Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in the Life of...

2011 Edition!  This idea came from the blog Pure Imagination who I follow because she is a fellow book addict :)


It's basically a recap of 2011's highs and lows.  I am going to post a picture (or 2) for every month to sum it up. 


January:
First off, snow.  That was my month.  Me & Autumn practically spent the entire month indoors.  If you'll take a minute and notice that snow hanging off of the awning in the above picture...that fell on my head when I walked under it! 


This is a small portion of birthday presents I received (yes, I like to color sometimes, don't hate).  Notice my mom wrote "when Chris is not at home".  That was also my month.  This year we spent all 3 of our birthdays (mine, his, and our daughter's) apart.  Lots of time to catch up on my coloring.

February:
Valentine's Day (also spent without the Hubs) 
My hair was so SHORT!!  Holy cow.  And Baby Girl didn't really have much hair...we both look so different now!


Baby Girl's curls begin to emerge!  I know that is not the most exciting of events, but at this point we still weren't really leaving the house.  Living in a foreign country that is covered in snow is a little intimidating ;)

Also in February we found out we miscarried (on our anniversary). 

March:
We got the best news ever on March 1st! Woo-Hoo!!

April:
Finally, we got to TRAVEL!!
Bamberg, Germany


Neuschwanstein Castle


Regensberg, Germany


Prague, Czech Republic


Somebody turned ONE!!

May:
I got nothing, but here is a hilarious picture :)

June:
The Casing of the Colors Ceremony represents the last official event of Chris' brigade before they deploy to Afghanistan. They encased the brigade flags which will not be displayed again until they get to Afghanistan.


Military Ball.  I like the fact that we aren't wearing our fancy shoes.  It's our true colors shining through :)

July:
Last day with her daddy for a long long time :(  A very hard day/month.

August:
I think we went to the pool every day in August.  TN is so frickin' HOT

September:
We <3 football parties!


Plus a trip to WV to see Bella! (And the family there too, I suppose...hehe)

October:
Looking pretty preggo...

Trick or Treating in WV!

November:
Fantasy of Trees

December:
I think it's safe to say that this little guy's birth trumphed the holiday's this year ;)

Aaaaaaand, one more:
OH. MY. GOSH. Is he handsome or what??????

There is my 2011...it wasn't awful, but I am hoping for a better 2012 where I see my husband more and travel more! (Not travel as in move back to America to live with my parents and have a baby while my husband is deployed, but travel as in SEE THE WORLD!) :) 





Monday, December 19, 2011

To Remember This Day

Monday
Dreary
Barking Dog
Little girl singing...
in her very own language...
with her very own beautiful voice
Baby boy grunting
as only babies do
Sun(set) breaking through the clouds
Airplane flying
Lonely
Meeting my friend
Sweet words fall from her lips:
Dirty D shortened by one month
Heavy heart now light



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Remember This Day

Tuesday
Sunset
Winter Trees
Puffy Clouds
Christmas Lights
Crisp Air
Moby Wrap
Sleeping Baby Boy
Curly Headed Toddler
Handful of Rocks
Mimicking Mommy
Missing Daddy
Single Momma
Lonesome
At Peace

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For those of you not on FB

I know what you're thinking, who in the world isn't on Facebook??  Well, my brother & father for starters :) 

Here is a link for my fall pics that I have posted on FB (pics from Sept-Nov).  Just wanted to share!

Most of them are of my child.  I really tried hard not to do that & to keep taking pictures of my friends and pets, but she makes every picture so much cuter.  It's a lost cause at this point.  Enjoy!

 
 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Things You Need to Know

Things you need to know: Pregnancy Edition
AKA: Things I wish people had told me before I had a baby
Brought to you by Meg :)


1.)  When you become pregnant & tell people, you hear everything from everyone.  You will hear about the good, the bad, the beautiful, & the ugly.  People tend to assume that whatever kind of pregnancy they had is also what you will experience.  This is not the case.  Try to take everything you hear with a small (or large, depending on the source!) grain of salt.  It is not all roses and it is not all thorns.  There are good moments and there are hard moments.  The only thing you really need to know is: you are unique and your emotions are not wrong!  If you are worried about your mental state, then talk to your doctor or seek out a counselor.  I am a mega big fan of Christ-based counseling! 


2.) Pregnancy is messy.  It's a wonderful miracle, yes, but it's messy.   I won't go into details, but just be prepared to have your body do some funky things.  If you haven't had a baby and you wonder what on earth on I'm talking about, feel free to email me :)


3.) Your recovery may be worse than the actualy pregnancy/labor.  With my first baby, recovery was so much harder and challenging and painful than any other part of the process.  This is not the case for everyone, but dont assume once that baby comes out, your body is going to feel good.  Mine was a wreck.   It did heal eventually, of course, but the pain after labor was something no one warned me about and it sucked.  Obviously, since I'm happily pregnant again, it was worth it though!


4.)  Someone will always comment on how you are carrying your baby.  Big or small or high or low.  It means nothing.  Don't take it to heart.  Just listen to your doctor and tell everyone else to shut it.  Or you can be like me, smile politely, and then completely ignore their comments, ha!  I carry small.  I don't look like I'm ready to pop so some people worry, but that's just how my body carries babies.  My friend carries large and even though she is 5 weeks behind me, she looks more pregnant than me so people worry.  But again, that's just how her body carries babies.  If your doctor isn't worried, you shouldn't be!


5.) A LOT of things people tell you will be old wives tales.  Be nice to people, but don't believe them!  Check with a medical professional about anything you want.  One time I was seeing a "spot" in my vision & thought I was crazy.  I felt really stupid asking about it, but some pregnant women see black spots in their peripheral vision.  Did you know that?  I didn't!  And if I had gone to my friends and family, only the Lord knows what kinds of advice/opinions I would have heard.


6.)  It is not true you will never take a hot shower or read a book again.  Simply not true. 


7.)  For a lot of people, pregnancy is hard.  Even if they reeealllyy want to be pregnant, it's hard.  Not for everyone, but for more people than admit it I think!  People think that if they admit to not loving their pregnancy, then it makes them a bad person or a bad parent.  I'm here to tell you that I am a very good mom to my daughter (& will be to my son) and love her more than words can express, but really didn't like being pregnant with her (or now either!).  At all.  It does not make me less of a person or less of a parent or less of a woman.  God hand crafted my personality when he knit me in my mother's womb & He doesn't make mistakes.  And someone may love being pregnant & be a crappy parent.  Okay?  So know that you may love being pregnant, but you may not.  And it's ok to be honest about your feelings to people you trust.  My mom loved every second of being pregnant, but she doesn't hold it against me that I don't.  How you feel about your pregnancy is not indicative to how you will feel about your baby!! Trust me!     

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bucket List

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever do any of my bucket list items.  Hopefully some of them at least, although all of them are definitely possible. I really think the hubs will get me a chinchilla one day. This next one is one of the maybes.

I would love and I mean really love love love to see Bebo Norman in concert. Well, I actually would love to meet him and be his friend, but let's at least try to make my bucket list realistic.  I absolutely love his music. Normally I like bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Cake back in the day, Greenday, American Rejects, etc.  But there is something about Bebo Norman's lyrics combined with his folksy style that just makes me happy :)


The man's Christmas album seriously makes me cry.  He is passing through Nashville on a Christmas tour on December FIRST.   I am due December 7th.  Unfair.  When "Myself When I Am Real" came out, I listened to it non freaking stop for a month or two.  I looked him up tonight and I only have 5 out of 8 CD's! I need to get crackin'.  I haven't bought one in years so that's why. 

Anyway, that's all.  Sorry this post is so scattered and poorly written.  I am recovering from a cupcake overload.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Learning is Fun! Weekly Post

So, I have not taken the time to get my ducks in a row for next week.  Or however that saying goes.   I have been working on another project so that's part of it.  I can only put so much time into actively finding challenging and educational and fun things to do with Autumn.  I mean, I do have to take care of her 24/7 :)  Literally, 24/7 with the Hubs gone!  I get breaks from her when I go to the doctor!  haha

The project I was working on was "acitvity boxes" (called "quiet boxes" on other blogs).  But mine aren't necessarily for quiet time so I changed them to activity boxes.  My dad watches TV at night and recently Autumn has become very interested in it so I made 5 boxes to explore and play with before bedtime so she doesn't watch all that TV.  We tried out the first one tonight and it went really well! She played with the stuff in her box for 30ish minutes and then I sat down and played with her so she played some more!  I hope that track record keeps up.  We only need to kill about an hour because she goes to bed at 7:30 and dad doesn't normally turn the TV on until 6pm. 

So, anyway...all that to say I don't have any activities lined up for this next week!
But here's how last week went (age attempted 18 months):

1. Learn where her ankle is located: yep!
2. Learn to sign cat: kind of.  She kind of grabs and pulls at her face...but she'll get it :)
3. Cloth Pull: We did this and she enjoyed it.  I think she likes opening and shutting the lid (via the little button) better than pulling the cloth out though.
4. Leaf Bracelet: Um, no not so much.  She did not think it was cool at all to stick things to her duct tape bracelet and in fact, kept saying "off, off, off" :)
5. Pushing Puff Balls: Mommy fail
6. Glue primary color shapes to paper: yep...
But we used double sided tape instead of glue because we're cool like that.

To my knowledge we didn't do anything extra either :( 
Well, I took her to a baby gym for a MOPS playdate which is fun and a good learning opportunity so I say that counts.  But, yeah, that's it.  Hey, you can't win them all :) 

I will come up with more to do with the munchkisimo soon and post again!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Link Up: Baby Girl's Nursery

Yep, that's right, I'm calling it a nursery until she is out of her crib...which is maybe 5 or 6 months :)
Paula Kathlyn from The Patriotic Peacock is doing a link-up to see your baby/child's nursery/room.  The link is here.  Here is my sweet pea's room while we are in TN (7 more months until we go back to Germany)!  This is her 3rd nursery in 18 months (got you beat timewise Kathlyn!).  Her first nursery in Oklahoma was the best one I think.  Her nursery in Germany was pretty crapalicious because we needed steel nails to actually hang stuff up and plus the Hubs was hardly ever at home.  This nursery is not bad at all, but most of the decor came from my mom and my mother-in-law since I didn't have anything! 

Her growth chart I made for her a couple of months ago!  It actually matches her bird bedding in Germany but oh well!  It's still cute!  The toilet paper really makes the picture, dont ya think?
The glider my mama bought for me to use!  A humidifier (if you live in the South with a child who has allergies, it's pretty much a necessity) and flower knobs from my MIL.  We bought some lovely cream colored black out curtains...but haven't hung them up yet! Maybe this weekend ;)


Her crib from my in-laws and a special homemade blanket.   Plus, flower wall decals from my MIL.
Fabric covered letters I decorated!  I am quite proud of them.  When I look at them, they make me happy :)  Wish I had a close up to show you, but I don't and she's sleeping right now.  On the top shelf is her picture of daddy she kisses at night and in the morning.  There's some stuffed bears and some books that she isn't ready for yet.  Plus a noise machine and her moniter!
Her dresser and mirror that my mama bought!
And this is a canvas thingy I made, but haven't hung up yet.  You can't tell in the picture, but those are Martha Stewart gold glitter butterflies and the wings are 3-D! They are soo pertty! 

There it is!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.  It's a pretty peaceful room as long as I keep it clean ;)  My next project is my baby boy's nursery who will be here in a few weeks and who is sharing a room with me! And, I haven't done much at all for it yet!  Eek!! I like to live life on the edge ;) 

One day (maybe in Germany) I really hope to devote some time and energy to the nurseries.  I just love the thought of having beautiful rooms for my babies, but haven't exactly been in the easiest situation to make that happen!  One day...

If you want to link up your baby or child's room, head over to the Patriotic Peacock and share!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

An experiment

So, Jon Acuff wrote a blog post called "The biggest lie about travel we all believe" from his website Stuff Christians Like.  To summarize it in one sentence as he did: "You don't need a plane ticket to be distant from your family".  He talks about how he travels a lot, but he makes it a priority to stay connected and when he is home, he is home.  Not off in facebook or twitter or blog land.

At first, I thought, "Amen Jon!" And then I thought, wait a minute...do I do that??  So I spent yesterday evening lying in bed analyzing our day and being consumed with guilt.  It was not a typical day...I don't think at least... but nonetheless it was not my most stellar day as a mommy.

My daughter does an excellent job of entertaining herself.  She has a wonderful imagination.  She talks to her stuffed animals and "reads" (note: looks at pictures) and takes her toys apart and puts them back together.  She will even just look out the window sometimes!  It is a good thing, of course, but unfortunately, it feeds my laziness.  And if there is anything I HATE in this life, it is my natural inclination to be lazy. 

The thing that is so convicting is that while she is happy playing by herself, she is super duper happy when her mommy plays with her.  She, like every other child ever born, loves attention and affection and fun!  She loves her stuffed Elmo (who was having a conversation with her little red bear a few minutes ago:) ), but she loves talking to her mommy more than her Elmo and she would rather read a book with me than by herself.  That's the simple, but profound, truth.

So, I have challenged myself to be 100% internet free while I am with her from tomorrow until Thanksgiving.  That's right.  100% free.  I don't know if it sounds easy to you or not, but when the Internet is literally at my fingertips via my smart phone, it is not going to be easy for me.  It is going to be challenging.  It is going to test my self discipline.  It is probably going to test my patience.  But I also think it is going to enrich my daughter's life.  I think it is going to make us closer.  I think it is going to be hard, but worth it and in the end, awesome! 

Pray for me ;)  No, really, pray for me!  I'll let you know how it is going in a day or two!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Learning is Fun Weekly Post

So, yeah, I might have to not call it a weekly post if this track record stays strong. 

So to recap, here were my goals from 2 weeks ago (age attempted 18 months):
1. Play with hats-I knew that wasn't going to happen.  Why did I even put it down? 
2. Bubbles-check, check.
3. Color with red, blue, yellow-we have done this a lot!  I think I was making up for slacking the previous week or something.   She is starting to notice the color red.  I think.  Maybe.   :)
4. Learn where her thumb is: Yes, that was easy.
5. Learn to sign "daddy" and "help".  She can do both of them, but doesn't do them unprompted.  I'm not too worried about daddy since she can say that, but I would like for her to use help since she just gets mad and starts crying when she can't do something.
6. Boo at the Zoo: so much fun!  Crazy and chaotic, but fun!
7. Crunch in some leaves: We did this last week and today.  She has a lot of fun with it.  I should take some pics.  Or maybe a video.  We also made a big pile and she walks through it and kicks it around.
8. Hula Hoop: mommy fail.

Extra Activities:
9. Fall Sensory Tub.  Pine needles, acorns, holly (with the thorns cut off), and pine cones.  She didn't really enjoy playing with that one.  What I did instead  was get some heavy cardboard and cut out a wreath shape and we glued all the goodies to the wreath (she stuck the pine needles on and I glued the acorns and the holly) .  It turned out quite beautiful :)  The coolest thing about this activity was all that stuff was in the back yard!
10. Halloween Sensory Tub.   Black beans, pumpkin seeds, little skeletons, pumpkin erasers, fake spiders, and Halloween finger puppets.  She enjoyed this one much more.  Her favorite thing to do with the tub was did out the pumpkin seeds and the little pumpkins from the black beans.  Here she is giving a black cat finger puppet she found a kiss :)
Luckily it was warm enough to play with outside because sensory tubs are quite messy! I'm not sure how we are going to do them this winter. 
11.  Does trick or treating count as an activity?  I think it should :)

SO...for next week, we have:
1. Learn where her ankles are on her body.
2. Learn to sign "cat"
3. "Cloth Pull" found here.
4. "Leaf Bracelet" found here.
5. "Pushing Puff Balls" found here.
6. Glue red, yellow, blue shapes onto paper (probably just circles and squares).
7. Song/Nursery Rhyme of the Week: "This old man...he played one"
8. Book of the Week: "The Potty Book for Girls".  Not that I am comitting to anything, but it never hurts to prepare...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm Tired

So so tired. 

I'm tired of a lot.  Was I this tired with my last pregnancy?  My last pregnancy wasn't this emotionally challenging, that's for sure.  Although, at the time, I thought that pregnancy was plenty emotional for me.  Do they get harder?  I thought they would get easier, but maybe God just breaking me in slowly...scary thought!  If there is a 3rd pregnancy, I hope it's easy peasy on the emotional side of things!  And everything else too.  And, how quickly I get off subject! 

I'm tired.  Here are some things I am tired of (warning: mini vent): 

-tired of being so sleepy every morning, afternoon, evening
-tired of trying to be the best mom I can be
-tired of cooking dinner
-tired of feeling guilty over not making my bed
-tired of being responsible with our money
-tired of all my parent's pets
-tired of my daughter's beautiful curls (awful of me to not be thankful for them 24/7 I know, but it's true.  That wild hair is hard to handle some days)
-tired of being behind in bible study
-tired of oversleeping/not being disciplined enough to go to bed early
-tired of feeling fat/ugly/unkempt/etc

Well, that's seems like plenty so I'll stop.  I guess when you boil it all down, I'm kind of tired of life.  I know I am blessed and I know God is good to me.  I love the Lord and I wouldn't change much about my life right now...well, maybe that whole Hubby in the desert thing, but I trust we are in God's will right now. 

People talk about "nesting".  So far, I say that's a myth.  I didn't nest during either one of my pregnancies.  I don't know if I'm defunct somehow or my ever unstable life makes nesting especially difficult.  Grrr.

That's all.  I'm tired. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'll Tell You a Secret

I love love love Martha Stewart.  It's true. 

BUT, I am scared of her.  If we were friends, she would totally hurt my soft feelings so I hope I never meet her.  Unless it's in Heaven, then we'll both be whole and healthy and like Jesus so we should get along ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Learning is Fun! Weekly post

Gosh, I can't believe I haven't been posting between these learning posts.  I guess I could try to do better ;-)


So, this is how we did this past week: (Age attempted was 18 months)


1.) Practice climbing down stairs: Check.  She did so good with this.  She kind of knew how to do it before, but not very well and now that I have purposefully taken time to practice with her, she does really well and I don't have to freak out when I am putting away clothes and she is running around :)
2.) Sidewalk Chalk: OMGosh she loves sidewalk chalk!!  She is obsessed now.  I don't love it since it gets ALL OVER her clothes, but she loves toddling around everywhere "chalking" everything and making her mark.  All the bricks and rocks and tree trunks now have chalk lines (or at least they will until it rains!). 
3.) Color again with Red, Blue, Yellow crayons: Mommy fail.
4.) Learn where her "bottom" is:  I think she knows.  Sometimes she points to her belly, but I think she mostly knows.
5.) Signs "dad" and "help":  Mommy fail with "dad" :(  With "help" she does pretty well mimicking me, but she doesn't do it on her own yet.  She did, however, for the first time ever sign "please" today totally umprompted!! 
6.) Drop clothespins in a bottle: check.  Proof:
She did very well with this.
7.) Pumpkin Patch:  Lots of fun!  
Love her :)

8.) Dance:  we did this a lot!  Mostly with me holding her (not for very long.  This preggo chick gets tired easily!).  I should give her more practice and encourage her to dance all by herself. 

Additional Activities:
9.) We rode on a train which was a fun learning experience.  I heard "choo choo" for several days afterwards :)
10.) Played with bubbles!!

Next week's activities:
1.) Play with hats (I don't really have any hats, but maybe I can scrounge some up)
2.) Bubbles again
3.) Color with red, yellow, blue (why am I such a slacker when it comes to this simple activity?!)
4.) Learn where her "thumb" is (should be easy since it's always in her mouth)
5.) Keep learning how to sign "dad" and "help"
6.) Go to Boo at the Zoo (yay! I'm so excited about this!)
7.) Crunch in some leaves if we can find any
8.) Play with a Hula Hoop if I can find one at the dollar store
9.) Featured Book (a book we read every day): "Elmo's First Book of Colors"


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Learning is Fun! Weekly Post

I'm a day late!

Here is how last week went:
(By the way, age attempted is 18  months)

1.) Stacking Blocks:  I actually have misplaced them at the moment, but she did play with them several times and really liked them.  She can stack 3 blocks.  
2.) Sidewalk Chalk: Mommy fail
3.) Color with red, blue, and yellow crayons:  We only did this once and she kept eating them which was really driving me crazy!  She is sooo much better about putting stuff in her mouth when I say no.  I guess we better try this again.
4.) Learn to point to eyebrow: I thought she would have some trouble with this, but she learned it in about 10 minutes!  It's so unpredictable what she will understand and what she won't.  I have been trying to teach her "chin" for weeks and she still just looks at me or sometimes points to her mouth or nose!  But, eyebrow?  No problem! Maybe it's because she already knew "eye"?
5.) Learn how to sign the word "dad":  Mmmm, kind of.  She knows how to sign mom and dad is very similar so she sometimes signs mom instead of dad, but I think she will distinguish them easily if I keep working on it with her.
6.) Clothespins in a bottle:  Mommy fail :(  I have the bottle ready to go-I just have to cut a hole in the side of it.  We will definitely get to do this before next Monday!
7.) Pumpkin Patch: My friend's schedule didn't work out so we are supposed to go this Thursday.
8.) Stained glass leaves:  We made these, but unfortunately, Baby Girl couldn't do as much as I was hoping.  I wanted her to tear up the tissue paper and she did for about 2 minutes and then got bored.  She did help me stick the tissue paper on the glue...for about one minute :)  Oh well, maybe we'll try again next year!
9.) Read: of course, we do this every day.  I'm not even going to put it on the list anymore.

Additional Activities that we did:
10.) Made this:


11.) We painted pumpkins

So, we did 6 out of 9 activities.  67% success rate.  Not very good :(  Bummer.  However, if you add in the 2 additional activities we have a 88% success rate.  Ok, enough math.  We'll do better next week!  Speaking of next week, here's what we have planned:

1.) Practice climbing down stairs
2.) Sidewalk Chalk!!
3.) Color again with red, blue, yellow crayons
4.) Learn where her "bottom" is
5.) Keep practicing "dad" and learn how to sign "help"
6.) Drop clothespin in a 2-liter bottle
7.) Pumpkin Patch
8.) Dance to some music!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Learning is Fun! Weekly post

One thing that I do with Autumn and love love love to do is to play constructively with her.  What I mean is I get ideas from other blogs about learning and education and then do something with her other than just reading or letting her entertain herself.  My goal is to do these activities several times a week, plus do one artsy/crafty thing a week with her.  She is young (17.5 months) so some of these things are very simple.  For example, one day we might work on "kicking" a ball (which she still can't do!) or taking a homemade streamer outside and talking about wind.  Some are more complicated such as transfering cereal with a spoon from one bowl to another.  I would also love to have a themed book focus for each week, but that's not happening yet. 

So, why am I writing about this?  Well, because some days (weeks) I do better than others and I thought it might help keep me accountable if I have a weekly post about our "goals".  I am thinking I can go over the previous's weeks activities and how they went and also write down the next week's planned activities.

SO, for the upcoming week our goals are to:
-Have lots of practice playing with and stacking blocks
-Experiment with sidewalk chalk
-Color with Red, Blue, Yellow Crayons
-Learn to point to the body part "eyebrow" :)  (hee hee she may not be able to get this one)
-Learn how to sign the word "dad"
-Drop clothespins into a 2 liter bottle (fine motor skill maybe?  I don't know, I just saw the idea somewhere)
 -Go to a Pumpkin Patch (this may or may not happen depending on my friend's availability)
-Make stained glass leaves, found here.
-Read, read, read (which is a given and we do every day whether I want to or not! (My child is a bookaholic!)

That's not too much, is it?  Some of those are really easy and will only take minutes to do.  Plus, I don't work and I only have one child (for now) so I have lots of time to play with her!

I need to figure out what to call these weekly postings.  Playtime with the beast?  No! Just kidding.  Ummm, learning is fun?  I feel like I've heard that somewhere before, but surely it's not copyrighted so we'll go with that for now I guess.  I guess I'll update on Mondays how the previous week went.   Who's excited?  Me!  :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GMG Week One

Wow!  Time just keeps on truckin'.  Hubby has been gone for 2.5 months!  Some days go slow, but most have gone by pretty fast.  I guess I can thank my toddler for that ;)  She keeps me busy, but oh what JOY she brings to everyone around her.  I mean, how can you not love this face???

Anyhoo, onto bible stuff!  I joined an online bible study.  Maybe you've heard of it?  It's called "Good Morning Girls" and it's all about getting up early in the morning (I got up at 6:20am today-big deal for me!) and spending time in God's Word.  I have only done 3 days, but I love it!   This week we only read one verse a day and so you have lots of time to think about it or look up the Greek words or anything that like.    Today they are having a link-up party.  Here's their website:  www.goodmorninggirls.org  They have a button too, but since they don't have the code I surely don't know how to paste it!  I can probably figure it out later.  Today we are just supposed to blog about what we are learning (in the 3 verses we read!).

The main thing God revealed to me this week was the way John keeps using the word "Proclaim" (I'm reading the NIV).  The Greek word (apaggello) means "make known openly, declare" according to www.blueletterbible.org.  So I have been thinking about what I declare not with my mouth, but with my life.  I found that I represent 3 things with my actions in this order:  1.) I am a mommy  2.) I am a Christian 3.) I am a wife.   Don't get me wrong, those are 3 wonderful things to be and I love being all those things, but did you notice what order they are in?  They are completely whacked!  It's supposed to go:  Christian, Wife, Mommy...right?  Well, that's what I believe anyway.  

When people look at me, they see mommy for sure.  I am pregnant first of all, but I am also very mommy-ish with Baby Girl.  We "talk" to each other in the grocery store.  I just chat her up like she's an adult "Do you think this is enough yogurt, sweetie?"  No response of course.  "Yeah, you're right we need more".  I also post pictures on FB of crafts we do or things she says.  I mean, my life right now screams "Mommy".  Then I'm a Christian.  I talk about going to church or getting up early to read my Bible or on FB I'll put as my status "Off to bible study! So glad I found these girls!".  You know, things like that.  Lastly, I'm a wife.  I don't often put things up about Hubby because I worry that people will think I feel sorry for myself or wanting attention.  I don't even tell most new people I meet that he is deployed because you always get that sad look from people and then they inevitably say "Oh, I don't know how you do it" or "that must be really hard" or "I admire you".  I know they mean well, but I am still a normal person!  If you tell me your husband is a doctor, I don't stick out my sad lip and say "Oh, I bet it is really hard being a doctor's wife".  I say "Oh, that's cool.  What kind of doctor?" 

OKAAAY, off my tangent!  Sorry about that.  Back to the point of this post, my life is out of order.  I am not sure that it matters what people see exactly, but it does matter how I see myself and how I live my life and really want to put God first, Hubby second, and kiddos third.  Which means when Hubby calls, I make time to talk to him.  If that means I put Baby Girl in front of the TV for 20  mins, then I just need to suck it up and do it.  That means that I pray to God before anything else when things arise during my day.  That means if Baby Girl keeps me up at night, I still get up and give God part of my day.  Changes, I tell you! Changes!  :)

Ok, guess who's awake now??  Hint: She's tiny and she's gorgeous!  Haha, I was about done anyway.  Great morning in the Word and it's going to be a great day!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Toddler Summary-16.5 months

I realize it would be better to have a 16 month summary or a 17 month summary, but it's September the 3rd and I feel like doing it now.  So there.  :)


Eating
She is still a fruit head and a carb head.  I have started giving her smoothies sometimes for breakfast and she loooooves them.  She still doesn't eat much meat.  She won't eat my awesome, handbreaded chicken nuggets but she will eat Chick-fil-A's!  Hmph.  She also won't eat my sweet potato fries.  Hmph.  Toddlers are picky! 


Sleeping
She was sleeping 8-8 until about 3 days ago when she started waking up from more teeth coming in (I think)!  She finally dropped a nap so she's down to one a day.  I thought that would be a drag, but it's made my life easier not having to get all my errands and playdates over and done with in an hour or two.  So now she naps from noon-ish to two-ish and all is well :)


Teething
Her 1st molars finally came in and she was sleeping really well again until 3 days ago as I previously wrote.  No new teeth have broken the surface yet but I assume it is her canine's since they are supposed to come next and she's been pretty textbook so far.  I also must admit that at first I wrote K-9's, but at least I knew something looked wrong!


Playtime/Reading
She is really getting into her chunky puzzles.  I don't know when babies are supposed to learn colors, but she so does not get the concept!  She tries to put the red triangle into any of the holes, etc.  She loves to color with markers.  Crayons are ok, but markers are her favorite.  She is also starting to listen and sit still to an entire (short) book which is so fun for me!  We read A LOT.  The chick is a reader.  I don't know how many books we read a day-I should keep track just to see sometime.  She also likes going outside (but what kid doesn't, really?) and loves to play in the water.  I have started showing her bugs and butterflies and she thinks they are pretty cool.  She loves that game where you say "I'm going to get you" and chase her around the house! It is so fun!


Other
She is learning how to climb down stairs.  She climbs up really well.  She is starting to "talk" a lot and she knows a lot of words.  She is also starting to say 2-syllable words and phrases (apple, all gone, color).  Her hair is super super curly and stays out of control! So I have started putting it in pigtails which makes it much more manageable for mommy :) 




Cutie pie in her pigtails :)

Mmmmm, can't think of anything else to say! Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

But it doesn't look like a Meg life!

It's funny where you find yourself sometimes in life.  Not funny so much as confusing.  Well, I don't know the word exactly.  I'm sure everyone feels this way sometimes.  Like..."What on earth am I doing in this life"?  "Is this really my  life"?  "Why is this my life"?  "God, I don't understand".  I look at my life from the outside and it doesn't look like a Meg life (as I thought it would or should).  It doesn't look or feel like a life that I wanted or requested or sought after or desired.  I don't mean for it to sound like I'm complaining.  My life hasn't been easy lately, but it's not been awful or anything either.  I don't mean to complain as much as I mean to wonder, "How in the world did I end up here and why"?  It's kind of like I just don't get it.  How did I, who moved out after high-school and never came back, become a 30-year-old living with my parents?  How did I, someone who loved loved loved to work, become a full-time stay at home mom (who is considering home-schooling to boot!)?  How did I, someone who never thought about taking pride in my country, become a US soldier's wife?  I thought I would end up single living in a remote village somewhere working with children or women.  That's what I wanted.  I mean, that's what I thought I wanted.  I never really wanted or prayed for a husband until I met mine!  I never thought I wanted a lot of children and now I want to have my own and adopt.  And now I'm here in Tennessee away from my husband getting ready to have my second baby living in my parents suburban home.  I look back over the last 4 years and wonder how on earth did I get here??  I wonder, "God, when you gave me this life, did you realize You were giving it to me, Meg"?  "Are you sure I can do this and be happy and content and a solid Believer to boot"?  My thoughts are all jumbled now and I'm a bit confused, but I want to again reiterate I am not complaining.  I love my husband and my babies more than I have ever loved anything or anyone and wouldn't trade them for anything.  I am so happy and grateful and blessed that God saw fit to change my plan and give me the love of my life and 2 wonderful babies that I have the priviledge to stay at home and raise full-time.  I don't actually have doubts that God made a mistake.  I firmly believe that His hand has been in every step of my life and I am exactly where He wants me for now.  And I also know that we don't always understand God's ways, but I do trust Him and I will (hopefully) always choose his choices for my life over my own.  Because like I am always so ready to proclaim, He knows better than us what we need and if left to my own devices, I would royally screw up my life.  I'll just say I am looking forward to the day (even if that day doesn't come until Heaven) when it all clicks and I see the big picture and why there is this "odd" season in my life.  Or at least why things turned out so differently than I once thought they would.  Which I'm happy about, I just think it's weird how I had such different ideas about what God wanted out of me.  Ok, I'm going to stop because like I said, my thoughts are all jumbled and I am probably confusing you :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baby Journey-Week 23

Soooo....I started these with my second pregnancy.  And then I miscarried.   And when I got pregnant again, we didn't tell anyone for a long time and then I time just slipped away.  But, hey, better late than never, right?


We have a mango! What a cute analogy.  Well, not really an analogy, but what a cute something.

The Babe: He can hear noises which is great because he will know the sounds of my voice and definitely Baby Girl's voice too!  She talks waaaay more than me and is waaaay louder :)  Also, last night, I could physically see him moving inside of me!  Totally weird.  But nice too.

Here is what I pretty much look like now. (Picture taken a week ago & that's me on the left)
Just so you don't think we're weird, we are both pregnant and purposely holding our preggo bellies together :) I was 22 weeks and she was 18 weeks.  I think.

Symptoms:  Ummm, not much.  I'm physically getting uncomfortable when sleeping or sitting on the ground.  I get out of breathe easily.  It is also getting hard for me to lower Baby Girl into her crib.  Not sure what I'm going to do about that.

Weight:  No idea.  Sorry.  I have an appointment tomorrow and maybe I'll see then how much I've gained.  I think 3 weeks ago I had gained 12 pounds, but that seems like a lot! I'm probably wrong. 

Name: We had a name and we told everyone, but now we're not sure again.  Sheesh.  Back to square one!

What I Miss:  My husband.  Ok, ok, for real, what I miss from pre-preggo days is my not huge belly and my extensive lung capacity and being able to get off the floor in 1 second flat. 

Best Pregnancy Moment this week: Hmmm...I don't know.  Someone at the Farmer's Market said when my husband came back things would be different and she was referencing my belly and she was the first person to notice I was pregnant (and say something) that didn't already know so that was cool.  

Questions/Concerns: I watched this documentary called "The Business of Being Born" and it really freaked me out.  So I can't wait to meet my MD (no, I still haven't met her yet!) and ask about C-sections, pitocin, and epidurals.  I've also been having some sharp pains (not cramps) that I want to make sure are normal. 

Ok, that's all I got! 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Time For A Change

A spiritual change that is.  I don't know how many times I have thought "Something needs to change".  I think it often because it is true.  I am living my life with minimal contact with my Heavenly Father and minimal thought about it.  No, that's not true.  I think "something needs to change" all the time, but what?  I don't know.  Being in Germany was very, very hard for me.  It zapped me spiritually.  I got to a point where I didn't even think about God most of the time.  I was depressed, lonely, and miserable.  Not an excuse, of course, just the way things were.  I firmly believe your relationship with God should never be defined by your circumstances, but believing that and living that belief out are vastly different.  At least for me.

So, here I am.  Back in America, which is wonderful.  Call me crazy, but I am already feeling closer to God.  Part of that is because he took away my rock (and sometimes if I'm being honest my "idol").  Of course I mean my husband.  Looking back over this past month without him, I can see how I definitely depended on him too much.  Depended on him way more than God.  I relied on my husband to cheer me up, to motivate me to clean, to hold me accountable, to make me feel confident, to make me feel pretty, and to fix all my problems.  So, by taking him away, God has forced me to turn to Him in my hard moments...a thing I wouldn't have done if my husband was still around.

Part of me feeling closer to God is that I went to church last week and worshipped God.  Worshipping through music in a communal setting is like breathing air to me.  And I went without that for 7 months.  We did go to church sometimes in Germany, but the music wasn't what spoke to my soul.  No judgment here, just the way things were.  People meet God through all kinds of avenues, and the biggest one for me is the worship I cut my Christian teeth on which as far as I can tell, Germany doesn't offer.  I know it sounds funny to say "Germany" like I mean the entire country, but what I really mean is the American churches we visited.  I'll of course have to deal with that again when we go back, but I'll deal with that a year from now.  Let's not borrow problems meant for tomorrow, ok? :)

Sorry to jump around a bit, but to go back to the topic at hand.  It's time for a change.  I want to get right with God.  No, I don't know how exactly to do that.  I am committing to pray every day for my husband and I think that will help me connect with God since the only time I pray now is when someone specifically asks me to.  So getting in the habit to pray daily will help, right?  I am hoping that although I am praying for my husband, my prayer life will expand from that and it will be more intimate with God like it used to be.

Another thing I am hopefully committing to is to join a Christian Women's Bible Study.  I say hopefully because I hope I can find one!  I had a wonderful women's bible study before we moved across the ocean and it held me accountable for a lot.  But, you know, 7 months without one kind of drug me down.  So if I can find one, I will be joining it!

I also want to have some kind of regular time spent with God.  I'm not foolish enough to think it will be daily, but I am hoping several times a week.  This is going to take self-discipline and I'm quite fearful I can't do it, but I want to give it my best shot.  It is hard for me even to admit that because back in college and after that for a couple of years I used to spend a minimum of an hour with God evey day reading and praying and even singing.  How did I get so far away from that?  Life is harder than it looks! :)

So feel free to ask me how I'm doing because as you can see, I'm quite the open book :)