Monday, April 23, 2007

The Funniest Thing I Have EVER Seen...

Today at the gym, I witnessed the funniest thing. I usually miss stuff like this, so I am really thrilled I got to see it. Please know that I am only laughing at this now that I know no one was hurt. Even so, I'm a little bit evil for thinking it's so funny, I realize that. There was an elderly lady (say, about 70 years old) walking on the treadmill. I was on a bike behind her, and I caught a glimpse of something happening really fast and looked up to see her fall on the treadmill and slide off the back of the treadmill on her stomach. We've all seen those falls on youtube and the like, but wait, there's more. As if that wasn't bad enough, when she fell, her pants got stuck in the side of the treadmill track, and as she struggled trying to get up so she could stop the treadmill as it continued to run, it pulled her pants right off! She was laying on the floor/end of the treadmill with her pants all the way down, showing off her big white granny panties! There happened to be quite a few elderly people there, and about six old men just stopped and stared at her in her panties! One of them was on the treadmill right next to her, trying to stop hers, but he was slow in doing so, mainly because he was so distracted looking at this woman lose her clothes. It was absolutely hysterical. I dared not laugh until I got in my car to leave, but ever since, I laugh so hard just thinking about it. I must say, she handled it with such grace and dignity. I would have been in tears, and there would be no way I'd ever return to the same gym. But she held her head high and walked on. She had some bruising but said she was fine. I'm sure she'll be sore tomorrow! Wish you all could have seen it and shared in this great pleasure with me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Busy week

There is one week that all mothers in Tyler seem to live for. It is the big event that draws together so many different women and connects moms who would otherwise have nothing or very little in common. This is a very social town (sometimes in a bad way, sometimes not), but I believe this to be one of the top-rated social events going on here. Excitement has been brewing for months, and it's the most common discussion topic in any playgroup or circle of moms. I could feel the tension of anticipation everywhere this week, as the event got closer and closer. I had decided in my mind not to participate in the emotional contagion that accompanied this event, convinced that the women's enthusiasm was probably unmerited or at least excessive. The whole thing seemed a little borderline occult-ish, to me. Just kidding about that last part, but it is a BIG deal here. It's this huge, three-day children's consignment sale that sells brand-name kids' clothing, toys, items, maternity clothes, furniture, and home-decorative items. EVERYONE goes. No joke. If you sell items or volunteer to work at the sale, you get to attend a special preview sale, and I went on Wednesday night to that. I wasn't kidding about it being a social event. We met up, shopped, and hung out afterwards at IHOP until midnight. It was all anyone had been talking about for weeks, so I was preparing myself all this week to expect that it's probably not as great or fun as anyone says. I went into self-protective mode, wanting to guard against disappointment. Oh my goodness. You wouldn't believe how fun it was. I way underestimated how much good stuff I'd find. And yes, I spent too much money on stuff I didn't really need right now. At least now I know to budget for it every year, like so many friends here do. So, yep....I've been sucked in. My new obsession is this consignment sale (check it out -, and I'm already getting excited for the next one in September. Even if you live a few hours away, you should consider coming to this sale. You could stay with me! It's SO great. I found some clothes and shoes for Jonah, although maybe not quite as much as I'd hoped for in the size he's wearing right now. Also, I wasn't looking for baby items, but I found things that I know I'd want to have for a next baby whenever I do get pregnant again (Lord-willing), so I got a Moses basket that's so cute... and a Baby Bjorn for $15. Yes, that's right. I said $15!!! It's in perfect shape. I was thrilled. The Moses basket was my biggest splurge there (still way cheaper than in the stores), I hesitated since it's not really a necessity. My friend Kate was supposed to tell me that I didn't need it. She failed me. I went home with it. Joel didn't really understand that purchase.

Jonah got a new DVD and just one toy, because I've been trying to figure out how to get rid of some of the toys in our playroom. Somehow there's just too much. So I didn't let myself linger in the toy area for long, but I couldn't pass up this one toy - the Elefun game, where the elephant blows butterflies out of his trunk and you catch them with your net. Jonah was so excited about it, although he has yet to catch any of them in his net. He just gets really excited, almost deliriously so, yelling out the colors of the butterflies that shoot out. And then says "more! more!" each time we're done.

Speaking of my little man.....he's still so funny and getting even funnier by the day. One of his favorite mealtime choices is cheese-toast. Well, I made him some toast with strawberry jelly on it one day for breakfast, and he got really happy and said, "red cheese-toast!" I tried to explain that it didn't have cheese on it, but he had made up his mind that that's what he'd call it, and he's said it so many times since. His most common statement over the last three or four weeks has been the single-word "nnn-nere" which translated, means, "in there," (but also refers to "out there," "over there," and "through there") and has all of a sudden been replaced by multi-word phrases and entire sentences. I still can't believe how fast their speech develops once you hit a certain point! One morning this week, we got him out of bed and brought him into our bed for a few minutes before we got up for the day, and he said very clearly, "Daddy in there, on the bed" as we got into bed. As of this week, he rarely leaves out a part of speech. Prepositions and all. It's just funny, because my mom has talked a lot about how teaching kindergarten, she saw that every kid seemed to have a certain natural aptitude in an area of learning, either more skilled in language or in the math & sciences. So we've really seen this week where Jonah is probably going to be a language-boy. Some of the biggest enjoyment I have as a parent (and it was my favorite part of nannying too) is the process of trying to teach my child and watching him learn new things and especially getting to have little discoveries of the natural abilities and gifts God has given him. I think it will be most gratifying, exhilarating even, to see how he grows up to use those skills to influence his world and what God has created him to do. He's just seemed a lot older to me this week. I feel like he's not a baby anymore, and as fun as it is in a lot of ways, my heart is a little sad, realizing how fast he's changing and growing up. Just today, we had a big-boy moment that almost brought me to tears. We were in the car and Jonah was letting me know his nose was running, but since I was driving, I just handed him a Kleenex, and he wiped his own nose. HE WIPED HIS OWN NOSE! I thought, "he's not supposed to be doing that!" It seemed like such a grown-up thing to do. I think this mom is going to have a break-down the week of his 2-year birthday. I'll start praying now about having peace with this growing-up thing!

Tomorrow, we will be spending most of the day with family. My great-aunt and great-uncle from Gig Harbor, WA will be in town, and so aunts, uncle, and cousins are coming too, and we are all having lunch over at my mom's. I'm excited!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Something true I read today:

Belated Pics

Here are some pics from my afternoon in Dallas a week and a half ago. The first one is of me and 3 of my best gals from college, at Lizzy's baby shower ((L-R) - Liz, me, Leighann, and Angela). The other is of my sweet friend Kelli's beautiful children, Carter and new baby boy Campbell. FYI.....if any of you have daughters that you'd like to marry Jonah, we still are accepting requests, but you must know that Carter is first in line. That relationship has been arranged by parents for a LONG time, I think the day we found out we were having a boy. I guess there is a chance though that that doesn't work out and they don't fall in love with each other like their mothers dream. =) So it's always smart to have back-ups.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Confessions of a News Addict

It's been hard for me to watch or read anything today without being filled with an indescribable sadness. I've been so disturbed by the tragedy at Virginia Tech. And while I have this desire to acknowledge the pain of those involved and attempt to articulate some of the emotion it stirs in me, I am at a loss as to how to wrap any words around it. This may be a feeble attempt, but here goes. While at the gym this morning, the story was on every single television screen, and I found myself jumping from channel to channel, trying to catch various pieces of the testimonies of those students who had survived but had front-row views of unspeakable horrors. Even though I was sweating from working out, my body still had chills all over it. It was the strangest thing. I eventually became so physically nauseated by the reality of it all that I had to jerk the earplugs out of my ears and not let myself look at the screens anymore. I think I barely avoided a meltdown there at the gym this morning. And yet I felt still sickened by my own tendency to just withdraw and not even take the time to look at others' pain. Our natural reaction is to turn away, think about something more positive, focus on ourselves really. Nothing could be further from God's heart. How will we ever be a part of Christ using us to help meet people's deepest needs and heal their hurting hearts if we refuse to even observe their pain, or worse, emotionally withdraw from it in such a way that we separate ourselves from the understanding of what people are dealing with these days? I felt so challenged today, Do I love those people, even though I don't know them? Am I praying like crazy for God to send those hurting souls comforters who will point them to His love and grace? I realized how normal it is for me to want to resist being affected by others' pain, and only when I'm walking in step with the Spirit do I feel burdened for those that I do not even know and am separated from by great distance.

The truth is, I watch and read a lot of news everyday. But when you commit to intentionally looking at the news from a biblical worldview, it is not usually a pleasant thing. It causes discomfort. It is messy. And it takes a whole lot of critical thinking to arrive at a perspective of truth on every story you see. It can be one of the toughest struggles to allow yourself not only to see the ugly stuff that is happening in our world but to soak it in for longer than a second, to embrace it long enough to actually carry some of the burden for somebody else. But the brilliance of the gift that God gives us to think critically and biblically is that we can gain insight into who He is and what He really has to offer the world. So while I will never say that it is easy to be an devoted observer of culture, the lessons God teaches through it are treasures. He has challenged and convicted me today, and I am thankful for the lesson on selflessness. In turn, I will force myself to view the pain in this world and continue to pause long enough to think about the brokenness and neediness only to the extent that I can see Christ and learn from Him through it. I'm thinking that God is very pleased with the process of our working through what we see, seeking to know truth in it and respond accordingly. I'm thankful that He can be known through all aspects of creation, even when it is a little messy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mom Moment

We went to the grocery store today, and much to my surprise, Jonah decided he was not a fan of the cart anymore. Not because he didn't like it, but because he was SCARED of it. Any time that I would stop the cart and walk over to the shelf to get an item, he would get really nervous and say, "falling, falling." He kept thinking he was going to fall! I kept trying to help him understand that he was strapped in and wasn't going anywhere. He hasn't fallen off or out of anything that I know of; it's such an interesting new fear of his. Where did it come from all of a sudden? I didn't like it at all, because I could really see the fear in his eyes. He'd never been that way before. And as a mother, you just instinctively want to protect your child from fear. I especially do, because I remember as a child being so afraid of a lot of things. So it bothered me a lot that he was so scared of a danger that wasn't even real. I was pondering this whole thing, and God brought this thought to mind: I dealt with a whole lot of fear as a child, but it truly was the only thing that really enabled me to see my need for Christ while at a young age. When you're 7, you're not exactly fully aware of your depravity! (Or at least I wasn't) But through my battles with fear, I realized that things plagued me and that Satan is busy wanting to destroy my life. So I was reminded afresh today of how important it is as Jonah's mom to not make it my goal to protect him from every single possible hurt in this world (not that that would be possible anyway) but rather to be ready to lead him through it, showing Christ to him. I want to make sure that when I'm calming him or comforting him or just loving on him when he's sad, my words are full of truth and always point to Christ. He's not too young for me to be sure that my words are edifying when he's going through some kind of struggle. Ok, I'm off to Starbucks with a friend!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jonah Growing Up

Ok, I am soooooo done with the Easter eggs. The brightly-colored plastic eggs are all over the house, and my son's fascination with taking them apart, unfortunately, is greater than his desire to put them back together or even pick them up off the floor. All week long, I have put eggs back together only to find them back apart, as I frequently step on them. I know they are fun for him to play with, but the time has come for them to be retired until next Easter. The little things have made me just a little crazy this week.

Jonah's new phrase that I've heard over and over this week: "I need more!" Yes, he says that. In the most desperate-sounding voice too. (And "more" is two syllables, by the way.) It's hard not to laugh, even if it is somewhat selfishly obnoxious. He is so funny. I can't even tell you how many sentences I've heard this week that begin with "I need..." Today he was trying to express his interest in having a snack, and he said, "I need...mouth." He couldn't think of the word, so he was demonstrating that he wanted something to go in his mouth. Crazy. When we were in Kentucky, I kept thinking how different Jonah and Maggie seemed on speech development. She's only five months older, but her speech was so much further along. She speaks in long sentences all the time now, and he was still in the phase of repeatedly saying one word over and over again. I thought there was such a big difference, and there was. And is. But this week I am amazed at how quickly Jonah's speech has changed. Already, in just a couple weeks' time, he has begun saying multi-word phrases a lot more, even some sentences. It's crazy how fast it happens. I'm in awe of how much his little brain is soaking up. How can one watch a one-year old grow and develop and not believe in a creator God?!! It is so incredible to see, through his world of exploration, how we have been designed to learn.

I almost bought a dining room table today. I went to an antiques sale last night and saw it. I thought about it all last night and this morning and went back there today to buy it, and the chairs had been bought already. The chairs are what made me really like it, so I didn't want to just get the table. I was a little disappointed but actually really thankful that God gave me a clear sign that it wasn't meant to be. But the weird thing to me is that I liked something antique. I have liked antiques in small things, like little accessories and stuff, not something big like a dining room table. I like a lot more new things than I like old. But I was surprised to find that I liked it. I am much more open to an old table now and feel inspired that I may be able to find one sooner than I had planned now that my options are a little broader. I would like the challenge of decorating with some older pieces and trying to still make it work with what I have and make it feel more modern. I'm planning to hit some garage sales this weekend....spring always gets me in the mood to do that. Hope there are some good ones.

Monday, April 9, 2007


We had a great weekend with family visiting. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece Ciera came Thursday night and stayed until yesterday. It was so much fun! Jonah LOVED spending time with them. He is really a family boy. He is constantly talking about all of his aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. We stayed busy this weekend. The girls did lots of shopping on Friday! We hit the mall and almost every other store I can think of here! You could sense sort of a panic at the stores, particularly among teenage girls and their moms, because the impending cold weather was doing a lot of damage to a lot of people's Easter outfit choices! Jonah had a cute little outfit, but it was shorts, so he couldn't wear it this week....since it was SNOWING Easter weekend!!! I still can't believe it! But we all went to my aunt Joy's in Athens for a family Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday morning. A lot of family came from Lufkin and Houston for that, and it was fun. Even though the hunt had to be inside because of the snow. Jonah really got the hang of finding eggs. I'm sure we'll be hunting eggs around our house for quite a while! Joy did a marvelous job of putting on a fun Easter party.

Then, on Saturday, I drove to Keller for a few hours to go to Lizzy's baby shower. It was really great seeing my college girlfriends....a couple of them I hadn't seen in almost three years! I felt like we had all changed in a bunch of ways, but we still had fun and laughed together and were silly just like we always had. I was glad to still feel that bond. In some ways, I didn't expect it because it had been so long and some of us hadn't kept in touch that well, but it was so good and felt a lot like old times. Lizzy looked adorably pregnant....she's having a girl, and it was fun to celebrate with her. Except it made me really sad that she lives in Orlando now....I need her to be closer so I can see that baby more! I mistakenly left my camera in Athens, so a bunch of them took pictures and promised to email them to me. Once that happens, I'll post some. After the shower, I swung by the hospital to see my friend Kelli, who had her sweet baby boy, Campbell, on Friday. She looked and seemed great, and the baby is doing so well. He had the most STYLIN hair I've ever seen on a newborn! Seriously, his thick medium brown-colored hair looked like it had blond-highlighted tips! It was so gorgeous! And spikey in all the right places. He'll be a heartbreaker, no doubt. =) I hated that I only had a few minutes with them....I wanted to love on him longer. But I will definitely be making another trip up there soon to do that. Not REAL soon. If you haven't noticed, I've been quite the traveling girl lately. And while I LOVE it, I must admit that it feels good to be home for a while. April will be a little bit slower. Now that Jonah has been back home and somewhat in his normal routine again, he's been acting much better. It's just hard for me to be consistent with responding to his issues when we're traveling, and he knows it. But now we're back home, and he's not winning anymore. yay! He's so funny. He just keeps me laughing a lot. Right now, he's playing with my toes as I type. Weird, huh. I know. I'm awestruck that he is 22 months old today! This means some serious party-planning needs to begin. I'm going to do a zoo-animal themed party this year, since he loves them so much. I have ideas for decorations, cake, party favors, etc. - but none for any games or activities if I decide to also invite little ones, besides family. I'm open to any ideas anybody might have!!!

I loved Easter at our new church. The truth that kept going through my mind all weekend was what a gift it is that because of the cross, not only do we find salvation, but we also get to have a new way to live that brings joy, true contentment and peace even in the midst of hard circumstances. If it weren't for Easter, that wouldn't be possible. And I am oh so glad it is!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bluegrass Fun

Well, we made it back from our trip to Kentucky, and it was such a wonderful time!!! I LOVED seeing Blake, Amy, Nathan, and Maggie. It had been way too long. Jonah had a blast. I think my favorite part may have been watching him and Nathan play. Nathan is 4 1/2 and really knows how to play well with Jonah. They were so sweet together. Jonah and Maggie, on the other hand, were a handful!!! Maggie is 5 months older than Jonah, so they are at a stage where they are really competitive with one another. For example, you hear about 500 statements of "mine!" during the day when those two are around!! But they are both really affectionate with one another......just never when the other one wants it! Seriously, whenever Jonah would hug Maggie, she would SCREAM. And then the times when she would go sweetly hug him, he would push her onto the floor. It was pretty funny actually. They'll get there. They do love each other! Amy and I kept having glimpses into life with twins and definitely felt sympathetic towards those parents!

Kentucky is beautiful, and the city of Lexington seems so nice. We took the kids to the Kentucky Horse Farm, to Ft Boonesborough, and to another fun park. One day, when the kids were napping, Blake and I did our nerdy historical stuff.....we went to see Mary Todd Lincoln's house, and then we walked around downtown, drove through beautiful neighborhoods in the older part of Lexington, saw UK, and treated ourselves to drinks at an old-fashioned soda fountain. It was a busy and fun week. Loved it. We were pretty tired when we got home though. The flights went well. The trip there was rough. Jonah really didn't understand that he had to sit in the seat the whole time, so there were a couple meltdowns at the beginning. But we survived. The trip home on Sunday was perfect. It was like it had clicked with him, he knew he had to sit there....he did so marvelously. I couldn't believe my big boy. But in the middle of the flight home, he saw a little boy about his age walking down the aisle for the bathroom with his mom, and Jonah realized that kids could actually get out of their seat. I could tell he was realizing that he might have been tricked. So I did the only thing I could think of....I told Jonah that little boy was in big trouble. He was going to have a time out at the back and maybe even a spanking. That was enough for Jonah! He was then content to sit on the seat for the rest of the airplane ride.

Two weeks ago, I had my child all figured out. I could have told you everything about him, what he does, likes, doesn't like, what motivates him, etc. More recently, though, I have had more moments where I have stopped, looked at him, and thought, "Who is this kid?" Seriously, he is changing so fast. I can tell we are quickly approaching the twos, because this kid has started throwing the tantrums. Before this past month, I think I could count on two hands the number of times Jonah has cried real tears in his entire life. He has cried hard so few times. Yesterday, he had 4 big crying meltdowns/fits before we even left the house before 10am! So this is new. I think I know how to handle it. But still, I have to really stay strong and consistent in my reactions. For anyone not there yet with toddlers and tantrums and having to stay consistent with discipline, don't let anyone tell you it's not exhausting. It is. But soooo worth it. I have already seen consistency with discipline pay off so many times, so I know I don't have a choice, even if it is tiring and repetitive and annoying. I'm just thankful that God gives personal discernment and wisdom for how to do it and the strength for it. I certainly wouldn't have that on my own. So we're enjoying this new stage, even if it is, um, different. He is still so precious and FUNNY. He has a new little fascination with hills. Whenever we're driving up or down a hill, he gets really excited. Only his "hill" comes out like "hell", so most of the day, my child is excitedly screaming what sounds to be a bad word. It's great. Especially at church and places like that. But anyway, he loves playing outside, racing his cars, going for walks, and he asks to go to the zoo almost every day. He is quite the little cutie pie. I just love when he holds his hands out and says "hode" for me to hold him. He started doing that with his aunt Amy last week, I think, because Maggie would, and of course, he felt like he needed to steal away as much of Maggie's attention as possible. =) But he has continued to do that more, and he has never been an especially cuddly or physically affectionate child, so this is one aspect of his new personality change that his momma is really enjoying!