Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How on EARTH did my sweet little guy go from this itty bitty baby in clothes that were too big for him and that fit perfectly in my arms............... this GIGANTIC, pea-eating, cell-phone-loving, formula-devouring, Veggie Tales-obsessed CHILD whose feet dangle over the edge of his carseat?!?!

It truly amazes me to look at him now compared to when he was a newborn. It's like a whole different kid! My cousin had a baby recently and we went to the hospital to see the new little guy (PS--He is VERY cute!!). I was holding Tommy and handed him over to Nick so I could hold Beckett. It truly felt like I was holding an empty blanket compared to holding Tommy. It's nuts! And then to think that Tommy was that little just 5 months, where does the time go? I just love this kid!! He's getting so funny! He has started to really obsess over our cell phones and the TV remote. He's always grabbing at whatever we have. It's really neat to watch him start associating things now too. Like the other day, I was eating a cup of pudding and I think he thought he was going to get to eat because hey, I had a container and a spoon in my hand and it's like now he knows that means LUNCH TIME!!! He got really excited and started blowing bubbles. It was funny! He's also going through this slightly amusing and slightly annoying stage where he rolls over onto his tummy and then gets really mad. It's like he forgets that he knows how to roll BACK over onto his back. It's just so fun to watch him grow and figure things out. My mama-heart gets SUPER proud of him all the time.

On another note, I got a sewing machine for my birthday and I have to say, I think it might have been my favorite gift of all time. I LOVE that thing!! I've already recovered all the back cushions of our couch, about 6 throw pillows, sewn 6 onesies, taken in 2 pairs of pants and hemmed 3 shirts. I finally have the freedom to buy things on sale that I think look okay and make them look GREAT!! Love it. I HIGHLY recommend a sewing machine if you have any interest at all in sewing. I was worried it would be hard to learn how to use, but I watched the instructional DVD a few times and had it figured out. I'm really excited to start embellishing all of my t-shirts. Apparently, that's the new thing. Seriously. Google it and you'll see.......everybody's doing it.

Well that's all for now! We're going to Table Rock tomorrow (YAY VACATION!!!!) so I won't be posting for awhile (not that anyone's holding their breath waiting for my next post-ha!). Hope everyone has a great 4th of July!! Be safe :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Have I ever mentioned.......

I LOVE where I live!! I have always lived in a small town and although a lot of people think it's boring and the majority of my high school used to say, "I can't WAIT to get out of this town," I was SO glad to stay there and have always hoped I would live in this area for the rest of my life! I mean really, what's better than knowing that your neighbor's daughter's boyfriend went to the doctor for poisin ivy or that your best friend's mother's best friend got her nails done last week?? Okay, that might be stretching it a bit, but I love, Love, LOVE the fact that I have gone to church with the same people for 15 years and that now that I have children, there's the very real possibility that they will have the same teachers I did. I truly enjoy the sense of community at Towanda/Benton days and that a lot of people really care about you because they've known you forever!

Anyways, about 2 years ago, we moved to the country about 1 mile outside of Benton. I like it because it's remote enough that, as my husband likes to say, "you can pee outside and nobody can see you," (I mean really, why else would you move to the country if not to be able to pee outdoors??), but it's close enough to Benton and Andover that if we need groceries or want to eat it, we're just a few minutes away. I have a few random shots on my camera that I love and kind of give you a feel for my every day scenery :) Enjoy!
Our little piece of Heaven right here on earth....view from the driveway after a storm!

The view looking up from laying on the ground out by the pond

I love the contrast of the blue and green in this one! We're about 1/2 a mile on the other side of the treeline. In the fall and winter, this field is FULL of deer.

Local farm about a mile up the road. When the wheat blows in the wind, it truly looks like waves in an ocean. It really is breathtaking.

So it's true........Kansas really is pretty flat. But it sure makes for an awesome horizon line!

So whether you're a city person or live for the country, God makes it ALL beautiful. I just love being out there in the middle of His creation. I don't take advantage of it like I should. We have a wrap around porch and someone said to me once when they saw it, "Oh man! I bet you sit out here every morning and drink coffee while you look at the view."...........Nope. I hate coffee, but that's beside the point :) I take my surroundings for granted a LOT. We should take evening walks to the pond and sit on the porch sipping lemonade (not coffee!) and walk to Mrs. Bickham's house (yes, we even have the little elderly lady next door--LOVE it!!) to say hi and show her the baby. Hopefully we find the motivation to start utilizing our location and enjoying all the beautiful things around us! Come see us sometime. I've got a rocking chair facing the sunset that's just calling your name!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

Yeah, I know, Father's Day was yesterday. But yesterday was a busy day full of father time, so I'm posting this today! Father's Day used to be kind of sad for me--not horrible, but just not a day worth celbrating. But his year....what a sweet day Father's day was. I have always been nervous about having kids because even though you know what kind of person your husband is, you can't be 100% sure what kind of father he will be. Don't get me wrong, I knew Nick would be a good dad, but there's always that lingering fear of "what if........". What if the man I marry leaves me and my kids like my dad left us? What if he'd rather watch football than do a puzzle with the baby? What if he'd rather go out with his friends than spend the evening with us?

I know my fears are sometimes VERY frustrating to Nick because he is SO not that person. I remind myself frequently that not every man is my dad (especially not Nick) and that it's not fair to put that problem on anybody else.

I have to say that the day Tommy was born was the best day of my life for several reasons---a big one being that I finally had my fears put to rest. As soon as I saw Nick holding Tommy, I just knew. I KNEW that I would never have to worry again about him being a bad dad or choosing ANYTHING over Tommy's well-being.

His love for his son is so evident and it still makes me so happy to see them together.

 When Tommy is laying on the couch with his dad watching TV, he is the most content little boy ever. I know he feels safe and happy.
 It brings a smile to my face every night when they have their "male-bonding" time as Nick likes to call it. I love that my son will never have to wonder if his daddy loves him. He will never have to worry that he won't be there when he wakes up or that he'll have to live his life without knowing his dad. Thank you God so very much for the blessings you give me!!
Happy Father's Day baby!! You are everything I could have EVER wanted and so much more than I ever dreamed I could have. Thank you for the ENDLESS hours of hard work you do to provide for our family. Thank you for helping around the house. Thank you for choosing to be with your family when there are a million other things you could be doing. Thank you for marrying me and giving me one of the best things in my life. I love you so much.

Friday, June 17, 2011

5 months old

So, I SWEAR I just wrote Tommy's 4 month post a few days ago.........but apparently it's been another month already! He is now FIVE MONTHS OLD!!!!! Oh my. I am turning into one of "those" people who always drove me nuts when I was younger and they would say, "Time flies, sweetheart. Just you wait--you'll be old before you know it." As annoying as that was, they were right. I am old. And my son is getting older by the second.

So Tommy, at five months, you are..........

*19 lbs and 3 ounces

*26 1/4 inches long

*still wearing size 2 diapers

*are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT!!! WOO-HOO!!! You sleep from about 9pm to 7am. You might wake up a few times and fuss for a second, but you go right back to sleep!

*have tried rice cereal, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. You totally dig sweet potatoes. Feeding you has become increasingly difficult. You feel the need to do it yourself (I can already hear your little toddler voice saying "I do it!! I do it!!") and you grab the spoon while we're trying to feed you. This, in turn, causes you to shove the spoon down your throat which immediately results in you gagging. It's a lovely process.

*holding your own bottle! Mom and dad are loving this because now you can eat and we can actually do something else at the same time. This has greatly increased my productivity at night (although I would MUCH rather have my hands busy holding you than folding the tons of laundry our small family somehow creates--note to self---invent disposable clothing)

*are getting in your FIRST TWO TEETH!! This is both exciting and mentally/physically/emotionally draining. You have done preeeetty well with this whole tooth thing, but for a few days there you were ANGRY!!

Not that I blame you because growing teeth is painful, but it made me sad that you cried all the time and if I'm completely honest (don't judge me here), all the crying also drove me a little insane. We gave you ibuprofen around the clock for 2-3 days and that helped a lot. You did a lot of chewing on your favorite toy (Mr. Monkey as mom has so cleverly named him) and laying in bed getting cuddles. Now that they're sticking farther up, you're doing MUCH better. You have the cutest little pearly whites!!

*sitting up by yourself now! It's the neatest thing. You haven't quite gotten to the point where you can pull yourself up to a sitting position, but if we sit you up, you stay there!!

*are still head over heels for your daddy. A lot of times in the evening, you guys just lay on the couch and watch TV. Its very cute and endearing :)

Tommy, in the past few weeks, I have been looking at pictures of you as a newborn and am realizing that my time with you on this earth is short compared to eternity. I am trying so very hard to cherish the moments we spend together, even when it's you laughing as I wipe poop off your back or me feeding you the same bite of oatmeal for the 4th time because you insist on blowing spit bubbles as soon as I put food in your mouth. I went to bed last night with dried and crusty sweet potatoes in my hair, a formula stain on my shirt and a whole lot of exhaustion in my heart. And I feel bad that I forget sometimes just how truly blessed I am to have you. As I type this, it's making me teary because I know that "before I know it" you'll be taking your first steps, going to your first day of schol, then be angry at me for taking your phone away, you'll be packing up for college, you'll be proposing to your girlfriend, having kids of your own and FINALLY understanding what your mother goes through for you! Please forgive me son, when I'm not the mother I should be--when I'm too tired to play peek-a-boo one more time or too busy to make silly faces at you so you stop crying, when I roll my eyes because you have yet again peed through your diaper, when I sigh in frustration because you dropped your paci on the ground for the millionth time that second. Remember, we're growing together!! I love you sweet boy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Empty Words

Think before you speak. How many times have your parents or teachers or SOMEBODY said those words to you? I, personally, have always had an uncontrollable small problem with this. But this week.......this week, I have been reminded of the importance of that sentence.

On Sunday, the youth group was going to do a homeless outreach, but I woke up that morning and realized I had forgotten to go to Sams to get the food we usually hand out. And besides that fact, it was like 100 degrees already and I couldn't imagine tromping around downtown Wichita in that heat (not that the weather should stop me from doing the work of God). So I decided instead to do a lesson and postpone handing out food and drinks to the homeless until next week. I wasn't sure what I was going to teach on, but last week, God had been laying a verse on my heart that I had memorized at one point in my life. The verse says this:

Ephesians 4:29-"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen."

I decided to teach on that and found a few other verses that went along with it. During my lesson, I said something that I hadn't planned to say and hadn't really thought about until it popped out of my mouth.

How many of the hundreds of words you speak every day are empty?

A friend of mine from high school recently committed suicide. We hadn't talked in years other than an occasional "hello" on facebook. But as I spoke that sentence, my mind started thinking, "What is the last thing I said to Clifton?" I couldn't remember. And at that point, it didn't matter that we weren't best friends or that I hadn't actually SEEN him since we graduated high school. A person that I grew up with felt that his life was so miserable, he had to end it.

How many of the words that people spoke to him were empty?

How many of the words HE said to others were just going through the motions and had no meaning? It breaks my heart to think of how alone and sad and desperate for peace he must have felt in his last moments. And this made me go back to Ephesians 4:29--was I speaking words that were building people up? Was I meeting their needs with my words? I have said this before in my blog, but I'm not an extremely empathetic person. I have a hard time being sympathetic with people if I feel that the situation is in any way something they could change or something that they caused for themselves. I am trying to work on this and so far.......have not done very good :) But the devastation that came with this week and the death of a young and vibrant person really hit home. You never know how your words can affect somebody. I can only pray to God that my lack of empathy towards people has never made anyone feel the way he felt and that the people I love KNOW they can come to me for anything.

At Clifton's funeral, the pastor said that there were no words he could say to comfort the family--nothing we say is going to make things better. But I hope they found small comfort from the words of love that everybody spoke about him. Why.......WHY can't we always have wholesome talk coming out of our mouths? WHY do we let Satan dictate what we're saying sometimes? The Bible says numerous times that the tongue is a sword and what a horrible weapon it is.

 Clifton, I wish so badly I could remember what our last REAL conversation was. Did I say nice things to you? I hope so. Did I let you know how much I appreciated your friendship and your presence at church and youth group? I hope so. I challenge everyone to remember Ephesians 4:29. Are the words you're speaking serving a purpose? Are they meeting someone's needs? Are your words empty?