Sunday, November 26, 2006

good family time

Well, Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday....we had a good one this year, as always. I had such a sweet time having my friend Meg visit for a few days. Jonah became very attached to his "auntie Meg" and was sad to see her go. We ate WAY too much food that day, as my family (on my mom's side) gathered at her house for dinner. It was crazy and loud, as it usually is when all of us get together. But that's how I love it....I'm so thankful for my family and opportunities like that to spend time together. It just doesn't happen often enough anymore. It was great seeing my cousin Lacey...only it felt like it wasn't long enough, and I am enjoying getting to know my cousins' wives, Jennifer and Heather, more and loving on their sweet kids. It was a great day. We missed family we couldn't be with....Blake and Amy, Candy, Jen and Eric, and all the rest. And to the Estes women....I especially missed day-after-Thanksgiving-shopping with you! =) We'll have to make up for it at New Years!

Jonah's vocabulary is just exploding. There aren't many words that he doesn't at least try to say when we ask him to, and most of them are getting pretty clear and discernible. The doctor says his verbal skills may mean earlier potty training.....scary!! I'm definitely not ready for that. But this child sure is keeping us laughing a whole lot. He says "please" in the sweetest voice, but lots of times, I have no idea what he is so very politely asking for, and I feel so bad for him. I guess he thinks we can read his mind. A friend and old college roommate of mine, Melody (Jordan) Slaton, and her husband Dustin came to visit us last night. They got married the week before Joel and I did, and we hadn't seen each other since our weddings, so we had fun going to Posados with them and catching up. They came over to the house after dinner, and Jonah really put on a show for them. He was such a clown and was very aware of how funny he was, so he kept being silly to try to get a reaction from them. Reminds me of another "clown" I know.....his dad. =)

So excited the Christmas season has begun! So far, Jonah has avoided all kinds of mishaps and disasters with the tree. He LOVES the Christmas lights. But I'm thinking he might be scared of Santa.

Enjoy our recent pics!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

The last several days have been so fun. On Friday, Jonah and I went to spend the night in Lufkin with my aunt Jan, and we had the best time! She took us out to eat, and then we went over to visit my cousin Cory, his wife Heather, and their two little girls, Kate and Reese. Reese is the new baby of the family, and it was my first time to meet her. She was precious, never even heard her make a sound the entire evening....very happy baby, and beautiful! And Kate, the 4-year old big sister, was fun as always. She came back to Jan's house to spend the night with us that night, and Jonah was crazy about her! They really had fun playing together! I'll post some pics of them in a few days. And he was very affectionate towards his Gran Jan too, right from the start. Plus, she had fake vegetables in her kitchen, and Jonah played with them probably for hours. =) The only crazy part of the trip was during the night....Jonah decided to wake up during the night and cry out some. I was sleeping in the same room in a regular bed with him at the foot of the bed in a pack-n-play. He wasn't really crying, but I could hear him rustling and could tell that he was awake. It was 2am, and he did this for 45 minutes, so I got him up and....yikes.....put him in bed with me because I thought he was cold. If you know Jonah, you know that he loves to play, even if it's the middle of the night, so that didn't work so well. We laid there for two hours and then I told him that he would have to go back to his crib if he didn't lay still and go to sleep....and quit talking! I was wondering how I was going to safely drive back to Tyler the next morning on only 3 hours of sleep. I put him back in his crib and he went back to sleep! for one hour. Then he woke up again and I put him back in bed with me. I know, psycho, right? But that time, at 5:30am, he went to sleep. And I must admit, it was one of the sweetest times I've had with him. I was ridiculously tired, but to fall asleep cuddling with my baby and have his arm around my neck playing with my hair was so great. That was the first time that we ever shared a bed. And as sweet as it was, I'm hoping we don't have to do it again for a long time!

Today, one of my best friends, Megan, is coming to visit us. Her family is in Maine, so she is not going to be able to go see them this Thanksgiving, so she's spending Thanksgiving with our family. And I'm thrilled! It will be nice to have a pretend "sister" with me this year! I'm especially sad that I won't be spending Thanksgiving with my brother and his family this year. They are pretty much settled into their new house in Lexington, Kentucky. My parents just got back last night from visiting them and were full of fun stories about the kids. Maggie, who will be two in January, has a newly discovered love for talking on the phone. She carries one around with her to play with all throughout the day, and the chances she gets to talk on the real phone with one of her family members usually end with Maggie fighting because she doesn't want to give up the phone. She's such a girl! (Good luck with that, Amy!) =) Those kids are so sweet, I can't wait to see them at Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I just put up my Christmas tree last night, so we'll have to see how long before Jonah destroys the ornaments or unwraps all the presents....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Friends are good

Today was such a fun gift for me....two of my best friends from Dallas, Kelli and Holly, came to Tyler, and we all surprised another girl we know (Kate, who went to church with us at Euless). Kate is having her second baby and just moved to Tyler a couple weeks before I did, so we all went to eat at the Potpourri House to have some girl time (without kids around!) and give Kate baby gifts. We had such a good time. I loved laughing with them. I am reminded of how blessed I am to have some good girlfriends who are real, authentic girls.....they don't put on masks and get caught up in all the appearance management junk that goes on so much today with women's friendships. Those girls are so genuine....they let you into their lives....they let you see the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I am so grateful for that. I learn from them that way. They love the Lord so much, and because they are vulnerable enough to let you see them as they are, you really learn from them. I have learned so much about perspective on trials because of these girls. One of them once told me flat out that I couldn't really trust the Lord and still worry like I do; she told me I had to make a choice between the two. Wow, what a good friend! Not many are that honest. That was a few years ago when she told me that simple truth, and it changed my life and the way I respond to opportunities to worry. I am so glad to have learned that from her then, because motherhood brings all kinds of opportunities for worry, fear, and panic! (To this day, she doesn't remember saying that, but I'll always remember it!) These girls have demonstrated to me, all the time I've known them, their intentionality in investing in the lives of their girlfriends. Nothing about their friendships is characterized by the motive of "what does this person have to offer me as a friend?" They are all about cultivating friendships on the basis of "how can I invest in this friend and help her to know the Lord more intimately?" I just think more friendships should be about that. I just love their intentionality and sense of purpose they bring to their friendships. I love that I have friends who go deeper than the "surface-y"friend stuff....because aren't we all tired of that stuff anyway? I like that we go deep with each other, get to the heart of issues....our phone conversations deal less with what's going on in our lives (daily details, circumstances, etc.) and much more about what God is showing us or how He's trying to grow us. God is always most concerned with where our hearts are, so as good friends, shouldn't we be as well? But one of the things I most appreciate about these women are that they are so fun. Life is always so funny to us when we get together....we laugh and laugh. And yes, we get a little too silly at times, but it is never boring! And that is very important to me, because so often girls I know sacrifice the living of abundant life once they become a mom. And these girls refuse to go there. They will not stop living life fully just because they are in the "valley of diapers" (as a college prof of mine once called it)....They will not back out of their commitments to serve in the church because they have little ones. They will make their families their priority, but they will not get closed off to relationships with other people. They know that friendship is still very important and they make time for it. They don't "check out" of life for this period of however many years that they have young kids at home. And they sure don't stop spending time in the Word because of the pressures and distractions of mothering. They haven't stopped wanting to learn. They haven't stopped wanting to grow. And they are still willing to get in the car with little ones and drive from Arlington to Tyler just for lunch, even with babies crying and not sleeping the entire car drive.....that doesn't stop them because they value their friends so much. I really appreciate them doing that today. I know Kelli and Holly really made the trip to "shower" Kate, but I feel really blessed too. I feel like it was also a gift for me. I'm so impressed and touched by their willingness to "road trip" for us! And they are certainly not the only friends like that that I have in my life....I am grateful for my other sweet friends too. I'm writing all about this today because I just feel challenged to be the kind of friend they are to me, to other people. I hope that I can make investments in my friends like that. I hope that all of you friends reading this know how much I love you! And I pray that everyone has the opportunity to have a girlfriend like these ones I spent time with today. I just thought of how with those girls, we all got close very didn't take time because we didn't waste time on the surface matters. We just got right down to the deep stuff right away. If we all went into friendships with that kind of mentality, life would be so different for most of us, in the area of friendships. Anyway, today was a very poignant reminder of how I need to be doing that more.
Sorry, I know I said these wouldn't be long. I lied. =) I guess you'll have to stop reading it if it's too long for you! But it's great to get all of these thoughts out, as my heart is very full today.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Thanks for checking out my blog....hopefully it will give you a little window into my world as Jonah's mommy. I have now been living in Tyler for 2 months and 10 days. It has been a whirlwind. I cannot believe how time has flown. We're settling in rather nicely, and I'm loving this place where we are. Here are some recent pics of Jonah. As you can tell, he is growing ridiculously fast, and he is so much fun. He is obsessed with little cars and trucks and could play with them all day. He is also very into books and farm animals. He's pretty much mastered all of the sounds that farm animals make. He's saying a lot of words.....please, thank you, stinky, more, up, puppy, down, help, outside, and lots of names of people he loves. He's always making us laugh with his funny faces he makes and how enthusiastic he is about the tiniest little things. While I'm getting ready every morning, he opens up a drawer in the bathroom that holds my hair bands and clips, and he carries them all over the place, playing with them. I don't know what is so fun about hair ties, but he sure keeps himself busy with stuff like that. He's started having a little bit of separation anxiety stuff the last few weeks....crying when we leave him in the nursery at church and stuff, but he recovers quickly when he is given a toy, or better yet, food. So it's not too bad. All in all, he is still the same sweet, easy-going kid....just getting more and more active by the day. Joel and I have started reading Shepherding a Child's Heart.....can't believe that we are already at the stage where we have to start thinking about discipline strategies and stuff like that. Time is flying by crazy fast. I think I already said that though. You'll probably hear it a lot more.
We just returned from our first visit back to Bartlesville since we moved. We had a blast!! The visit with family was so nice, and Jonah was having so much fun playing at his Nanny's (Joel's mom) new condo there.....she now has stairs, so that was quite exciting for him. I was able to see some girlfriends, and we were able to visit our former church there which is very dear to us. My good friend Courtney also just had her second child last week, so we were able to meet her little girl, sweet Creighton. So it was a full trip, we loved it and are excited to get back there for another visit at New Years.
The things I love most about being in Tyler again, besides loving being close to my parents again, are the church where we are (it's an incredible one), the journey of meeting new people and building friendships, and of course the fact that my husband loves his job and is definitely in the right place. That brings so much joy to this girl's heart.
And I'm very thankful for our house. Still working on it....lots more to do. Tonight we will be painting some more and hopefully getting started on texturing walls in another room. We'll be having lots of company in the next few weeks, so I'm in a mad rush to get more done really quickly. I've been busy with trying to take down some horrific wallpaper in our hall bath, and I finally had some success this week by spraying a bottle of half water, half fabric softener on the walls, a trick learned from our niece, who at age 13 knows more about home improvement that I could ever know in a lifetime, I'm sure (thanks, Ciera!). Just in case you ever face the battle of having to take down stubborn wallpaper, know that that works well!
Jonah is waking up from his nap now, so the noise and action is about to begin again. As much as I enjoy these quiet moments during afternoon naptime, I'm ready for him to bring his energy into the house. I just can't figure out what I did before Jonah was here....was I bored? I don't know, but he sure keeps everything fun and exciting. Time to go play. These won't always be this long.