Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy First Birthday!

Dear Sadie Elizabeth,

As of 1:17 this afternoon you are officially a one year old! It's crazy to think that a whole year has passed since you graced us with your presence. Sometimes I honestly have a hard time remembering life before you.

You're not walking yet but if we coax you you've been known to take a few steps from the coffee table to mom or dad's arms. You push your cart around with confidence, you just have to work on the whole balance thing. You are quite a fearless, thrill seeking baby too (which I find quite humorous since your momma is so NOT adventurous). Your favorite activity is to crawl on top of/into any box, laundry basket, or toy bin you see.

Lately we've been letting you climb the stairs (with our assistance of course) and you would think someone told you that you won the baby lottery. You get this mischievous smile on your face like "Really, I can really do this?" and you move like lightning. You get that same mischievous smile by the way whenever you stick your hand in Mabel's water dish or take things out of the kitchen drawers but that's beside the point :).

There are times during the day when you babble like crazy. Your friend Kristal taught you how to talk on the phone. You'll talk into anything now, elephant, spoon, Tigger, you're not picky. You're also learning to imitate us really well. You're the one initiating peek a boo now and you turn the pages of a book with ease.

As far as food goes you're starting to get a bit pickier. You're wising up to the fact that vegetables don't always taste as "good" as other foods. You do love you some bread though. And cheese. You're crazy about a grilled cheese or a cheese quesadilla. You've taken after your dad with a love for all things Mexican too!

You're still a super social baby and love interactions with other people. Sometimes at restaurants you get so distracted by people that you won't even eat! You got lots of toys for Christmas and you're starting to really play with them. Your new favorite word is "uh-oh" and I have to admit sometimes I push things off the coffee table just to hear you say it!

I'll miss writing these posts. It's been a great way to capture your first year (i.e this is your version of a baby book) but I probably won't write another post like this till you're two (or at least 18 months). We love you so much little girl and I am in awe of how much you've grown and changed this year. Here's to looking forward to the many more birthdays to come, lord willing!

Photo Dump

Did I mention I got an Iphone for my birthday last month? I'm in love. I don't think I'd say I'm obsessed but I certainly enjoy it a lot! I just imported a TON of photos from the past month onto my computer so I figured I'd share a few of my favorites.

p.s. Today is Sadie's first birthday, expect a birthday post soon!

My parents got Sadie this wagon/scooter for Christmas. She was all smiles pushing the buttons and riding around Christmas morning.

Speaking of Christmas morning, my parents also got Sadie a sled (perhaps one day soon we'll see snow). She was quite content to let my dad push her around the house in that thing. I think she would've ridden in it from here till kingdom come if I hadn't made her give Papa a break!

My mom & I took Sadie to a park one day while we were in Lynchburg. Sadie enjoyed the see saw immensely. I think we've got a little thrill seeker on our hands.

I don't even remember but it's a cute baby face :).

On the eve of her birthday we took Sadie out for Japanese. Last year on the eve of her birth I had Chinese food (not a good choice in retrospect) so we decided it might be a fun new tradition to have some kind of Asian themed cuisine to celebrate her birthday eve each year!

Meet Lydia. She belongs to my friends Emily & Seth and she is the sweetest little thing! Notice where Sadie is in this picture, hopefully she didn't teach Lydia too many bad habits :).

Speaking of bad habits, this is what we find Sadie doing AT LEAST once a day. She can get in by herself but she hasn't quite figured out how to get out :).

Who doesn't love a baby reindeer? I think we were headed to the BCM Christmas Banquet??

There's this mini trail behind our house that leads to a big clearing. We love to go up there and let Mabel run around, I think Sadie loves the view.

For the past two years we've made The Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls for Christmas. I think we can now call it an annual tradition. This year our friends Robbie & Kristal helped us make them and it made the whole process that much more fun! On a side note, please excuse me looking a bit rough, it was late and let's be honest I haven't worn a lot of makeup this winter break :).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good Reads

I just finished a great book today and it seems like anytime I do that I immediately start thinking about what to read next. Hence why my Amazon wishlist grew from two to ten items tonight. The book I finished was Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence and I can not recommend it enough! It's a short, fast read (i was done in a couple of days) and it's packed full of good advice that I can, need, and WILL apply to my life right now.

As for my wish list here are a few of my top choices:

1. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I actually bought this as a Christmas present for someone without having read it first (which is highly unusual for me) but I've heard such good things about it that I was confident in my purchase!

2. Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker. I read one of her other books a while back and really liked it. This one is a 40 day devotional so I think I'm actually going to do this for the Lenten season, it's a perfect fit!

3. House of Prayer No. 2 by Mark Richard. I'm a sucker for memoirs and apparently this is one of the top selling memoirs of 2011 (have I been living under a rock you ask? no I had a baby). It's about a boy who grows up in the 1960's in the South (tobacco country VA, Franklin to be exact). According to one critic it's a "heady Gothic mix of racial tension and religious fervor."

For now I'm off to read!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Eleven Months!

Dear Sadie,

Next time I write this you'll be a year old. I can't help but think back to last year at this time and celebrate how grateful I am that you're here with us now! Christmasy stuff is so much more fun with you!

You crawl at warp speed now. You're also officially cruising around the coffee table and moving from one piece of furniture to another. I get the feeling we may have a walker on our hands sometime in the next month or so. You love to crawl in and through things (i.e. the dining room chairs); give you an obstacle course and you're there. You've also been known to take a few baths in Mabel's water bowl.

You love to be outside. For some reason you've been enamored by leaves. That's the first thing you crawl to when you're outside and you'll crunch them for hours if we'd let you. Your best friend is still Mabel (though I doubt she'd say the same). You have absolutely no fear of dogs. Over Thanksgiving (which we went to Cincinnati for by the way) there were 3 dogs at Gram's house and you would crawl right into the middle of the pack.

You're trying a little of everything these days when it comes to food. Lately you've been eating whatever mom & dad have for dinner. You're starting to develop a few food preferences too, you absolutely love bread and oranges (which I find funny since I craved all things orange during my pregnancy) but you could go without any green veggies.

You love to go shopping with mom. You sit in the shopping cart and smile at every person you see. It's almost like a game for you, if someone notices you, it's one point, if they smile, it's worth two! You change your tune pretty quickly when they come near though, you like to admire them at a distance!

We love you little girl & we're excited to celebrate your big day this time next month!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Thanksgiving?

I read this quote on this blog and it literally made me laugh out loud.

"also: i was trying to explain halloween to some of my esl students (they were super, super confused by it) and we actually had some great discussions about cultural vs. religious holidays and i shared my own dislike of the creepiness of it all and i emphasized that it was NOT christian or religious at all but we still went over what it was all about so they would know. and i just could not convey what “trick or treating” was–all the students just stared uncomprehendingly. and then one guy, a ukrainian fellow, said “oh, yes yes we have this in my country. except in my country we say ‘give me all your money or i kill you’”. and then everyone in the class said: “ooooooooooh, yes yes, now we understand”. and as frantically as i tried to convey otherwise, i think they left the class all pretty freaked out by the little kids in their costumes, just waiting to mug them. oh, america."

It made me laugh because it's so true. I'm not knocking on Halloween, I had a lot of fun taking Sadie trick or treating. I'm laughing because sometimes I think we take things for granted because well "that's just what we've always done."

Last week my language partner asked me why we celebrate Thanksgiving. I seriously had to rack my brain to think of the answer. All I could think were indians, pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, Mayflower or wait is it the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria? I could not put any of those words together to make a cohesive answer. Needless to say I left that conversation thinking I need to do a little research. But seriously, we don't talk about that stuff after like fourth grade and that saying is true, if you don't use it you lose it. Looks like I don't need to be auditioning for Are you smarter than a 5th grader any time soon! For now you'll find me scanning Wikipedia for the real reason behind Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Ten Months!

Dear Sadie-

It's a little late but happy 10 month birthday! You are well on your way to becoming a true toddler. You're pulling up to a stand and sort of cruising from toy basket to toy basket. You are all about getting into anything you can reach these days. You're learning the word no, learning being the key word there. You've started shaking your head no a lot lately too. Sometimes you even do it after we say the actual word "no" but then again you also do it when music is playing and whenever you feel like it really :).

You caught your first cold this month. I felt bad for you but we knew it was bound to happen some time. It seems that colds are ten thousand times worse in little babies, they make your entire chest rattle and they last for weeks on end. Hopefully the winter ahead won't bring too many more of those.

You have become quite the little foodie. Most of the time you're willing to try whatever Dad & I are eating, especially if we're out at a restaurant. Some of your more unique foods have included: hummus, salsa, and enchiladas. We've tried giving you your milk in a cup but you cling to your bottle pretty hard. I'm afraid the switch to whole milk in a couple of months will have to include dropping the bottle, cold turkey.

You love music. You've learned to clap and now whenever you hear music you clap. You're also starting to wave at people. You absolutely REFUSE to leave your bows in your hair and I have to admit this makes me a little bit sad. Even after you pull the bow out, you feel your head another twenty times just to make sure it's gone! Even without the bow you're still SO stinking cute and we love you very much!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I'm a few days behind on the 10 month post- we were out of town this weekend but I promise it's coming this week. Here are a few pictures of Sadie in her Halloween costume to hold you over till then :).

Monday, October 10, 2011

the plague

Last week I got hit by what I have affectionately termed "the plague." I suppose I should give a proper medical diagnosis and tell you the doctor called it a "winter virus." All I know is I was sick, sicker than I've been in a LONG time sick. Nic was a superhero and took care of two babies (yes one of those babies is me). If this wasn't the flu, I don't want to know what the flu is. Once I'm back to feeling 100% myself I will be the first person in line at my local CVS for a flu shot. This is just a suggestion but I highly recommend you're second in line.

Now for the lighthearted stuff (and no more public service announcements I promise). We bought Sadie this DVD. It kept popping up on blogs I read, magazines, etc. so I gave in and bought it. I don't want to be a helicopter, overbearing parent so I've told myself one DVD is ok. It really is amazing how fascinated Sadie is by it. It's the only thing that will capture her attention for more than two minutes at a time. Basically they just repeat the letter over and over again; in a way it's kind of trippy but I see how it could work. According to Preschool Prep (the maker of the DVD) "Meet the Letters is a powerful tool designed to teach babies and toddlers the alphabet during an opportune window of time when they are learning to talk." I"ll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of things holding Sadie's attention, we found this video courtesy of our friends (who are also parents) a while back, and Sadie has just recently been mesmerized by it. She has also learned to clap her hands so maybe we have a potential musician on our hands? Enjoy some for now!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Nine Months!

Dear Sadie-

You are quite your own little person nowadays. Over the past month you've become quite the master at crawling. There's no such thing as giving you a five second head start any more; if we did you'd be tumbling down the stairs or pulling anything you can reach on top of you! You've learned to appreciate this new freedom pretty fast too. You're not such a fan of activities that limit your freedom any more (i.e. getting your diaper changed, changing your clothes, sitting for long periods of time).

You're still super social. You laugh when other people laugh and you love to stare at people's faces/reactions. You absolutely LOVE other kids, the moment I drop you off in the nursery you're crawling around and reaching for the other kids like they're your best friend. Baby is still your best friend though, despite the fact you often throw her down on the ground and right in the path of the stroller.

You're attempting to pull up on furniture but so far you only pull up to your knees. That's just far enough to reach everything on the coffee table. Because of that, the remote control has found a temporary home on the bookcase. You have six teeth now and despite a bit of fussiness you've taken it like a champ. Speaking of being a champ, you were a road warrior this month! You were in the car for 12 hours over a 72 hour time period to go to Louisville to celebrate Uncle Randy & Aunt Sam's wedding!

You're also no longer a vegetarian! We finally got up enough nerve to open the can of pureed meats. You've also had a little bit of yogurt, cheese, and bread. You love sweet potato puffs- they are a great way to keep you happy and content if there's even a hint of fussiness.

Your smile and laugh continue to melt my heart. You are such a sweet baby and I'm so thankful to call you my daughter!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fantasy Football Thoughts

I'm enjoying playing fantasy football a lot more than I thought I would (despite the fact I got crushed this week). I must say though I'm amazed at how easily frustrated I get with "my players" when they have a bad week. Like Philip Rivers this week- come on buddy, 6.44 points TOTAL?

Anyways it made me think about some controversy stirred up by top Fantasy Football Draft Pick, Arian Foster, back in August. After having to leave the game because of an injury, Arian tweeted the following: “4 those sincerely concerned, I'm doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick.” In a final message to clear the air he tweeted: "I know opinions are usually cement. But, I love all my fans. My quarrel is with people who value a digital game over a humans health. #love""

When I first read this back in August all I could think was "He's so right, those people treat him like a possession instead of a person" but now that I've played fantasy for a few weeks I see how easy it is to get all caught up in it. I certainly don't want to dehumanize these players but I'm finding in order to do that I have to be careful about how I even talk about them. I have to remind myself that I don't hold the rights to these guys and they don't care who I am in the first place!

Any who, who would've thought five years ago I'd be blogging about sports? My how times have changed. It seems marriage has a funny way of doing that. And besides, I have a better fantasy football record right now than my husband :), a girl's gotta gloat some times right?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two Things Tuesday

1) Nic and I were both sick last week and we saw this weekend as an opportunity to recover. As a result of said "recovery time" we watched a lot of TV this weekend. So when I tell you I've become addicted to yet another show you can at least understand why and sympathize with me at least just a little bit. Based on a friend's Facebook recommendation we started watching Parenthood and I got hooked fast. I stayed up late (I'm talking past midnight) to watch all the episodes Hulu had available. The only bad thing is now I'm scared to death for Sadie to grow up! Can we just skip the whole teenager/young adult phase?

2) I made granola yesterday. It's Alton Brown's granola recipe and I'm convinced it's the best out there. For some reason I equate the smell of maple syrup and oats with fall. Friday was the first official day of fall and I've been waiting for it to "feel like fall" ever since then. What's up with all this high humidity in September? This is Virginia not Louisiana. Bring on the cardigans and hoodies please!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

For all you Sadie fans

In case you're wondering there's a tennis ball underneath the laundry basket. Yes we like to "torment" our dog for the sake of our baby's entertainment. You gotta admit it's pretty funny though!

Monday, September 19, 2011

the Mondays

I think I've got a case of the Mondays. It's overcast here and we haven't seen the sun in a few days so I think everybody is dragging today. I found this article over on Relevant Magazine today and I think it probably communicates much more clearly and eloquently my thoughts from my last post.

I do want to say that I know my last post has the potential to be considered selfish. I've been wrestling with selfishness a lot lately. One thing I've learned since becoming a mom is just how self-centered I am. It makes me appreciate my own mom that much more (thanks for putting up with me mom if you're reading this :)! I do really believe though that by taking time for myself to enjoy life I will be a better mom, wife, campus minister, and every other role I play in the long run.

Oh well, gotta run for now, I've got a crying baby who's vying for my attention, more thoughts on this later!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

You gotta choose: spontaneity or busyness?

Sometimes I'm full of brilliant things to say and I'm amazed at how wise I sound (note the sarcasm here) but sometimes I eat those very words.

Back in the spring I had a conversation with some college gals about spontaneity. I encouraged them to look for opportunities to get away from their schedules and simply participate in something that brings them joy. They all laughed at me and said "Ok let me just pull out my planner and schedule a time for that." To be honest I put the thought aside since summer was coming and the pace of life slows down significantly for campus ministry. But now that we're back to the busy season I'm wondering what I did with my own advice?

I hate saying I'm too busy because the truth is, life is always busy and everyone is busy. I think, let me restate that, I know, that I use that excuse way too often. Sometimes I think I even pride myself on the fact that I'm busy. It's like there's some kind of unspoken social hierarchy based on how busy you are. If you're not doing anything, something has to be wrong with you, at least that's how I treat it.

But when we're so busy scheduling life we don't have time to simply enjoy it. Before long we're worn down, overwhelmed, and fed up with it all (aka how I'm starting to feel). Don't get me wrong I know life requires a schedule, nothing would ever get done if we did whatever we wanted all day long but I'm also realizing that there may be some things I just have to let go. If the laundry sits in the washing machine for a few days it's ok, it's nothing that another little spin around the washer won't take care of. Instead of fretting about "what I should be doing" or "need to do" I'm going to try and find some time to enjoy life, whether it's 5 minutes or 5 hours. If it's blogging, sitting outside with a cup of coffee, going for a run, or zumba-ing, I've got to do something. After all my sanity and the sanity of those around me depends on it. What do you do to find joy in the middle of this busy life?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Eight Months!

Dear Sadie,

Today you are eight months old! Dad keeps reminding me that's two thirds of a year - man where does the time go? People keep saying you look older now too, more like a toddler than a baby, but to me you're still a sweet little baby!

You've learned how to do so much this month. It's like everyday you learn a new skill. I think we're ready to say you are officially crawling. The "official" came when we realized how much baby proofing we have to do around this place. You are so aware of everything these days. There's no such thing as sneaking away anymore, if mom & dad come in a room it's guaranteed you'll see them & you expect to be acknowledged by them too.

You babble all the time now too. Sometimes I think the only time you're quiet is when you eat and sleep. You're certainly learning the consonant sounds and we *think* you might be starting to say "mama." You're very social and like to smile at most people, although you have been known to give a few mean stares occasionally :). Lately you've been pretty attached to your baby doll. This is the only toy I've seen you cry over if it's within sight but out of your reach.

You still haven't tried any meats yet. Mom & Dad can't bring themselves to open the can or simply blend up some chicken. There's just something about the idea of pureed meats, ick, it just seems wrong, oh well that'll come one day I suppose. You added another tooth to your collection this month too, one on top, which brings the total up to three.

We love you lots little girl!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A little love to spread around

It's been a busy few weeks around these parts. Unfortunately it's not been the best of days for all of us. This little beauty got fleas.

Despite a monthly application of Frontline, the little blood suckers (gross I know) somehow made their way onto poor Mabel. According to our vet, "There have been some reported cases of fleas in the area that are resistant to Frontline." Luckily it's not a terrible outbreak. We've given her a couple of flea baths and vacuumed our house more in the past couple of weeks than we have all year (ok maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but not much). I couldn't help but feel a little guilty when we found out though. I told Mabel I hoped she didn't feel like the only way to get our attention these days is to have a parasite. Poor pup!

In other totally unrelated news we got a letter from our Compassion child last week and it brought tears to my eyes. This has got to be one of the sweetest things ever. Gersam wrote (from the translator's perspective), "He is so thankful for your letter. He doesn't have any sisters or brothers but your daughter (Sadie) is his sister. He is happy to learn that you have a daughter. Congratulations!!" Is that not the most precious thing ever? I'm always amazed at how God reveals himself to me in the most unexpected ways!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Seven Months!

Dear Sweet Sadie-

Another month has come and gone. You're closer now to being a one year old than you are a little bitty baby and sometimes that makes me sad! You are at such a fun age right now that I sometimes wish I could freeze time. As you can tell from your picture your hair is laying totally flat these days (bye bye mohawk) and if you don't have a bow in your hair (which is rare) it looks like you need a haircut. Your bald spot is finally starting to grow back in because....

You are rarely laying on your back these days. You're sitting up on your own, rolling all over the place, and even starting to scoot around. You are so close to being able to crawl, especially if Mabel is around! When we put you down on the floor to go get something, we return only to find you in the exact opposite corner we left you. You got your two bottom teeth this month (they're still coming in) basically at the same time. Other than a pretty rough morning at church one week (shout out to all those patient & loving childcare workers) you've tolerated it pretty well. Just a few doses of Tylenol every now and then.

I'm hoping you turn out to be a great musician like your dad because lately you've taken a serious interest in all things musical. Whenever your dad pulls out the guitar you stare in amazement and like to play a few chords (rather pull on the strings till they're out of tune). You're enamored by the music at church every week too. We've been taking you to a Water Babies class this month and you have loved it! Lately you are squealing with delight by the end of the class. You've even been under water a few times. You especially enjoy watching all the other kids in you class.

We're looking forward to many more adventures with you this month. The next one, meat! Until next time- we love you lots!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Guest Post & some randomness

Last week I blogged over at [nlcf] downtown women (in case you find yourself with a little bit of free time on your hands). The battle with insecurity by all means isn't over but I'm chugging along.

And now for the randomness:

1) I got so excited at Kroger today when I saw the expiration date on my gallon of milk was August 1. Hooooray!! August will be here oh so soon and that means students come back! Oh how I miss me some students. I worked the VTIC (VT Interfaith Council) booth at orientation this morning and marveled at how young all the freshmen look and how old that makes me feel.

2) I also found Phineas & Ferb fruit snacks at Kroger today (notice a theme in my life) and almost bought them except for the fact that they were $3.50 for a pack of 10(let me emphasize that again, THREE FIFTY!!!). I admit it, I may have a new found love for this cartoon. I will also admit that at times when I need to get something done I put my baby in front of the TV and go about my business, don't judge me. However when your baby goes down for a nap and you find yourself still watching Phineas & Ferb two hours later you may have a problem.

3) Speaking of insecurity, I picked up Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity from my bookshelf and decided to finish it this time. It is rocking my world in good but tough ways. I highly recommend it to any woman of any age.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First World Problems

Last night I said something really dumb. I knew it was dumb the moment it left my lips but I said it anyway. We were driving to small group, with my water bottle in hand, and I looked at Nic and said "I hate the taste of water. If it only tasted better, then I'd drink more of it." Now before you start calling me overly dramatic and move on to the next blog, watch the video below.

When I came across this the other night I laughed hysterically, showed it to Nic, and laughed some more. It's ok to laugh at it, it's meant to be funny, but I think there's a whole lot of truth to what this kid is saying too. And that brings us back to the water conversation.

I've been trying to drink more water lately. Well, I've been trying to drink more water most of my life. I'd much rather have lemonade, Diet Pepsi, sweet tea, coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, or really anything OTHER than water. And last night is not the first time I've complained about it either but as soon as I said it this time I thought about this video.

I thought about how I take for granted that my water is safe to drink with no threat of bacteria, disease, or even death because of it. I thought about how I can walk to the faucet as many times a day as I'd like and get as much water as I'd like to without ever walking multiple miles out of my way to get enough clean water for my family's daily needs. And then it happened I realized just how insignificant my complaint was in the grand scheme of things. I realized how I should be praising God for this bottle in front of me instead of grumbling about it's contents. To "be joyful always" applies to every aspect of my life even drinking water.

So pass the next glass of water my way and if you hear me start to complain feel free to give me a swift kick in the pants. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Six Months!

Dear Sadie Elizabeth,

I'm a little late on this one. We were on vacation last week & though we did find time to take your picture on a beach towel in honor of it all I didn't find time to write. Your dad & I were looking at a bunch of old pictures of you the other day and man have you changed. You're quite the little person now too :).

You continue to be right at average for your weight on the growth charts and you top them off in height. The doctor said it seems like you're going to be tall and skinny. You've gotten the whole eating solid foods down pretty well now. You seem to be a fan of most vegetables and fruits, although if you had it your way we'd get rid of green peas altogether.

You went to two weddings this month and looked super cute in your little dresses while you were at it. I must say you behaved pretty well at both too, especially considering it was way out of your routine. You continue to be a really good natured baby and seem to adapt to new situations fairly well. You love to smile at people and observe everything around you. Your favorite "being" to watch is Mabel. I don't think anyone can captivate your attention quite as well as her.

You've started sitting up without assistance, although we like to keep the pillows around just in case. You babble all the time now too. The name of your pink giraffe has become quite the debate between your dad and me lately, he votes "Bubba", I say "Jo." I think you ended the debate today though when you started to make noises like "buuuubbbaaa." Way to be a daddy's girl :).

Like I mentioned earlier, you went to the beach for the first time this month. You were pretty apprehensive of the ocean at first but by the end of the week you were squealing in delight as the waves crashed around you. You loved having the attention of all your grandparents too. You're quite the little ham and enjoy a good round of applause in your honor!

Even with your diva-like traits your mom & dad love you very very much. It's hard to believe you've been around a half a year but some times I can't remember what life was like before you. We can't wait to see what the next half of the year holds!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I've been wrestling with the idea of self-absorption lately. All of the small groups at our church are going through this 8 week long study called The Tangible Kingdom. A couple of days ago the day's lesson asked us to "Spend some time today in a busy place. Simply sit still and look at the faces that go past you. Imagine some of the things that might make up their life stories. Pray for them." As I sat contemplating (insert whining) about how this wasn't possible, since a small child was under my care and watchful eye, it hit me "Listen to yourself April. All you care about is me, myself, and I. When was the last time you actually cared about the people around you?"

According to the US Census Bureau there are almost 7 billion people living in the world today, 300 million of them live in the US. I make up 1/7 billion and my immediate family makes up 3/7 billion, I don't even want to attempt the math when it comes to getting that into decimal form. Somehow though I continue to live like the other 6,999,999,999 don't exist. Why is that?

I know my family is important and God has called me to take care of them. I also know there's no possible way for me to get to know or even attempt to know all the people on this planet, but where do I find the balance? Lately I've been so concerned about all the things I want to get done, or what my baby needs, or what would be best for my family that I've completely forgotten about everyone else. So I know what I'm doing isn't right, but how do I know when it's ok to guard time with my family and when I need to just give it a rest and go hang out with friends/neighbors? How do I teach my baby that she's important to me but she's not the end all be all for our family?

Last night one of the guys in our small group shared that he felt like God was saying the same thing to him lately. He said he felt like God was specifically saying to him "Stop looking in the mirror and start looking out the window." My prayer yesterday, today, and for a long time honestly, is that God would open my eyes up to see what He sees and that not only would I see but I would respond to what he's showing me. No more ignoring people because I don't want to make them uncomfortable (or let's be honest here, make myself uncomfortable), no more "to do" lists that make me so focused on all the things I have to do, that I don't stop to see God working in the faces around me.

Expect similar posts as this revelation continues to unfold, I'm not ignorant in thinking I won't continue to struggle with this the rest of my life, but I am hopeful that God can change my heart. Feel free to pass on any advice you've learned along the way too. I certainly know I'm not the only one trying to figure this whole "how to live life" thing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Infamous Pity Party

I know how to throw a good party. A pity party that is. It starts out something like this "Nothing ever goes my way" or "Nobody likes me" and unfortunately it only goes down hill from there. Imagine for a second a snowball rolling down one of the Rocky Mountains, as it rolls it picks up more and more snow and by the time it's at the bottom it's gotten so big it can crush you. Welcome to my life.

Most of the time I love being a woman. I love the privilege of being a mom and a wife, doing girly things, and so so much more but there are times I literally despise it. Like when I'm alone with my thoughts and all my mind can dwell on is the negative. Don't get me wrong I recognize life is hard. People are messy. I'm messy. Lately I've found myself longing for the restoration that Jesus will bring when He returns to Earth. But I can not allow myself to keep living this way. The snowball is waiting.

God promises in Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This *coincidentally* enough is one of my memory verses so far this year. As I seek to move out of the way of the snowball or heck, get rid of it all together, I am realizing more and more I not only need to know God's promises but be willing to put them into action and BELIEVE them.

It's quite easy for me just to memorize them. There's a part of me (let's be honest there's a whole lot more than just a part), that loves the feeling you get when you accomplish something. If my husband would let me I honestly think I would put a star chart on my refrigerator recording every verse I memorize (identity or self worth problem you say? we'll save that for another post). But if I got a star for every time I applied those truths to my life and believed them, my chart would be empty. Unfortunately I let my emotions and feelings get in the way and before long I've completely forgotten what God has to say about it all. Lately my prayer has been that when those thoughts flood my mind I would look to Him first rather than that snowball. And maybe, just maybe, some day I'll throw a "no more pity parties" party.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Loving

It's summer time and the living's easy. At least that's how things go here in Blacksburg. It's sort of a ghost town with the large majority of Virginia Tech students scattered across the land for the summer. I have to admit it's not really my favorite time of year. A lot of "the locals" love it because you can park anywhere downtown without driving in circles for 3o minutes trying to find a spot, go to any restaurant you'd like with virtually no wait, and enjoy all the benefits of living in a small town. Besides the fact that there is no line at Chipotle (good for my tummy, bad for my wallet) I could care less about those things. I really enjoy having students around but I'm learning to appreciate life for where I am now and not where I think the grass is greener.

So here I sit on the "veranda" of our local Starbucks, enjoying the cool summer breeze with a little Matt Wertz streaming through my headphones.

(Forgive the lack of makeup and baseball cap friends, it's been a long day)

It's my weekly "me" time thanks to my precious husband and I'm blogging, what the heck? I did a little self evaluation last week and discovered writing is something that I actually really enjoy, whether I'm good at it or not is still up in the air. If you looked at my blog lately perhaps you wouldn't think that but life hasn't been quite what it used to be the past five months either (love you Sadie).

I watched a video by Jon Acuff a few weeks ago and he mentions the "all or nothing" principle that most bloggers adopt. He says they either commit to posting daily (which quickly gets overwhelming unless you're getting paid for it) or they leave their blog deserted for months on end, there's simply no happy medium.

Hello that's me, guilty as charged, as evidenced by my complete failure at the 100 joys challenge. So I'm stepping forward with a realistic goal this time. I'm *hopefully* making a commitment to blog one or two times a week from here on out. Maybe I'll even throw a few 100 joys posts into the mix. Who's excited? This girl.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Five Months!

My dear little Sadie,

These months come and go so quickly! You started eating solid foods this month and my oh my do you wear food well :)! You've picked up the whole "using a spoon thing" pretty quickly. So far you've had rice cereal, carrots, squash, and peas.

The first part of this month you had a daddy-daughter weekend (Friday night/Saturday) with your dad. Mom ran a 5K in Charlottesville and your dad was super sweet and kept you so I could be focused on my race. Speaking of overnighters you had your first week away from home too. We went to stay with Nana & Papa the first half of the week and then down to Charlotte to visit the Haynes (including the newest Haynes, Lydia), all while Daddy was in school. You were very smiley with Lydia, in fact I think you guys are going to be best friends!

You've become such a curious little baby over the past few weeks. You're reaching for anything and everything within sight. It's like you've realized there's a whole new world of discovery out there just waiting for you! You learned how to roll over from back to tummy this month. You've done the opposite a handful of times too but I think you got a little amnesia about how to do it again.

You're still a pretty calm, easy going baby. The lady at CVS asked me the other day if you were always this calm and when I said "most of the time" she said "Well I guess you've just got a little Buddha baby." While I'm not sure what to think about you being compared to Buddha, I do appreciate the symbolism she was getting at and the fact that you remain a chill baby.

You said goodbye to lots of your friends this month. That's the stinkiest part of this whole college ministry thing. Some you'll see again in August but lots of them are moving on for good. I bet you'll still be able to make them smile whenever you seem them again though!

Our love for you continues to grow more and more each day. We love you lots little girl!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day Number Next

So obviously I failed at blogging consecutively throughout the month of April BUT I am determined to reach 100 joys. So here goes a few more!

57) First solid food feedings. Rice cereal everywhere (including on mom) but so cute while we try it!

58) First Post-pregnancy race. Marissa and I headed to Charlottesville this past weekend for a 5K organized by my friend Lauren (and others). It was so much fun and I pretty much ran it all (with the exception of about .2 miles)! The start of races are always such a spiritual experience for me and this one was no exception. I may have even teared up a bit :).

59) Healthy babies. Although Sadie may not agree with me, (this picture was taken while we were waiting for the nurse to return with her vaccines) I am so thankful that we are able to go to the doctor when we need to.
60) Lunch outside with friends. Since the weather has gotten nicer I've been taking every chance I have to be outside!

61) Breakfast pastries. When I was pregnant one of my cravings included breakfast pastries, chocolate chip scones, pumpkin muffins, you name it really I liked it. Well even though I'm not pregnant now, I still enjoy a good muffin every now and then.

62) These fabulous people are graduating on Saturday. And even though it makes my heart ache to know they won't be back this fall I'm excited to see what God has in store for their futures. Thank you Class of 2011 for all you've taught me. Know you are loved!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Four Months!

Dear Sweet Sadie,

It's so hard to believe you're already 4 months old. At your doctor's appointment today you weighed 13 lbs 11 oz and were 26 inches long! You are definitely becoming quite the curious little person. You are so observant of the colors in books, the looks on people's faces, and every thing else in this big new world. Your friend Mr. Darrell said he thinks you're smiley about 70% of the time and I would have to say I agree with that statement. You certainly know how to get our attention with those lungs of yours but you're still such a sweet baby.

You learned how to roll over this month (from stomach to back) although you've only duplicated that move a few times since. Your poor bald spot continues to get larger (we gotta work on those back muscles) and the rest of your hair still refuses to lay down! Some people say you're starting to look a lot like your Mom but I still think you've got a good bit of your Dad in there too.

Now that it's warmer outside we've been going for more walks outside and you really like your stroller. You're learning to "talk" more and you've even been known to let out a few laughs. Sitting in your baby La-z-boy chair is still one of your favorite activities. The way you pull on your toys from that chair makes me think you might be a future gymnast!

Our love for you continues to grow more and more each day. You are such a blessing. We love you lots!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day Thirteen

50) To you this might look like a mess of clothes but to me it's a whole new wardrobe. I love changing my closet out each season with "new" clothes from the attic. It makes me feel like I just went on a shopping spree!

51) Every holiday I fall victim to the powers of seasonal candy. For some reason a Reester Bunny (or egg) tastes a whole lot better than a regular Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Just to be clear this basket is a combination of all the Uebel family's Easter candy :).
52) A new washing machine that works. I will never take my washing machine for granted EVER again.
53) Cute little babies in their Easter dress and a new sun hat (thanks Nana)!

54) New haircuts and a sweet little baby.
55) A baptismal service on Easter Sunday. A great way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!

56) Sweet little Charlotte (this photo is another cheat by the way, it was taken on 1/9/11 but I forgot to take a picture of her this weekend). We went to an Easter Pageant on Saturday night at a local church and Charlotte played the part of Baby Jesus. She stole the show for sure. At one point she let out a few cries and had the audience in total "ooos and awwws." Precious. Oh yea, the pageant was pretty incredible too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Short Break

The past few days have been a whirlwind and it seems that wind swept my camera away with it. I have a feeling this means my 100 joys challenge will go on past the month of April. I hope to take lots of pictures this weekend though. Hope you have a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day Twelve

46) TV on DVD. Addicting. We watched all of season one right after Sadie was born and then my sweet husband bought season two for us to watch.

47) We're making several of the rooms at our church into kid friendly spaces. We had a work day today and I got to paint this lovely piece of art. Turns out I'm not so good at painting but it was good for the soul :).

48) I found out one year ago today that I was pregnant. It's crazy how times flies and even crazier how much my life has changed since last year.

49) Here I am demonstrating that I can now wear another pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. Praise the Lord! P.S. Please ignore the funk that is my hair in this picture. It was taken at 9pm after a very LONG day.