27 March 2009

We've been busy busy busy this week with my Mom moving her furniture from her home in Michigan to a new place here in Franklin, Ryan coaching soccer games and me keeping the family fed and clothed and generally orderly and happy. It's been a full week and I'm exhausted! (And the moving truck isn't scheduled to roll in until later this afternoon!)

I've had the opportunity to do some fun (well, fun for me) things this week. I consigned a ton of clothes Oliver's outgrown at a great church consignment sale (all their profits go to missions work!) and because of that, I got to shop at their presale and got Oliver all set up with handsome clothes for spring and summer (all for about $50!).

I also have been having fun in the kitchen trying new recipes and, since we happened to be rather low on groceries, pulling things together and coming up with fun new meals.

On Wednesday for lunch I had a craving for pizza but the only necessary ingredient we had in our kitchen was the fresh dough (the Publix bakery sells great pizza dough!). I dug through my pantry and realized that although we didn't have a ton of Italian cuisine, we had lots of bits and pieces of leftover Mexican food. A mexican pizza it was!

I used salsa and queso as the sauce, sautéed fresh chicken breast in chicken taco seasoning from Penzey's, topped it with mexican cheese and crumbled chalupa shells and viola! We had a DELICIOUS mexican pizza! Ryan loved it and said the only thing that would make it better would be black olives and beans. But, since I don't like either of those things anyway, it was just perfect for me!

Besides feeding and clothing my family, I also have had a great time just enjoying the sunshine with those boys of mine. Ryan has taken the coaching position at Franklin Classical School and they had their second game this Tuesday. The Faires' came too and Oliver and Beatrice had a great time playing together with his mini soccer goal and ball, picking clovers, and Oliver's recently discovered ability to go potty in the bushes (this, I believe, is just the beginning of what I am about to learn raising boys is all about!).

Beatrice came to the soccer game looking just like I like her. If I can't have a girl of my own, it sure is fun to have her around wearing pink, polka dots and braids!

Here's my girl with a big clover I picked for her.

Oliver was trying to get Bea to shake hands with him, but she was just completely uninterested.

Me and my boy.

This was one of the 7 seconds that Beatrice actually sat still to watch the soccer game.

These last four pictures are from lunch today. It rained this morning and the sun was just deciding whether or not it was going to come out. Oliver began his time playing outside fully clothed with shirt, pants and shoes. But, he lost the shoes early on in the sandbox and the pants got totally soaked from the rainwater that had gathered in the back of his Cozy Coupe. I'm learning to let this kind of thing happen, rather than make him stay inside because the conditions are just short of ideal and making him practice writing letters or sorting colored bugs.

This is my favorite picture of the day. I just love this face.

Here he goes again with the novelty of going potty outside. The funny part about this picture is actually that Scout had just unwittingly crossed in front of him midstream and got potty all across her side. Ew!

Moments like this make me glad I'm not paying full price for his clothes.
Hooray for consignment and garage sales!
Happy weekend, friends!

25 March 2009

Hello and welcome to "Way Back Whensday", the Preggo Belly edition. You may remember my first WBW post earlier this month where I committed to sharing old photos every Wednesday because I just couldn't seem to conform to the rules of "Wordless Wednesday". I invite you all to join me in digging up your old photos and sharing them with the watching world as well!

Now, on with the photographic joys of growing a sweet baby inside!

Here I am 10 weeks pregnant with Oliver.
I'm demonstrating that he is 1 1/2" long and I am just so doggone excited!

Now 12 weeks pregnant with Oliver, (I was unemployed for the entirety of my pregnancy with O, so I had time to do this sort of thing) I used Photoshop to superimpose an actual size illustration of a baby on my belly. This is how big Oliver was in my tummy at 12 weeks. (This totally only happens with your first baby - subsequent babies are bound to get the shaft!)

This one is almost embarrassing! (And Tara, please forgive me for sharing this!) The embarrassing thing is that Tara was 40 weeks pregnant here - she had baby Hope the following day, I believe. Me, on the other hand, I was only 27 weeks pregnant here! I have no idea how I am so stinking much bigger than my tiny little cousin! And, yes, that is Lee in the background feeling left out.

Here I'm 33 weeks pregnant with O. I actually faithfully did shots every week in the same shirt and pants for the entirety of this pregnancy; front, right, back and left. You can scroll through the photos and it looks like I'm turning and growing before your eyes. Pretty cool! Again, this is something you only end up doing the first time around.

And this is where it just starts to get un-cute. I'm 40 weeks here - just a week before Oliver was born. I can't believe how puffy I got. Unreal!

These are some of the only pictures I have of me pregnant with our Evie-girl. I am 24 weeks here. I didn't grow with her like I did with Oliver. I think at this point I was still weighing less that I did when I got pregnant with her. But, that's her in there. I love these pictures of me with her!

This is one of the last photos of Evie inside of me. Claire took it at the hospital just before I was induced. I miss my sweet baby so much. Especially in these days leading up to what would be her first birthday.

Alright, that's enough bellies for one week. What do you say next week we all post photos of what we were doing exactly seven years ago - so April 2002? See you then!

24 March 2009

Hey, y'all. I'm not posting much, but I wanted to ask you all to take some time to bring MckMama's Stellan before the Throne of Grace today. He has been in the hospital with some very serious heart issues for the past few days, and it seems to be getting worse (Click Here for this morning's update). Most of you know Stellan's Story, but if not, I encourage you to read about this little miracle. These are critical days, even moments for Him. Thanks be to God that we can uplift our brothers and sisters in Christ that we have never met from right where we are.

Grace and Peace.

18 March 2009

Hello, bloggy friends! It's Wednesday again, and you know what that means: time to sort back through all your files to find the funniest, oldest, coolest, whatever pictures from way back when.

Last week was my inaugural post where I shared my bright idea with the world! (And by world, I mean y'all that read my blog.)

This week, I'm sharing a few photos from high school when Ryan and I first started dating. These pictures were taken in early 2000 in our Junior year of high school. (Ryan and I began dating in our sophomore year.)

This one absolutely cracks us up. Ryan looks like he's about twelve and I somehow look swollen and nothing like myself. I was a real fan of the skinny eyebrows in high school I'm ashamed to say. But, you can see where Oliver got his bright blue eyes!

Here's a photo from our freshman year of college. Yes, that's me and Christine kissing Ryan on the bench. I'll also note that this was the year that Christine wore her "Barbara Bush" dress and pearls.

I wish I had more, but I really am going to have to do some digging this week. What do you say next week we all share big belly photos from our pregnancies? And, if you don't have babies yet, share a photo of your most regrettable hairstyle!

See you next Whensday!

15 March 2009

In the wee hours of morning today Oliver came down into our bedroom and crawled into bed between us. I was somewhat aware that he had joined us, but was still totally committed to my sleep.

Then, I heard a little voice behind me say, "Mommy, I wannoo wub your back."

I proceeded to turn over so my back faced my little treasure and received the sweetest, little-handed back rub ever.

In response to an opposites book we read with Oliver at bedtime last night, we had this conversation with him at breakfast this morning:

Ryan: "Oliver, is Scout plump or lean?"

O: "Scout is not plump!"

Me: "What about Mommy? Is Mommy plump or lean?"

O: "You are not plump!"

Ryan: "And, what about Daddy? Am I lean or plump?"

O: "Daddy is weeen!"

(We're both totally relieved by Oliver's responses)

Me: "What about you, Oliver? What are you?"

Long pause.

O: "I'm a cowboy!"

14 March 2009

I just have to share this. My friend Ginny has two little boys that Oliver (and we) absolutely adore! Micah is 3 and Owen will turn 2 next month. They are perfect playmates for Oliver because he is right in between them age-wise and they play so well together that Oliver just fits right in.

Anyhow, the thing I have to share.

Ginny wrote this on her blog today, but it is just so worth repeating. Micah is such a special kid and his parents have done a great job of teaching him even at a really young age about the Gospel in a way that he really does understand it.

Today, Matt (Ginny's husband) had to work on a Saturday which happens occasionally (he's an optometrist) and Micah was disappointed. He said,

"The bad news is that Dada has to work today.
The good news is that Jesus died on the cross for my sins."


Thank you, Micah, for bringing oh, so much into perspective for us.

Oh, to have faith like a child!

12 March 2009

Because we're new best friends!

Okay, maybe not. But, she did remember my name when I asked for a photo with her!

11 March 2009

I don't like being away from my home and even more than that, I hate to be away from my family. They are my comfort zone and through grief of this past year those familiar things have become very important to me.

I didn't realize how important until I found myself in Chattanooga for a week (Tuesday through Saturday) away from them.

Let's just say I cried all day yesterday. Like the homesick kid at church camp that everyone wishes would just pull it together and start enjoying their time (or at least stop making everyone else's time so miserable). Yep, that was me.

I'm in Chattanooga as a part of six women in leadership in our church. In the PCA (Presbyterian Church of America) the women's ministry is called WIC (Women in the Church) and the WIC leadership gathers once a year - this year at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain - to exchange ideas, encourage and pray for one another, and brainstorm. Oh, and eat yummy food and cluck like a hen house because that's what women do when they all get together.


I'm away from home, quickly approaching the first anniversary of Evie's birth and death (much faster than I'd like - where are the breaks on this thing!?) and finding myself in situation after situation where I'm supposed to be networking and learning and bringing all kinds of ministry gems back to the women at my church.

I may just have to write yesterday off as a wash. They started the regional meetings by asking everyone to introduce themselves by sharing about their families and showing a photo.


I didn't want people's first impression of me to be the "grieving mother", or to be a downer in the clucky conversation and competition over who has the most grandchildren. So, I just couldn't bear to introduce us as a family of four. But, it just hurt too badly yesterday to say that we were a family of three - to say I only have one child.

I just excused my self to the restroom, called Ryan and begged him to come and get me (he talked me down) and eventually rejoined the group. I never had to say anything about my family and I was relieved. Another day.


Today was much better than yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter at all you'll know that I found myself alone in a lobby for an hour or so with Nancy Guthrie. (When I say this it makes me think of the Friends episode where Chandler get's stuck in the ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre!).

Nancy Guthrie is the author of some of the most comforting, insightful, scripture-filled (apart from the Bible, of course), books I read in the time between Evie's diagnosis and death.

She wrote her book called "Holding onto Hope" after her daughter Hope was born and then diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome. Nancy and her husband David (and their son Matthew) had Hope for six months before she passed away. Two years after taking surgical steps to prevent another pregnancy, the Guthries learned they were pregnant again, this time with a little boy. Gabe was diagnosed with Zellweger Syndrome in the womb and lived six months after his birth as well.

Can you see why I was so excited to meet Nancy? She walked with me through my loss and didn't even know it - I had to tell her! And thank her! It was a divine moment to get to sit with her, cry together, and be encouraged by her as only another Mother who knows this loss can do. It made yesterday all worth it to get to meet Nancy and talk to her!


I won't write much longer because it's getting late, but I also had the privilege of eating dinner tonight with another of my favorite authors and her husband. Susan Hunt wrote "Spiritual Mothering" which is not really about mothering at all. It is based on the Titus 2 model of older women mentoring younger women. I've done the study twice in the past three years and it has really shaped the way I look at and intentionally seek out my relationships.

Susan also wrote "Big Truths for Little Kids" (A shorter catechism for young kids - we're working through this with Oliver) and "My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts" (which we are also working through with Oliver).

Meeting Nancy and Susan were real thrills. Maybe tomorrow I'll meet Edward Cullen! (It's hard to remember sometimes if he's real or not...)


Okay, that's all about me and my chattering. Now onto what you really came for: photos of Oliver!
Can you believe how big this kid is getting?
We're training Scout to be off-leash so she can swim this summer. Unfortunately, she has an unhealthy curiosity about the geese in the pond and we're afraid it may soon come back to bite her. Seriously.
When Ryan's parents come, Ry's Dad always finds little projects around our house that need to be done and takes care of them for us. (Nice, eh?) This week he decided to hack down the baby weeping willow tree in our backyard that we've been "planning" to chop down for about a year now. He let Oliver take a few swings at it.
After a while, Oliver didn't want to be involved.
I took lunch to Oliver on the patio on Saturday so that he didn't have to stop playing and he almost immediately plopped his plate of food into his dump truck (which still had dirt in it). We figured it couldn't hurt him too much, so we just looked the other way and he had a great time with his lunch "on the go".
Also, evidently Oliver had a bloody nose at some point while he was "bulldozing". Rather than coming to me and getting help, he just wiped it on his dirty arm and kept on playing. All boy.

So, I had this brilliant idea last week. (Well, I like to think it was brilliant. When I tried to enthuse Ryan about my brilliant idea I think he was a little less impressed.)

Lots of people like to do "Wordless Wednesday" posts on Wednesdays. I am completely incapable of posting something without words, so it's just no good for me. So, I am officially instituting:
"Way Back Whensdays"

(Christine, does the spelling kill you or am I okay?)

It's just a fun chance to post an old photo or two and to reflect on where we've come from and thus, look ahead to where God is taking us.

Or, maybe nothing even quite that deep. Maybe just a fun chance to post old photos.

Anyhow, here are some photos of our little guy way back when:

6 months old
9 months old
Maybe I'll bust out some photos of Ryan and I on our first date (10 years ago) next week. Stay tuned to find out!

08 March 2009

{I hate to post this right on top of my "Big Reveal". Be sure to scroll down to the previous post if you're interested in seeing the finished shots of the Bonus Room redesign!}

Welcome to the "Finding My Feet" edition of "Not Me! Monday"! This blog carnival was created by
MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. But, before you go there, please, make yourself comfortable and take a look at all the things I have not done recently - you may be surprised!

I'll just jump right into the deep end with this one. When Oliver asked us so politely for some chocolate milk at dinner the other night, Ryan and I opened the fridge to find that we were plum out of milk. We did not look at each other, then at the carton of half and half, shrug our shoulders and offer our son a big sippy cup full of chocolate half and half. Not us!
DC07 Pink

I did not ask my husband to buy me a new vacuum cleaner for Valentine's Day. We did not end up buying a pink vacuum instead of a yellow one because it was marked down nearly $150 for being just that - pink. I did not convince my husband that having a pink vacuum in the house was still manly and it was okay because it was a Valentine's present and those sorts of things are always pink.

I did not tweet for about four days straight about the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G suction power of this new pink vacuum and come running to Ryan (while generally working or on business calls) just so he could see and affirm it's greatness by showing him the dirt-filled canister after each room I vacuumed in the house.

When Ryan and I had to make an unscheduled stop at Target at mealtime one evening we did not upon entering the great red doors make a beeline to the snack shop and order a big bag of popcorn for Oliver just so we could keep him happy and quiet long enough to get the things we needed.

I did not used to totally judge parents for buying junk food for their kids at the Target "concession stand" before I had a child of my own.

We do not spend most of the lunch times at our home with Oliver seated in his high chair in the kitchen and me perched up on the counter top facing him. We do not have a perfectly good dining table and chairs that we are just too lazy to use because of all the clean-up required after Oliver "eats" a meal.

Ryan and I do not use Instant Messenger during the day as a means of communicating things within our house like "time for lunch", "is Oliver awake?" or "I adore you". We have not let the convenience of technology replace face to face talking (or hollering up the stairs) in our home.

When we were traveling to church last Sunday I was not so overcome by thirst after eating something salty that I asked Oliver to hand me his sippy cup (filled with half water, half juice) and take a long draw for myself. That would be yucky. Not me!

With only two days before my in-laws were scheduled to visit this week I did not finally have to tackle the mountain of clean, unfolded clothes on our guest bed that amounted to approximately 3/4 of our family's wardrobe. I would never let that many clothes pile up left unfolded!

I am not so particular about my iPod earbuds that I absolutely cannot put them in my ears without first checking to make sure the one with the "L" is going in my left ear and the one with the "R" is going in my right. I am not that much of a rule stickler.

After Sunday lunch this weekend I was not totally annoyed to find that my Method dish soap container was completely clogged and proceeded to go at it with a steak knife (making my mother-in-law a little nervous, I'm afraid) until my husband interceded saved the day on behalf of myself and the poor bottle with a box cutter.

I am not continuing to use this defective dispenser in it's new form, even though it really does look like someone's come at it with a box cutter.

I am not so proud of Oliver for having great potty-training success in the church nursery and around the house that I've snapped this photo of him playing outside and posting it on my blog. That little elastic waistband is such a source of joy for me!

That's all the Not Me's! I have in me. What about you? What have you not done this week that you'd like to get off your chest?


And, if I may, I'll close with this picture of my little guy sitting down at his picnic table for lunch after a good, hard play. Enjoy!