Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Rest of Our Week....In Pictures

On Friday, our playgroup gathered to decorate Christmas cookies. It was very fun. Jonah has been offering his "artistic" work to everyone he sees. He was very proud of his creations. He was very focused and did really well with the icing and sprinkles. Or at least I thought he did. Until he stood up at the end, revealing extremely messy clothes. He had to go topless for the rest of the playdate. Also, I learned a lesson about chatting away with the other moms and not checking in on him enough when he's playing in another room with kids. I walked in to find that he had colored all over his face and partly over his chest with a purple marker. I did not get a picture of that since I was trying to act pretty stern about it, which was pointless because it was really funny. Probably funny because he just was serious and wasn't trying to draw attention to it. He was just playing like normal with all these marks all over himself. He's so into arts and crafts activities right now...the cookie decorating was so fun, he had to decorate himself too!

This morning, two of my college girlfriends, Angela and Lizzy, came to visit. We hadn't all hung out together in a long time. The last time the three of us did was right after Jonah was born and they came to visit me in Bartlesville. Lizzy brought her four-month old baby Autumn, and it was so fun meeting her little daughter for the first time. It really was such a fun time hanging out with them for a few hours. Thanks for driving to Tyler to see me, girls! These girls are fun, and we go a long time without seeing each other and don't always keep in touch as regularly as we used to, but we always pick right back up when we're together and always seem to laugh a whole lot. I almost peed in my pants a few times today with them and their silliness.

Here are Jonah and Autumn. Yes, she's wearing leg warmers! It was adorable.

This next part will be boring for those of you who actually come to my house regularly. But for those of you who might care to see my newest home update....(it's been a LONG time since I've done anything new to my house)'s a picture of my kitchen with my new island/pub table my husband gave me for Christmas. He also rewired some stuff (you can tell I'm good with electrical terminology) and elongated the chain to swag my chandelier over it. It looks great!

The only things left before that room is completely decorated are chandelier lampshades and new window treatments. I did pick out fabric this week to have my curtains made:

It's sooo not what I thought I would pick. I didn't think plaid was my style. But I thought the fabric was beautiful in person. The solid one is actually a green, but you can't tell in the picture. Hopefully, the window treatments will turn out how I envision. I'll post a finished product picture when it's done.

And here's my pregnant belly. (18 weeks!) This was taken on the second of three consecutive days of having a complete stranger ask me about my pregnancy. So it wasn't a one-time thing that one day. Ignore the crazy eyes - Joel was not taking the picture how I wanted him to, so I was giving him "the roll of the eyes."

After church tomorrow, we'll be celebrating Christmas with my mom's side of the family at my aunt Joy's house. I'm so excited! I'm sure you'll see pictures of our get-together. I'm a little picture-happy right now. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh My

I just had my first experience so far during this pregnancy of having some random stranger comment on my pregnancy. The clerk at Kohls asked me when I am due. So, if there was any question as to whether or not I'm showing yet, I'm pretty sure that's been settled. It's obvious to the world now that I'm expecting. I guess I "popped" a little more without realizing it, because I was really surprised when she asked me. I sounded like an idiot because I stumbled around my words before I could get out, "May." I just wasn't aware until today that people I don't know (or rather, people who don't "know") could tell I am pregnant. Hmm. Not sure how I feel about that right now. Just wanted to write it, for some reason. Speaking of expecting, I'm realizing this week that it's real and that I better start praying like crazy for this little one! I have been praying, in regards to its development now. But I'm starting to get a little weird about life with a newborn again. I feebly tried to communicate this feeling to some friends last week, but I know I wasn't communicating well because one of the girls said, "Yeah, but you'll probably be calmer with a second baby." See, that's just the thing. I don't think I naturally will be. I was pretty calm when I had Jonah. I know it can really rock a new mom's world, but I can't pretend that's how it was with me. I owe it all to a God who blessed me with relationships and experiences beforehand that really prepared me. Motherhood just wasn't a shocking thing. I didn't feel stressed. I felt prepared. And here's why I'm a little nervous about it now. I wonder if I will be as patient or stress-free. I think it will be harder for me now to slow down, because I've gotten pretty used to the life of a toddler-mom. In most ways, it's easier now. I have time to myself most days. I've gotten used to a routine that just plain works for us right now. So I am having a hard time remembering what infant life is even like, and I wonder if my expectations will be a little off. I had spent the last several years before having Jonah working as a nanny. I worked for several different families, but I always had one family that had a newborn. So I was so used to that kind of life. There weren't many surprises. But it's different this time....I haven't been around a newborn in two years now! I just feel rusty. All this to say, I KNOW the same God that prepared me then can prepare (refresh) me now. I just can tell already that I will have a much stronger need to depend on Him. I know I will be more desperate for His guidance this time around. So I will choose to celebrate this lack of confidence this time around and let it drive me to His feet. Starting now. I am on my knees, not just for this child inside of me, but for all aspects of what life will be like when this one joins our family - and that I will actually do what I know I need to do right now (constant prayer!) in order to experience the kind of peace this time around that I really was blessed to have when Jonah entered into our world. It's just interesting how much less prepared I feel this time, considering I've been through this all before. But that's just how it is. That's what I'm currently experiencing. Just writing about it now helps me refocus my thoughts on the Lord and remember how faithful He is to come through with meeting our needs. (I already am less concerned about all of it!) I know He has great lessons for me in this, so I'm ready to learn. But is it just me - am I the only one who was calm the first time and not naturally calm the second time? It's just not a feeling I was expecting. But let me just also say....this mama is EXCITED. Ready for the next five months to fly by so I can meet this little punkin.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Only 8 More Days....

...until Christmas!! I can't believe it! Last week was a busy week. My friend Ame and I hosted an Ornament Exchange Christmas party at my house last Thursday night. It was really fun. At least, I hope everyone had fun. We had fun throwing it! It's always good to get together for a girls night. I kept my camera out to take pictures of the girls who were there, but of course, I forgot all about it once the first guest came through the door! So there isn't any proof that we have friends! But we did get lots of pictures of the set-up. Ame is Martha Stewart-ish enough to pull off a tablescape like this:

me and Ame:

our "coffee bar":

The following day left me with a feeling I haven't had in a long time: I wanted to cook! Because my house had already been cleaned for the party, cooking a meal didn't seem like such a burden. I felt like, "I can do this!" So I did. Seriously, it's been three months. It wasn't much, but it's a start. Our friends, the Levys, came over that night, and we had a great visit. It had been a while since we'd been able to hang out, and we enjoyed time with Shelly and Michael a whole lot. Shelly found out last week that she's having a girl. She's due about two weeks before me. That means officially every friend I have here in Tyler that is pregnant and due in the spring is having a girl! Which actually makes me feel even more sure that I'm having a boy. You know...they always come in big groups with one exception. (When I had Jonah, a whole bunch of us had boys, and Angela had a girl.) This time, I think everyone will have girls, and I'll be the exception! Jonah has altered his prediction a little bit. He now says that it's a girl baby in my tummy but that when it comes out, it will be a boy baby. I can't convince him that babies don't change genders as they're being delivered. I hope it's not a sign that the ultrasound prediction will be wrong! But speaking of, I had a doctors appointment today. We heard the heartbeat - precious sound. 150 bpm. And I got a refill of my nausea medicine. Praise the Lord. The last three days have been horrible, as I had run out of my prescription meds and was going to try to make it without getting more. But that just wasn't meant to be. Zofran and I have been pretty BFF this pregnancy, and it looks like we aren't supposed to break up just yet. Ugh. Oh well. At least it helps. There weren't any prescription medicines that helped me when I was pregnant with Jonah, so I didn't take anything. I was still throwing up my guts at this point with him. So I really am thankful that first of all, they came out with a generic version of Zofran this past year (it wasn't an option with Jonah at $25 a pill) and that it really does help me to function better. Anyway, it's weird to think that "the big ultrasound" is only three weeks from today. By the way...those of you who are pregnant right now, where are you finding maternity clothes? It always seems like maternity clothes are really cute except when I'm pregnant! I'm having trouble finding stuff I like. Without paying a fortune.

I just got back from taking Jonah to the doctor. He has this terrible-sounding cough, so I took him in this afternoon. He has a little bit of an ear infection and lots of drainage from that. So I'm hoping that antibiotics will take care of it soon and he'll feel back to normal. He's not quite himself today. At least he doesn't have anything contagious. We'll still be in a lot this week though. I'm going to try to get some holiday baking well as make sure my cooking last Friday wasn't a one-meal-wonder. I'll try to feed my family a couple more meals this week!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bethlehem Star

Our church hosted a presentation last night on the Star of Bethlehem, and it was the most incredible "event" I've been to in a long time. I left thinking, "I can't wait to blog about this," yet my ability to communicate the majesty of it is so very insufficient. I can't even think of strong enough words to depict what I saw about God last night. A professor here in Texas has done extensive astronomical research on the star that led the wise men to Jesus, and the scientific realities of what he has found are astounding. I confess that I went to this event with merely a desire to learn, to gain more knowledge. The Star of Bethlehem is something that until last night I knew nothing about. So I wanted to know about it. But what resulted was something far more than knowledge....worship was the only response. I cannot believe how big God is. I've known that in my head, but to see just a tiny glimpse of His power in this way last night blows me away. You must check out this guy's website - - Don't be scared of it. I'm not a "science-y" type of thinker naturally, but it's very well-explained. There is a DVD that you can order from his website, and I urge everyone I know to buy it!!!! I'm not kidding. We ordered it as soon as we got home last night. My brother will eat it up. He doesn't know it yet, but he's the first one to borrow it from us. And my brother-in-law, Eric, who is always quite the thinker, will find it very interesting as well, I'm sure. We may have to purchase lots of copies. Your Christmas this year will be different if you get a copy of this presentation. The guy was very funny in person....I am not sure if the DVD will be as entertaining, but I'd guess so. It's produced by one of the producers of The Passion of the Christ. I hear Jim Caviezel loves it. =) Anyway, you have to see this!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sweets With Santa

This morning we took Jonah to have his picture taken with Santa. A local church's MOPS group set up this event where you can take your own picture with Santa for only $5 (or have a photographer take a 5x7 for $10). I was very excited. What a great idea they had. Jonah was not overly affectionate with Santa or anything. He climbed up there and sat in his lap and definitely had his brave face on. We finally got him to smile once for a picture. When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Jonah said, "a baseball." That's news to us today. Jonah just remained very serious the whole time. He was most excited about the cookie they gave him on the way out. Just wanted to share this (yet to be edited and cropped) picture because it makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

5 Days In...

We've been having so much fun doing our Advent activities. Jonah asks every day to do it and is most excited about the activities that have to do with coloring and stickers. He sits on the couch and plays with his nativity scene while we read the Christmas story out of his little Bible storybook. He holds and rocks baby Jesus, and it's precious. Of course, we've had so many funny moments. One day he made Christmas cards for some of his friends, and he really got into it. He put stickers all over the cards, and it just always cracks us up that two-year olds will have an entire page to work with, and they'll put all five stickers or so in one little spot, pretty much on top of each other. His creativity at work was really making me and Joel laugh. Sunday night's activity had to do with making paper snowflakes, and Joel and I were ready to impress Jonah with our beautiful creations....only, um, we're not as smart as we thought we were, evidently. I used to make these all the time. I hadn't in two years. But I still expected to remember how. Well, I couldn't. Joel couldn't. We folded so many different papers and made cuts in what we thought were all the right places, only to open up our folded papers to reveal very retarded-looking snowflakes. Or they would just fall apart. It was hysterical. Jonah has absolutely no understanding of what a snowflake is supposed to look like and had no clue at all as to what we were doing. He just gave us the strangest looks as Joel and I laughed our heads off while continuing our vain attempts. We looked it up on the internet later and remembered right away how we were supposed to fold them. So we'll probably revisit that activity another day now that we know what we're doing. Anyway, it's been fun. Now I just have to find another place to have a picture taken with Santa....because the cheapest option at the mall is $25, and I just think that's ridiculous. If anyone from here knows a good, cheap Santa, then let me know!

It's also so fun to watch Jonah mesmerized by the tiniest things this season. I was telling my aunt Joy yesterday that I had really wanted to take him to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags, but now I want to hold off a lot longer because Jonah thinks my mom's house is a Wonderland at Christmas! I mean, he's so fascinated by watching this one little thing she has that sits on a table and has ice skaters going around it. It's really small. Yet it's a big thing to him. I want him to enjoy the simple things for as long as possible, and I don't really want to bombard him with the "bigger" Christmas decorations just yet. I like that his favorite thing in our house is a very small tree in his room that has one strand of about 15 lights and 4 ornaments! It's pretty pathetic-looking in many eyes, but to him, it's the first thing he wants to show you if you come to our house. There's such a lesson to be learned there, and I'm pondering it a while longer to hopefully gain insight into my own heart and discern whether I'm savoring the simple joys of my Savior this holiday season or if I'm always looking for more, bigger, better.

We tried to get a good Christmas card photo today, but I think it was to no avail. Yet I really don't want to wait much longer to get these done and mailed, so I might have to sacrifice finding "the one" this year. There are more urgent things right being out of milk. I have got to go to the store. Now! So I'll leave you with a picture from this week. Some of you may know that on Mondays this fall, I've picked up three girls from school in the afternoon, and we take them back to their house for a little while until their mom gets home. I forget that it's a job....I feel like I get paid for a playdate! Jonah gets bombarded by pink and girly things and Barbies and all that....he loves playing with their three-year old girl. Next week is our last week, and I'm getting a little sad about it. This is a family I baby-sat for in high school when they had one baby girl. Now that baby is in fourth grade, and there are two more. It's hard to believe how old she is! Or maybe how old I am. But anyway, last Monday we stopped by my mom's after school and took this picture. So here's Jonah, Meg, Makensie, and Macy: