Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Last night I was on full Caleb duty while Chris was at VBS.

It was time for his nap, so I swaddled him up and settled into the rocking chair for a little sway therapy.

I offered his pacifer and he took it, sucking vigiously... untill I started singing to him. He stopped sucking, causing his pacifer to fall out of his mouth. Opened his eyes to stare into mine. And gave me the biggest gummy smile he's ever given. (this picture is of when his dad came home from youth camp... but it was a sleepy version of this. :-) )

I like this boy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New favorite song.

Aah. What is about a ukulele (and mandolin and banjo) that gets me? Every time.

This is the third Monday that I've been back to work. The muffin is at his Nana's house, and I'm on lunch.

Chris and I have a lunchmunch date since he'll be out all evening for VBS. But first... because this song is on my Pandora, and Sally-the-yellow-lovie is being adorable lying on her back in the backyard's clover, and I can see my husband reading on the back porch... I wanted to write something.

Something that records my gratefulness.

Something that will remind me later, when I realize how dirty my house is, how Caleb won't nap, when I realize I'm out of diapers and all the bottles need washing...

I've got it good. Really really good.

And I'm grateful.

For grace that pardons all my sins.

For grace that far extends my sin and my guilt.

For God's grace that is freely bestowed.

Because not only does that grace pardon and cleanse within, it has given me new eyes and a new heart. New features that (although I fail at seeing it sometimes) can recognize the beauty that God has put all around me.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February update time!

Ohhhhhhhhh, February!

Here and gone in a flash.

This month was a showcase of love.

(Sally love going on right here.)

From Valentine's Day to a big ole' lump of baby in my belly, to a friend game night, to Chris and my debut into photo-taking.

(Lump of baby love in my belly above.)

Let's start with Valentine's Day, what do you say?

I say, it was awesome.

V-day was on a driving Tuesday, so I knew I wouldn't be home until around 7ish. Valentine's day is a scary day to go out to eat... Party of two? That'll be a four hour wait. So we like to stay in where it's safe and food is plentiful.

The night before, I started looking at all the wonderful things there were to eat in the world and made a eatin' menu of caramelized onion and goat cheese cornbread, grilled portobello mushrooms, a delicious pear salad, steak and flourless chocolate cake.

Oh my goodness.

It was a big order, but I thought if we cooked it together when I got home, it wouldn't be too bad.


When I got home, everything was prepared... and the dishes were done.

Say what?


And it was deliciousssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

Highlight of my month for sure. Leftover flourless chocolate cake defined this month.

What else happened this month... Yes! Our game night! We invited some peeps over for breakfast-for-dinner and game night. It was a blast and our first friend game night. We've hosted family and entertained overnight guests lots of times, but this was our very first night 'o games. We ate breakfast for dinner. Fun.

Finally, on this wrap up of Feb., Chris and I took a lovely young lady's senior portraits. She's my friend and she's fabulous. Fun fun times.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Instead of big resolutions this year, I’m making smaller, achievable, monthly goals.
For January, one of those goals was to be a better recorder of moments.
My brain doesn’t hang on to memories very well without prompting. I have to take special care to make a mental note of the smell of the air, the taste of the meal, the smoothness of skin, the sparkle of the eyes. Yet, sometimes there’s just not time to feast on memories. For these moments, I have words.

Yet, even for a tool as fluid and forgiving as written language, I have snubbed words in exchange for disciplines that don’t record memories. Things like washing the dishes, folding the laundry, cleaning out my car. In 2011 I learned that walls don’t talk, so if I want to remember something, I’m responsible for doing the talking.

In January…

-Caleb revealed his true identity as a ninja master. His kicks visibly shake my belly like a bowl full of jelly. Even when he’s not kicking, he’s moving around… even right at this moment. The way he tunnels and moves, I feel like I have a well-established ant farm in my middle.

-Chris and I have done lots of house cleaning and organizing. One: We sold Stephen our second couch and Cuddler, opening up a huge section of our living room. Two: We bought two of these chairs. On the weekend of Stephen’s graduation from State Trooper Academy, Chris and I drove to three different World Markets in the Austin area trying to find these beauties.

The only thing that kept us sane as we were stuck in 5 o’clock Austin traffic was that victory was ours. Aaaaaand, we converted our hall closet into… dum dum dum DUUUUUUUM… our CAMPING CLOSET. Yes. The shelf is full of organized sleeping bags, a water filter and tent stakes. Super exciting.

-Stephen GRADUATED and is now a Texas State Trooper!!!

The graduation was super special. MawMaw and PawPaw where there, as were the Cox family, Neese family, Ashleigh and her mom, and Cody. He looked beyond legit in his uniform. Chris and I have been chanting the Trooper’s cadence around the house since that Thursday--- “I’m A Trooper, Can’t You See. The State Of Texas Belongs To Me….” and “Trooper Trooper, State Police. King Of The Road, So Follow Me…” When they chanted it at the graduation it was the perfect mix of hilarity and inspiration. Follow you? Yes, sir! Stephen worked extremely hard, overcame unseen obstacles and achieved his goal. I am so very proud of him.

-I have been doing lots of research on baby things. Three girlfriends invited me over in January to share their advice and stories about birth. I learned a lot and left feeling both prepared and scared. I also watched my very first “YouTube birth” video. Let me tell you, folks are not shy about posting some pretty graphic images. I’ve read three books and conducted multiple Google searches about crib mattresses, sheets, organic vs. inorganic, plastic vs. glass bottles, and the dozens of reputable cloth diaper sites… I’m feeling a little over informed. Phew.

-That I even have three girlfriends is another big accomplishment achieved in January. Finally! I made friends! This is huge.

-Last weekend, Chris and I signed up for and watched a three-day photography workshop on the web. We’re feeling encouraged, motivated, inspired and broke. :-) Our dream list of photography equipment is going to eat up all our disposable income for a while. :-) Yesterday we bought a disk to help us custom-color correct in the camera and a reflector. This. Is. Bomb. I can’t wait for them to arrive in the mail.

-January was also the month of our second bi-annual Ravenwood Reunion! Alicia rode with us to our Anne-host home in Houston. :-) It was a blast. Lots of late-night talking, delicious food, one long walk in the prettiest part of Houston and an epic double-header of bowling. I can’t wait for our third reunion.

Tomorrow is the first day of February.
Slow down, time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving was last week. That's a good spot to start, because on Tuesday, I was very thankful for Chris.

I had a loooong day. I was sick and Thanksgiving/Bonfire traffic was getting my goat. When I got home, he had gussied up the house, taken some boxes to the donation drop-off spot, had flowers sitting on the kitchen table and smell good candles smelling good. And, the grill was smoking some chicken.

It was a really nice way to be welcomed home.

Then, we did this:

Put up the Christmas tree, sang songs and snuggled Sally. :-) HO HO HO! We're full of Christmas spirit!

Now, abrupt ending... here are some Thanksgiving photos.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Her name is Sally.

And she's the best dog in the world! I'm still not sure how it happened that we got a dog...

Last Thursday was a long one for me. I stayed at work until about 9:30, and so on Friday morning, I was at my desk but slow to get to work. It was only a week ago, but I already can't remember what took me to the website for Temple's animal shelter. Sally was one of the pets of the week. She was listed as a 1-year-old lab named 'Sunny', and Chris and I decided to go see her at lunch.

Driving over, we were both cautiously excited. We were to go on an overnight canoe trip that night and knew that we couldn't get a dog that day. If we liked 'Sunny,' we'd have to pick her up on Monday.

It happened fast. We walked into the shelter, asked if we could meet her... and out came the sweetest, cuddliest, smiliest dog on earth.

She was wiggling with excitement and instantly snuggled around our legs. We sat down and she climbed in our laps. She never jumped. Never barked. She wasn't aggressive around the other dogs, and she was beautiful.

We left saying thanks to the shelter employees for letting us meet her, and walked out the door. We ended up driving around town for about 20 minutes before we decided she couldn't stay at the shelter any longer.

We went to Wal-Mart to get her a kennel, a collar/leash, dog food, shampoo, a bone and some balls-- and went back to pick up our puppy dog.

Turns out, she was a stray, so Sunny wasn't her name after all. Good thing, because Sally fits her perfectly.

She obeys sit, stay, down, and 'get in your house.' She's so calm, she retrieves, she LOVES water, and she is so smart.

I can say 'where's your ball, Sally?' and she goes and gets it.

She ended up going canoeing with us on Saturday and did a GREAT job. She sat quietly and obediently in the middle.

She's a great dog!

I think she'd be the perfect therapy dog.

Chris and I like her sooooooooo much. She's a good good goodgood girl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Woke up to a chilly house this morning.
Socks needed.
Sweatshirt required.
It's a quiet cold--not like the cold that wears windpants and rustles all over town. Nope, this cold is silent and has long wrapping arms that smell of pine cones and cider.

I can't quite believe it.

Something big happens at the midnight that separates Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Christmas starts to settle in.

I know. I know. We're still celebrating Thanksgiving. But, in my mind, they go together, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thankfullness/Our rescue.

They work better together than turkey and stuffing.

So, while we'll wait until December to put up a tree or hand the lights... Christmas time is here!