Friday, November 27, 2009

My "I'm Thankful" post

So every "true" blogger has to have a Thanksgiving post where we say what we are thankful for. I realize that it's the day after Thanksgiving, but oh well...

So here goes:

First of all, I'd like to preface this by saying there are so many things I am thankful for and obviously won't be putting them all on here. I'm going to focus on things that I've been blessed with in the past year. You can probably guess where this is going!

I'm first and foremost thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ. Without Him, my life would be a meaningless void with no hope. He gives me the hope I need to get through each day and He gives me grace and mercy when I deserve them the least. He is my rock and anchor and He is the leader of our family. He has blessed both Waylon and I beyond measure. Thank you Jesus for saving our souls.

Obviously I'm thankful for my beautiful, healthy, chubby, delicious, giggly, loud, bubbly baby girl. She is the life of the party wherever we go. She gives both Waylon and I so much joy every day. Even on the days when she is in a not so bubbly mood, I still can't imagine life without her. I'm amazed at how one little human can bring so much emotion out of a grown adult! God is amazing in how He created this amazing love between a parent and his/her child. Waylon and I love Brooklyn so much and these past 4 months with her have been amazing.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband. He works very hard right now with school and work. He is working for our future. His goal is to get his degree by December of next year (2010) and then soon thereafter get a job making enough to support us so that I can stay at home or at least only have to work part time. That's my dream. Whether God has this in His plan, we don't know. But this is what we are hoping for. Waylon is a very loving, patient, forgiving and gentle person. God definitely knew what he was doing when He put us together. Waylon is patient when I'm not, humble when I'm proud, loving when I'm hateful, forgiving when I'm holding a grudge and basically the opposite of all my negative character flaws. We really balance each other out well. He is also a wonderful father and I love, love, love watching him play with Brooklyn and bring her to laughing out loud. She loves him and thinks he's so funny.

I'm thankful for my parents and brother and sister. They have been such a safe haven for me all my life. Not that I needed a safe haven from any dangers or anything like that. But I can always count on them to calm me when I'm stressed and put me at ease when I feel otherwise. Now that I'm married and don't live with my parents anymore, I find myself looking forward to going over there quite frequently and just sitting and visiting with them and letting them spend time with Brooklyn. I enjoy watching them love on her. They just go gaga over her and it is fun for me to watch. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such wonderful, Godly parents! I couldn't have asked for better parents. Thanks Melissa and Bryan for being the best siblings ever! I love you both so much!

I'm also thankful for my church family at GracePointe Baptist Church. We are a small church right now but every single one of our members are involved and loving and hard working. We are very close and always have a great time at all our events. I always feel like I'm with my extended family when I'm at church. And in reality, I am with my extended spiritual family. Thank you co-members of GracePointe! You are a blessing to my family!

Lastly, and definitely not leastly (is that even a word??), I am thankful for my job. Even though sometimes it might not sound like I am and I may even seem un-grateful for it on many days. I'm actually very thankful for having such a stable job with good pay to support my family and make it possible for my husband to go to school full time. As far as time off goes, you can't get better than being a teacher. I find that the more I teach, the more I realize that the time off is THE perk of being a teacher. The rest is very hard work and high demanding in the patience department! But I am thankful for being employed and that after this year, I no longer have to sign a contract each year. It will be my 3rd year with the district and now I will have a continual contract. This means that we are set job wise as long as we need a steady income. In this economic time, you can't ask for more! Thank you Lord for my wonderful job!

So there you have it. I really am blessed and thankful for it!

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! Now, on to Christmas - my favorite holiday of the year!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

LOL!

We are literally laughing out loud around here these days. At least this little lady is:

video

Brooklyn is doing new things every day now. She has been laughing and grabbing and arching her back (trying to roll over) and overall being an adorable little girl. She is eating rice cereal and sweet potatoes. Today I will introduce bananas to her. She is doing very well with eating from a spoon compared to how she did the first time. I recently went to a seminar with a friend from church, by Dr. Greene. He spoke about feeding your baby and getting your baby to like a variety of foods so that later, during the phase where they don't want to try anything new, they are already used to a variety and won't be picky eaters.  It was a very interesting seminar and he gave away his book "Feeding Your Baby Green" which talks all about healthy choices for food and how to make your own baby food at home. I really enjoyed the seminar and am very excited about getting started making my own food. Yes, I am going to try this. I figure since I didn't breast feed, I can do this at least and kind of make up for it, right? Not that I feel like I did anything wrong. I'm just saying, I didn't put the extra effort forward to breast feed so I can put the extra effort forward to make her baby food here at home. Plus, it will be cheaper, which is always a bonus for us. Now the food she has tried so far has been store bought because I was just antsy to see how she did with the food and didn't have time to make her food. But this week, while I'm off for Thanksgiving, I'm going to the grocery store and am going to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables and make some batches of baby food and freeze them so we will be all stocked up for the next couple of months. 

Here are a couple of pictures of her eating sweet potatoes day before yesterday:




We have actually been able to stay pretty clean while eating. I just give her pretty small bites. I don't see the point in filling up her spoon if she's just going to spit it all back out. Plus, I don't like cleaning up messes.  My mom was giving me a hard time about not putting enough on the spoon. Oh well...

She also is a little small still for her high chair but we roll up a blanket and wedge it in next to her and she is able to sit up straight. She likes her high chair. I think she feels more involved since she's so high up and at our level. What a cutie!!
--------------------------------------

This past Friday my hubby subbed at my school for a math teacher. This meant we got to ride to work together and have lunch together and go pick up the babe together. I like the days he subs at my school because it just feels better when we leave for the day and get to ride in the same car. After work, we picked up miss B and headed over to our good friends, Jared and Stefanie, to see their new little bouncing baby boy Caleb. He's such a little doll! He is half the size of Brooklyn and when I held him, it felt like I wasn't holding more than a pillow! He was so squishy and newborn-y - is that even a word?! You know what I mean. Brooklyn looked like a behemoth next to little Caleb. Poor thing, I don't think she will ever be dainty and delicate. Ever. But that's ok. We still think she's the prettiest little girl in town. Ahem....I was supposed to be talking about Caleb, right? Here are some pictures of our visit with them. 

You may noticed my tresses are a little darker than they used to be. This is because my husband colored my hair a dark chocolate color. My mom doesn't like it of course, she likes me as a blonde. But I like it, as does my hubby and all my students commented on how much they liked it, which surprised me.

Anyhoo...here's the pictures of Caleb:       

Here I am with Mr. Caleb. Isn't he so little??? He was enjoying a good hand-sucking in this picture.

In this one you can't tell very well but Brooklyn was staring at Caleb very intently and even reached out at one point to try to touch him. She seems very interested in babies. I think she likes seeing someone else her size!



It was a really fun visit and it's great having a close friend to share new motherhood with. I actually have several friends who have had babies this year and are sharing new mommyhood with me! It's been great having so many new mom's who can share their new experiences with me and help me when I have questions. We have swapped maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby supplies and stories. It's been great! 

-------------------------------------

This week I hope to get all my Christmas decorations out and set up our tree. I'm still not positive where our tree will go because our living room is pretty full with furniture. I have an idea though and will show pictures once it is us. We will need to buy new ornaments because last year we went with strictly blue and silver and I wasn't wild about it. I want a much more colorful tree this year. I love Christmas time and I really want to start some family traditions with our new family and keep them up through the years to come with all of our kids. I want our kids to grow up celebrating Christmas for what it really means and not just for the gifts and Santa. In fact, I doubt we will even teach them santa. I mean, we probably will mention him, but will teach them from the beginning that he isn't real. What's the point in making them believe in something that you will later have to tell them is fake anyway? I don't see the point.

------------------------------------

I know I probably should be posting all the things I'm Thankful for, however, I'm going to have a post all of it's own for that. For now, I'll just say that I'm very thankful that Waylon was able to get the evening off from work so he can be at our church Thanksgiving meal with Brooklyn and I. 

Speaking of which....I have to go cook my stuffing and cherry apple crisp for this evening now. 

Gobble, gobble!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is going to be a pretty random post, so just prepare yourself to hear a lot of different stuff.

Ok....we'll start with the baby stuff:

Brooklyn turned 4 months on Sunday and had her 4 month appointment today. She is doing great! Growing like a weed! She weighed in at 15lbs 10ozs and is 25 3/4 inches long. She is in the 90th percentile for height and weight! I have a big girl! She's doing lots of cute new things. For one, she has finally mastered her laugh! It's adorable! Tonight I kept kissing her neck and she would laugh out loud every time. I loved it, I couldn't stop kissing her. She is also grabbing at things a lot now. If she sees something, she goes for it. She also looks at her hands a lot, which is really cute. She continues to love watching TV and is sitting assisted very well. When I lay her on her belly, she does really well pushing her chest up. She has also started trying to hold her bottle when she is taking it. It's so cute! She always has at least one hand on it and sometimes both. This little girl has a super strong grip too! Wow. She is just amazing!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lately, my life has been in a bit of disarray. It's as if the harder I try to live more simply and more organized, the worse it gets. I pay a big batch of bills, only to get another stack in the mail the next day that I can't pay. I wash a load of dishes and in an hour, the sink is full again with dishes we found laying around the house. I get all my laundry sorted and washed but then don't have the energy to fold and put it all away so it clutters up my room and eventually I'm just pulling out what I need to wear from the basket each day and hoping that "Wrinkle Release" will get enough of the wrinkles out for me to be able to wear it to work. It just feels like a never ending battle and that life is beating me to a pulp sometimes. Then I see how much I DO have and how much I AM blessed and feel bad for complaining, only to get re-frustrated when I start thinking of everything that has gone wrong lately. Some days it's just hard to be thankful and the bad attitude and negative mindset take over. I hate these times in my life when I get that way. And what's worse is when you're in that mindset, you don't want to go to the Lord and ask for help to get out of it. You want to just sit in your muddy little hole and complain and live in a pity party. That's where I'm at right now. My little muddy pity party. 

My dad preached a great sermon on Sunday about jealousy. The kind of jealousy where you are so envious of what someone else has that you resent them for having it.  You aren't happy for their blessing, you are ticked at them and want them to not have and for you to have it instead. I have felt the beginnings of this kind of jealousy lately -- not yet full blown yet -- towards stay at home moms. I envy their ability to wake up and not have to leave their child every day to go off to work and take care of everyone else's kids. Now, like I said, I'm not to the point where I'm resentful of them for being blessed in this way. Right now, it just rests at being jealous. Wishing I was in their shoes. Wanting that so badly for myself. But as my dad pointed out Sunday, God has different paths and different blessings for all our lives. He blesses us all in different ways. Right now, staying at home is not how he is blessing our family. He is blessing us by providing me with a very stable, well-paying job that can support our family. He has blessed us with a beautiful daughter that I can't imagine living without. He has blessed us with a decent-paying, flexible job for Waylon that works with his school schedule. He has blessed us with the perfect house to live in to fit our needs. He has blessed us with each other (Waylon & I). He has blessed us with great family and awesome support. My parents have been here for us so much through my pregnancy and now with the baby. He has blessed us indeed. 

But the grass is always greener. We aren't satisfied with our own blessings. We want someone else's blessing. And this is where the bitter root of jealousy springs up in our hearts and takes over. I do not want to be that bitter, jealous person who misses out on enjoying their own life because they were too busy envying someone else's life. No. That's not what I will choose to do. Because it is a choice. No matter what anyone tells you. You choose to live in envy. I chose the life I'm living right now. I have to remind myself of this when I start feeling sorry for myself. I chose to get married before Waylon graduated college, knowing that this meant I would be the main financial supporter while he finished his degree. Then we decided to start trying to conceive. Again, I did this knowing that, at that point in time, Waylon was still a good two years away from getting his degree and that I would have to work at least another school year after the baby was born, if not more. I knew all of this. I chose this life. And then I complained about it. God must be looking down at me and just shaking his head at me. 

So why am I typing all this and making it so public?? Good question! My sister recently posted about being more authentic. You can read this on her blog at www.simplymelsblog.com/life-words/. It's a great post about what her life words are - what words she wants her life to be described with - and how she wants to be more authentic. I would like to strive to be more authentic myself. I have not chosen my life words yet, but I'm pretty positive that authentic would be one I would definitely have in there. Thanks sis! I'm putting my heart out on my sleeve right now. I'm letting my flaw (that's right, just one!) be known! I want to be a good mother to my daughter and future other kids. I want them to grow up seeing that their mother is honest and open and striving to do the right thing but able to admit when she's not. If you know me well at all, you know that admitting when I'm wrong is NOT one of my strengths. It's something I need a lot of work on. Just ask my husband. He'll tell you. I'm not the perfect person I would like everyone to think I am. ahem...

So there are definitely some things I'm going to be working on in my own heart. This Thanksgiving, I'm going to strive to put the "greener grass" out of my mind and focus on my own green grass that someone else might be looking at and wishing they had. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

We continue on our quest for getting on a budget. We put ourselves on it last month and made the envelopes and everything, but somewhere we miscalculated and ended up in the negatives. Yikes! So now we are patiently, yes, very patiently, awaiting Friday - payday - to get out of the negatives. This hasn't happened in a very long time and it's frustrating when it does, especially when it was the one month we have made a budget and almost stuck to it all month! That's a huge accomplishment for us! Thankfully, Waylon has gotten some subbing work at my school district which will basically cancel out the over drafting. We will sit down and re-do the budget and tweak what needs tweaking and try again this month. While going into the negatives is never a good thing, I know that creating a budget and living by it is a skill and a process that will take a few months to really get down. It's a whole lifestyle change which we haven't gotten down yet...obviously. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last week, on Tuesday, November 10th, one of my best friends, Stefanie McNeely gave birth to her first son, Caleb Ethan McNeely. He weighed 7 lbs 4 ozs and came by c-section after she was induced and never dilated past a 3 after 12 hours. He was a perfectly cute little man and I got to hold him and cuddle him Thursday night. After having my little chunk, Caleb felt like nothing in my arms! I saw what it felt like to hold a normal sized newborn! He's a handsome little guy and we can't wait to have play dates with him and Brooklyn. We were hoping for an arranged marriage, however, it looks like she might be quite a bit bigger than him. Of course, he can grow and be taller than her but she doesn't seem like she will ever be dainty or small so it's going to take a pretty big guy to handle her... We shall see! Congratulations Stefanie and Jared!! Caleb Ethan is perfect!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lastly, I have agreed to be a part of our schools teacher pageant that the TAFE group hosts every year. It's a time for teachers to get on stage and "perform" a talent. It's meant to be humorous and just for fun. We also have to dress up and answer a question - just like at real pageants. I was going to be a part of it last year but then found out I was pregnant and was sick all the time and just couldn't see myself being able to put in the time for it. Plus, I was doing cheer leading and we had a game to be at the night of the pageant. This year, there's nothing holding me back. I'm gong to do something with the piano. I haven't completely decided yet but Waylon has a good idea and my brother gave me a good idea. Whatever I choose to do, I'll make sure to have someone from my family video tape it and you will get to watch it on here. It's January 7th...so I have quite some time to prepare it! I'm not nervous yet, but I will be I'm sure. 


So there is my post of random thoughts. It's long and picture-less but I do most of my picture posting on Facebook because blogger just isn't very user-friendly for posting pictures. It takes such a long time to do it and then getting it all centered and typing captions just becomes a big pain in the rear...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

One year ago today

On Saturday, November 8th, 2008 at 8:30am (lots of eights, I know), I peed on a stick and got the best news I've gotten in my life. I was informed that I was going to be a mother. It was a wonderful, exciting, surreal morning. I was 4 days late but thought it was just me stressing over whether or not I was pregnant because the weekend before, I took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. I was positive that I was NOT pregnant and that it was just all the anxiety causing me to be late. But after waking from two different dreams of me getting a positive pregnancy test, I finally got up and went to the bathroom to take the second one to give myself some peace of mind and move forward. Little did I know that I would be moving forward but it would be towards motherhood. I couldn't have been more happy. You can read my post where I announced my pregnancy Here

I had been in the throes of baby fever for quite some time by then. Even though we were merely 3 month newlyweds, we were already ready to start adding to our family. Now, here I sit, a year later to the day, with a beautiful, almost 4 month old, daughter that I can't imagine life without anymore. She is sweet and chubby and delightful and a ray of sunshine in what would be a very dreary world without her in it. I'm so thrilled to be a mother and cannot wait to see my beautiful daughter grow (slowly of course!) into a Godly woman. I don't know what God has planned ahead for her life or our life as a family but I know that it is great things. He has blessed us greatly and I know He will continue to do so. Everyone who comes into contact with my little angel just falls in love with her dimpled smile. It's hard not to. It just makes your heart melt. I love her to pieces and so does her daddy. Her daddy can make her laugh faster than anyone. She just lights up for him immediately. He loves to play with her and talk to her and he's just awesome at being daddy. I love him. We are a happy little family. Not perfect and not everything we should be, but we are happy. We now as parents strive towards a lifestyle that will be conducive to raising healthy, well-balanced kids who love the Lord and love others and live with His light shining in them. I want 4 kids - that's 3 more of these little gems! The struggles and challenges of parenthood have not yet wilted my desire for 4 kids, if not made that desire stronger. I love the idea of having a big family and can't wait to have holiday gatherings with all of them in one house. The thought of that makes me giddy. One day at a time though. Let's get through Brooklyn's first year before jumping into that boat. For now we will enjoy our family of three and be completely happy with it.

November 8th will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled to say that I am not pregnant again, as of today. I took a pregnancy test. Call it paranoia. I felt nauseated and got scared. Thankfully only one line showed up. Collective PHEW!