marrieds" for advice.  This sounds awful, but nothing came to my mind immediately.  The past year has just been such a roller coaster for me in all aspects of life and I've spent a good bit of it feeling like a complete failure at everything, I felt like the last person anyone should ask advice from.  But then it hit me and I told them that the most important thing I think I've learned about marriage in the past seven years is that love is a choice.  The ooey-gooey, touchy-feely, lovey-doveys fade fast and you must wake up everyday to the same person and remember that you made a choice to love them and choose to love them again that day.

Love is found in the day to day.  The making of meals and beds, the cleaning up of kitchens, bathrooms, tables, etc, etc.  I am finding that this is true of parenting as well.  I've been pretty open about my struggles during the first bit of Miller's life and I find that the longer I simply take care of him, the more and more I love him.  With every diaper change, every bottle shake, every time I rock him, every chorus of "Sweet Afton" that I sing, my heart is drawn closer to this little man who I at one time thought had made me crazy. Even now, as I listen to him "cry it out" for naptime, I love that him.  (The same is true for Els too, I am just using Miller as the illustration.)

We are called as mothers to lay our lives down for our families everyday.  And then get up the next morning and do it again on whatever sleep we were allotted.    

D.C. Talk had it right.  Love is a verb.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If You Feel Like a Failure At Something

First of all, just don't.  And here's why.  About a month ago we made the switch to cloth diapers.  I know, I know, it's a little late in the game, but it's honestly something I've thought about doing since before Els was born.  Fast forward two and a half years and I'm finally doing it.  Nobody ever accused me of early-adopting.  On with the story.

I've done pretty well with the whole "dumping the poop in the toilet" thing.  Once you're a parent for any length of time, poop just doesn't gross you out as much.  I find I deal with so much of it on (sometimes) an hourly basis, it just doesn't phase me.  So, I change Miller's diaper this morning and put him down on the floor while I dump said diaper's contents out and flush.  I turn around and Miller is wiping something around on the floor.  Also used to this.  He spits up a lot and plays in it before I can get to him sometimes.  As Jeff Foxworthy once said, "Moms'll clean up things that would gag the Roto-rooter man."

You can see where this is headed.  Oh yes he did.  He was playing in poop.  His own.  What's more is he had it on his face and, get ready for it, in his mouth.

Long story short, if you're feeling like a failure at something today, consider my tale.  At least your kid didn't eat his own poop today.

Unless of course he did.  In which case, laugh.  That's all you can do.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

You Just Do

Sometime during Els' first year of life, B and I started looking at one another after she went to bed and saying, "Man, I love that girl!"  We just couldn't help it, we were both just spilling over with love for the little bundle of life and energy that she remains this day.  So, it was only natural that I wondered while I was pregnant with Miller how I could ever love him as much as her.  When you ask someone with more than one child about it, they say, "You just do."  Great.  How does that help?

I am finding that it's a question that only experience can answer.  I just do love Miller-man more every single hour.  He's hitting that really fun, active stage and his personality continues to emerge.  I've made no pretenses about how hard the first six-ish months of his life were.  Now, I wouldn't take back a single second of it.  That little man has stolen my heart for good.  The bitter of life makes the good all the more sweet and I praise God for this good time.  

All that to say, as much as you love your first baby, you love subsequent children the same.  They are all blessings in and of themselves.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rumor Has It

video

We may have been listening to a lot of Adele here lately.  And we have a cat named Rumor.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Why

I've been doing much much thinking over the past month or so since my head kind of began to come out of the fog about why this happened to me anyway.  One of the hardest things about admitting that I was depressed is that I have always considered myself a happy person.  But, like I mentioned before, a defining factor of my experience with depression is that I didn't feel anything like myself.  Sometimes I felt like I was watching myself go through the motions of life from the outside.  I kept thinking, "this can't be me."

Anyway, moving on to what I think may be a big part of the "why" of my situation.  Miller hates nursing.  I know it's weird, but he has since he was born.  I had such a good experience with this with Els, I was so excited to do it again with Miller.  So, when he was about three weeks old and started screaming bloody murder every time I fed him, it literally broke me.  In pieces.  But I kept on with the madness, mostly because of my stubbornness (which I'm not saying is a good thing), for five more months.  B and my Mom begged me to wean him, but I bull-headedly would not give up.  It was crazy and stupid and now it's over. Miller never liked nursing anymore than in the beginning and I nearly drove everyone close to me crazy.

Words I NEVER thought I'd say are, "I feel so incredibly free now because I feed my baby formula."  But I do.  Bottom line, how I feed Miller for his first year of life is one of the first and smallest of many, MANY decisions I will make for and about him.  The most important thing is that we're happy now.  We don't all cringe and I don't get pits in my stomach every time Miller's hungry.  Chances are, he'll never know or care whether he was nursed or bottle-fed.  We could not be closer if that child was an extension of my arm.  He is a Mama's boy if there ever was one.

And, good Lord, if that child was any cuter, I don't know what we'd do with ourselves.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I'm still trying to figure out how to follow up my last post.  Thanks for listening and {hopefully} not judging.  It is the desire of my heart that my story helps others as it comes out little by little.  Thank you all so much for your comments and emails, I am going to personally respond to them all in time.  Part of how I've dealt with life over the last months has been not responding to much, but now I want to.  I need to.  So I will.

Things are settling back to normal around these parts after lots of time away in June.  Miller taking morning naps in his bed at 7 months finally and time with friends here all feels like grace upon grace.  We have lots of plans for our little family in the coming months, so we'll see how the Lord directs our steps.  Crawling, pottying on the big girl potty, building a patio, and always beer brewing, etc, etc....

Happy Fourth!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming Clean

There's a reason why I haven't posted as frequently over the past seven months or so.  Well, actually, there are a lot of reasons, but they are mostly to do with a certain little man who is currently taking my heart by storm.  But the real reason, the one I was talking about at first, it makes my heart beat a little faster to think about actually writing it for you to read.  Admitting it.  To the public.  So here goes.

Postpartum depression.  Yep.  It's real and it's ugly and I've been suffering from it since about January I think.  And, yes, now it's June, which is five months later, but it's taken me this long to admit it.  I had to get to the bottom of the pit before I wanted out.  The beginning of this year was such a black hole for me, I felt like I was literally drowning all the time and for no reason at all.  When Miller had RSV and was in the hospital and decided that he hated nursing for some reason, something inside me just broke.  I cried, I panicked, and I did not sleep a whole lot.  For months.  Every day felt like a drudgery and I spent my time treading water, gasping for air.  The person in the mirror looking back at me was a complete stranger.  Last month, I finally had had enough.  I couldn't take it anymore, I didn't care a lick about the stigmas I had attached to depression.  I wanted out.  And here I am.  Living, breathing, laughing, actually reveling in the life that God has given me.

Why do I write about this?  Sympathy?  No.  Judgement?  H*@! no!  I want you to know that if you ever feel like this, have felt like this, ever do feel like this in the future, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.  Lots of people deal with this every day.  Depression shouts at you that you're alone and awful and will never escape.  But you can.  I did am.  Everyday is a struggle to choose joy and life, but it's so worth it.

Please let me know if you want to hear more about this.  There's lots I could share, but I had to start somewhere.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad

When he was only 21 years old, my dad became my dad.  I'd like to think that, like all new parents, he was terrified, but I'm sure he didn't show it if he was.  If I know my dad, he jumped into parenting with abandon, head first, and gave it all he had.  Twenty nine years later, the same is true.  In all honesty, I don't really have the words to adequately laud my dad.  I love exercise because he does, I love reading because he does, I love learning because he does, but, most of all, I love the Lord because he does.  (And as an aside, I cannot think about my dad without thinking of you too Mama.  So, just for you and everyone reading this, know that she is included in everything I say about him.)  For years my parents have gotten up early early to pray and I can't think of anything better they could have done/could do.

Thank you for giving everything you do 110%, Dad.  Thank you for pointing us to Christ at every turn.  I know you're not perfect, but I couldn't dream of a better earthly father.  I want to be like the Jesus I see in you.

{The picture is of my and my dad and Miller-man on the day he came home from the hospital.}

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Milestones

My kiddos are hitting milestones left and right these days, thus the total lack of blogging lately.  Most of my "free" time is spent trying to get one or both of them to nap.  That said, I thought I'd jot down a snippet of what's going on around here.

Els continues to say everything that we do and everything else that she can think of.  The child could (and sometimes does) literally talk to a wall.  The coolest thing she's started doing lately is singing.  To my utter joy and delight, she knows most of the little songs that I have sung to her her whole life and she sings them back to me now.  A personal favorite is "Tinkle Tinkle Wittle Ta-wa."  Also, the girlfriend is all but potty trained.  She still wears a diaper at naptime and bedtime, but sometimes even those stay dry.

Miller-man has hit the six month old point where he just does something new every day it seems like.  In the last two weeks he has gotten his first tooth, started sitting up on his own, and is eating baby food twice a day.  I am positive that he will rejoice the day he no longer has to nurse or take a bottle.  He wants our food now and only humors me by drinking most of his nutrition.  We joke that we are going to have steak for his first birthday.  He is still the smiliest Mama's boy that's ever been.  .

Well, that's it for now.  I hear a rousing chorus of "Mama, Mama, Mama" coming from Els' room.  She's still in a crib.  Not ready for that milestone yet!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In The Night

A friend recently called my attention to this song and, holy moly, if this period of my life could have a theme song, this is it.  It's from Andrew Peterson's album "Counting Stars".  Just go get the whole darn thing, it's so good.  Please give it a listen and let the words sink in.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Questions

What possessed a diseased looking, tail-less lizard to come into our house this afternoon?

Why did it choose the leg of my new white jeans as its hiding place?

When will it come out?

How do these things seem to happen all the time?

Friday, May 13, 2011

What to blog?  What to blog?  It's been so long and we've had so much going on lately.  I lay in bed most nights thinking of things to write and then I never end up sitting down at the computer.  Oh well.  Different seasons for different things, huh?

The kiddos and I have been in Georgia with my family this week because B has been in yet another big trial.  We've had a great week, but like all weeks, it's flown by.  (And, as an aside, B kicked major boo-tay in his trial this week.  If you'll allow me a sentence in which to brag, my husband is pretty amazing at what he does.)

Poor sweet Miller-man is doing many new things these days like playing with his toes, almost sitting by himself, and rolling every which way.  Sadly, sleeping through the night is still not a skill he possesses.  It's hard to believe that he's almost been with us on the outside for 6 months now.

Eliana is still bursting at the seams with just about everything.  She's been using the big girl potty all week long and doing great, but I'm still too chicken to have her not wear a diaper to bed or in public.  She is also in the business of inventing verbs these days.  My favorite so far happened the other night at a gas station.  My dad was pumping gas into my car when she looked over and said, "Who dat gassin'?  Is dat Pop gassin'?"  Needless to say, we were rolling.

That's about it for now.  I hope that you all have a fabulouso weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trial Week

There is no preparation for these weeks and every time I'm blindsided.  It's been a "trial" week in several senses of the word.  Quite literally, B is in trial.  Which means he's not home for dinner.  Or bathtime.  Or bedtime.  And when he gets here it's only to grab a bite to eat and maybe chat for a few minutes before settling back in to work for long after I go to bed.  Those things in and of themselves are a trial for our little family.  There's no one else going through this.  No support groups.  No informational meetings welcoming us to a life of loneliness.  Just kind friends on the phone (and a couple in person) who listen to this overwhelmed Mama babble on about whatever.  It's sad when you reach a state where you feel like you are actually friends with your children's pediatrician because she's the only adult you've had a face to face conversation with for two days.  And to top it all off, it's Easter weekend and he has duty and we have zero plans.  (Hello entire box of peeps that I did not mean to eat...)

But I don't want to mope.  This is the day that the Lord has made, and darn-it, I will (at least try to) rejoice and be glad in it.  My kids are a joy.  Els is sunshine wherever she goes and Miller's face could light up the sky when he sees me.  Plus, they've been napping at the same time for at least an hour every afternoon for the last couple of days.  I sure won't argue with that.  So, I will continue to hide Els' eggs in the living room because of the rain ("I'm pickin' eggs, Mama!) and we will continue to be very creative with leftovers and whatever food we happen to have in the fridge.

The veil was torn in two from top to bottom, so I am never really alone.

But they don't call them trials for nothing!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Baby "Muh's" First Trip to the Beach


All cozy in the arms of his Nana.  I'm not sure if this child could be any cuter.

Blessings

I would be remiss if I did not share this song.  I don't really know what to say except this is exactly how I feel and have felt for a while.  Close your eyes and listen to the words.  Be blessed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Lord You are my hope 'cause you've created in me a heart that lives the victory that You've already won."
-Watermark (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

All Kinds of Revolutions

These days, I live in a bit of a bubble.  A mommy-o-sphere, if you will.  My days are spent in the company of Dora, Wonder Pets, Seeds, and two adorable children, while the world, it seems, keeps raging on.  I have never joined, nor plan to join Twitter, and though I'm pretty avid texter now, I only began less than three years ago in order to communicate with my sister.  The books I read tend to be older, and I'm still listening to a lot of the same music that I was in 2006.  I sent an email to my very hip, fashion forward best friend from college last week telling her how happy I am that styles have come back around to wide leg pants and bright colors, both things I have still in my closet from 2005-2006 (AKA the pre-pregnancy, pre-nursing, pre-gaining and losing lots of weight up and down years).

So, it's pretty safe to say that a lot of things happen culturally that I am totally unaware of.  However, every once in a while, my little bubble gets popped by new things, and it usually pours when it rains.  Take the whole Rob Bell situation.  I was completely unaware of it until a 2AM feeding Miller while surfing the internet rabbit hole led me to article after article about it.  I don't really feel qualified or informed enough to comment at this point.  What I do know is A) I really hate that it's causing divisions whether real or imagined in the visible church, and B) I think I need to read the book to make a fair judgement call.  If there's one lasting thing that grad school gave me, it's that I cannot take anything at face value.  And, since I'm currently trying to tackle Anna Karenina, other books are just going to have to wait.  (Well, other than the other book I'm reading.  But it's more like a series of blog posts.  But I digress.  Moving on.)

Also, there's this completely unrelated movement wherein runners are moving to low-profile running shoes.  A lot of them are those "five-finger" shoes that have separate sections for all of your toes.  My mom encouraged me not to knock them if I haven't tried them, but I'm not sure how I would feel about separate places for all of my toes.  They kinda like each other.  After talking to a guy at an outdoor store today, though, I want to do more research.  Eventually.  What I do know is that I LU-UHVE my new running shoes.

Finally, I'm reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Talk about revolutionary people!  This book is changing the way I think and see everything.  Everything.  It's hard to explain but when one of the dear friends in the Bible Study where we're discussing this book called it revolutionary this morning, I knew exactly what she was talking about.  Don't read it if you want to stay the same and wallow in your life.  The book is so challenging to me about living my daily life and being thankful in ALL situations.

Other than that, the biggest change I'm making is to all natural deodorant.  So far so good, but it's not summer yet, so we'll see.

"I don't know nothin' expect change will come.  Year after year what we do is undone." -Patty Griffin

Friday, March 18, 2011

Logorrhea

Els' vocabulary is exploding these days, meaning that my world is very, very rarely quiet these days.  Girlfriend not only loves to talk, she demands an audience.  There is very little that she doesn't say now or at least attempt to say.  She's also discovered the wonderful world of questions this week.  Now everything is, "Where we goin' to, Mama?,  "Who you singin' to, Mama?",  "What Mama doin'?"  She has for several months referred to herself as 'Ana.  So I also get a lot of, "What does Ana say?"  "Where Ana go?"  "What Ana doing?" (To which I reply, "I don't know, what IS Eliana doing?")  It's wonderful and challenging, and sometimes quite overstimulating for "Mama."  The "why" game has also begun.  I thought she was too young for this....

One of my favorite things about her words is the fact that she says several things with a British accent for some reason.  "Someping huts, Mama," for something hurts and "not wuking" for not working and the like.  She also says moe-wuh for more, drawing out the word like a true Southern girl, but ending up sounding more New-Englandy to me.  

She is truly becoming more and more interested in her little brother too, always asking, "Where baby at, Mama?" when he's not around.  Or "Why dat baby crying, Mama?"  She says "Muh" for Miller and has recently taken to my nick-name for him, calling him "Muh-man" for Miller Man.  Also, I caught her singing to her baby doll one of the songs that I sing to her yesterday.  Melt.  My.  Heart.

I love every new thing she does and says.  Every stage, although increasingly challenging, gets better and better and more fun with my sweet girl.  It's so fun to hear a little about what she does when she goes to church nursery or "school" (aka Mother's Morning Out one day a week).  She can tell me what she did and whether or not she had a snack and even what said snack was.

That little Muh-Man is lots of fun too right now.  He's getting into that "smiley" stage and he's a smiley man.  I am constantly humbled by how much he loves his Mama.

I will leave you with a picture of the two having tummy time together.  "Wook Mama, I habing tummy time too!"

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

From the Weekend

It's my party and I can look surprised if I want to.

A happy blue monster after his bath.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2 Years

Today is my darling girl's second birthday.  I can hardly believe that it's been two years since our world was graced with her presence, yet I don't really remember life without her.  She is a constant source of joy, entertainment, words, and life lessons.  Toddlerhood is proving challenging yet shot through with laughs.  For instance, her "word of the week" this week is something.  "Something in the mouth, Mama.  Something in the shoe, Mama.  Something hurts, Mama," etc, etc.  And yes, EVERY sentence is finished with the word Mama.  I love it even though I feel like changing my name sometimes.

Eliana Hope,

You have changed my life for the better every day since February 27, 2009.  You challenge me to rely on Christ more than ever and to live what I believe.  Thank you for being so delightful, even on bad days.  I love reading to you, playing with you, talking to you, and "snu-ing" with you when you want to.  I look forward to all the ups and downs of life with you because life is simply more with you in it.  You are my sunshine.

I love you forever,

Mama


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Pretty Sure I've Posted This Before, But

This is the part of a song that I sing in my head more often than not right now:

"Well, this day's been crazy
But everything's happened on schedule
From the rain and the cold
To the drink that I spilt on my shirt
Cause you knew how you'd save me before I fell dead in the garden
And you know this day long before you made me out of dirt

And you know the plans that you have for me
And you can't plan the ends and not plan the means
And so I suppose I just need some peace
Just to get me to sleep."

-Table for Two by Caedmon's Call

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Kids are Both Asleep, Dare I Blog?

I feel like every time I sit down to write, it's been so long and there's so much to say that I don't know where to begin.  So, in lieu of something deep this time, I thought I'd do a favorite things post.  So here goes.

First off, Trader Joe's.  There is not one near us, but there is one about 5 minutes away from my parents' house and in the two visits we've had since it's opened, I've been probably 10 times.  Seriously.  Where do I begin?  The triple ginger snaps, the Go-Omega trail mix, the olive tapenade.  Not to mention the coffee, shampoo, and frozen Asian bowls.  And everything is so reasonably priced!  If you're ever near one, go.  If you live near one, lucky you.

In keeping with the food theme, I have discovered a love for almond milk and coconut milk ice cream.  My little Miller is a complicated soul and it seems that he can't tolerate much dairy in Mommy's diet.  And Mommy pretty much hates soy milk and related products.  Fortunately for both of us, non-dairy has come a long way.  If only there was a good cheese substitute...

I absolutely have to give another shout to the Baby Bjorn.  I have no idea what I would do without.  And I just thought I used it a lot with Els.

Have I ever mentioned our collective family love for our white noise makers?  B and I started using one long before we had kids, so it was only natural that they have them in their rooms as well.  I tell people it's like turning off the lights for your ears.  Els likes hers, but she always wants to turn it off first thing when she wakes up and she tries to do it with her toe because that's how I do it (because I'm usually carrying her) which is hilarious.  We really should think about owning stock in this company.

That's all for now.  I hear my precious first born calling.

Oh, and did I mention coffee?  I LOVE coffee.  It's always favorite.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want

How do I even begin to tell you about the past week of life for us?  I have to begin by being real honest and saying that for the first six weeks of Miller's life, he was quite the fusser.  Finally, we got him on Zantac over the course of a week, he began to show us a little of the laid back fella that I'm beginning to think he is.  Then.  Oh, then.  Then he got RSV.  He was diagnosed last Friday with a mild case.  The doctor sent us home with instructions to raise the head of his bed, run a humidifier, and call if he got worse.  No problem.  Until last Sunday night when he started running a pretty high fever and struggling to breathe. I have never been so terrified in my life.  It was a numbing terror, watching our precious 7-week old held down for chest x-rays and an IV insertion.  Not to mention just being in the Beaufort Memorial ER at midnight on a Sunday.  That place is crazy.

God's hand was on us every second, though, and we only spent the next 48 hours at the hospital.  We were admitted to a room and Miller had a lot of breathing treatments and fluids before finally being released on Tuesday night.  Although relieved to be home at that point, I felt like we were back at the beginning in some respects with him.  He was only between 7 and 8 weeks old and any small strides I had made with him as far as scheduling goes were tossed out the window.  And now he's on a nursing semi-strike.  I can't really talk about that yet because I have no idea where this is headed.

Through it all, I have been thinking a lot about the Pharisees in the Bible and how Jesus was not the savior they were looking for.  He was born in a barn, hung out with low-lifes, said some crazy things, and died a horrific death at 33.  They were looking for someone to overturn Rome and sit on the throne like King David did.  They wanted life restored to how they thought it should have been.  Right then.  I've been thinking about this because I keep thinking, "This is not how I wanted to be saved."  This is not how I wanted to learn God's grace and provision for me.  This is not how I wanted to learn to trust him.  Most days I feel like I am more qualified to do any other job on the planet than to parent my two precious babies.  But this is how God chose for me to be sanctified.  This is how He chose to show Himself in my life.  Sickness and tiredness and everything changing day after day after day.  All of those people who told me that it was the toughest thing they've ever done to go from one child to two were right.

But perseverance produces hope, so I need to go to bed now so I can do all of this craziness again tomorrow.  Thank goodness that His mercies are new every morning.

"You can't always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. "  -The Rolling Stones

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Three Loves


Els FINALLY agreed to "hold" her brother tonight after almost seven weeks of trying to talk her into it.  She was way excited to give him "baby juice".

Monday, January 03, 2011

And Now

Oh the joy of being dressed up by Aunt "Dace".

The jury's still out.  Who does this cutie look like?  
Pictures of the wee ones.  Because it's been a while and they're growing like weeds.

I'm Burning

When God called Moses in Exodus 3 to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and under the hand of Pharaoh, Moses' first question was highly understandable.  He basically asked, "Who am I, Lord?  Why me?"  I understand his thinking because I've been asking God the same question for the last five and a half weeks.  "Do you really know who I am, God?  Why did you pick me to be the mother of two children?  Don't you know I'm much more qualified for, well, anything else?"  No, God hasn't called me to lead a nation, but on days like today, I feel like that would be a much easier job description than the one I have.

As I was just in the shower (oh the sheer bliss of two simultaneously sleeping children!) God reminded me of Exodus 3, Moses' question, but more importantly, he reminded me of how he answered the shepherd-cum-leader of Israel.  He didn't pat Moses on the back and remind him of all the good things that he'd done, all of the ways God had been preparing him for this task.  No.  He simply said, "I will be with you."

That's what he's reminding me of today.  No sir, I'm not qualified for this job.  Not in the least.  But it is exactly where God wants me and he is with me every step of the way.

And I know who He is.

"Moses saw the bush in flames and heard the branches speak his name, I wonder if he felt this kind of fear..." -Nichole Nordeman