Monday, November 4, 2013

A little "cry cry" on this cold Monday night

It's currently pretty darn quiet in my house.  I'd like to take a moment to thank Daylight Savings Time for that (begin slow, painful clap).  I know, I know-it's so stereotypical for people with young children to rant about how their kids don't understand the whole "fall back" thing and how we're up at 5am everyday now.  But friends, have a little mercy on us because it is painful!  I don't even care about the waking up early thing (we're learning quiet independent play as a result) but the OVERTIREDNESS, the nighttime woes, the napping woes.  Have mercy (if only Uncle Jesse knew how I would twist his trademark phrase)!  I know everyone will adjust eventually & to be honest I am finding myself much more productive in the morning hours (who cares about waking up at 6:30 when it still feels like 7:30).  But I would also be ok if we removed this one from our law books.  Can I add that on to my ballot at tomorrow's election?

Saturday was one of those days that makes you feel like a total failure as a parent.  Sadie had been (notice the past tense there) doing really well with potty training so we promised her a morning at the local "bounce house."  Turns out after driving 45 minutes to arrive at said "bounce house" we should have done a little more research.  The one we were planning on going to closed 10 MONTHS AGO & the one across town had no Open Gym hours on Saturday.  To say we were scared to tell Sadie was quite the understatement.  In the end she actually ended up handling it ok & our attempt to do something else "cool and fun" seemed to be a win in Sadie's book.  We rode up to the Roanoke star, where you can see the Roanoke Valley for miles & miles, & "hiked" the loop around the star.  While we were looking off the overlook Sadie kept saying "I can see the bounce house.  They closed today."  Poor child.  Oh but it doesn't end there.  After the star we headed over to the mall where I promised Sadie there would be a Disney store with lots and lots of princess stuff.  As it turns out the Disney store closed oh I don't know, almost 4 YEARS AGO; again with the fact checking.  So we walked away with our tails between our legs to the indoor playground & Sadie forgot the word princess even existed (until we got back to the car where Princess Belle was waiting for us). 

See how I casually mentioned potty training earlier.  This challenge is certainly not for the faint of heart my friends.  And I kid you not that every time I see someone walk into a public restroom, I want to give a shout of praise to the kind soul who taught them how to do that!  I know this is just like the whole Daylight Savings Time thing & she'll catch on eventually but it is certainly producing some perseverance & character in the mean time :).  

I think that's enough "cry-cry" for now.  As I near the beginning of my 29th year of life next week I hope to have some more meaningful thoughts on life.  For now enjoy a little 'Bippity Boppity Boo' from Princess Cinderella!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Again I find myself apologizing for my long absence from the blogosphere.  I've still been reading other people's blogs, I just haven't felt like I've had much of a voice or content to share lately.  But I've been inspired by my hubs and other blogging friends to pick back up the 'ole keyboard and start typing.  So here are some random thoughts for now, hopefully I'll be back later and more frequently with something more valuable :).

I finished the second book in the Divergent series on Tuesday afternoon.  In case you're interested it's called Insurgent not Allegiant.  Much to my dismay (and stupidity), after finishing the book I was so desperate to talk about it with somebody or hear other people's opinions that I googled Allegiant.  I started seeing all kinds of *spoiler alert* warnings but smarty pants me thought "It's ok.  I just finished the book so this isn't a spoiler."  As it turns out you should take the extra two seconds to push Home -----> Title Page on your Kindle before googling a book.  Apparently there are MAJOR events that happen in the third book and I am now the proud owner of such knowledge without reading the book.  Yea, not cool.  Interestingly enough this also happened to me during the most recent season of Downton Abbey. Apparently they air the British episodes a full six months or so before they release it across the pond.  Their Facebook account operates for both countries so when something says "What did you think about last night's episode?, don't click it. (Warning: Season 3 Spoiler Alert) That whole Sybil dying thing, yeah, heard about it, like SIX MONTHS before you did.  And the best part: Nic wouldn't let me tell him, something about he didn't want to have the experience ruined for him.  Hmmph. 

In other major news, tomorrow I'll be 25 weeks pregnant with Baby Uebel #2.  Sorry about the long delayed announcement there, this poor baby is already destined to a life of second child syndrome.  Every time I go to the doctor they ask me how far along I am and every time I respond "Actually can you tell me that?" I think they think I'm kidding but I'm really not.  This pregnancy is flying by!  With Sadie I could've told you down to the exact day how "pregnant" I was and which vegetable/fruit she most closely resembled.  This time around I'm lucky if I remember to EAT any fruits or vegetables that day.  Poor baby- I promise I love you & am excited to meet you!

We're headed out tonight to do some trick or treating with Cinderella.  Sadie has been obsessed with her lately so there was never a doubt in our minds who she would be dressing up as for Halloween. A friend of mine suggested I dress up as the pumpkin who will ultimately be her carriage, seeing as I'm in such a pumpkin like state as of lately :).  I think I'll pass for now.  I'm afraid I'd be more likely to back up traffic when people saw a giant orange blob in the road!  Happy Halloween! 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not what you thought

So the post I promised ain't happening today.  It's been a much busier day than I expected and well So You Think You Can Dance is on, so you know.  I promise I haven't forgotten about it & I'll hopefully have the continuation up in the next couple of days.  For now enjoy a little picture from some of our adventures today.

Monday, July 8, 2013

And we're back....

As I sit here on campus on this beautiful, not rainy Monday morning I would be remiss if I wasn’t given to a posture of thankfulness & gratitude.  It’s the first week of freshmen orientation and there’s an excitement to this place that only a couple hundred rounds of “Let’s Go Hokies” at 8am in the morning can bring.  Nervous freshmen wander around with nametags around their necks announcing their past, present, and future.  Proud parents follow behind them, taking it all in, with a look in their eyes that says “Please tell me they’re going to be ok.  Please promise me you’ll take care of my baby.” 

It’s hard to believe I sat in their place eleven years ago.  In fact sometimes it’s so hard to believe (and imagine) that I almost feel closer to the parent end than the student.  Perhaps that’s why with every year that passes the pleading in their eyes gets a little clearer to me, will Sadie really be one of these bewildered students in just sixteen short years?  Eek!  Somebody please stop time now.  

Right now Nic & I can do no wrong in her eyes (well ok, except for maybe when we cut the TV off).  We are her favorite people, her superheroes.  And yet here I sit watching the exact opposite: eye rolls, deliberate efforts to walk at least 10 ft in front of your parents, all the while exerting a little more independence with each step.  When does such a cosmic shift happen?  Or is it already happening?
I know the end goal of my parenting (the one that can seem so very far away at times) should be to raise a responsible, independent adult.  And deep down I do truly want this (besides I don’t want to be changing diapers and reading “How do you hug a porcupine?” for the 50th time today when she’s eighteen).  But why does it have to be so hard? 

Whether I like it or not, what God has been teaching me lately isn’t so far off from what the parents of those college students are experiencing.  Learning to trust God isn’t an easy lesson, whether you’re the parent of a two year old or a twenty two year old.

A few weeks ago our pastor said something like “Life’s lessons are better learned in a lab than a lecture.  And it just so happens that our lives are one giant learning lab.”  Admittedly I cringed a little at first because the memories of General Chemistry lab still haunt me, but he’s definitely got a point.  Who’s a better lab partner than my two year old, careless (ahem, carefree) daughter anyways?

I don’t know if it’s a toddler thing or a Sadie thing but that girl can look at a step and fall over.  In fact a few weeks ago she fell down several steps or excuse me, lack of steps.  We were hanging out at the playground with several other moms, I was holding another little girl at the top helping her go down the slide, when I felt Sadie touch my shoulder and then suddenly I felt her no more.  One minute she was there, the next she was gone. 

Almost immediately I heard a loud thud and shrieks of horror.  I look down and see my little sunscreen drenched, floppy hat wearing girl covered in mud and screaming at the top of her lungs.  I wish I could tell you I immediately kicked into super mommy mode and swept down in one leap to scoop her up but I didn’t.   Even though I was staring at what was clearly my child all I could think was “That’s not Sadie. I know where Sadie is.  Sadie would never fall like that.  I take good care of Sadie.”  And then somehow reality broke through. 

Thank you Lord we somehow escaped that accident without so much as a bruise (no really, praise to God for that).  But as I raced home to clean off all the mud and mulch from Sadie’s knees I could almost hear God saying “She’s not yours April.  You can’t protect her from everything.  You have to trust me.”  All afternoon and evening through tears, I wrestled with what could have happened and what didn’t happen and yet I still kept hearing that faint whisper “She’s my child first.” 

I love James 1:17.  I’ve written it on my nifty, Pinterest-inspired chalkboard, I’ve memorized it, I’ve even recited it to other people in situations where I deem it necessary.  But this time it was like I was hearing it for the first time “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.”  Sadie is a beautiful, lovely, precious gift but are you more in love with the gift than the giver, April?  Hard words for this mama to swallow.  

[to be continued....hopefully tomorrow]

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another ridiculous coffee shop story

A couple of weeks ago we went to up to Roanoke on a Saturday morning to check out their farmer's market.  I was somewhere in the middle when it came to my satisfaction with the market.  On the positive side, their produce was WAY cheaper then our local farmer's market and we got some green eggs (yes you read that correctly) that were seriously some of the best I've ever eaten.   In case I just freaked you out and you're going all Dr. Seuss on me, the eggshells were green, not the actual egg contents (which by the way is apparently super common when buying non-store bought eggs).  Unfortunately there weren't a ton of farm/produce vendors and by the end of the market there were more craft vendors than anything else.  The atmosphere was awesome though & since we've had a gift card tucked away in our desk drawer for several months now, we decided to hit up Mill Mountain for some delicious iced coffee and apple juice.  I love this coffee shop and if I lived in Roanoke I would probably quite quickly become a "regular" (Well maybe, that's my dream to become a regular- you know, the kind that walk in and the barista has already made their drink because they come there every day.  Unfortunately I don't know if my wallet or my caffeine consumption can support my dreams).  

Anyways, before we got out of the car that morning I had stashed my DSLR camera in the bottom of our stroller in an effort to take more pictures and make our blog seem "more artistic."  But of course, like always, because photography is NOT my passion, I hadn't taken a single picture all morning.  So as soon as we sat down I whipped out my camera and started framing the perfect shot (don't worry folks, I call myself a recovering perfectionist).  As I'm trying not to curse at the flash that keeps popping up despite my incessant efforts to keep it down (again, read I am not a photographer), I hear some "smirking" from the table next to us. 

Out of the corner of my eye who should appear but a table full of lattes and three hipsters nearby.  No but seriously, there were three young twenty-somethings, who as I listened closer to their conversation just so happened to have shot (with a camera) a wedding the weekend before.  And as they spied my camera and my obvious lack of expertise, I felt......dejected.  I've never been more aware of my baggy jeans and collegiate hoodie then in that moment.  I wanted to scream "But.... I have a cute toddler."  As if trying to justify my behavior.  Pathetic, I know.  Luckily I didn't say a thing, I just sat there, sipped the rest of my iced coffee, and walked out with my head held high.  Only to think maybe I'd just been given a sign from above. 

Stop trying to be something that you're not.  Now if only I wasn't so dang stubborn.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hook 'em....I mean Go Aggies!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  I have lots of plans in my head for some fun, local events to celebrate with (hmm...perhaps I should run those by the hubs sometime soon).  Unfortunately though none of those plans include swimming.  It's currently 52 degrees and FREEZING!  I even saw a tweet that said tomorrow morning will be in the 30's, what in the world?  Perhaps my life long dream of living in Texas isn't looking so far off after all.

Speaking of TX, my mother's day present this year was a lovely Texas A&M hoodie that I may or may not have bought for myself (read: I ordered it from the university bookstore & used Nic's credit card to purchase).

Apparently wearing college paraphernalia, around a different college town, that you don't have a *direct* connection to makes you an easy target for people to make fun of.  By no means am I a bandwagon fan, I mean I did start following Johnny Manziel on Twitter after he won the Heisman this year, BUT I have been listening to podcasts out of Breakaway Ministries (a ministry on the campus of A&M) for a few years now.  So by way of hearing Ben Stuart talk about Reed Arena and the Aggies on a regular basis, I think I'm allowed a sweatshirt.  (And to further convince you of my  connection, in terms of colleges, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M are quite similar actually.  Big state schools with a corps of cadets and a large emphasis on tech & ag related fields.)

Anyways, all this is fine & dandy until I walk into our local Starbucks last week proudly wearing my new hoodie.  (Mind you, I'm already totally ignoring the fact that it's 80 degrees outside and I'm melting, but gosh darn it I will wear my new shirt!) Immediately the barista behind the counter says, "I love your shirt!  I have a cover for my phone too!"  and then she proceeds to pull out her iPhone proudly adorned with an Aggies cover.  I freeze.  Oh my gosh, she knows my secret. How does she know my secret?  What do I say?  How am I supposed to respond?  In that moment all that comes to mind is "Hook 'em Horns" but I know that's not right, so I mutter out the only words I can think of,  "Ummm..thanks."  Biggest. letdown. ever.  Here this innocent barista thinks she has found a friend and fellow Aggie lover and all I can do is say thanks.  Apparently buying another school's hoodie comes with more responsibility than I realized. 

Obviously I'm still wearing the hoodie but I won't be caught off guard again.  I did my research (thank you, faq page on the Texas A&M website).  Gig 'em Aggies!

Disclaimer: Don't worry Hokie fans, my heart still belongs to Virginia Tech.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Well folks, if you're still here after a 5 month hiatus, welcome!  I really have no excuse for my absence- there are still plenty of cute Sadie pictures to post, a thousand and one "April" thoughts to write about, and other random things to include on here.  Truth be told I sort of forgot about the blog for a while and then, well, I just didn't know what to post.  

Over the past couple of months I've been on a reading kick. (P.S. I apologize to those of you who live near me and receive my unsolicited book recommendations.  Maybe I should look into working at Barnes and Noble or the library.)  One of the books I enjoyed the most was Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons.  The book is all about Rebekah's struggle with anxiety, depression, and how she found her way back to a life of meaning through it all.  At the end of the book she includes a few exercises to help in finding our own meaning:
  • Write down your earliest dreams
  • Write down the turning points in your life
  • Write down your talents
  • Write down your greatest burden 
To say I've answered all those questions and now know exactly what God's purpose for my life is, well I'll probably be dead by the time that happens.  But one of the things I do enjoy and feel like is somewhat of a talent (why do we have such a hard time admitting to our talents?  Arrgh!) is writing.  So my goal is to make more time for that.  And this blog is one way to do just that.

Since my super smart computer enginerd husband is all done with seminary now and looking for ways to fill his now free time, the blog may take on a different look this summer.  I might get my co-author back (see first sentence), maybe I'll follow the rules of building your blog 101 and come up with some kind of "blog platform."  One thing I do know for sure (at least I really, really hope) is I'm back!

And now for a super classy picture taken during the hub's seminary graduation last weekend: