Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I have 3 weeks off this summer - I can't believe it is half over already! Sob! It has been such a good time to spend with family and get some projects scratched off my 'to do' list. We spent the first part of our vacation visiting Papa Bill & Jo Jo in New Orleans. We had a great time!

Eating 'Yay Yays' at Cafe Du Mond, MMmmmmm. I apologize for the picture quality, it was about 3 days into the trip before I realized my lens was foggy...oops.

Eating snow cones! Yummy!

Fortunately, H wasn't big enough to cruise this around the block... I'm not ready for that!

We went swimming at least twice a day everyday we were there, it was so nice! H really warmed up to the pool and thought it was hilarious that Molly (notice dog in background) always jumped in the pool with us.

My 16 year old dog, DJ! It is kind of amazing that she is still alive. She seems significantly older every time I see her, I guess that's what happens when one year is actually 7.

When we got home we got busy doing a lot of the things I have wanted to to but haven't been able to do when I am working. We went to the library and checked out a bunch of books. H LOVES to read. I wanted to make him a bag where he could keep all of his library books and also need to make myself a book bag for school next fall. So, I was experimenting with making a tote bag and didn't want to purchase fabric in case I totally botched the pattern so I deconstructed an old pair of capris to make this bag

It turned out better than expected, but I wish I had made it with a liner. I've been busy working on my sewing projects, I even got a jump start on some Christmas projects I want to make for gifts. Still no guarantee they will be finished by Christmas though.

The other big development is that we started looking at houses a few weeks ago and just signed the contract on our first home yesterday! We are really excited and hope that everything works out for us to close on this house at the end of August.

We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to live in a house like this! It is an incredible home in a great location next to really good schools. It is easy to imagine kids growing up in a house like this!

Looking forward to living up my final week of vacation and going to Pennsylvania to visit Elyse & Stephen and celebrate the big 30 with Stephen! I heart you vacation!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Becoming a mother has changed me, in some ways the change seemed immediate, in others it has happened gradually. H and I just returned from spending 5 days visiting Papa Bill & Jo Jo in Louisiana. We had such a good time and got lots of quality bonding time together. It was my first time to travel alone with H and I was so proud of him. He did such a good job and on every flight we were on someone would stop me and tell me what a sweet boy he was or how he did such a good job. Everyone we sat next to H tried to share his snacks with and gave them stickers and toys to play with. People are always telling me how beautiful H is and are so charmed when he just talks and talks to them. I was thinking over this trip about all of the things that I used to inwardly cringe at before becoming a Mommy... things like never getting to eat or drink anything without a child appearing and wanting whatever you had, kids waking up before dawn and running around the house screaming, not being able to complete a task without some kind of interruption, toddlers crawling all over you and being your constant shadow, stinky diapers and projectile vomit, the list could continue, but I think you get the idea. Not that I always gracefully embrace all of these things now, but I certainly don't cringe the way I did before becoming Mommy.

At night in Louisiana H and I would cuddle in bed together and I would sing songs of Truth to him until he fell asleep. I couldn't help thinking about our Heavenly Father and the pride and joy He feels when we want to draw close to Him and let Him sing over us His peace, hope for our futures and His unending love. Being H's Mommy has helped me to grasp just a little bit of what it means to love unconditionally. It has also helped me to embrace life's joys and sorrows knowing that I cannot control the outcomes of either. It has changed my relationship with God in that I have put away some of my 'performance anxiety' trying to earn approval and love. H and I can have a terrible day where everything seems to go wrong and I'm totally frustrated, but I don't love him any less on those days than I do on the days where everything goes according to schedule. How much more perfect is God's love towards His children? It does not waver or fluctuate depending on how much we are trusting Him or the number of good deeds we have accomplished. It just is - now that is a miracle.

A few weeks ago I posted about baby James and his battle with a cancerous brain tumor. I have continued to follow his progress and have not stopped thinking about this family and praying urgently for them. I even dreamt about little James last night. James's tumor has come back full force and yesterday his parents took him home under the care of hospice to spend their final days or weeks showing him just how much they love him. I have cried many tears for this family and have cradled H longer, kissed him more and told God how grateful I am for every single day that I get to be H's mommy. I think part of why this has been so emotional for me is that H is just one year older than little James. It could just as easily be H fighting this battle. Our children are gifts given to us by God, they are not possessions to hoard, lives to control, or even promises of bright futures. They are blessings from the Father and He can use them to pour out his blessing in whatever way He chooses.

So, embrace your children today. Embrace your Mommy or Daddy journey wherever it has led you. Embrace the Heavenly Father who is the giver of all good and perfect gifts. Pray, pray for the Sikes family as they care for little James. Pray for all of the Mommies and Daddies who are struggling to care for their children, struggling to conceive children, and those fighting alongside their sick children. And let us give thanks to God.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

99 Things About Me

The instructions with this are to bold the ones you’ve done, and leave the others in normal type. So here goes.

1. Started your own blog (x2)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world (land twice, not world)
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (does the shower count?)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (very stupid...)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Oklahoma! Native Americans!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (snorkeling, not scuba diving)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (right wrist in 6th grade)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (you couldn't pay me to do this)
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (thanks Elyse)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (several times in fact)

There are still several things on this list I want to do... maybe I'll look back at this in 10 years and see more to bold. What's your 99? I'm tagging Amy, Kasey and Jen