Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What is currently in my brain - a quick post

I'm so lame when it comes to blogging these days. Honestly, with the lack of free time I have, when the children are sleeping, the laundry is done & the house is (somewhat) clean, & I can choose what to do for a little bit, blogging doesn't land high on the priority list. But I'll give it a shot; start typing & see what comes out.

I feel we are in an interesting phase right now. Just trucking along, life as usual. In some ways, we are waiting. Waiting to see what God has, & when He has it. (Yes, I'm being vague.) In other ways, I'm just enjoying things. I'm enjoying my boys at this age & trying to do fun things with them. I'm trying to have intentional relationships with people. I'm trying to get a break every now & then (got a haircut last night, cucumbers on the eyes & arm rub included!).

Lots of things to pray about. Lots of things heavy on my heart. Lots of things I yearn for & desire to see come to pass but I've definitely learned by now that just because I want something doesn't mean it's what is best for me. Learning to trust God to move when it's time. I know that He will, yet it's so hard to hold myself back & keep myself from grasping at some kind of control.

In other superficial news, can I lament on the Christmas-ing that is going on at the BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER? Ugh. I mean, I saw Christmas lights up & reindeer prancing at a shopping center when it was still October! Do you people realize we now "celebrate" Christmas 1/6 of the year? Overkill? Yes. All because of money? Sigh. So, I will ignore all of those twinkling lights & red Starbucks cups until the day after Thanksgiving.

Now when radio stations start playing Christmas carols in about a week? My head might explode.

Monday, October 7, 2013


All of a sudden, the boys have started acting like typical brothers (or I guess I should say siblings, since I have no real life experience to tell me what brothers should act like) & it's so fun! They giggle together, making the same noises back & forth, or splashing or hitting each other with balloons. They fight over toys - it's really funny to me how at just 12 months, Jack starts crying & looks straight for me to do something when Elliot takes something from him. Usually, Elliot is scrambling to gather his toys & hoards them from Jack, who wants to play with him, & Jack gets upset. Or Jack grabs something that Elliot doesn't want him to have, & Elliot grabs it back, & Jack screams with the strength of ten 1-yr-olds. It cracks me up (with the exception of the times it frustrates me, because it does wear on a mom!).

I suppose it comes with Jack no longer really being a baby. Even though he's not walking yet, he has developed so much in the past couple of months. I love this age. So much learning & exploring. & Elliot seems to really enjoy it too. They love each other & it's so fun to watch their relationship develop.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


...Are a big deal around this house.

It's a celebration - of that person, of their life, of what God is doing in & through them. To me, that is worthy of streamers on their door & lunch with Daddy & their favorite treats, & of course a party, with people that have a significant role in their lives. This year, for Jack, that means family, our life group, & close friends. For Elliot, since he's older & understands his birthday a little bit, that means family & his friends (& their parents, who we conveniently are friends with). So I've been spending time party planning (two birthdays less than a month apart! Maybe they'll want a joint party one day?). Elliot's party will be simpler (he is easy to please) but Jack's is a little more involved - the first year is a big deal, y'all! Especially to me. My baby isn't a baby anymore... sigh. (I promise I'll stop lamenting about it sooner or later.)

As a parent, it is a joy to see people love on your kids. It is a blessing to know that they are prayed for outside of your home. I am thankful for the people who are, & who will be in the future, heavily involved in the lives of my children. This raising kids thing is no joke. It takes a village, as they say. It truly does! I have relied on the prayers of others to get me through these first three years of parenting, & I know that dependency will continue through the years. & my kids need to see other people love Jesus, teach them spiritual truths, & show them what it is to be a part of the Body of Christ.

I pray that my kids will always feel loved - not only by the people in their lives, but by their Heavenly Father. I want them to realize their significance. I want them to know that they are highly valued, because they are made in the image of their Creator, with a purpose. I want them to know that every one of their characteristics - from what the world deems as good, down to the completely quirky - was hand-picked by their Maker & is something to be confident in, because as they walk in the Spirit through life, He has a reason for it all. I hope to teach them all of these things consistently throughout their days, but on their birthdays especially, I want them to know - to understand - what a big deal they are in our eyes & in the eyes of Jesus. Not because of what they do, but who they are, through the shed blood of Christ. A child of the King.

In the next month, I'll celebrate both of my boys, & what God has done in their lives so far, also anticipating what He will do. He is good, & they are evidence in my life of that truth. They are worth celebrating!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Intentionally Eucharisteo

So I'm in the process of weaning Jack, with the goal of being done around his birthday in a month (I won't go into the "I thought about going longer but then he stopped nursing and who wants to keep pumping & I can't believe I'm about to officially declare my baby no longer a baby by weaning & I think I'm going to cry now" side of it) & I'm starting to feel... different. Like I'm slowly coming out of a deep, dark fog that I didn't realize I was in for almost 2 years of pregnancy & nursing. My body seems to be getting itself back into gear & I am finding myself actually motivated to do... things. Like, not just lay around like a slug during nap time (okay, not every nap time. It is a process, you know.). And, let me tell you, it is a good thing to feel almost like a normal human again!

Along with this physiological change, I am sensing a new work being done by the Spirit in me that I'm not sure I can fully describe (because I'm not sure I yet fully understand it) but I know that it is good. I am reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp (writer, farmer's wife, & homeschooling mom extraordinaire of 6 kids) for our book club. I haven't read one of the book club books in a while, because of the aforementioned lack of involvement with the world outside of keeping my children & myself alive, but I had determined to read this one because I had heard how good it is. And, it is! (Some people are bothered by her writing style - it's very different, poetic - but the message is so good, I'd say, press on.) As a result of the book, I have seen that the way that I think is changing. I am more inclined to see things to be thankful for, instead of complain about. & this thankfulness had lead to a wonderful living in the moment, dwelling, enjoying. I am able to get past the tantrums & the crying & fully drink in the little moments of giggles & silly phrases & snuggles. (Eucharisteo is the word that Ann dives into, realizing that thankfulness is what leads to full life, to joy, to transformation.)

I have also been challenged to be intentional - in everything. I'm praying through my schedule to see what God has for us in this season, for each day. Casual time with my kids, time with Elliot doing preschool activities, time with Josh, time in intentional relationship with others, social activities, exercise, etc. I'm not entirely sure what this next year will look like yet for us, but I think it's going to be good. I'm excited to see what God has for me, & for our days, during the week & on the weekends with Josh.

I love to see God working in me. It's not me. But I am fully on board, inviting the Spirit to do whatever He wants in me. Abiding in the Spirit & yielding to Him produces what only He can accomplish, & that's what I want for my life. It's a process. But it is true life at its fullest!

Friday, August 16, 2013


My little baby will be one year old soon. How can that be? Somehow it happens so suddenly. You're snuggling your little one & you think, what are his feet doing all the way down there? He's surely not that long. All of a sudden, he's standing at his crib when you walk in his room; he's being tackled by his older brother & thinking it's funny; he's diving off the bed & you catch him by the foot & he thinks that's funny too.

Surely not.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Do List

-Finish Jack's birthday book

-Plan Jack's birthday party

-Plan Elliot's birthday party

-Start to make/gather preschool materials to work on with Elliot this year at home

-Plan out our family schedule for the next year, including daily/weekly activities

I just got a good chunk of Jack's birthday book done today during nap time. Lately, I've been so tired again (I was doing okay there for a while, what happened??) so I've had no motivation to do anything productive during nap time, which isn't good. I've got to get my booty into gear to get all of this stuff done in the next few weeks! Fall is so busy for us, but I love it & am looking forward to all of our fun birthday celebrations & activities!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Morning at the Farmer's Market

This morning, Josh went to help a family in our life group pack up to move, so the boys & I headed to the farmer's market for a bit. It's a super fun atmosphere, & along with the expected produce, meat, & eggs, you can also buy specialty breads & breakfast items, coffee, honey, wine, chocolate, body products, & even crepes (so good). Even though Elliot would love to walk around out there, there are a lot of people there so I had both boys in the stroller. We checked out all the booths, bought a muffin to share, & sat for a bit to eat. I got some coffee & bought a couple items, then we made our way over to an old train car that is on display in an area that is away from the crowds. I lifted Elliot up on to the train, & he loved being up there by himself. He got to run around a bit & threw some sticks into the fountain & kept saying he didn't want to go home. We had to leave to get the pesto & eggs in the fridge, so I promised we'd be back in a couple of weeks.

This morning was nothing special, but I'm thankful for simple memories made with my boys.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Not sharimisu.

We just got back Saturday from our trip to Italy with our friends Zac & Cara. It was so much fun & Italy is now even more my favorite place on earth. I want to write out as much of it as I can remember, so, enjoy!

Josh & I drove up to Austin Thursday night since the boys were staying with my parents. We woke up super early that morning, after about 3.5 hrs of sleep, to head to the airport. We flew to Atlanta, then Miami, then switched airports via taxi for our international flight. (Josh & I always opt out of the cancer machine screeners [you know, the nekkid picture ones] so we had to do the whole pat down thing. Something showed up as sketchy on the gloves of the guy checking Josh, so he got taken to a private room to do it again. It was kind of comical because you could tell they didn't exactly find us suspicious, but had to go through the motions anyways. He checked out fine after that one.) We then flew 8.5 hours to Dusseldorf, then 1.5 hrs to Milan, where we took a train from the airport to the Milano Centrale train station, then waited a couple of hours for our train to Florence. In short: we were STINKING TIRED by the time we got there. So. Much. Traveling. But worth it, obviously.

In Florence, we stayed down a narrow street in an apartment that was located between a trattoria & a ristorante. Totally charming. We were so happy to see Zac & Cara. Our time with them (since college with Zac, & for as long as we've known Cara) has been limited to vacations or their weekend trips to SA, so we cherish every moment with them.

We went out to dinner after we dropped off our luggage & had pizza & wine. Bufala mozzarella is plentiful in Italy & we had it at almost every opportunity, starting with our margherita pizzas. We walked around town a bit & got dessert in the Piazza della Repubblica, then crashed for the night (Josh was D.O.N.E. after dinner).

The next day, I woke up before everyone else & headed out to walk around. Florence had been my favorite city when we visited Italy in 2009. I love the charm of the city - I'll never get over it. Since it was a Sunday morning, it was so quiet out, & the streets were almost empty. I walked along the river, grabbed a cappuccino & a croissant, & sat in the small piazza near our place to eat. This was one of my favorite moments of the whole trip.

(I must pause here to say that no one does coffee like Italians. They mean business! Even convenience stores off the side of the highway have espresso machines. I love their cappuccinos. I had as many as possible, even though they made my tummy hurt sometimes since I don't consume much dairy these days. Going from gluten & dairy free to eating lots of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, gelato, cappuccinos, & cheese did a toll on me!! But it was SO GOOD.)

I headed back to meet everyone else before we headed out. We had scheduled tickets to the Uffizi Museum & the Accademia that day, so we headed to the Uffizi at 9 & walked around for a couple of hours, admiring all the paintings & sculptures. We grabbed lunch at a sandwich shop (which are a very popular Italian lunch option) & sat at the apartment for a while, & the other three had a little nap time (I couldn't sleep; for some reason jet lag on the way there left me with tons of energy, but coming back, I am still exhausted) before we went to the Accademia, which is where the David is, along with many other Michelangelo sculptures. We may have been shushed at one point. Our laughter wasn't very museum-like. But we enjoyed ourselves!

That night we wandered around & found a restaurant in a small piazza to eat at. That was where I got the best tiramisu of the trip. But I was also left feeling really yucky afterwards - dairy overload. So I passed on the gelato after dinner. (Don't judge - we had gelato every day at least once, along with tiramisu three times, appetizers every night at dinner, & cappuccinos at every turn. We like to think we walked enough to make allowances for all that deliciousness.)

Monday morning, we climbed up the 460+ stairs in the narrow tunnel up to the top of the dome of the Duomo. We got some beautiful views of the city from the top. Zac & Cara then headed to wait in line to go inside the Duomo, but since Josh & I got to do that last time we were there, we grabbed lunch & walked around a bit before meeting back up with them. That afternoon, we walked across the bridge to the Pitti Palace & toured the gardens & the costume gallery (since we were too cheap to pay for admittance to the palace). I also believe this was the day we got the best gelato, at least in my opinion, also across the bridge. That evening's dinner was one of our best. We sat outside & had delicious food & a very kind waiter. (Appetizer: fried pasta dough with mozzarella & proscuitto - SO GOOD. I got pappardelle with wild boar ragu. Tiramisu for dessert.) We walked around town for the last time before calling it a night.

The next morning, we did some souvenir shopping & got to eat lunch at one of the best restaurants in town, which was my favorite meal. I got the stuffed cabbage leaves. So wonderfully spiced! I'll attempt to recreate it soon but I know I'll fail. Then we went to get our rental car to head out to the country. Zac had rented a Fiat 500, & after considering the upgrade but deciding against it ("It's only for an hour!), we squished four people, four large suitcases, five backpacks, a camera case, & a purse into a tiny two-door car. We viewed a church at the top of a hill across the river on our way out of town & got some good pictures of Florence, then headed out of town. About an hour in, I got carsick & would have barfed if we hadn't pulled over, & Zac graciously switched places with me. A bit further down the road, we realized we had been going the wrong direction the whole time. So an hour on the road turned into more like 4+. Oops. That's what happens when you don't have WiFi, y'all.

(Josh really, really enjoyed driving the manual Fiat, & driving like an Italian. Driving laws are more like suggestions there, so he zoomed around & drove well over 130 kpm - around 90 mph. One of his favorite parts of the trip by far.)

We eventually made it to our awesome apartment in the medieval town of Montefollonico, on top of a hill in Tuscany. It was a beautiful, quaint little town with three restaurants, some artisans, & one small grocery store. It lives off tourism now, though it seemed to be mainly Italian tourists. It has two short streets that run long ways, & a couple small roads that barely fit our small Fiat. That night we had a very late dinner at the closest restaurant, La Costa. Delicious crostini appetizer with truffle oil, & homemade pasta & risotto. The next morning, we drove to the next hill over to the old town of Montepulciano. Montepulciano is known for having some of the best wine in Italy, so there are many wineries there. We did some sampling & walked through the cool, dark wine cellars, & I bought a ceramic olive oil jar to bring home (the Roberts love us some good olive oil). We relaxed a bit at our apartment, then went to a local pizzeria for dinner & good conversation (& lots of laughs).

Thursday, we went to Siena, about an hour away. What a beautiful, charming city. Like the other Tuscan towns, the old part of the town is on top of the hill, surrounded by the old city walls. We did a little touring of the town, & of course some eating. One of my other favorite parts of the trip, though, was when we bought gelato & sat in the main piazza & simply enjoyed the moment. There is so much to see in Italy that it's tempting to just go go go, but I loved when we were able to stop & bask in the beauty around us. Shortly after, it began to rain, so after about 30 minutes under a restaurant canopy, we ran through the rain back to our car. We ate dinner at another restaurant in town for our last evening together.

Friday morning, we recreated the stuffed-car situation & drove out to a vineyard about 20 minutes away, where we were able to get a tour & a wine tasting. We also got a bread plate & some of the best olive oil I have ever had. This was another one of my favorite parts of the trip. We headed back to Florence, checked our bags at the train station, hustled over to a restaurant that attracts the locals that served us some really good roasted beef, pork, & white beans, received & consumed in about 15 minutes time. We grabbed some gelato on the walk back, then said goodbye at the train station as we headed back to Milan & they left for Venice. Throw in another marathon day of traveling, & we were home again with our boys (of which, the oldest told me upon seeing me, that he didn't want to go home, he wanted to stay at Mimi & Papa's. They definitely didn't miss us too much!).

We had a great time in a beautiful region of a lovely country with wonderful friends. I love Italy. I love the people & the culture & the food & the language & most of all, the coffee. (Just kidding. Not really.) Tuscany is so gorgeous to me, with its rolling hills, vineyards & olive trees, & old world structures. Many times during our trip, I just stopped & thanked the Lord for the blessing of being able to go there, not only once but twice, & to spend lots of time with Zac & Cara. We'd love to go back again one day. If nothing else, I'll be spending a lot of time there on the New Earth; that's where you'll find me. :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I made salsa using onions & jalapenos from our CSA (community supported agriculture - we get 5-6 lbs of veggies each week, locally & organically grown).

I jarred up some cucumber & dill from our CSA to make pickles. I've never made them before so we'll see how they turn out later this week!

Josh grilled deer burger steaks (from a deer he killed) for dinner & I roasted some squash, carrots, & onions from the CSA.

In the oven I have a gluten free blackberry crumble baking, using the blackberries that Elliot & I picked on Friday with his friends Claire & Will (& my friend Amy).

I also have some pesto in the fridge from last week's basil. YUM!

It's been fun to experiment with the veggies we get each week & find new ways to cook them. I also enjoy making pesto & salsa (& eventually tomato sauce, once we start getting tomatoes) each week, in hopes that I can perfect a recipe. Cooking is an escape for me - just me & the food, chopping away & getting to see the result each time is somewhat therapeutic these days. Not to mention, I love feeling good about what we're eating. Less & less chemicals in this house!

Monday, June 17, 2013

So THIS is what it's like!

Jack loves him some food.

Elliot is a super picky eater - has been since day 1. He has always had some crazy, unknown system for deciding what he'll eat, conveniently resulting in only eating things like fruit, dairy products (which we limit because of his eczema), bread/pasta (again - limited, or gluten free), bite-sized (no larger!) chicken nuggets etc. He'll eat plenty of what he likes, but what he likes & what he's willing to try makes up for a very short list.

So we prayed that Jack would be a good eater. We didn't really do solids until 8 months, with the exception of letting him taste something here or there, & we skipped purees all together & only offer pieces of whole food. He didn't seem interested before 8 months. But since then, he has wanted to eat everything offered him, & he does it with gusto. He lunges towards my fingers or the fork, & if he has food on his tray, he grabs several pieces with his hand & shoves as many as possible in his mouth. It's hilarious. He will eat anything, & I can tell he doesn't love avocado (I think it's too plain for him - I bet he'd love guacamole) but so far he has loved vegan chili with baked potato; beef, chicken, fish, & pork; blueberries, melon, & pineapple; squash, green beans, tomato, & broccoli; & other things I can't think of at the moment. We went to get frozen yogurt yesterday & he was SO MAD that he couldn't have any, that he cried & reached for my bowl the whole time. I love that I can just feed him whatever I am eating, without having to worry about preparing something different; I just give him bites in between mine.

I'd say I'm a fan of this good-eater thing! I'm praying he keeps it up!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program...


That is all.

Wait, no.


Okay, I'm really done this time.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discerning Idolatry in Desire - John Piper

John Piper posted this article & I really liked it, so I thought I'd copy it here for safe keeping (& to share of course).
Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry. Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness is idolatry.”
“Covetousness” means desiring something other than God in the wrong way. But what does that mean—“in the wrong way”?
The reason this matters is both vertical and horizontal. Idolatry will destroy our relationship with God. And it will destroy our relationships with people.
All human relational problems—from marriage and family to friendship to neighbors to classmates to colleagues—all of them are rooted in various forms of idolatry, that is, wanting things other than God in wrong ways.
So here is my effort to think biblically about what those wrong ways are. What makes an enjoyment idolatrous? What turns a desire into covetousness, which is idolatry?
  1. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is forbidden by God. For example, adultery and fornication and stealing and lying are forbidden by God. Some people at some times feel that these are pleasurable, or else we would not do them. No one sins out of duty. But such pleasure is a sign of idolatry.
  2. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is disproportionate to the worth of what is desired. Great desire for non-great things is a sign that we are beginning to make those things idols.
  3. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not permeated with gratitude. When our enjoyment of something tends to make us not think of God, it is moving toward idolatry. But if the enjoyment gives rise to the feeling of gratefulness to God, we are being protected from idolatry. The grateful feeling that we don’t deserve this gift or this enjoyment, but have it freely from God’s grace, is evidence that idolatry is being checked.
  4. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God’s gift that God himself is more to be desired than the gift. If the gift is not awakening a sense that God, the Giver, is better than the gift, it is becoming an idol.
  5. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is starting to feel like a right, and our delight is becoming a demand. It may be that the delight is right. It may be that another person ought to give you this delight. It may be right to tell them this. But when all this rises to the level of angry demands, idolatry is rising.
  6. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it draws us away from our duties. When we find ourselves spending time pursuing an enjoyment, knowing that other things, or people, should be getting our attention, we are moving into idolatry.
  7. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it awakens a sense of pride that we can experience this delight while others can’t. This is especially true of delights in religious things, like prayer and Bible reading and ministry. It is wonderful to enjoy holy things. It is idolatrous to feel proud that we can.
  8. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is oblivious or callous to the needs and desires of others. Holy enjoyment is aware of others’ needs and may temporarily leave a good pleasure to help another person have it. One might leave private prayer to be the answer to someone else’s.
  9. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not desire that Christ be magnified as supremely desirable through the enjoyment. Enjoying anything but Christ (like his good gifts) runs the inevitable risk of magnifying the gift over the Giver. One evidence that idolatry is not happening is the earnest desire that this not happen.
  10. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not working a deeper capacity for holy delight. We are sinners still. It is idolatrous to be content with sin. So we desire transformation. Some enjoyments shrink our capacities of holy joy. Others enlarge them. Some go either way, depending on how we think about them. When we don’t care if an enjoyment is making us more holy, we are moving into idolatry.
  11. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss ruins our trust in the goodness of God. There can be sorrow at loss without being idolatrous. But when the sorrow threatens our confidence in God, it signals that the thing lost was becoming an idol.
  12. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss paralyzes us emotionally so that we can’t relate lovingly to other people. This is the horizontal effect of losing confidence in God. Again: Great sorrow is no sure sign of idolatry. Jesus had great sorrow. But when desire is denied, and the effect is the emotional inability to do what God calls us to do, the warning signs of idolatry are flashing.
For myself and for you, I pray the admonition of 1 John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Learning Moment

Yesterday, we decided to run to the mall to kill some time before meeting some friends for dinner. We were walking in & witnessed a guy driving into the parking garage who knocked the ladder off his truck because it was too high. He was having trouble getting out without losing his ladder. One woman was standing by the door making fun of him, & Josh decided to turn & go help him. I bent over to tell Elliot that Daddy was helping that man, & that we help people, even those we don't know, because Jesus loves them & we want them to know that. Elliot was listening & watching, & when I was done talking, he said loudly, "That's my daddy!"

I am challenged remembering this. Our kids see what we do; we are teaching them how to live in this world. What are they seeing from me? & I am encouraged by Josh & I desire to be more like him. The answer to these things: abide in the Spirit. This is my prayer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Here & Now (& the Italian)

I had a horrible dream last night. We were going to Italy & I had, for some reason, only a few minutes to pack everything before leaving. I had to think of everything I could possibly need, & quick. Talk about stressful! This is actually the second time I've had this dream in the past couple of months. Let's just say I'm motivated to start our packing list now! Who knew we'd ever go back? But indeed! We were approached by our wonderful friends Zac & Cara with the best idea of meeting them in my favorite city, Florence, & spending an entire week in Tuscany. I can't wait. Seriously. Can. Not. Wait. I'm even looking forward to the terribly long plane ride. Alone time with my man, & a book, & my thoughts. & we love every moment we get to spend with our sweet friends (who will soon, finally, be living on the same continent as us, yay!).

(Of course, there is also the obvious amazing views, fresh food, olive oil, wine, gelato, history, & beautiful Italian culture. Ahh.)

Aside from our trip, which I am really looking forward to, I feel like we are in a season of just being. We're not looking toward the next thing, we're not experiencing change, we're just living the day-to-day, in Josh's job, in our city, at our church, in our life group, as a family of four. We haven't been in this place since August of 2009. At that point, we waited to get pregnant, were pregnant & waiting to have a baby, soon afterward we were thinking about baby #2, waiting to get pregnant, pregnant & waiting for baby, & now almost 4 years later, we're finally just... living. As much as I tend to look forward to the next thing, I'm really okay with being in this place after the past few years of change. I know God has more for us in the coming years, likely including much more change, so for now, we're just taking it all in. I'm definitely still treading water at this point, surviving & not quite thriving, but trying to enjoy the now.

I will say though that we have tossed around the idea of taking our first big family vacation next summer - Elliot will be 3.5, Jack will be 1.5, & the timing seems ideal, so we'll see!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Parenting is Hard

It's a different experience for everyone, so different people in different circumstances may or may not agree with the title of this post at this point in time, but it's definitely true for me right now. I wouldn't have said it was so pre-Jack. I mean, parenting Elliot before he was 2 certainly wasn't a cake-walk, but hard? Ehh. However, there is something about parenting an emotional, potty-training little boy as well as a baby who refuses to sleep through the night that makes me say, yes, this is hard.

I see the spiritual purpose of it all, though: God definitely wants to teach me how to handle a lack of control. I cannot (despite what some might say - please keep your theories &/or advice to yourself, thank you) force my baby to sleep through the night, force him to take a bottle, or force my little boy (eh hem, "big boy") to poop on the potty. So I have to let go. These are big examples of every little thing with parenting - I do what I can, based on the guidance of Scripture & the Holy Spirit, then I just trust God with the rest. Sounds so much easier than it is! But I'm trying.

I also recognize the slow submission to selflessness & sacrifice. I'd say these two words sure characterize parenting! & they are part of the sanctification process, hmm, how about that coincidence! God wants to do a work in me, in us, - any parent - through parenting.

Josh & I have been praying about how to parent while displaying God's grace to our children. This was something that was on our hearts, & then our church started a discussion about it, & then the women in my life group decided to read a book about it too. Everything I do as a parent either displays God's grace in an accurate way, or in a way that distorts it - yikes. Talk about pressure. But if I am walking in God's grace accurately, it shouldn't be as much of a struggle. So God has been revealing to me how I need to truly understand & accept His grace for me first, before I can show it to my children. This is a lesson that this legalistic rule-follower needs to learn, for sure.

I have found that life is pretty difficult to navigate when left to our own devices. What do we turn to? The well-meaning advice of friends, the experience of professionals, books with titles that seem to address the subject at hand? I was telling a friend yesterday that I realized that when it comes to Jack's sleep, do I think more about what I read in an article, or do I pray & trust God's sovereignty over even such a thing as sleep? Do I really think I hold the cards to the degree of fixing or further messing up how many times he wakes at night? How foolish of me. Abide - pray - trust - walk in the Spirit. That is my responsibility. Then whatever my circumstances, I continue to do the above, & God really, really will orchestrate my circumstances as He deems fit, for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). & then... I continue to do the above. Again & again.

Abide - pray - trust - walk in the Spirit.

I'm praying I can get this down. Wouldn't life be easy if I could? :)

Monday, May 13, 2013


I decided a few months ago that I wanted to read through the whole Bible again. Not in order, but reading one book at a time, mixing up the Old & New Testaments. I'm currently reading Genesis, & I am supplementing with John MacArthur's commentary. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many times I read the Bible, it's always fresh & I learn something new.

I've read through creation, the flood, Abraham's promise, & am now reading through Jacob becoming Israel & going toward the land promised to him. Something that has really struck me so far is the fullness of God's sovereignty. From the very beginning, He had a plan. Specifically, he desired to use Abraham (who was rewarded for his faith) to be the father of a nation of people, God's chosen people. He would prosper that family line for His glory. When you read through the stories of Sarah's barrenness & how she took matters into her own hands to give Abraham a son; through Isaac's favor of his oldest son, Rebekah's manipulation, & the dissension between Jacob & Esau; through Jacob's pursual of Rachel & Laban's deception & the crazy child-bearing competition between Rachel & Leah; you see that God had a plan the whole time & no matter what anyone did, His plan prevailed. He protected His chosen. Abraham lied to kings, Isaac ignored the words of God given to his wife & desired to bless the wrong son, Jacob wore fur to pretend to be his brother. But God protected Abraham despite his lies, Isaac unknowingly blessed the son through whom the line of God would continue, & Jacob was blessed despite his sin. Even though Jacob preferred Rachel, it was through Leah that the tribe of Judah would descend.

People are messed up! Even people who love Jesus. Even people who God wants to use. We are all one big mess. & that's okay, God can work with that! I am encouraged by these stories. I can't mess up God's plan - His big overarching plan, or His plan for me. He can use me even when I act like a feeble human. Phew! I (in my natural, human flesh-ness) tend to lean toward the "law" side of the balance between law & grace, & I see that God desires to show me more of His grace, that I might understand it & let it cover me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I want to write down some of the funny things Elliot says or has done so I can remember them. His communication skills have developed so much recently & he is speaking in full sentences most of the time, not missing a word. It's so fun.

He calls all bugs "spider bugs."

The other night during his bath, he was looking at his fish & said, "He has a tail. He has a tail like me!" I said, "You have a tail?" "Yes." "Where is your tail?" I'll give you one guess where he pointed.

Every night after his bath, Elliot wants to "snuggle on the couch with mommy." The snuggling lasts about 5 seconds before he's flying around on the couch, so it's more like "mommy watches out for limbs heading for her face."

Right now, anytime Elliot refers to himself (ex. "Is that for me?") he pats his chest. It's so cute.

Note: I need to record the way he says "HEB" - I also happen to think that is very cute!

He likes to throw words at the end of his sentences, like "either," "though," "anymore," "now," & "last night." Sometimes he'll put two together, like "I don't want the do that either anymore" (which right now sounds like it could make sense, but I promise it doesn't when he says it :) ).

Elliot's favorite numbers are two and five. In the morning, he always wants "two waffles" or "two toasts."

Elliot has three freckles now on his arms. He thinks they're great. He also likes to talk about our freckles, except when he says "freckles" it sounds like "pretzels." So you'll hear him say, "You have pretzels too? You have pretzels on your face?"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Warning: This post may bore you if you aren't an Aggie

This past weekend, we went to visit College Station. We hadn't been back since Elliot was three months old, & I was in dire need of a java shake. We also hadn't seen our friends Jason & Paige in a year, so we decided to meet up with them there & spend Saturday together. Josh & I took the boys down Friday afternoon, had dinner at Blue Baker with a girl from our church who is a sophomore at A&M, then went to campus & walked around a bit. Josh did lots of reminiscing in the civil engineering building, Elliot did lots of running around, & I realized I don't handle change very well (just kidding, I knew that already, but boy did it flare up several times this weekend. That liberal arts building just should not have been built on the grassy knoll!).

This was our first experience in a hotel as a family of four. It went better than I expected. Elliot was super excited to sleep in a big bed by himself, & to get to watch TV in bed, so he did great. He also is a pretty hard sleeper so Jack never woke him up. Jack fell asleep fine in the pack n play but didn't sleep great for some reason. Oh well, we survived.

Anyways, Saturday morning we met up with J&P at a new (to us) coffee place called Mugwalls. It was delicious & I'm afraid if it had been there when we were there, it might have caused me to cheat on Sweet Eugene's a few times. Then we headed over to campus to check out the new MSC. I had heard about how much it had changed, & it definitely has, but overall I liked it. There is lots of seating now & the flag room was largely untouched, which is good. We had Layne's for lunch (which is to be expected) then spent some time driving around town, checking out our old respective residences & all the new growth in town, then met back up at Sweet Eugene's for the all-important java shake. I got Oreo & it was all I remembered it to be. We headed back to campus to walk around the Commons, where we all spent our freshman year, & did some more exploring. We hit up Northgate Vintage, a super cute store that is owned by another girl from our church here who is a student at A&M, then headed to dinner at Koppe Bridge. I haven't had a burger in forever; Koppe is worth the gluten & grease. Then we headed home. We so loved spending time with our friends who we miss having around, & loved spending time in a town that holds so many memories for us. The boys did really well too, despite the lack of sleep & being toted around here & there. We'll definitely be back before two more years pass.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Living in Biblical Community

I feel like this is something we "church people" hear all the time, but how many of us really know how to do it? How many of us are actually doing it? I would say that until recently, we weren't. But now that we are, I love it & pray that every member of the Body of Christ would experience it too!

Our church is big on life groups. As in, if you attend our church regularly, you will feel like that's almost all we talk about & you'll receive phone calls from people inviting you to them. Our life groups are based on the Acts church - a small group of people who love Jesus & who spend time together singing, reading scripture, praying together, eating together, encouraging one another & holding each other accountable. We know what is going on in each other's lives & we help each other out. (Is every group functioning like this? Probably not. We are human after all - every participant needs to be willing, group leaders need to set the stage, etc. But this is the goal of our church leadership.)

We have been in the same life group for 3.5 years. People have come & gone, but there is a core group of us who have been there the whole time, & a lot of new fairly new people from the past year or so. Some older, some younger; lots of kids, mostly little ones. We don't all look the same or act the same & we wouldn't necessarily hang out together socially if we happened to randomly meet. We're not a group of friends who decided to make a life group. We are a diverse group of people who have one main thing in common: we are a part of the Body of Christ.

When you are with a group of committed people for that long, you will encounter obstacles to your relationship. You will see that every person is flawed. They might even get on your nerves. (They probably will.) But we are committed to love one another. So we've had tough conversations, we've had tears, we've had hours upon hours of prayer together & apart, we've had times where we fought spiritual battles for each other. But we've stuck it out & now I feel we are benefiting from that. We are truly a family. We love each other.

I am blessed to have been able to be a part of this group & to know what it is really like to be part of the Body of Christ. So many people just fight through life on their own. Even some Christians. We're not meant to! We are meant to live in community. That's how we were designed. We miss out big time if we aren't doing it. It's hard work & it's not always pretty. But it's so good. No matter where we are in life, for the rest of our time on earth, Josh & I will always pray to be a part of Biblical community & we will always seek it out. It's a vital part of the life of a believer & we praise God for His perfect plan for us. It's a good one!

Friday, April 19, 2013


The Breaking Free Bible study is over. These were some challenging, exhausting, purposeful weeks. If you'll remember, I realized in early January that God wanted to do some work in me. He set the stage in part with being physically drained from lack of sleep, then throw in a toddler & a baby, which really leave a person feeling like they have no control over their life. I needed this. I threw up the white flag & told God He could do whatever He wanted. & He did. In the first three weeks, He revealed so many things in my life that were ugly. They were things of the flesh, that is dead in me, that I (mostly unknowingly) was dragging along with me in an attempt to walk with Jesus. That's a gross mental picture & in reality, it wasn't working out so well.

Until today, I was overwhelmed. The study moved quickly & we kind of left all of those Ugly Things behind, not completely dealt with, & I kept thinking about them. God, when are you going to want to go back so we can hash through it all? This study is NOT long enough!

On the last day, Beth Moore challenged us to write out a covenant in conclusion to the study. I was thinking I should spend a lot of time going back & perhaps going over each Ugly Thing until I felt like I had some kind of grasp on it - some scripture about it memorized, ways to handle it in the future, etc. As I sat down to spend time with Jesus this morning & write out that covenant, God spoke out the conclusion - it all came together in an instant. Words that He spoke to me over the course of those weeks all of a sudden fell in place like a perfect puzzle & it was done. No need to continue going over the Ugly Things. He didn't want me to do that. Because that would end in me trying to work out holiness in myself, which is something I struggle with already & we aren't meant to do that.

It might all seem so basic, but it was a complete revelation to me in that moment. All He wants me to do is so simple. Difficult to live out, especially on particular days, yes. But so simple.

Cease striving in my efforts.
Walk in the Spirit.
Ask for wisdom in each specific moment.
Do what He leads me to do.
Memorize scripture. Put it on the walls of my heart, in place of lies.

HE will do the transforming work in me. I don't need to do it. Thank the Lord! HE is faithful to produce the likeness of His son in me. Even though the study is over, His work in me is not - He will work it out into completion (Philippians 1:6).

PRAISE HIM! He is so good!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jack @ 6 months

Jack is officially no longer a baby. Over the past month, we have seen so much change in him! He sits up now which makes him very happy; he's wanted to be able to sit up for a long time & just loves to sit on the floor & watch everyone around him. He grabs for everything so watch out for your hair and jewelry! If you set two items in front of him, one by his feet & one several inches away from his feet, he will reach for the furthest item. He loves the challenge. It's so fun to watch him wrap his little baby fingers around something & inspect it (then perhaps stick it in his mouth).

He is loud! He giggles & squeals & talks a lot. He has recently mastered the "da" sound, so he repeats "a-da, a-da, a-da" & it is the cutest thing. He has been known to start laughing for no reason. His favorite thing to do is watch Elliot. Elliot will run around the room & Jack thinks it is hilarious (which of course, Elliot loves). Jack prefers Elliot's cars & train tracks over bright baby toys (sometimes Elliot likes this, sometimes he doesn't).

He is a social little man. He wants to be with people & doesn't want to miss a thing (so forget getting a decent nap unless he's in his crib without anyone else nearby!). He never cries unless he's hungry or tired & is okay being passed off to people he doesn't know. He'll just grin & grab at their face. He seems to know when I am messing with him, teasing him somehow, & he'll just look up at me & smile. He already seems to have a sense of humor!

It's so fun to see his little personality coming out. I love this stage as they are developing so quickly. God designed this little person to have characteristics & quirks & we get to find out what they are. I pray that we are able to foster his personality & allow him to be exactly who God made him to be, & that he will be used for God's glory!

Mothering Matters

This is copied from my MOPS email - very encouraging.

Mothering Matters
By Mandy Arioto, mom of three

To the mom I saw at Costco yesterday. I see you. I see you friend, with a baby on your hip and a toddler strapped into the cart. Tired eyes and rushing to get your shopping done so that you can get home for nap time. Weary from surviving on four hours of sleep.

I wish I had stopped to look you in the eye in the middle of the cereal aisle to let you know that your efforts matter.

Kissing that boo and putting Band-Aids on, just because. That matters.

Watching your kids do the same tricks over and over again on the trampoline and each time acting as if it was the most impressive trick you have ever seen. That matters.

Snuggling on the couch and telling stories in a silly voice. That matters.

Waking at dawn and kissing goodnight. That matters.

What you are doing is so important. From one generation to the next, echoes of your voice will be heard.

I know what you think sometimes, because I have the same struggles. Too often we are cruel to ourselves. We tell ourselves things that aren’t true. We lay awake at night, shaming ourselves for all the things we haven’t done. Or we go through the day thinking that if somehow we just fed our kids a little bit healthier or read one more story or were a little more patient, that then we would be enough.

So, just in case today is one of those days when you are wondering if what you are doing really matters — wondering if anyone notices — if anything you are doing is world changing — feeling like your shoulders are heavy with worry —if you woke up today and already were looking forward to bedtime, then here is the truth for the day: You are the mom your kids need. I see you and your efforts are beautiful. You are enough.

Friday, March 15, 2013


When Josh & I were engaged, we began to see, through the couple who led us through premarital counseling, the need for adoption & the blessing it is for families who adopt. We knew before we were married that there was a calling on our lives to adopt, & in the 6 years since then, our passion for adoption has grown. I don't just desire adoption for our family, but I desire to see every orphan have a mommy & a daddy, which is something I constantly pray for.

Last night my friend Sara & I went to a one-night showing of a documentary called Stuck. (Sara & her husband will leave in a few short weeks to pick up their daughter in China.) It is about international adoption & the roadblocks that delay & sometimes prevent children from coming home to their families. It was produced by the Both Ends Burning movement, which hopes to gain a social following that will lead to political change. (Visit the website for more information & to sign the petition that will go to Capitol Hill in May.)

The documentary was very well done & drove me to tears several times; I had to hold back from being *that* sobbing woman who prevents everyone else from hearing the movie. Some of the scenes were too much - seeing babies & children practically stacked on top of each other in institutions, physically malnourished, & in the worst cases, severely mentally damaged due to lack of attention, affection, & mental stimulation. At one point I had to look away because I was so close to breaking into sobs. Conservative estimates say there are 10 million orphans worldwide. I can't even begin to comprehend that number. I so badly want to rock those babies who cry, to hold those children who have never been hugged. I feel so helpless. I know we'll adopt one day. But what is one, two, three kids in the midst of 10 million?

God reminds me that my job is to simply obey, & do what He has set out for us to do. I can't feel responsible for taking care of each orphan. But the burden is there, so I pray. A lot. The world is a broken & hurting place, & I have never been so aware of that fact as I have recently. So many times I am driven to prayer, but I don't know what to pray. But in my cries, I hear the reassuring voice of Jesus. He sees them. He knows. & with that, I must trust. He is a good God. I must believe the promises I see in scripture, & trust in the character of God, that He has this issue in His mighty hands. He sees every last orphan, & He loves them so.

I am so thankful for a God who:
- executes justice for the fatherless (Deut. 10:18)
- is the Father of the fatherless & sets the solitary in a home (Ps. 68:5-6)
- upholds the fatherless (Ps. 146:9)
- sets the Church out to take care of the orphan (James 1:27) & to defend their cause (Isaiah 1:17)
- is their Helper, who takes their cause into His hands (Ps. 10:14)
- is where the orphan finds mercy (Hosea 14:3)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life Lately

God is still using the Breaking Free Beth Moore Bible study to kick my tail. The first couple of weeks provided enough for me to pray through for a long time, but alas, the study is 10 weeks long. I'm trying to remain in a place of letting God transform me.

Jack is sleeping a lot better for naps, but just as bad as a newborn at night. I think he's legitimately hungry, so I can't do much about that. I'm praying for strength, energy, patience, etc. every day & praying that God will help him sleep better eventually. This season is rough but I know it won't last. (At least, I'm pretty sure it won't.)

We bought plane tickets to Italy! We were provided with the opportunity to meet our friends Zac & Cara in Tuscany for a week & we couldn't pass it up. We've been to Florence & it is my favorite place in the world so far, so I can't wait to go back. We'll get to see more of the countryside this time & get to experience more true Italian life, off the beaten tourist path. It will be so great to get away with my love & best friend, too! 

I've started trying to be more intentional with my time with Elliot. As a result, the TV is off almost all day & we have had some good lessons going over letters, practicing drawing lines & circles, etc. He is at an age where he picks up things so quickly; it's so funny to hear him say things & see what he does that he saw us do. He loves to play with his cars & trains, have play dates with his friends, & go to the park, the children's museum, or the zoo. He loves his brother & goes back & forth between wanting to play with him, & taking away his toys or getting upset if Jack touches him. 

Jack is all of a sudden no longer a little baby. His personality is developing & he has so much more energy. He has decided he wants to be a big boy too, so he loves sitting up (if he's laying down or reclining, he tries to sit up straight), & if you put him on his stomach, he'll lift up & fling his arms & legs around like he's trying to crawl but just can't figure it out. He loves to watch Elliot & thinks he's hilarious. He's still super snuggly & now likes to burrow his face into my shoulder, particularly when he's tired. He is super smiley & rarely cries, except when he's hungry or really tired. It's so fun to see him develop! I thought it wouldn't be as fun the second time because I've experienced it before, but nope, it's just as great.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Something New

There is something comforting about a very used Bible.

I have had the same Bible for at least 8 years (I can't remember when I got it, but it was perhaps sophomore year of college). I've been through a lot with that Bible. I see scripture underlined & I can remember when I underlined it & what God was doing in my life at the time. There is a Post-It note in the front of it that has what I had engraved on the inside of Josh's wedding ring, which I placed there before we were even engaged. There are pages that are almost entirely blue because of my markings (mainly in the book of James, Ephesians, & Isaiah). We've been through a lot, me & that Bible.

A couple of months ago, Josh was given three large boxes full of Bibles. (It is neither here or there how he ended up with them.) Last week, we went through the Bibles & picked out a few to keep & boxed up the rest to give away. Among the ones we are keeping are an ESV study Bible, a prophecy study Bible (I have a thing for prophecy & can't wait to spend some time in this one), & even a book of common prayer that I am using as a devotional. But we kept two ESV Bibles that we really liked - they are actually a lot like my old Bible (same translation & manufacturer), but bigger & the print is laid out a bit differently. Josh immediately decided to start using one of these Bibles in place of his other one. But I was hesitant. I knew where all my favorite passages were on the pages of my old Bible - on the left page, on top, for example. I could skim through it & read what was underlined & knew I'd get a treasure. So I sat the new Bible off to the side, & decided I'd save it for when my old one fell apart or something. But I ended up pulling it out the next day, & I've been using it for about a week now.

There is something refreshing about a new Bible.

The pages are blank; my favorite scriptures are not located on the same page they were before. I flip through & there are no pen marks. But now as I open it to a particular page & look for a scripture, I almost read it with new eyes. I'm not reading it through the lens that God has used to speak to me in the past. I am beginning to add some blue ink to the black. God is still reminding me of precious truths He has revealed to me before, but there is a newness, a freshness, to what I read. And it's good, particularly for this season of my life where God is doing a new thing in me, while scraping up some of the old, crusty parts that have been around for far too long.

And part of me can't help but be extremely thankful that I even have the opportunity to own & hold & read a Bible, & even so, more than one. So many believers across the globe would do anything to glimpse the pages that I have in my possession. May I never, ever take for granted the freedom I have to read & know the Word of God.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lately, spiritually & not

So my last post ended up being pretty accurate. God has used my current life circumstances to refine me already in so many ways! Or rather I should say, we are on the path to refinement. The first week or two was rough, but once I completely surrendered to what God wants to do, it has been so good to see the areas I am lacking & what God wants to do to grow me. So far, I have learned that I have an issue with control that is rooted in a lack of trust in God (which also results in fear & holding too tightly to the things of this world, primarily people). I care too much what people think. & I am learning what it means to glorify God in my life. That is a very short summary of what God is doing in me right now, but I'm excited to see it all worked out. Not that I'll have all these things down anytime soon (or ever), but I know this is going to be a period of much growth & transformation, because God has promised to do those things if we are willing! & I am. So let's do this.

On a more superficial note, over the past couple of weeks, we have turned our study (which is really a formal dining room that we never used for dining) into a playroom. We bought some cube storage pieces from IKEA as well as a cute little kids' table with chairs & a rug that doubles as a place to play with cars (it has a town with roads & buildings on it). I ordered a pocket calendar (the kind that you manually change out every month) to hang on the wall, will buy an easel, & have my eye on a "playroom rules" piece at Hobby Lobby. Once I get all the necessary materials, we will start going through a preschool curriculum. We moved all of the study stuff into the sitting room that is off to the side of our master bedroom, which now feels more like a cozy nook than it did before (study stuff on one side, love seat with lamp & bookcase on the other). I'm excited to have a designated space for playing & learning!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spiritually Speaking

I've been having a really rough time with this whole no-sleep thing. Isn't it silly? When I see how I'm reacting these days, I think it's ridiculous. It's such a minute thing. But I'm going on 6 weeks of sleep deprivation. (Two nights this week Jack was up every 2 hours. I have had two or three opportunities in the past several weeks to sleep 3.5 hours in a row, but no more.) My body aches because it can't get adequate rest, & my head has that constant "I might just fall asleep any minute" feeling. & I do okay some days, but other days I get so frustrated & even angry that there is no end in sight. Like I said, ridiculous. I'm not a big fan of my attitude. I'm having to do a lot of praying through it. I have had a feeling recently that God wanted to work on me in some areas that needed some refining. Nothing specific. I'm signing up for a Bible study this spring that I thought would lead to some thought-provoking times with the Lord, some good prayer, & maybe I'd come out the other end looking a little prettier spiritually. All neat & clean-like. Hmm, maybe THIS is what God was thinking instead? Oh sheesh. It seems I'm not accepting the challenge very well!

I started reading "So Long Insecurity" by Beth Moore. I have heard a lot of good things about it & as I mentioned before, felt up to the challenge to work through junk & thought maybe this would present some areas where I need to do that. I've started going through my Bible & writing out scriptures that say something about my identity, or where my worth & value is rooted. It's been good so far. I think I'll have to write them all out here once I have compiled my list.

So if you feel led, there are some ways you can pray for me. Specifically my attitude regarding no sleep. & please pray I & my family would remain healthy, mainly because my immune system is shot when I am not getting enough sleep & I don't want to bring any sickness into our home. Thanks. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013


This blog is written by a woman who went to our church when we were in college. She just wrote this post about how her family is changing their diet & how they are starting to view food & health. It is pretty much the way we are changing now too. Check it out!

Life Lately

I'm exhausted. Ex.Haus.Ted. For the past month, Jack has been sleeping very poorly. Two nights this week, he woke up every 2.5 hours. He won't nap longer than 45 minutes during the day so he is constantly tired. A good part of my day consists of holding him tightly so he'll eventually nap, since he fights it when he's overtired. My brain is literally loopy most of the time - I can't construct basic sentences & I'm always forgetting things. I got sick twice in the past month because my immune system suffers when I'm not sleeping well. It's been rough. But then he stares at me & after a couple of seconds, breaks into a huge smile, which reminds me it's worth it. & perhaps, just maybe, I'll sleep again one day.

Elliot has been pretty funny lately. He says & does things that he sees or hears us, or someone else, do & it usually catches me by surprise that he picked it up at all. Examples would be good, if I could think of any (see first paragraph).

It seems that Jack's reflux has drastically improved! I have tested his tolerance with a little dairy here & there, & until recently, it was met with two days of more spit up & Jack acting like he didn't feel good. But I had a mocha yesterday, with milk, & he seemed fine! I probably can't go eating ice cream, & I'll try to keep eating the way that I have since it's better for me anyways, but it's nice to know that on my birthday I'll be able to eat what I want (which is pasta & this delicious dessert from one of our favorite restaurants). Yum!

I think I thought I had more to write, but as it turns out, this is all that is coming to mind. Maybe I need more coffee. Either way, that's it for now!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mommies don't get sick days

Vitamin C

Vitamin D3

Elderberry syrup

Tea with honey

Fresh squeezed orange juice

Baths with eucalyptus oil

Who knows if all of this stuff is working... what I really need is about 12 straight hours of sleep! I've been pretty sleep deprived over the past three weeks or so that this cold is really kicking my tail.

I will say, the eucalyptus bath does clear me up really well & relieve some of the tension in my head, until I get out & then it all comes back. If only I could wear a tiny tub full of eucalyptus right below my nostrils....