Monday, December 21, 2015

Family Filled Weekend

This weekend can be summed up in the following: Family, family, friends, and more family.

Our siblings have started to arrive for Christmas, and it made for a busy weekend! Really it started with my brother arriving in the middle of the week last week, and we were able to enjoy a big family dinner on Thursday evening with everyone but my youngest sister. Nathan hasn't been back to the East Coast since last Christmas, so it had been awhile since he'd seen Noelle and Jonah. I took them over to my mom's during the day, and Nathan got to play trains with them and see Jonah at his finest (and by finest, I mean Jonah was being pretty cranky and threw some good toddler tantrums!)

Saturday afternoon we spent time with Luke's family as two of his sisters got into town. Luke doesn't have any time to take off since he just started his new job, so we're trying to spend as much time with them as we can. On Christmas day, everyone will be here, as well as three dogs- which Noelle and Jonah will love.

Saturday evening we got to hang out with one of my best friends, Kate, and her parents. We went over to their house for dinner and got to catch up. I hate that she and her husband moved away, but I'm excited that she's getting to pursue her dream of PT school, and that they love where they live. Kate's parents have known Luke and me since before he and I started dating, so it was fun to catch up with them as well.

Sunday after church, we headed to Annapolis to meet my uncle and his wife for lunch. We only see them once in a while, so it was good to catch up. And I love Annapolis! It's been awhile since I've been down there, and had it been a little bit warmer, I would have liked to walk around and see everything that was going on.

Once we got back from Annapolis, we had Luke's brother and his wife over. It's so fun seeing Debbie pregnant and I cannot wait for my little niece to be born! What a blessing and answer to prayer! I got to talk pregnancy with Debbie, and it was so good to hear how everything is going for her and talk about what they've done to get ready and what they still have to do. They brought their dog, Nola, with them, and Noelle and Jonah had a blast with her!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Toddler Life

Grocery shopping with two toddlers is becoming increasingly more difficult. There was one night when Luke and I took them out to grab some groceries, and even with both of us there, we knew we were going to have to throw that plan out the window. I took the kids out to play in the van while he quickly finished and checked out. When one of us takes just one child, it always seems to go so much more smoothly. But when both littles are there, one or both want to be out of the cart, or both want to be carried, or they cry when they want something and we say no. The other day, I ran out to Walmart to pick up a few things for our MOPS play date, and I one point I turned around to Jonah carrying a giant box of goldfish. And then in the produce section, I heard a Walmart employee say "Oh, you must like tomatoes"- and there's Jonah, putting his mouth all over a tomato. Needless to say, that tomato is now sitting my fridge waiting to be used.

I most definitely do not have this motherhood thing down, but in talking with most of my mama friends, none of us really do. I know I'm learning as I go, and I feel like I could always be doing better. One thing that I seem to forget over and over again is that I have to learn to let my plans go sometimes. I try to make sure I do fun things with the kids, but sometimes, those fun things just turn into not fun for anyone things.

For example, one of the activities on Christmas countdown (that was pulled from Pinterest) was to make a cranberry and popcorn garland. I didn't have cranberries on hand, so decided we would just make it a popcorn strand. Easy enough, right? The plan was to do it during Jonah's nap time, Noelle could hand me pieces of popcorn while she ate the rest, and I would string them onto the thread. We could talk about what she learned in school or about her friends or whatever she wanted to talk about. Fun for both of us, right? Nope- she kept getting the thread tangled in the strand of popcorn I was stringing, the popcorn kept breaking, she lost interest after about 2.5 minutes, and then Jonah woke up and only wanted to be held. So everything got put in the trash. Oh life with toddlers.

BUT I am so thankful that I get to do this motherhood gig, and that these two littles are ours to raise!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Cookie Baking

The last few days Jonah has been a bit of a mess, or "extra special" as Luke would say. He's been super whiny, and only wants me (and has now started calling me mommy.) He walks around saying "mommy, mommy, mommy", and will come grab my hand or pull on my clothes to drag me to wherever he wants to go. I am trying to be sure that I find a balance of doing things with him, sitting on the floor playing and reading with him, but also making him realize that he will have to wait if I'm eating dinner or talking to Luke. Well, at our small group on Sunday evening, Luke shared all of this as a prayer request, stating that Jonah was being "extra special." Right after Luke said that, Jonah piped up with a very emphatic "Yeah!" He's a stinker and he knows it!

This past Saturday was the day my mom had scheduled out for us weeks ago to do our traditional cookie baking and exchange. My mom, both my sisters, my mom's best friend Kitty, and Kitty's friend Anne were all there this year. I think between the six of us, we all went home with over 12 dozen cookies. So much sugar and butter! And so many yummy cookies.

Noelle came with me, while Jonah stayed with Luke (such a nice break, and apparently he was really good for Luke!) Noelle helped some, but spent a good amount of time playing with Becky's old dollhouse and the new train set my mom got for the kids. Noelle has been a part of our Christmas cookie baking and exchange since she was born, and I hope the tradition continues!

After baking most of the day, my parents and Becky watched the kids so that Luke and I could go to a Christmas party some of our friends invited us to. It was so nice being able to hang out with friends, eat delicious food (I was already stuffed from all my cookie sampling!), and have some kid-free time.

December is busy, and it's been a lesson to me that it's okay to say no to some things. We missed out on a few other events on Saturday, but you can only do so much. One of the things we talked about in my one MOPS group was that when we say no to something, we're saying yes to other things, and we have to weigh what our needs and our family's needs are. The example the speaker used was that when we said yes to being at MOPS that day, we were saying no to doing laundry or running errands. Rest is needed, time with family is important, and in this season, focusing on why we celebrate Christmas needs to be a priority.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Santa and Our Tree

I absolutely love Christmas, and I have to say I love it even more now that we have children! And especially now that Noelle is a bit older and understands things a little more, it's fun getting her involved and excited about the holiday.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we went out to get our tree (I love to have it up for as long as possible before Christmas, but am usually more than ready to take it down by January 1st!) Our plan had been to meet up with some friends and their baby girl to go to a tree farm and cut down trees. Unfortunately, the day before had been pretty wet, and it was still overcast and little drizzly, so we decided to just head up to Home Depot and pick one out from the lot. Cheaper and less time in the cold! Noelle was so excited to help us get it set up and put on the decorations. And Jonah loved seeing it all put together when I brought him down from his nap.

We made a little red and green paper chain to count down until Christmas, and as I was making it, we added an activity on the chains to do each day. The first day was working on a puzzle while watching a Christmas movie, the second was writing a letter to Santa, the third was learning about Saint Nick. I had a meeting the one night, but Luke found the Veggie Tales version of the Saint Nicholas story and told me that Jonah and Noelle both enjoyed it!

Noelle told me what she wanted written in her letter to Santa- a replacement for the Mickey Mouse pop up/music book that had been ripped, and an umbrella of her very own. So fun hearing what is on her little mind about what she wants! (And thankfully both are on Amazon!) Of course when I took the kids to see Santa the day before Thanksgiving, neither wanted anything to do with him, and the picture turned out too hilarious to not buy!

We also are trying to spend time focusing on the true meaning of Christmas, and have been reading exerts from the Storybook Bible and from a few Christmas books we have with the nativity story. I really don't know how much Noelle understands at this point, if she's able to differentiate between things that are just stories versus the truth that Jesus is God and came as a baby. But I'm praying that at least a seed has been planted, and that God will pursue her little heart and draw her to Him!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 Fun!

Thanksgiving 2015 was full of fun and sunshine! We spent the day with the Perrault side of the family with all the usuals there- plus my sister's in-laws. It was a full day, and we had hoped that Jonah would nap at my mom's, but he was much too distraught about missing all the action, so he pretty much survived on the 10 minute car nap he took on the way to their house. And really didn't do too bad, considering!

Noelle loves hanging out with her aunts, and in my old room/Becky's old room, my mom has jars of various stones and beads that Noelle likes to empty out and put back into the jars. And Jonah also is starting to enjoy doing it. We sit on Becky's old bed, pour out a jar, and try to count out each thing as we plop it back in. It usually ends up with things all over the place!

It was a warmer day and so we were able to spend time outside playing with bubbles and chalk. Jonah was basically drinking the bubbles, and Noelle was bossing Uncle Jason around telling him what to draw with the chalk. We played some Ring Around the Rosie and watched Jonah and Noelle tackle each other in the grass. Oh life with children!

Luke and I were in charge of bringing salad- and we made way more than was needed. We just wanted to make sure there was enough- and we always say it's better to have extra than not enough. Am I right? When things were getting put away after dinner, one of the bowls of salad we had brought disappeared. We could not find it, and it wasn't until later on the next day that my parents found it in a drawer in their fridge. At least it was found and not rotting away somewhere!

The food was of course delicious, but everything was made better by some fun family news! I love that we live close to both our families, and that we are able to continue to build adult relationships with our siblings. Even though Luke's siblings are a little more widespread, and my brother is out west, we still love being a part of their lives and continuing to grow with them.

On Friday, we did a Chinese food Thanksgiving dinner with Luke's family- his parents, Lydia, Ruth, and Max. There was so much good food- all homemade- and of course, leftovers of the salad we made for Thanksgiving with my family. Noelle and Jonah were a bit picky about the food (surprise, surprise) and don't seem to be quite embracing their Chinese heritage. We'll have to work on that one!

On our table, we had a little Thanksgiving tree that I made during one of my MOPS meetings. Noelle told me what she was thankful for and we wrote them on the little hanging leaves. This year she was thankful for Roxy and Zipporah, Mommy and Daddy, "my baby Jonah", and her friends. Granted some of those may have been decided by my prompting...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Fun

As most mornings do, we started our Friday with the littles sitting on the counter, eating breakfast, and being their goofy little selves. Unlike most mornings, I had a total of six kids 10 and under for about 45 minutes before the bus came. It was fun and crazy, there were some tears, but at least Noelle bounced out of bed ready to go since she was so excited about Sophie coming over. (And apparently Sophie was just as excited until she found out her brother was also coming over with her.)

After my friend got back and picked up her son, my mom came over and I headed to our local tot swap. It was so nice being able to go kid-free and actually look for things! I found some sneakers for Noelle, which she was so excited about and kept saying "thank you, mommy" over and over again. I also picked up a bagful of cars for Jonah for Christmas, as well as tights and boots for Noelle. I met my friends Megan and Hannah there and was able to catch up with them a little bit. Hannah's little guy was getting restless, so she left to get him home, and once Megan finished up, she came to hang out for a bit. I gave her our baby swing, which her four month old tested out while at our house, and we really weren't sure if she was enjoying it, or giving Megan a look of "really, mom?"

On Saturday, we met up with Luke's parents and sister for breakfast at Roy Rogers. I'm not sure if I've ever eaten at a Roy Rogers in m life, but they have a delicious deal of all you can eat pancakes or biscuits and gravy for $1.99. Noelle and I loved the pancakes, Jonah took a few bites of everyone's food, and Luke enjoyed his biscuits and gravy. It was really fun to meet up with the grandparents and be able to spend time with them. After we finished eating and chatting, Luke and I took the kids to the local mall where Noelle completed a Christmas scavenger hunt. There were little gingerbread people taped to the wall near certain stores holding different types of candy. She had to match which candy went with which store. It was fun, and she really seemed to be into it. Of course both kids also REALLY enjoyed playing on the rides (even though we didn't pay any money to make them move!)

Sunday we had church as usual, and then headed out to lunch for my dad's birthday. We ate at Seasons 52, and the food was delicious! The kids did really well, which was surprising since we'd had a rough morning and it was right during Jonah's usual nap time. But it was fun celebrating with my parents, sisters, and brother-in-law. We went back to my parent's house for a little bit to eat cake and play with Roxy before getting Jonah home for a nap. In the evening we headed out to small group for some good fellowship and discussion of the current sermon series. It was a busy weekend, and our kids were a little crazy, but I'm so thankful for the time we had as family!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Halloween 2015 and Chili Cook-Off

The end of October brought a whole lot of fun our way, including a trip to a farm the day before Halloween that we'd never been to before with a bunch of friends . The super fun thing about Sharp's farm, is that it's mostly groups who come and set up a time just for their group to be there. Or in our case since we were a small group, there was one other small group there. But it felt like we had the whole farm to ourselves!

We drove down a looooong dirt/gravel driveway and met up with the rest of our group. While we waited for everyone to arrive, we were allowed to feed the chickens and the bunnies. Once we were all there, the farmer took us into a barn to talk to us about the different kinds of corn and beekeeping. After trying to find the queen bee, he lead the kids over to a giant pail of feed corn, and the kids happily ran back and forth from the pail to the pen of goats. I'm pretty sure Jonah dropped more food along the way than what made it into the goats' mouths, but he had a blast!

(they really did have fun on the hayride!)

After goats, we went on what I would consider one of the best hayrides I've ever been on. It was long and looped us around fields on the farm, and then through a not so little creek where I thought for sure we would get stuck in the middle or a child would fall overboard. But everyone survived and it just made it that much more exciting! The guy driving us around stopped at the pumpkin field where we picked our pumpkins, and then we found our way through the corn maze for little people. We ended with picking our own corn ears for making pop corn at home (which we have yet to attempt!) It was a lot of fun, and something that we all said we want to do again next year!

On Halloween evening, we continued our tradition (for the second time ever) of having some friends over to help hand out Halloween candy and watch a "scary" movie. My sister came and we took Noelle and Jonah around to some houses to trick-or-treat. Jonah was Nemo and Noelle was a giraffe without a head (last time I'm getting her a costume with a hat!) I allowed Jonah to suck on a lollipop while we walked around, and as soon as he got another one, he dropped the first one to open the second one. I took it away from him, and he threw a fit, so I dropped him off at the house with Luke, and my sister and I continued on with Noelle. After she complained that her bucket was "too heavy", we headed back to join the party to eat food and watch the movie.

My one friend and I are not big fans of scary movies, so we looked up how the movie (The Others) ended, and were able to watch it without being too creeped out. The movie the group picked was, as Luke put it, more atmospheric than actually scary. You always think something scary is about to happen, but there was really only one jumpy part. Overall, it was another fun year of trick-or-treating and hanging out with friends.

This past weekend, our little town had a chili cook-off so we headed down to Main Street to get the free tastings. There were so many good types of chili, and even though the samples were fairly small, we were too stuffed to try them all! But it made for a free lunch and fun time walking around as a family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gaver Farm Trip

Luke took the day off from work today, and Noelle played hooky from school so that we could go have some family fun at Gaver farm. Third year in a row that I've taken at least one child, and Luke's first time. It's a bit pricey to get into the area with all the activities, but there is SO much to do! We spent two hours climbing, sliding, pumping water, playing in corn kernels, going through mazes, and more! And I'm pretty sure Jonah would have gladly kept going if we hadn't needed to get home for lunch and nap time.

It was a bit chilly, and since Noelle has decided she has a thing against long sleeves, only had a short sleeve shirt on underneath her coat. She kept saying "I'm chilly" and wanting to be held. Jonah had a blast running around from thing to thing, touching the goats, and spent a good 20 minutes pumping water.

Per our tradition, we brought their Halloween costumes so that we could take their pictures in the pumpkin patch. Neither one was super cooperative, but they did look super adorable as Nemo and a giraffe! Every time Jonah bent over to scoop up gravel, his little fish tail stuck straight up into the air. I have a feeling the hat won't stay on for Halloween either, but at least we can still tell it's Nemo!

We all loved having daddy there with us, and I think he'll just have to start joining us every year. There's just something so sweet about making memories with my little family!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Family Pictures

This past weekend my sister took our family pictures, and I love them! We just went to her backyard and used her rock wall, chairs, and the fall foliage. While Noelle and Jonah weren't the most cooperative, she managed to capture some great pictures!

Oh how I love our little family!

And this boy. I know I'm biased, but I think he's just so cute!

And my first baby- how has she grown SO much!

Love, love, love!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jonah at 18 Months

I don't even know how to grasp that Jonah is a year and a half- which saying it that way just sounds so much older than 18 months. But he's running and talking and eating so much, so he is most definitely not a baby anymore.

At his 18 month well-check today he came in at 32.3 inches (50%) and 24 pounds, 4 ounces (28%). I wonder if he'll be "tall" for our family since Noelle has never come close to being in the 50th percentile. He did have some big brain/head growth going from the 19th percentile to 56th percentile.

He repeats so many things! When we give him something, he will usually say "dank oo". He'll say "e too" for me too when he wants something we gave to Noelle. And in true boy fashion, he likes to say "poop" whenever I'm changing his diaper. He mostly likes to say "yeah" when we ask him a question, but certain things, it's a definite "no!"

We've thankfully dropped down to one nap a day, usually soon after lunch. It makes it so much easier to do something in the morning, come home and eat lunch, and then put him down. Most times he naps for around two hours, and while Noelle watches some t.v., I get stuff done. (Or not, sometimes I'm lay on the couch with Noelle.) At nighttime, he usually goes down around 8:00 and wakes up around 7:30. Looking back to a year ago, I have no idea how I functioned when he was waking up 3-4 times a night! So thankful that has changed!

Three molars have come in, so he now has 11 teeth! Though our pediatrician recommended that you start seeing the dentist at a year old now, we'll probably wait till he's two. When we took Noelle to the dentist a few weeks ago, Jonah was more willing to sit (or stand) in the chair than she was, so hopefully that's a good sign he'll cooperate! And he loves to brush his teeth. Almost every time we go into the bathroom, he says "too" and points to his toothbrush.

One of the big things we need to work on is weaning him off his bottle (I know, we're like six months late on this!), but I worry that he doesn't drink enough from a cup because he'll take one sip and walk away. But he loves his bottles and guzzling them down. He can drink out of a sippy cup or straw cup, so we just have to keep pushing those!

He loves most foods and eats almost anything that we're eating. Hopefully we can avoid him being as picky as Noelle (especially when it comes to veggies!) He eats meats, rice, quinoa, most veggies, crackers, berries, egg, and more. And he loves to feed himself yogurt and applesauce. He is quite the growing boy!

His little personality is starting to come through, and Luke keeps saying we're in trouble because Jonah is like how Luke was when he was a kid. Luke is pretty sure that Jonah will be the one who is class clown, and will be goofy just to get others to laugh. He is also so sweet and loves to give Noelle a hug before he goes to bed! Makes my heart melt every time. Love, love, love him!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Cup Runneth Over

So many thoughts today- but mostly I can't help but think my cup runneth over! It is a beautiful October day, we had a great MOPS meeting this morning, got in a good workout with Luke before the kids woke up, and have been blessed by my time with the Lord!

After MOPS today, we were driving home with the windows down, singing along to the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and it was just one of those moments that hit me how blessed I am to be living this life. To have two beautiful children, being able to afford our minivan, living my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom, and so much more!

During our MOPS meeting, we had a speaker from Operation Christmas Child come talk to us about the whole program. And while we've made boxes for the last few years, I've never really thought beyond handing them in and imagining a child opening it up in a foreign country. The lady who shared with us told us about all the logistics of checking each and every box to make sure no inappropriate items were added, adding to boxes that don't have quite as much (but so thankful for people giving whatever they can!), the logistics of working with the distribution churches in each country to get things through customs and out to the church. She told us that 8 million boxes were sent from America last year, and that each box is averaged out to affect 7 people (family members and neighbors of those kids who get a box.) Also, the churches that distribute the boxes in other countries have to agree to follow up with the recipients and their families- it's not just a one time thing. It makes me excited to be a part of it again this year!

On Tuesday, Noelle took her very first field trip ever! Each child got to bring a parent or grandparent, and thankfully my mom was able to watch Jonah so I could go along. We went to a local farm to pick pumpkins and go on a hayride. Noelle loved it, but I think her favorite part was riding the school bus, just like her big friends, to get to the farm! She leaned over to me while we were sitting on the bus, and said "I'm so glad you're here, Mommy!" Heart melted!

This past weekend I was able to attend our church's women's retreat. It was in beautiful rural Pennsylvania, and our topic was being authentic. It was really cool to get to know other women in the church and hear their stories, and to see how God has worked in their lives. No matter how much we seem to have it together- we do not! Thankfully God is the One holding it all together! My favorite social part was the drive up and back- I drove four other adults and one baby in the van, and we had some great girl talk and lots of laughs. I am so thankful for each friendship!

Monday, October 12, 2015

First Larriland Trip

October is well under way, and we finally had our first trip to Larriland last week! It was completely impromptu, but necessary. Necessary in the sense that Jonah was being a cranky babe and needed to be outside of the house! On Friday last week, after our busy week of pre-school and meetings with both MOPS groups, I headed up to a tot-swap about 40 minutes away. I got myself some Starbucks, Noelle was content listening and singing along to her music, and Jonah was flipping through a book he had brought along. All was peaceful until we arrived at the fairgrounds.

yummy fall snack of apple and peanut butter

We went inside and it was packed with so many moms, kids, and stuff- which is usually how it is! There wasn't much that I needed, but wanted to look for sneakers for Noelle and snow boots for Jonah. We found the shoe area, and while I looked through the bins, Noelle and Jonah played with the toys nearby. Noelle was hilarious (probably only hilarious to me!) as she gave a little concert singing into a toy with a microphone. We're pretty sure this girl will never be able to do more than make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

There wasn't much in the boot department for the boys, but I found sneakers for Noelle, and couldn't resist a cute pair of fake Ugg boots for her as well. (Boots for her are just so easy because she can usually get them on and off all by herself!) I figured we should head over to the line that was snaking around the building so that we could make sure to still hit the road before Jonah got too sleepy and took a car nap on the way home instead of a real nap (#theworst).

Unfortunately that's when things went bad and Jonah became a writhing, screaming goober who was unhappy about not getting his way. I tried to wait in line, but when I picked him up to move further up the line, he started his shenanigans all over again. I'm still figuring out this whole disciplining thing, especially since Jonah seems to be much more dramatic than Noelle was at that age! I threw the shoes back in the appropriate bins and headed out the door.

Noelle was sad about not getting her sneakers, but she had been talking about going to the farm, and I decided to do something fun for her. Plus Larriland was right on the way home! There were a lot of people, with probably at least two school groups out for the farm experience, but both kids were happy to run around, visit the animals, and stick their faces in the face hole walls. It turned our not so great morning around, and gave us something fun to do before heading home for lunch and Jonah's nap. And we already have another trip to the farm planned with friends!

Noelle and I have also been working on painting some pumpkins while Jonah naps. My mom found a six pack of little pumpkins with paint and brought them to us for a fun fall activity. Noelle, of course, has painted all of hers blue, and I tried to make a cat face on mine. And definitely a good activity to do when Jonah is asleep!    

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pot Sticker Fun

Back in August Luke had decided he wanted pot stickers for his birthday dinner. We've always made the pot stickers Walmart has in their frozen food aisle, and they're always delicious. After going running with my friend the morning of his birthday, she suggested making them myself. She had a recipe at home she could send me, and I could easily pick up the wonton wrappers at the grocery store. I was a little hesitant, but decided to give it a try, and if it was a total flop, to have the frozen ones as back up.

Well, our trip to the grocery store was a bit of a fail since I couldn't find the wonton wrappers. It wasn't until I talked to my mom later on that I found out they are kept in the refrigerated section- I had no idea! Jonah was a cranky mess, so I wasn't going to risk trying a different store (not that it would have helped since I didn't know where they were!) We made the frozen ones for Luke's birthday, and they were delicious!

Noelle actually took a bite of a pot sticker!

A few weeks later, my friend asked if I wanted to make a play date out of it and we could make them together. I'm always up for a play date, and even more so when it involves food! She found a few recipes online and we each brought supplies (she found the wonton wrappers!) to make them at her house. Between the two of us, we have a three, two, and one year old, and overall, they did pretty well. There was some whining, some t.v. time, some not sharing, and some not so helpful "help", but we successfully made three types of pot stickers. We (and by we, I mean my friend) fried some of them so we could eat lunch together, and then split up the rest to share with our husbands. Luke was so excited, we made them that night. Pot stickers for lunch and dinner for the win!

This past weekend was a bit dreary because of the hurricane hitting the south, so we made our way to the mall to walk around and get out some energy. (I need some more indoor places to go with the littles as the weather gets colder!) After walking around we decided to go out to dinner before heading home for a haircut (for Jonah done by Luke), and bath time for both of them. Noelle wanted pizza, so we headed out to Pizza Hut and did the dinner box meal that includes breadsticks, pizza, and cinnamon sticks. The kids both did really well, and it was delicious! And Jonah's haircut came out mostly okay!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Thoughts of My Heart

Babies, babies, babies!

They're on my brain and on my heart.

And it seems like SO many friends are having one (or another one!) It's so exciting, and I've been making a little list in my quiet time journal as a reminder to pray for each mama and babe for health and a smooth pregnancy.

My devotions of late have served as a great reminder to rejoice with those who rejoice and to live a life worthy of the calling I have received-  which involves living a life of love. The Holy Spirit is working in the body of Christ to mature each of us and unify us. And being fully entrenched in mothering toddlers, I think it's important to stick together with my fellow mamas.

Which, back to the babies thing, it's been struggle-city over here to not feel jealous. To question why it's not my turn again. To see that timeline in my head that just isn't going to happen (Irish twins? I would have said bring it on!) To take a pregnancy test just because, knowing in my head that it will be negative, but still feeling crushed when I actually see it. It's hard being at church, seeing all my pregnant friends, then spending the entire service feeling sad and wondering why I can't be one of them.

God's plan for me, for our family, is just different than His plans for my friends. I know that I have so much to be thankful for, and am so incredibly blessed to be married and to have two babies to call my own. And I know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this. When you get the desire to have a baby, it's hard to shake. And there's really only so much you can do to "control" the situation.

God's timing is always right and will always win. He knows what I can handle. He is all that I need, and the only thing that can fill any kind of void. For now, I'll rely on Him to make it through each day, I'll rejoice with those that are celebrating a new blessing, and I'll pray that maybe someday it will be my turn again. My turn to feel little movements of new life, to snuggle a newborn, and watch Luke become a daddy all over again.

[the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. galatians 5:6b]

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beginning of Fall Fun

Last week we were invited to go along with our friends to the Maryland Zoo, and it was a blast! When I told Noelle earlier in the week that we would be going to the zoo, she kept talking about it and couldn't wait to see the giraffes. She has also decided that she would like to be a giraffe for Halloween, so we are on the lookout for a giraffe costume. She loves watching her Baby Genius movie about baby animals and singing the song about baby giraffes being six feet tall- it's the cutest!
Beverly and I have been friends since before we had kids, and now we have four little stair steps between the two of us.

On Saturday we headed up to visit Luke's family and go to the fall festival in their town. There were a bunch of vendors and little fair rides, but the highlight was seeing Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lyd. We hung out with everyone for a bit at Grandma's house before we headed over to the festival. The kids played Plinko, got balloons, and ate sticky lollipops. And once Jonah had had enough, we headed back- and, of course, Jonah fell asleep in the five minutes it took to drive back to Grandma's house. Since our van was in the shop up that way anyhow, I drove Jonah home while Luke and Noelle waited for the van to be ready.

Earlier that day after dropping off the van to get worked on, we had strapped Jonah into the infant car seat in the Fit to drive home. Technically he's a little bit too big for it, but close enough that we made it work. Well, on our way back, he puked up all the juice he'd had that morning and completely drenched himself and the seat. Poor kid was really upset, and as Luke was trying to take apart the seat so we could get everything washed, we decided it just wasn't worth it. The seat has already been expired for a year and a half, and we had decided we are going to replace it if we ever have a third. So now the carseat is sitting out on the curb ready to be picked up on trash day. The sentimental side of me is sad to see it go since both of my littles spent the first year of their life traveling in that seat- lots of memories! (But also, that seat is so gross and needs to be tossed!)

our little climber

With Noelle at school on Monday and Tuesday mornings, Jonah and I have had some fun one on one time. The last two Tuesdays we've made it to library time for the 0-24 month olds and Jonah has enjoyed the songs and play time. I remember the one on one time I had with Noelle and taking her to the library, and in general, it's just so adorable seeing all the babies crawling and walking around together!