Such a happy girl!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Such a happy girl!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
She was so thrilled when she found Chris's hat. It's one of the 50 or so words she knows.Here she is in her new Christmas coat. We were headed out the door yesterday to attend a little Christmas party. She was really ready to go and kept saying "side" (outside).On Sunday, on our way back from Crossville, she conked out in the car. She really does travel well. Even when she's awake, she's a happy girl. That stuffed animal she's holding is one of my old ones, a bear named Curtis disguised as a reindeer. (Remember him, Eva Joy?)
Merry Christmas Eve!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thankfully one of my co-workers took a couple of pics of her in her little smocked Christmas dress this morning. I am so grateful that she had her camera handy.(Can you see her little sprig of a pony tail? It's just like Pebbles!)
(While her cheeks are almost always rosey, you can plainly tell by her eyes that was so tired this morning. She's also cutting a molar on her left side)
She's had a couple of spills in the last 24 hours. Last night, in her enthusiam to get to me, she ran right off the curb and marked up her little forehead a bit. And then, this morning, it happened. I think I had been sort of anticipating it. She tried climbing out of her crib and fell out! Chris and I were in bed when we heard a loud boom and then her crying. I bolted to her room and found her standing beside her bed! I don't think it really hurt her, just scared her a bit, but it's time to make a few adjustments.
Friday, December 12, 2008
We had my parents over for dinner on Tuesday night. I made a big pot hearty vegetable beef soup, toasted a couple of baguettes in the oven, and served warm brownies with ice cream for dessert. Here’s the part where my husband rocks. While I got dinner on the table, Chris fed Willow Grace, played with her while I tidied up after, dressed her for bed, read her books, sang to her, and rocked her to sleep. When he came back downstairs, he finished cleaning up the kitchen for me while I visited with my parents, and then after they left he took my car to the gas station to fill it up for me. Doesn’t it all seem too good to be true? He really is that wonderful! His response would be,” I’m just me.” Well, he just rocks!
I wish that you could have seen Chris with Willow Grace. They were playing on the floor in front of the Christmas tree, and he was making her laugh hysterically. (Who doesn’t love hearing a baby cackle?) Once she let out a particularly delightful peal of giggles and said, “Oh, Daddy!” Precious! In between each bout of laughter, she would notice her Nana, Papa, and me watching from the dining room and pause to wave at us. So sweet!
This morning I got an extra couple of hours with my sweet husband and baby girl since the school where I work got a late opening due to snow. I hope your morning was as good as mine.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I use it all. I like a good mix of gft bags, wrapping paper, decorative tins and boxes, and any other creative means of giving.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Sadly, I’m allergic to trees, so it’s a fake tree for us.
3. When do you put up the tree? We always put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. If it were up to me, it would be up earlier. (:
4. When do you take the tree down? Most people don’t know that the 12 days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas day, so Christmas doesn’t end until January 5. I never take down the tree before Christmas is over!
5. Do you like Egg Nog? It depends on the brand/who makes it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I received a Barbie Dream House when I was 8 or 9, and it was just the best thing I could have imagined. I was absolutely shocked.
7. Hardest person to buy for? In general, I think men are hard to shop for.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Willow Grace. The hard part is not going overboard with her!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes! My mother-in-law bought me one that sits on my mantle.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail is the way to go. We decorate the inside of our front door with all the Christmas cards we get each year.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? When I taught I got tons of Christmas goodies, and some of them were not so good.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? That’s hard because I love holiday movies. I love Christmas in Connecticut, the old one with Barbara Stanwick. I also can’t get enough of White Christmas and The Muppet’s Christmas Carol.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sometimes I start in the summer!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep, I have. There’s no sense in things I can’t use gathering dust when I know that someone else would love it. Mostly this has happened with gift cards or gifts I've received from students.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas and favorite Christmas dessert? There’s too many yummy things to choose from.
16. Lights on the tree? We wrap the center of the tree in white to give it a inner glow, and then we put on tons of colored lights.
17. Favorite Christmas song? I love Christmas music, so I can't pick just one. I can tell you, guiltily, that my favorite Christmas album is *NSYNC’s. I just can’t help it. We listen to it year round!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both of our families live close, so we don’t have to go far to visit everyone.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? I can name them, sing them-whatever you want. I use to always use that as a bonus question on my final exam before Christmas break. I think the kids worked harder on that question than any other!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We actually have a snowman. I love snowpeople!
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open one on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? I love it all. I love the decorations, the music, the festive attire, shopping for others—just everything. I guess if there were something that annoyed me it would be people who just refuse to try to be cheerful and insist on complaining.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love snowpeople and snowflakes.
24. Handmade ornaments or store bought? We have an eclectic mix.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I really don’t want much and can’t think of anything big. I want Sleeping Beauty, some cool barrettes and jewelry, and a few other odds and ends. Really, I just want enough money to buy stuff for everyone else.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Willow Grace loves her Winnie the Pooh armchair. We moved it down to the living room from her room so she could get more use out of it. Look at that orange nose! It looks like it's time to lay off the carrots!
And so ends another busy day! It's so cute when she falls asleep in her high chair. After her veggies, she held out long enough to eat two chocolate Teddy Grahams!
Here's hoping your Wednesday is happy!
Monday, December 08, 2008
(me & Dad just after I dropped off Willow Grace)
(Look at my fancy hair! Isn't it just the berries?!?!)
(me and Lydia, my friend's daughter)
(Here I am playing my part.)
Friday, December 05, 2008
Here’s the prompt:
“How did you meet your spouse? What initially attracted you to your spouse? How does that personality trait or physical characteristic affect you today? What is the same? What has changed?”
THE STORY OF US
In 2001, Chris and I became neighbors. He moved in downstairs from me in our apartment building. For a while it was just a simple greeting when we happened to see each other in the parking lot or stairway. However, one bright summer morning, my sister Eva and I were hanging out on my balcony when he came home from the night shift. I asked, “Hey, do you want a candy cane?” He eyed me suspiciously and said, “But it’s July….” “I know,” I replied. “I always have candy canes!” He agreed to take one, and we ended up talking for quite a while – him standing on the sidewalk and me leaning over the railing of the balcony. For the next couple years we developed a friendship – playing cards and board games, hanging out in each other’s apartments with our roommates, having dinner together, going for long drives down the Natchez Trace and all around Nashville, hiking in the park, and blasting through snow drifts in the mall parking lot the winter we had a freak snowstorm.
It’s still a bit of a mystery to me how it all happened. I wasn’t interested in him at all romantically, so I can’t really point to a quality that attracted me to him. However, one night, we were driving around talking about things we had gone through in our lives, and he reached over to hold my hand. It wasn’t something he even planned; it just happened. I thought, “ Well, this is new. It’s strange but OK.” Really, I thought it was more of a comfort thing than a romantic thing. Nothing was said about it, and it didn’t happen again for a bit. Slowly, we started getting closer, and one night I was getting ready to go down to his apartment to see him and realized that I was actually giddy! I couldn’t wait to see him. I told myself that I was just happy to be hanging out with my friend.
Our first official date was January 4, 2004. I had received a gift card to PF Changs for Christmas from one of my students, and so Chris and I went out to dinner. I don’t think it really started out as a date, but the way we held hands that night coupled with the way he looked at me changed everything. Three months later, on March 13, on yet another one of our drives on the Natchez Trace, Chris whipped into one of the small parking lots and told me he loved me. I laughed. He was confused. But I was just so happy; I couldn’t help it. And yes, I did finally stop laughing and tell him that I loved him too. (the summer after we started dating)
Just over a year later, on a gorgeous spring day in April, on a beautiful overlook, Chris surprised me by dropping to one knee and asking me to be his wife. (the only pic we have from the day we got engaged taken with the webcam)
We married on August 5, 2005, five months earlier than my original plan; we just couldn’t’ wait to begin our married life together.
Honestly, I am constantly in awe of the joy that being married to Chris has brought me. Just yesterday morning I told him that I am still mystified by the fact that we are married and that we have such a beautiful baby girl. I never imagined that I could be loved the way he loves me – so completely and unconditionally. I am still giddily in love with him and get excited about seeing him at the end of every day.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Every few months he brings around a stack of Our Daily Bread booklets, a small, three month, daily devotional. Even on days when time is tight, anyone can afford to take a moment to read these; it's even posted online. In thinking about the Christmas season, it's hard sometimes to reconcile in my own mind the balance between being content to indulge in the celebration and also to vigilantly seek to help others who suffer; Sunday's entry helps a bit with this. You can find it here. It's based on Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
So many people are suffering right now having recently lost a loved one. Others of us are trying to hold on to those last few precious moments we have with our loved ones before they are released from their mortal bodies and welcomed home to Jesus. Then of course there are others who are poor, hungry, homeless, and suffer at the hands of evil people. There certainly is a way for us to live out Romans 12:15 and to remain cheerful throughout. That cheerfulness is not based on human conditions but on true hope, on our faith in Christ. Without that cheer, that true joy, why would anyone see any difference in us. Who would want to leave their own downtrodden conditions to follow after a somber-faced Christian? The light of the joy of the Lord, His cheer, should shine through our eyes even in trying times.
So, I can decorate, celebrate, revel in the festivities, praise the Lord, comfort those who are mourning, weep over the losses in my own life, fight against evil, and thank God for all the gifts He's given us all this Christmas. I can certainly BE CHEERFUL!
Friday, November 28, 2008
- prayed constantly for Willow Grace
- read her lots of books and watched tons of Disney shows with her
- gone to pick up medicine and Pedialite from the pharmacy
- built fires to help keep us warmer
- endlessly cuddled her and let her sleep on his chest
- stayed up all night with us when she just couldn't sleep Wednesday night
- remained at home with her all day yesterday, missing Thanksgiving lunch at his parents' house and dinner with my parents (I had cooked 5 dishes for my parents' dinner, so I delivered them and got to have dinner.)
- made sure I got some rest
- did whatever he could to take care of me in order to help me to better take care of her
Aren't they sweet together? It's enough to melt a wife's heart!What a great husband! What a great daddy!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I hope everyone has a wonderful time with your family and your turkey tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
ONE: My first memory comes from when I was two years old… yes, two. We lived in some apartments in north Nashville, and I was walking with my mom to the pool where a party was going on. I remember people being on the roof of the clubhouse when we arrived at the pool, and they were diving off into the pool. It seemed so exciting and dangerous, and I thought that adults must always have fun like that.
TWO: I am perhaps four years old. It’s such a lovely family picture of us --- Mom, Dad, my older brother Wayne --- having a picnic in a pavilion in the park. I remember my mom was wearing light colored jeans, and her dark hair hung loose down her back. Wayne and I went to hunt four leaf clovers in the grass. I looked up to see Mom and Dad close together in conversation and wondered what they were talking about. They would soon join Wayne and me in our search for four leaf clovers. Being only four, I didn’t understand then that this was no “normal” family picnic; I was just happy that we were all together. What was not “normal” about it? We were visiting my dad in prison, and that “park” was the prison yard of the Tennessee State Prison, incidentally the same prison from The Green Mile and The Last Castle.
(FYI for those of you not in the know: Daddy had become a Christian and a “man on fire” for God while in prison and did get out of prison. A year after getting out of prison, he started a ministry, Hope and Life Ministry, which includes jail/prison ministry and free counseling for marriage, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.)
THREE: I was about 11 years old, and we had a magnificent snow that winter. (Oh, why can’t it snow like that in Nashville once again?) Dad took Wayne and me and our best friends, Bonnie and Luke, out for some fun in the snow. His brand of fun was so different from most parents. He tied the sled to the back of the car and pulled us all over our neighborhood. Once all four of us were on the sled when Dad turned sharply around a corner sliding us all off of the back of the sled and landing us in exactly the same positions as on the sled. Later Bonnie and I were on the sled when it flipped over and somehow caught her food between the blade and the board causing her to be dragged behind the car. She was reaching out towards me and yelling, “Kay-Kay, help!” I tried running towards her but of course could not catch up to the slow moving car on the slippery snow. Finally freeing her foot, she laid there panting when I caught up to her and we set out to walk the mile back to our house. It was a short trip however, because Luke noticed the empty sled, and Dad turned around to retrieve us.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I cant’ help but gush about my husband and our marriage. I can’t help but to seek out his hand while we walk into church, stroll around the mall, or ride in the car. I have no problem snuggling up to him while we’re sitting on the couch in our parents’ homes or giving him a quick kiss when he stops by my work to deliver some item I’ve forgotten at home or to bring me lunch. It all started with a slow building friendship, and so even after all this time he is still my best friend, the one I prefer above all others with whom to spend my time.
My husband rocks!
Most days I would say that I have a dream marriage. I honestly never believed that I would find the kind of love that I now experience. I never dreamed that someone could love me so much and treat me so well. I never had any guy treat me as good as my Chris, unless you count Dad. To be loved for myself, just as I am, because I am the way I am, is such an unexpected delight. It all serves to remind me how much my Heavenly Father loves me.
Of course, it’s not always sunny days and ice cream. Some days are hard. Really hard. Some moments are downright unbearably painful. We can both be terribly stubborn and blinded by our own emotions and opinions. Tempers will flare, and feelings get hurt. What’s so wonderful is that this is always followed the heartfelt apologies and the readily given forgiveness and the reminder of how much we loved each other.
Our marriage rocks!
Despite all of the trials and obstacles that we face in this marriage, this life we share, I am intensely grateful to God for putting me on this journey with Chris, for blessing us with our sweet Willow Grace so we can build a family together, and for the spiritual encouragement that Chris has been giving me. I’m not only in love with my husband, but I am also in love with my Savior and overwhelmed by the unfathomable love He has for me, for all of us.
Our God rocks!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
She was hanging out with her Papa (my dad) in front of the big fireplace at Cracker Barrel. What a cute couple!Her Gran Gran bought her this cozy little coat. She started out so happy and was gradually lulled to sleep in the car! She's a great little traveler!
Friday, November 07, 2008
My husband rocks because he makes me laugh. Every day. Most days he makes me laugh so hard that I snort, which he strangely thinks is cute. And then we laugh more because of the snort. He is so playful and silly and embraces those same qualities in me.
Just last night we were on our way to a play, and he made me laugh so hard that I could hardly get my breath, and then, of course, I snorted...twice! He asked me if I was going to blog about it, but it really was one of those "you had to be there" kind of things.
So, anyway, that's why he rocks-- for giving me the amazing gift of laughter. Hmmm, I was just thinking about that ride to the play, and I have to say that he also rocks because he always holds my hand in the car. I love that!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Over the last week or two, this theme keeps recurring in my life… in conversations, in the blogs I peruse, in my devotionals, and in the books I read. Of course you Harry Potter fans will recognize this as one of the big themes from the series. Harry is constantly faced with serious decisions where he must choose either the good or the easy. Just as Dumbledore tells Harry in chapter 18 of Chamber of Secrets, “It’s our choices, Harry, that show who we really are, far more than our abilities.” Over and over this truth is prominently displayed in the books. (There’s a whole chapter about this in Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger, a book highly recommend.)
One of my bloggy friends shared a story of when her husband stood for the right, lost his job, but was given an even better job less than 24 hours later. God rewarded his faithfulness. Another lady commented that the same thing had happened to her husband.
It’s amazing to me how often I’m encouraged to “just say that you’re ___________, ” and that blank is always filled with something that many would consider a “little white lie.” Where did that even come from? A lie is a lie. Lying to make a situation a bit easier for yourself is still lying; it’s still sin. Why do people encourage each other to do this all the time?
Here’s an example: I was planning on leaving work a little early the other day, but the two people I usually report to had already left early to attend a volleyball game which I was not planning on attending. When I told another lady that I was planning on leaving early, she said, “Just say that you went to the game.” I suppose it seemed harmless enough to her, but it would be a lie. Just a little bit of untruth, a little bit of sin, is the same thing as adding just a little bit of iocane powder* to your drink. You may not be able to see it, but it will definitely affect you!
It really is all about the choices we make.
*Fictional poison from The Princess Bride. The poison was colorless and odorless but deadly.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I'm totally making up for the shortage of pics last week. Here she is Halloween day - happy, dancing baby!
Monday, November 03, 2008
-- a hot cup of English Breakfast tea (always takes me back to Ireland)
-- a gentle chill in the air
-- the lingering aroma of last night's fire still hanging in the air of our living room
-- gorgeous flashes of burnt orange, vibrant red, and cheerful yellow leaves
-- the cathartic crunching feeling and sound of the leaves beneath my feet
Yes, autumn is here in all its glory, and I love it!
Happy Fall everyone!
(For those of you who are wondering, I'm waiting until Wednesday to post pics of Willow Grace in her Halloween costume. Stay tuned!)
Friday, October 31, 2008
Does he look nervous in this picture? This was, of course, taken just a couple hours before we wed on August 5, 2005. I don’t think he looks nervous, but he told me that he was extremely nervous that day until he saw me walking down the isle towards him. He wasn’t sure if he was doing the right thing… not for himself but for me. He was concerned that he would somehow make my life worse. (Well, let me put you at ease, Baby.) I’ve never in my life been happier. Since I met and married my Chris, my life has only gotten better and better. Yep, he rocks!
In this pic, Dad is supposed to be warning Chris to treat me right, but of course neither of them are taking it very seriously. It’s weird how much they are alike – can fix just about anything, know a lot about cars, and treat their wives so wonderfully. Yeah, my dad rocks too!
Oh, and Chris also rocks because he’s gone out every chilly morning this week to warm up the car for me and our sweet Willow Grace. It’s been so nice and toasty, and I haven’t had to scrape any frost off the windows. What a man!