Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Little Surprises and Party Planning...

We've had a lot of doctor's visits lately, so we like to award Amelia for good behavior.  Especially when the doctor's visit includes an S-H-O-T.  She always tells us that "she was so brave."  Alex told her that he would be bringing her home a little surprise after work yesterday.  He walks through the door and says, "you're going to kill me."  My first thought was that he bought her another giant stuffed animal.  Her stuffed animals are taking over her room and she loves them ALL so much that I don't dare get rid of any.  She has an animal backpack that tore, so I was going to find another one to replace it.  She broke down into tears and said, "we don't get rid of toys when they break, we fix them!!" 

Thank you, Doc McStuffins.  

So Daddy safety-pinned her backpack together and all was right with the world. 

But girlfriend does not need another stuffed animal!

So he looked relieved when I was worried it was a stuffed animal and walked through the door with a basketball goal.  

Ya know...a "little" surprise.

Even though we have two different ideas of a little surprise, I couldn't be upset.  She LOVES the thing.  And she's actually pretty good!  I loved basketball and really hope my girls will choose basketball as the sport they love to play.  So why not start 'em early? ;)  Sydney was precious and just sat on the box and watched Amelia.  When we would cheer, she would say, "YAY!!!" and clap her hands. 

This little baby is turning ONE in March.  Her first year has flown by for me.  The thought of not having a squishy baby to pick up out of a crib makes my heart hurt.   

We're in full party-planning mode over here.  I racked my brains on what the theme of her party should be.   It's in March so I can't really have an outdoor party like Amelia's parties, it's too cold.  But I want it to be super special.  We do a big party for their first birthday and then friend or family parties after that. I swore at one point in my life that I would never do a character party.  I have always found them to be cheesy. (HA!) But my girl loves Winnie the Pooh so we're going with it.  She watches Pooh Bear on DVD while I'm doing things in the kitchen.  She stays glued.  I hadn't really watched Winnie the Pooh until we bought Sydney a's pretty stinkin' cute.  We're going with the classic Winnie the Pooh and throwing in honey, bees, beehives, etc.  It has been a fun party to plan!  We're not going over the top with Pooh Bear but he'll be found in the favors and in little ways around the party.  He was definitely our inspiration!  

We've started receiving packages in the mail almost daily.  It's fun to open them up and see what will be inside.  Something as simple as straws and cookie cutters can get Amelia so excited.  She loves to plan a party.  I love that about her.  I've been racking my brains for cute ideas for drinks at the party and yesterday it hit me.  I started texting my sister with excitement.  Yes, I'm a dork.  I just love and appreciate parties with little details that make it fun and special for everyone.  

Natty Michelle designed our invite and I LOVE it.  I love everything she creates.  

We're also in the middle of planning our Valentine party for this year.  The theme is "You're my cup of tea!" We've invited eleven little girlfriends and can't wait to have our first tea party.

I'm thankful my girls were born in October and March.  It gives me lots of time to recover and start planning the next party! ;)  It's something I truly enjoy and it doesn't matter if a party is over the top or super simple.  There are always ways to make your guest of honor and guests feel special.

Love to all,

Monday, January 28, 2013

A story about vomit...

I'm sure the title of this post just pulled ya right in.

I don't know about y'all but our Monday has been rough.

The girls have been sick for what seems like a sweet forever.  Neither of them have been sleeping well unless in bed with Daddy and Mommy and even then I use the word sleep lightly.  We get a week of wellness here and there but it seems like this time of year just brings germs and colds and boy am I ready for spring. 

We decided to go ahead and pull out our Valentine attire since February is right around the corner.  I love these little shirts from Milk & Honey.  She's local and makes them out of her home.  I was stopped several times today by different Moms wanting to know where to find them.  They were both sporting their pink converse and looking oh so valentiney. 

I took the girls to the doctor today.  Sydney was diagnosed with a nasty cold/cough and Amelia has double ear infections.  Poor babies.  This is Amelia's first ear infections since the tubes fell out.  I'm hoping another round of tubes will not be in our future but would rather have them vs. ear infections every month. The girls were really well behaved at the doctor's office.  

After the appointment, Amelia expressed that some pretzel bites sounded really good.  She has had ZERO APPETITE over the last week.  Per the doctor's scale, she has even lost some weight.  So I was going to give her whatever her tummy desired.  We headed to the mall (the only place to buy pretzel bites) and she asked if we could do a little shopping afterwards.  That's my girl! ;)  So we walked around for a bit and did some window shopping.  

And then it happened.  

Sydney started coughing and couldn't stop.  

When she does this I begin to panic because it always leads to her losing her lunch.  Or her breakfast.  Pretty much whatever is in her belly.  

She was in her car seat and lost EVERYTHING.  We pretty much ran to the car because it was so bad - there's was no change of clothes going to fix it.  She needed a bath and her car seat needed to be taken apart and scrubbed.  Or thrown away.

Don't look at the next picture if you're against mothers taking pics of their babies covered in vomit.  Or just imagine I spilled something on her.  Like oatmeal.

Amelia started gagging from the smell in the car and I immediately looked at her and said, "if you even throw up, Amelia, I'll die!!"

Dramatic much?? hahaha!

She held it together while we drove home with the windows down but when we pulled into the garage she said, "Mama, can you please get this stinky baby out of the car?!?" 

Poor Sydney. 

I was up to my elbows in vomit and even though I've scrubbed/sprayed everything it's still in my nostrils or something.  Oh the smell. *gag* 

The girls are finally down for naps and I should be picking up the house but instead I'm sitting here in a daze.  Typing a story about vomit.  

You're welcome. 

Here's to a healthier, vomit-free Tuesday. 

Love to all,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raising Ebenezers...

Goodbye 2012...welcome 2013. 

How are we half way through January already?

When I think back on 2012, I immediately think about the highlight of our year, Miss Sydney Faith!  Our family is complete with this bundle of joy!  

I haven't blogged since October 2012 and started receiving emails and texts to see if I was ok.  I'm here!  I just needed to step away from the blog for awhile.  November was a hard month for our family.  It was a hard month in ministry.  December brought the busyness of the holidays and the beginning of lots of doctor's visits for our family.  January isn't even over and we're getting very close to meeting our family deductible.  Not necessarily a good thing. :)   

There are times in life that you just need to step away from things for a bit and make sure you're hearing the Father's voice clearly.  I was there.  So I removed the "static."  I have some catching up to do in blogging.  Pictures to post regarding Thanksgiving, Christmas, FOUR MONTHS worth of updates on Sydney, etc.  I've started them, just haven't finished them.  

A new year brings a fresh start.  I like that.   Alex and I always sit down and write out our goals as a family.  It's fun to look back at the end of the year and see what % we accomplished. 

After a convicting message, two weeks ago, I chose my word for the year.

EBENEZER.  That's my word for 2013.

I've sung this hymn my entire life and never really knew what that word meant.  

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

The word Ebenezer comes from the stone which Samuel set up in commemoration of God's help to the Israelites in their victory over the Philistines at Mizpah.  You can read about it in 1 Samuel 7:12. It was a REMINDER OF GOD'S HELP.  That moment changed those people's lives!  We know the Israelites were very forgetful folks.  They were constantly having to be reminded of what God had done for them.  I can relate to them quite well. :)  That's why the hymn also said: 

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love

Oh how easily we forget. 

I get discouraged in parenting, ministry, friendships.  I tend to withdraw in times like that.  And I cry.  And sometimes I just want to quit all together.  I start relying on myself to get through those moments and what I should be doing is focusing on the Ebenezers in my life.  Those moments that He showed up and showed out.  Focusing on those moments renews my faith and strength.  It puts the focus back on Him and off myself.  I wish I didn't forget but I do.  I wish I didn't worry and try to handle things on my own but I do.  So my word for the year is Ebenezer.  When trials come, I'm going to focus/rely on His strength not my own.  He has proven Himself over and over in my life and I have no reason to doubt Him or His abilities.  When we're on the other side of the miracle and we're faced with really hard circumstances, we tend to forget about what He has already done for us.

Alex encouraged us to list our Ebenezers so I thought I would list mine here:

1. He saved me from an eternal death of hell - that was the first big Ebenezer moment in my life.  Having a personal relationship with Christ gives me hope. He's my life support. 

2. He saved me from two years of being lost so deeply in sin.  I look back at that time in my life and just thank Him over and over for not giving up on me.  Good grief, it wasn't pretty.  I was at the bottom of the pit but when I finally repented and turned from it, He reached down and pulled me out quickly.  This wasn't just life changing - it was heart changing.  

3. He saved my marriage and with each year it just gets better and better.  Oh how I love this man.

4. He gave me two healthy babies after 3 years of struggling with infertility.  What joy they have brought to my life!!  Being a mother is my favorite job in the world.

Another thing that I want to be intentional about this year is what I dwell on.  What I think on.  What I allow to consume my thoughts.  I have the personality to dwell on things that bother me and allow them to make me physically ill.  This is wrong.  That's one of the reasons I deleted my Twitter account.  I found myself more bothered by what I was reading than anything.  It just wasn't uplifting for me.  I chose to do away with most TV shows last year because of the same thing.  

I read a quote somewhere that said "do you own your belongings or do they own you?"  

It really made me stop and think about where I was spending my time.  If I'm spending more time on Twitter or Facebook or watching TV or blogging than I am with Jesus every day, I need to change that ASAP.  Not that these things are necessarily bad or wrong but if they own me - I need to step away.  That may sound radical but I'm at a point in my life - that's okay by me.  I care more about what God thinks of me than anyone else.  And not that I don't struggle with what people may think (I DO) but if I'm in the Word and filling my mind with Him and surrounding myself with friends that value the same - those struggles go away fairly quickly.  

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 
-Philippians 4:8

My parents taught me Philippians 4:8 at a very young age.  They actually sang it to me and I can't read it now without hearing that tune in my head.  I sing this to Amelia whenever she's afraid of something.  It takes discipline of the mind to only focus on the things listed in that scripture.  I feel like there's so much in this world that just hits us in the face upon waking up every morning.  It's suffocating sometimes.  Some days I don't choose to put those things away and think on what's true, what's right, what's pure.  Some days you can't tell any difference in me and the world.  Those are the days that I feel like quitting.  In this new year, I'm raising my Ebenezers.  When I feel like quitting, I'm not going to focus on just getting through that day, I'm going to choose to go to those places where God's help was overwhelmingly clear. 

Bind my heart to yours, Lord.  

Love to all,