Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween everyone! We arrived home from our trip about 9:30pm last night. We had a great time, and Dave's team took fifth place (in the country) so that's not too shabby. :) Proud of those boys!!

Tonight was Krew's first time trick or treating. He went with Ellie (and me and Emily) in our neighborhood. He didn't seem to be bothered at all by the cold front we're dealing with or the drizzly rain, and he learned quick. After the second house, he was happily scampering up to doors on his own, giving them a timid and nearly-silent knock, then reaching for the candy bowl when someone finally opened the door (usually after Ellie provided a proper knock). He wasn't quite ready to say 'trick or treat,' but he did mumble out some shy 'thank you's with my prompting. I'm proud of my boy!

After about ten houses, Emily and I decided we'd gone far enough with the kiddos and headed back to our place where Dave, Sion, and Baby Cate were holding down the fort and passing out candy. I'm sure next year it will be more like twenty houses before we're done, and it will just get worse and worse every year after that. But that's ok. I like candy. :)

And just to show my Halloween spirit, I wore an appropriately-themed shirt to work today. Too bad I can only theoretically wear this shirt one day out of the year. I really like it. :)

Alright, how was everyone else's Halloween?? Or if you don't celebrate it, what else did you do?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Time

I feel like no October is complete without some type of pumpkin decorating or carving. So on Friday we had a few friends over to do just that.

Prior to people arriving, I took Krew to the nearby pumpkin patch to pick out his very first pumpkin. (Last year was his first Halloween, but he didn't have a pumpkin.) He walked all around the patch, seeming interested but not super excited. Then all of a sudden he let out an "Ohhhhhhh!!!" and ran toward a particularly warty pumpkin. He had found it. His first pumpkin.

After picking out our pumpkins, we headed back home. Krew had to go to bed before the decorating festivities began, but us adults plus Ellie had fun. :) (Ellie was there with mom Emily and lil sis Cate, but Emily and Cate missed out on the pictures somehow. We didn't just randomly steal Ellie for the night. :) )

Dave helped Ellie decorate her pumpkin. :)

We are headed to Florida on Wednesday for Dave's ultimate frisbee nationals. I look forward to this trip every year - I get to see my grandma (we stay with her), soak in some sun, hang out with the other frisbee wives and kiddos, and just relax for four days. Oh, and of course cheer super duper loudly for Dave. GO RING! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Date with my Craft Girls

Tonight was craft night with my "craft girls", as I like to call them, since I only see most of them once a month when we get together to do a craft. Tonight was decorating coasters, wine, coffee, tea, and desserts. Sigh. So nice. I love our monthly dates!!

And thanks to my hubby for watching the kiddo and giving me a girls' night. :)

To see the process we followed, check out Katie's blog at Thrifty Finds and Redesigns! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keepin' It Clean

As a crazy busy wife and mom, I must admit that I'm currently really struggling to keep up with our house. I'm not sure what to do about it right now, though, because frankly we're just not home much. We're home long enough to make a mess, but never long enough to clean it. For example, due to our schedules right now, on Mondays through Wednesdays I have a whoppin' approximate 45 minutes of "free" time at home in the evenings before bed. This is the time I am supposed to use for all my cleaning, blog post writing, reading, and attacks on my to-do list. 45 minutes. That's it. Take any more time than that, and I lose sleep.  (And trust me, this woman needs her 8 hours.)  Tonight I used my 45 minutes to clean up Krew's room a bit, pack up his too-small clothes and winter coats to take to a friend tomorrow, and write this blog post.  I sometimes have a free Thursday evening, but we're currently traveling nearly every other weekend, so Thursdays are usually used for packing. Or honestly sometimes I just want to sit and stare blankly at the TV because I've been going nonstop so much already that week. Plus I know that Dave considers watching TV together to be bonding time, so sometimes I slow down to watch some TV on a Thursday for him.  Then we're gone Friday through Sunday.  And the weekends we're not gone, I'm trying to catch up with all my friends who I have no other time to see.  And I'm supposed to keep up with my house?? Um, mission impossible???

ANYWAY, what got me started on this rampage was that today I stumbled across a blog post with a free download of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning check lists.   They sort of made me feel worse about the state of my house and gave me a bit of a cleaning itch.  But they also helped me come to the realization that I've finally reached the point where my expectations for what my house NEEDS to look like are becoming more realistic.  I could read the cleaning lists, and calmly accept that I don't have time to do everything on the lists right now (especially not the weekly list), and decide that that's okay.  I'm living life and enjoying my husband and son.  And that's what's important...not the state of my house.  I know that life is going to slow down in a couple months and then I can get the house back under control...but in the meantime I don't want to miss out on precious moments with my family.  Sometimes it's so hard to keep those priorities straight!!

You can find the lists at this blog post: and all the posts in the series at this location:  They are pretty good lists, and are in fun colors, which makes nearly anything more exciting. :)

So fill me in...what's your weekly schedule look like?  Do you have time to do all the cleaning you'd like?  Do you follow a cleaning schedule or just do everything on the fly?  Any tips or tricks to share?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

18/19 month update :)

It's about time for an update on our little man!!

And a little man he really is. I just can't believe how much of a mini-person he's becoming...glimpses of babyhood are getting fewer and farther between. It's rather bittersweet. So neat to see him growing and changing, yet sad to know that the baby in him is disappearing and I'll never get it back. I guess that's why they say to try and enjoy each and every day.

His 18-month pediatrician checkup actually took place when he was about 18 1/2 months old, so the percentiles may be a little off. Nevertheless, on September 19th he was 32.25 inches tall (44th percentile), weighed 24 lbs 11.5 oz (32nd percentile), and had a head circumference of 19 inches (61st percentile).  As of today, he's wearing mostly 18-month shorts and pants (some 12-month), 12- to 18-month shirts, size 3 diapers (ready to move into 4s, but gotta use up our stash of 3s first), and mostly size 6 shoes (some 5s fit well).

He's become quite the jabberbox these days, often trying to communicate with us through words instead of whining or crying (which is awesome!). Problem is we still don't know what he's saying half the time. Some words he says with great enunciation (apple, no, up, dada, mama), others are somewhat distinguishable (help, please, more, dog, ball, I love you), and others are honestly just way off (help='up', diaper='popo', and all the others I can't figure out for the life of me despite him repeating them over and over).

He still loves to sing and loves to dance. He'll even sing and bop to songs I make up on the fly ("I love Mommy, yes I do" or "let's get ready to go, yea yea yea" have been past features), and he's becoming great at memorizing songs he hears frequently and singing his favorite parts at all the right times.  We always make sure to have one of his CDs in the car so that we can stick in some of his music if he gets grumpy - 9 times out of 10, it cheers him up.  I guess he picked up his mommy's love of music!

And while he loves singing and dancing like his mom, he loves sports and movies like his dad.  He's developed quite the throwing arm and actually has pretty good aim for a toddler.  He loves all kinds of balls - soccer balls, tennis balls, little balls, giant balls, bouncy balls, baseballs - any kind of ball, he loves it.  He also loves to run, run, run all over the place.  If we take him outside and let him, he'll just run up and down the street for an hour.  Preferably while kicking or throwing a ball.

His favorite movies right now are Horton Hears a Who, Blues Clues, and Veggie Tales.  He loves dancing to the Veggie Tales intro song, and he's memorized the sound effects for the first 10 minutes of Horton Hears a Who and provides his own rendition while the movie is playing. He's also become pretty adept at playing on the iPad (he now turns it on, unlocks it, scrolls to find his favorite apps, and starts playing), and he's currently going through a shoe obsession. He frequently tries to wear Dave's shoes or my shoes, and sometimes while wearing one pair of his own, he'll bring us another pair and ask us to switch them.

Speaking of veggies...I cannot get this boy to eat any vegetables.  He just doesn't like them.  At least not in their original form.  If I feed him pureed baby food veggies, he'll gobble them right up.  So even though he's close to 19 1/2 months, yes, I still feed my child jarred baby food a couple times a week.  If it gets vegetables in him, then it's worth it.  In the meantime, at most meals I continue to provide some type of vegetable in its original form, such as broccoli, green beans, or peas, in hopes that one day he'll decide they're not that bad.  It hasn't worked yet.  In fact, if I mix peas in with mashed potatoes or pasta, he'll take a bite, move the food around in his mouth, spit out the peas, and swallow the rest.  It's really quite impressive.

Krew loooooooooooooooooooooves his daddy right now.  I know he loves me too...but seriously, he's got a major crush on his daddy.  If Dave is in the room, Krew wants nothing to do with me.  Half of the time he won't even let me feed him a spoonful of food or bounce a ball with him and Dave together.  Nope.  It's gotta be Daddy and only Daddy.  When I take him places and then pull him out of the car upon arrival, he exclaims under his breath, "Dada!!" And I say, "No, honey, Daddy's not here."  And he responds with "Dada!!!!!"  And I again say, "No, honey, we'll see Daddy later, but he's not here right now."  "Dada!!!!"  And on and on it goes.  We got all the way inside Target today before he realized that I was in fact correct, we were in fact shopping at a store, and (lo-and-behold!) Daddy was not in the store.  He managed to hold in his "Dada"s until we got home, at which point they started all over again.

And along with his daddy, Krew also really loves his grandpas and uncles right now.  He must be going through a man phase.  Poor grandmas and aunts get the second-rate treatment along with Mommy here.  Oh well...our time will come, I'm sure.  And it is wonderful to see him loving his relatives so much, even if the men are getting preferential treatment.

Alright, I think that about sums it up for now.  Hopefully another update will be coming sooner than later. :)

Quiet Time Plan

I used to be so devoted to my quiet time. Back in grad school, I read several Bible passages almost every day, read a commentary to go with them, and took notes. I prayed. I often read another Christian book later in the day. My quiet time was precious to me and was daily placed at the top of my to-do list.

Fast forward to now. Sometime in the midst of getting a job, getting married to a traveling ultimate frisbee player, owning a house, having two dogs, having a child, joining a Bible study, and joining a life group, I lost my quiet time. I've really been struggling with it for about three years now. I'll go through streaks of doing well, but it's never long before I fall off the path once again.

I recently decided to think hard about why my quiet time wasn't working for me. I really want it to work...I can feel a dramatic difference in my attitude and life between the times when I'm actively having quiet time and the times when I'm not. I think the major reason it wasn't working was because I was making it far too time-consuming and overwhelming. I was trying to read, study, and take notes as much as I used to in grad school, and frankly I just don't have time for that at this point in my life. I hope to get back to having the opportunity to devote that much time to studying God's word again sometime in the future, but right now it just doesn't seem to be an option.

After a lot of thinking and talking with my husband, I've developed a new plan. Here it is:

1. Every week day: set my alarm for 6am, hit snooze once, then get up and start quiet time with a pot of coffee. On the weekends, fit in quiet time at some point during the day.
2. Follow the following reading plan: "Reading God's Story: One-Year Chronological Plan" (available free from the Bible app on my iPhone). This reading plan gives one day off every week, so I am allowed to miss one day per week. If I miss more than this, I'll have to play catch-up.
3. Read from my (real, non-phone) Bible that has both The Message and NIV translations. (I prefer to have both versions available for most passages of Scripture. They both provide different insights.)
2. Write down in my journal the passages or ideas that REALLY stand out to me. Don't write down things that aren't super important (time waster).
3. If I get stuck on a verse, and I want to know more info about it, write it down on a list in the back of my journal to return to at another time. Don't get too bogged down by any one idea or verse (again, time waster).
4. If I get through the reading for the day and have time to spare, read ahead or enjoy reading another Christian book. (But give God the full time I've allotted.)

Once I finish reading the whole Bible chronologically in a year, then I may do a topical study or follow some other type of Bible study. But right now I simply want to get through the whole Bible. I've read all of it except for about the last fifth of the Old Testament in the past, but I want to read the whole thing together now. I've made it through six days so far...pray for me that I can keep going!

So on this We Encourage Tuesday, I'd love to hear what others are doing to stay devoted to their quiet times. What does your quiet time look like, if it exists? What would it ideally look like? What have you found works best for you? And I'm you drink coffee with your quiet time? :)

Head over to Call Me Blessed to hear from some other great Christian ladies!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Jim Verner

This weekend we took a trip to Atlanta to celebrate the wedding of my dear cousin Kahla. Love this girl to pieces and soooo happy to see her marry such a sweet guy who I can tell loves her oh so much and makes her so happy.

Love you guys and congratulations on such a beautiful weekend!!

The weekend in iPhone pics:

Loving the view out the hotel window.

Rehearsal dinner: me with the bride-to-be and with my hubby.

Atlanta Braves hat from some awesome friends of the family.

Wedding day: lunch at Chick-fil-a with two of my brothers

hanging with Uncle Collin

gorgeous bride

asleep in Great Grandma's arms

ride home!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Worry Much?

In preparation for tonight's Bible study with some of my girlfriends, I read the current chapter in our book, which was titled "Worry is Like a Rocking Chair."

You know,
"Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere."

As a person who was in the past diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, I know a lot about worry. I've done a lot of reading on worry. I've gone through a lot of counseling for my worry. I've experienced a lot of anxiousness, stomach aches, shakiness, affected relationships, and fear of situations thanks to worry.

I am SO grateful to say that although I still struggle with worry as a typical person does, it no longer consumes my life. I really owe a lot of that to a wonderful Christian counselor I found. He helped me to feel like a normal person again. Thanks to him and God's intervention, worry no longer keeps me home from planned activities or keeps me awake at night. But that doesn't mean I don't still need to work on it.

My biggest current struggle with worry is this: although I know God loves me immensely and will only allow in my life what He can use for good, that doesn't mean I'm not going to absolutely hate some of the things He allows. That doesn't mean I'm not going to lose someone I love. That doesn't mean I'm not going to have horrible health struggles, that doesn't mean I'm not going to have situations that make my stomach churn. And the fact that I know God WILL allow those things in my life, despite His love for me, is the source of most of my current worries. And I can't quite figure out a way around that, other than acknowledging that He knows best and that I need to want and allow what He wants. But trying to do that just seems impossible sometimes!

The chapter in this book didn't provide any great revelations that solved my struggle for me, but it did give some great insight. Here are my favorite quotes from the chapter:

"All our fret and worry are caused by calculating without God."

"Quiet tension is not trust. It is simply compressed anxiety."

"Anxiety is...that which diverts us from present duty to weary calculations of how to meet conditions that may never arise. It's the habit of crossing bridges before we reach them."

"Worry has more to do with perspective than with circumstances. In similar situations, one woman can be anxious and another peaceful. A woman worries when she perceives a threat or a danger. I use the word perceive because the danger can be real or imagined."

"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened." - French philosopher Montaigne

"Depression is the past superimposed on the present, and anxiety is the future superimposed on the present."

"It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourselves so, my friends. If you find yourselves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and to mind the present." - George MacDonald

(All of these quotes can be found in Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow.)

Here are some helpful Scripture passages that apply to this topic:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:34

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7

And finally, one of my all-time favorite passages of Scripture:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. - Philippians 4:6-7

Did you read that last verse? The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus. If you turn your worries and cares over to God, he will give you a supernatural peace that makes absolutely no sense to you or anyone around you. You will feel better without any explanation as to why (other than that you gave everything to God). It's like your own wonderful miracle going on right inside your head. What an AMAZING blessing!

All right, if you have any wisdom, Scripture, or resources to share about worry and anxiety, I would love to hear. And afterward, head on over to Call Me Blessed to find some more encouragement. :)

what I was sipping this morning as I typed :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Mondays - parenting class
Tuesdays - Bible study
Wednesdays - church life group
Thursdays - our day (thank goodness!)
Fridays - traveling every other weekend
Saturdays - ditto Fridays
Sundays - ditto Saturdays

Life's crazy for us right now. Dave's tournament this weekend got moved to Philadelphia last minute, which I was super bummed about because it meant I couldn't go. However, it allowed me some time to hang out with my little man and to catch up with some friends I hadn't gotten to see much lately. My to-do list still has many many items on it, I still have several girlfriends I need to catch up with, and I did absolutely no cleaning this weekend (just picking up and laundry), but I do feel much better than I did last week.

Our upcoming activities for the rest of October and November include my cousin's wedding in Atlanta, 4 1/2 days in Florida for Dave's nationals, a weekend in Indiana to visit my friend Audrey and her new baby Cora, hopefully a weekend visiting Dave's family in Charlotte, and a week in Indiana with my family for Thanksgiving. Whew!

And yes, I know it's been forever since I've provided any updates on Krew. The 18/19-month update will be coming soon - not so much for you readers, but for myself, because this blog is how I'm documenting his life. So I can't get too far behind. :)

Here are a couple recent pictures of him that I thought were cute to hold you over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Never Got What I Wanted

A poem written by a 14-year-old boy, excerpted from the book "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow, originally from "Who Gets the Glory?" by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll:

It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and great outdoors.

It was summer but it was fall I wanted; the colorful leaves and the cool dry air.

It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.

It was winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature.

I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and the respect.

I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.

I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.

I was retired but it was middle-aged I wanted; the presence of a mind without limitations.

My life was over but I never got what I wanted.

Strive to see the beauty and purpose in today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fight For, Not With

Dave and I are currently attending a parenting class on Monday nights at our church. Tonight we discussed many topics, but one of them was fights with our kids and our spouses.

I want to share some food for thought that we were challenged with tonight, some questions that we were asked to think through and discuss. I have no answers or great wisdom to share, and for the sake of the privacy of my spouse I'm not going to delve into the answers that Dave and I gave, but I do want to challenge each of you to think through these as they pertain to your own relationships with your children and spouse.

1. When you fight with your children, are you fighting WITH them, or FOR them? Is the purpose of your argument simply to win, or is its purpose to better your child? Are you focusing on your child's heart, or are you focusing on proving that you are right? (These questions could apply to your spouse, also.)

2. Think about your most common fights with your spouse and/or each of your children - what is the topic you are most likely to argue about? Decide on your answer.

3. Now, in regards to that topic...why is it a hot button for you two?

4. What does each of you really want out of that situation?

I found that thinking through the answers to these questions really challenged me to a) question my motives and my heart b) realign my intentions with God's will and c) consider what the other person is thinking and feeling. Which are all really good things. :)

Head on over to Call Me Blessed for some more encouragement!

I'll be back soon with a 18/19-month blog update our little guy. :)

God bless!