Monday, November 28, 2011

the one with thanksgiving

"Being thankful is not telling God you appreciate the fact that your life is not in shambles. If that is the basis of your gratitude, you are on slippery ground. Every day of your life you face the possibility that a blessing in your life may be taken away. But blessings are only signs of God's love. The real blessing, of course, is the love itself. Whenever we get too attached to the sign, we lose our grasp on the God who gave it to us. Churches are filled with widows who can explain this to you. We are not ultimately grateful that we are still holding our blessings. We are grateful that we are held by God even when the blessings are slipping through our fingers."

-Rev.Dr. Craig Barnes
I took the quote from this blog post

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the one for Lily

Sweet girl, this month you are 6 months old. I am so grateful to have held your life in my hands for half of a year. You have been a blessing to me. I am particularly blessed by your smiles and the lessons of patience, grace, and humility your life has taught me.

You have the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. You love to be held and cuddled. I think you have your mommy's temperament, because you are happiest when all of the attention in the room is focused on you. You love to be looked right in the eye. You sleep so well in your crib, although you have yet to master the art of sleeping through the night. At home you are generally a happy and content baby. Your favorite things are to be held and cuddled, to eat, and to lay on the floor rolling around and playing with your toys. Away from home you are not so happy, although you are getting better. You love to pull hair. Your grip is pretty strong; sometimes you pull your sissy's hair and she does not like that at all. You are finally getting old enough to interact and play with your sissy, and this has been a very good thing. She is falling in love with you again after a brief little period of jealousy.

You are beautiful. Everyone says so. You have a beautiful smile, have I mentioned that yet?

We are so grateful for your life. You have taught us many lessons in patience, grace, humility, and dependence on the Lord. Because of your life, Mommy and Daddy are more in love with each other than ever before. We're so glad you are in our family, sweet girl. We love you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the one with a little more Halloween

the little pumpkin

happy sisters

buzz, pumpkin, spidey, ariel, and a little ladybug

the trick or treaters

happy halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

the one where I had fun

So I wanted to post each day with my attempts at fun. Well, at least my intentions were good.

Monday night: coffee with my sweet friend Kristi after the kids went to bed. We talked babies, blogs, and Jesus. And I had a peppermint mocha. sweet.

Tuesday night: I did laundry. oh well.

Wednesday night: Worship + Study. A night with college students, worship, and the Word is always good times.

Thursday night: UMin Pumpkin Carving contest. Always one of my favorite nights of the year.

the winning pumpkin

two of my favorite girls. sweet Emily is a master pumpkin carver.

I love this one. I think Kara is seriously doubting my pumpkin.

Friday night: celebration dinner for my husband: steak, macncheese, edamame, and ooey gooey cake: all his favorites. Yay for getting into grad school!

Saturday: AK took CB to ToysRUs and bought her presents, perfect birthday party for sweet Abby Cossiboom, and took sweet pumpkin pictures of the girls. (pics to come)

super fun week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the one with Sunday night's fun

I haven't done anything crafty in months. So, Sunday evening CB and I packed up and went to the store so I could make some Halloween fun. Who cares if Halloween's just a week away?

We bought a bunch of monster decorations a few years ago at Target. I made a monster banner to match. This first picture shows the little monsters I patterned the banner from:

I had to make it large to hang from the doorway and out of my own little monster's reach.

Here are two close up shots so hopefully you can see it more clearly:

boo! Happy Halloween!

the one with the week of fun

Sometimes I feel like we live life 100 miles an hour. The past two weekends have been great because we actually slowed down. Last weekend Adam and I went on a date, we went to the Pumpkin Patch, and we had a picnic at Aldridge Gardens. It was so refreshing. This weekend we spend Friday night with friends and babies, we went and got yogurt as a family and played on McAdory's football field.* These two weekends have done some serious good to my weary soul.

I've decided I'm going to continue having fun this week. Laundry is going to go undone. We'll have sandwiches for dinner. I won't clean anything. I'm just going to have fun-in the middle of the week!

Stay tuned: I'll post each week night of fun! Join me this week-ignore some responsibility and have some fun!!

*If you're not on facebook, here's a link to my fall album that has pictures of our past two fun weekends plus more!

Monday, October 24, 2011

the ones about Lily #5

Last week was Lily's last week at dayschool. It had been a really rough experience for her. I think little Lily just has a hard time away from Mommy and Daddy. My theory is that she was in so much pain the first few months of her life that despite her pleasant temperament, she's developed into a "difficult" baby. She doesn't really sleep anywhere but her crib, she has a hard time taking a bottle, and once she starts that crazy screaming it's hard to get her to calm down. At school she didn't sleep, didn't eat well, and yelled her head off.

So she's done with school. We're praying and trusting the Lord to provide for our family. Please pray with us. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the one where they're the same

People always tell me that Lily and Chloe Belle look just alike. Normally I don't agree.

This weekend Lily had rice cereal for the first time. yay! When we uploaded the pictures we went and found the pics from the first time CB had rice cereal.

Lily's in orange, Chloe Belle's in green.

What do you think? Just alike, or totally different?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the ones about Lily #4

I'm so glad that Lily has joined our family. When we were a family of three, it was hard to imagine loving anything like I loved Chloe Belle. We knew we wanted more kids, it was just that I couldn't imagine having enough room in my heart for all that love.
(she's so little she looks like a baby doll!)

But now that she's here, I just can't imagine life without Lily. I'm the kind of person who has favorites. I have a favorite everything. A favorite movie, book, way to sleep, smell, cookie, pizza toppings, whatever. You name it, I have a favorite (it's the sanguine in me). I was joking with my sister the other day and telling her that when I'm alone with Lily I whisper in her ear and tell her how she's my favorite, and I couldn't possibly love anything more than her, and that she's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Of course, I turn around and whisper the same thing to Chloe Belle!

My favorite part (bahahaha-I wasn't even trying to be ironic with that one!) of having Lily in the family is watching Chloe Belle be an awesome big sister. She loves her sissy so very much. First thing in the morning she goes to the swing to say hello to sissy. She brushes her hair, attempts to get her to drink from her sippy cup, she wipes her mouth with the burp cloth, and in very special moments she even gives Mr. Bear to sissy. I love watching them together. My heart bursts at the thought of the years that stretch out ahead of them where they'll get to live life together.

So glad Lily is here and a part of our family. We weren't complete without her.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the ones about Lily #3

This past Sunday, October 9, was Lily's baby dedication at our church. Last Thursday our Preschool Ministry hosted a dinner for the parents of the babies. We had dinner and the guest speakers were one of my favorite couples at our church: Mark and Lynn Garnett. Other than making us laugh, Mark gave one piece of advice that I just loved. Speaking to the fathers, he said: "There are three questions you can ask your grown child to see if you created the right home environment. Did you feel loved? Do you feel like I love and treat your mother the way that I should? Is this the kind of home you want to provide for your children?"

I loved these three questions. It immediately made me think about my amazing husband. He is an incredible father. My girls are so lucky to have him leading them and loving them. I know that they will leave our home knowing and feeling that they were loved and with a beautiful example of how a husband is to love a wife.

So grateful to dedicate Lily to the Lord. She is all His, and I pray that I will be a faithful steward of her little life until it is time for her to follow Him on her own. I know He will use her to bring Himself great glory.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

the ones about Lily #2

Even before we got to her 2 week appointment, we knew Lily had reflux. I had several friends whose babies struggled with reflux, so I knew what to look for. At two weeks old Lily was put on medication. Things didn't get much better-I think little Lily screamed for the first 8 weeks of her life.

When Lily was 10 weeks old we took her to Children's ER because she had what looked like seizures. The ER doctors saw it, but didn't know what was wrong. She was admitted to the Special Care Unit for 48 hrs. No diagnosis was made. Thanks to a YouTube video,* we self-diagnosed her with Sandifer's Syndrome. Two weeks later (two very hard weeks where she was having "seizures" multiple times a day) we saw a Pediatric GI specialist and Lily was put on some new medication. She started in improve! Eventually we saw a Pediatric Neurologist for an EEG to see if Lily was having infantile seizures. He diagnosed her with Sandifer's Syndrome (YouTube knew all along). Her EEG was great-normal baby brain!

Lily's reflux is very atypical. She rarely spits up, rather her spit up comes to her throat where she chokes on it (we did have this confirmed with a barium swallow xray). Because the reflux just sits in her esophagus all day long, she is in severe pain, which is why she started having the Sandifer's episodes.

Today Lily still struggles with her reflux, general fussiness due to discomfort, and sleeping through the night. She also had a rough first 8 weeks on her medicine; one side effect of her medicine is diarrhea-we even had a totally unnecessary and unproductive trip to the ER because of bloody diapers! However, she has greatly improved and we are thankful. We still go through rough times - this past week she projectile vomited out of her mouth and nose 5-6 times a day and has had several more Sandifer's episodes. But on the whole little Lily is doing well. Her sweet sanguine personality is now shining through her pain. Instead of crying 24 hours a day, she smiles most of the time.

*If you watch this video, it may seem like it's not such a big deal. The seizures were HORRIBLE for little Lily. She would scream afterwards in intense pain and distress.

the ones about Lily #1

I haven't done a great job of keeping up with this blog. It's something I want to do, but I simply just don't have the time. I realize I haven't told you much about Lily, much at all. I've mentioned that things are hard and things are stressful, but I haven't told you why. So, I'm going to donate a series of blog posts to little Lily.

Lily is 5 months old. She is little bitty and beautiful. Lily's actually even smaller than Chloe Belle was, she's hanging in around the 5th percentile for height and weight. I think she has the most beautiful smile I've ever seen. She is definitely more like me in her temperament-she's an extrovert just like her mommy. She loves all the attention she can get and she flourishes in the presence of others. She likes to play on her play mat and swing, but is simply the happiest when being held and played with.

Lily has slept through the night a few times, but it's certainly not a habit for her. She takes naps pretty well and is active during her awake time. Lily's a great nurser, which makes mommy happy. On the other hand, she still hasn't gotten comfortable with a bottle-it's hard on her every time. She likes to sing songs to herself, chew on her toes, and she roots 24 hours a day, which always makes us laugh.

She's lovely little Lily, and we love her tons!

Friday, September 9, 2011

the one with changes

just thinking the other day about how life is different after giving birth to two baby girls:

1. my feet are definitely a half-size bigger. the result: all my shoes hurt but who has the money to replace a closet full of shoes??

2. i have baby bangs. this is when the beautiful hair that you grow during pregnancy falls out and then little hair regrows. i have inch-long bangs now. the result: ponytails aren't really an option for me these days.

3. my right eye is permanently paralyzed. ok, that one sounds extreme. i had bells palsy with both babies, and my right eye is just never going to fully recover. the result: i'm super self conscious about my pirate eye.

4. i am permanently late. i was late before chloe belle, then she made me really late. now with two babies i am LATE. the result: i have left the house for work several times in the last two weeks after 8:00. (i'm supposed to be at work at 8. it takes 45 min to go from home, to dayschool, and then to work. late.)

5. i find myself being a disaster all the time. case in point: last thursday they call me from dayschool because lily is out of control, i go get her, she throws up all over bethany's work clothes, and then i forget her carseat. the result: i am a crazy person (but very thankful for good friends like bethany).

6. my life is absolutely busting at the seams with joy. i simply never could have imagined that my little life could contain so much joy, so much laughter, so many smiles, so much happiness, so many cuddles, hugs, and kisses.
the result: bliss.

happy moments with two babies:

two babies deciding they love each other.

chloe belle correcting answering the question, "where is sissy's nose?"
poor sissy.

chloe belle making sure that sissy gives Mr. Bear his night-night kiss.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the one when I'm sitting on the couch

I have had a stressful day. A stressful week. A stressful six weeks. Maybe the most stressful ever. I wrote a lot of stressful posts [in my head] on the car ride home today, listening to two babies scream their heads off for an hour straight.

But as I'm sitting here on the couch in my quiet house, I'm grateful.

Grateful for a husband that I'm crazy in love with.
Grateful for two baby girls who make my life so rich.
Grateful for a mom who has been so helpful.
Grateful for the best big sister ever.
Grateful for good friends.
Grateful for a beautiful ministry to college girls.
Grateful for all this provision.
Grateful for chocolate when I'm feeling stressed.
And Grateful for a God who rejoices over me with singing and who quiets me with His love.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the one when I'm brief

It's been a hard couple of days around here, no energy for a fun post.

Two things:

1. I made this soup for dinner tonight, and it was rockin awesome.
2. Lily has found her voice, and I love it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the one where we say goodbye

Sorry I talked about something major happening and then left you hanging. Although, all the emails and texts I got about it made me feel good-glad to know someone's reading this.

Last week we said goodbye to Jimmie and Max. We got our guys the first year of our marriage and they've been with us each step of the way. We love them. We love snuggling with them in bed, watching them have mighty battles, Adam loves to bury his head in Jimmie's neck-he's convinced Jimmie smells great. We love precious stupid little Max and his desperation for affection. Probably most of all, we've loved watching Chloe Belle fall in love with them.

For several months we've known we needed to find a better home for J&M. Having two babies in 15 months turned us into bad dog owners. We didn't give the guys the love and attention they deserved. We're also planning on moving next summer, and we didn't want to be tied to a place that would work for them too. So, after months of discussing it, we decided to let them go. God provided an awesome family for the guys. They are getting tons of love and attention.

I miss them-I miss Jimmie's serious look of total devotion, I miss Max's earnest heart, and I miss hearing Chloe Belle shout "woof" whenever she sees them. But, I am so so glad they are with a family who has the time and energy to love them well.

Goodbye buddies. Thanks for being a part of our lives.

best buddies

first family photos

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the one that's funny

Remember the awesome hair moment from There's Something About Mary?

Here's Chloe Belle this past weekend:

Chloe Belle's do was the result of some buggar smeared in her hair. Please don't leave me a comment telling me I'm a terrible mother for comparing these two moments. You know it's funny.

Thanks to Brandy for the photo.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

the one for my adopted baby

To my dear sweet adopted baby,
I have been thinking about you lately. I have been wondering. Wondering when you will come into our life. Wondering if you are already born or if you are still just known to God alone. Wondering what you will look like and who you will be.
I want you to know, my sweet baby, that our family is not complete without you.

I can't wait to be your mommy. I love you little one.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

the one about my totally awesome life

the one with a busy week

It's been a busy 8 or 9 days in this household. Adam's back to work, I'm back to work, the girls started day school, Chloe Belle is cutting 4 teeth, Chloe Belle has a double ear infection, it's back to school so I'm working non-stop.

Intense. And something major happened, but it deserves a post all it's own.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the one about my office [the before]

I've worked with UMin for two and a half years. I started in January 2009. That's crazy. Actually, this is my five year anniversary of working at Shades. I started in the Missions Office in August 2006. I worked there three full years-the last semester I worked with the Missions Office I also worked with UMin.
Anyway, boring info for you-I just got a little caught up with how long I've been in this place.

The point of this post is that I've had this job for 2.5 years and I've never fully "moved in" to my office. I think the main reason why is that I've never been convinced I'd be at UMin long. Summer 2009 we were going to move to NOLA, then we found out about Chloe Belle. Then I thought for sure I'd be leaving after having Lily, but last December I decided to be here another year. And I still think this will be my last year, but today I made a decision. I don't want to think about what's going to happen in 12 months. I want to be fully present where I am. I've always been fully present with my ministry-you know how much I love college students-but for some reason I never got settled into my space.

After returning from my maternity leave this summer I have a new office-a legit one. I even have a nameplate by my door-something that never seemed to happen before. I've got a couch for girls to sit on! So I've decided to move in. I'm going to decorate, throw away the files from the girl who was here before me and start my own.

After 2.5 years, I'm going to act like I work here. This is a big moment for me.

I'll send you photos after I decorate...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

the one when I'm up all night

For those of you new mommies, you know that the question you dread is, "are they sleeping through the night?" For those mommies whose kiddos slept through the night at 8 weeks, they wear it around like a badge of honor. For those of us whose kiddos are still waking up at 13 weeks, it's the mark of the beast.

Last night I was up all night, and I want to tell you why I love it.

9:30pm: I feed Lily around 10:30 each night. Usually I don't go to sleep until after she eats but last night I was exhausted so I fell asleep with my husband, which is rare, around 9:30
10:20pm: Alarm goes off. Somehow my husband knows I don't want to get up [maybe it was all the groaning and fussing?] and he rolls over to whisper sweet encouragement in my ear. I love my man. I go to feed Lily. I love pulling her up from the crib when she's in a deep sleep. I love how she stretches and smacks on her little hands without ever waking up. She's a cutie.
10:45pm: Luckily my little Lily is a champion eater, so I'm back in the bed.
11:15pm: Chloe Belle starts crying. I remember that she's cutting teeth bad and I forgot to give her motrin before bed. I get up, get the motrin from the kitchen, and go into her room. I pull her up from the crib, give her the motrin, and sit down on the edge of the bed [cb's room doubles as the guest bedroom]. She snuggles up to me, wraps her little arms around my neck, and lays her head in the crook of my neck, falling asleep. I hold her for a few moments, praying I'll always remember what that feels like.
3:00am: Chloe Belle is crying again. This time sweet husband goes in to comfort her. He tells me later that he laid down on the bed with her and could have stayed there all night. I love how he loves her.
5:15am: Lily wakes up. She's so close to sleeping through the night! One of my favorite things about feeding her in the middle of the night is how when she's done she rolls back, stretches her arms and legs reeeeaaaal far, belly bulging, and then curls up in a little ball against me. Chloe Belle did it exactly the same way. Even if its 3 am I love to just sit there for a few minutes, holding my sleeping sweet baby, and adore her precious little life.
5:45am: back in bed. Chloe Belle is crying again. I hold hands with my husband and listen to him say how sad he is that she's in pain. He closes his eyes and I think about how much I love him. Then I close my eyes and think about how much I love my girls.
6:10am: Time to get up and start a new day. Today I go back to work/church for the first time since Lily arrived. I love my job/church.

So you see, waking up in the middle of the night isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

the one with my beautiful baby

she may not sleep through the night, but she's one good looking baby.