Friday, August 31, 2012

Project 52:35 {beginnings & endings}

thankful for...
beginnings & endings

In the next few days, we will celebrate both the new beginning of a family and the end of life.

The two events seem so far from each other, yet they're not.

Both bring a flood of emotions. Both celebrate the richness of life.
Both bring far-flung people together, with a common cause to celebrate one of life's biggest milestones.
And both offer an opportunity to reflect on love, family and the hope of the future, whether it's here on earth or in heaven, with Jesus. 

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tiny Dancer {21 Months}

Twenty-one months! Oh my goodness, sweet girl. You take my breath away. 
You have grown and changed so much this summer. More and more, you are becoming a little person.. with your own little personality, quirks, mannerisms, and more. We love seeing more of who you are each day.

It's hard to describe what I feel when I look at you, Evie Girl. You are so full of life and joy. You are very expressive and loving and sweet. You make each and every day so much fun.

So. Here are a few of things you've been up to lately.


You are on.the.go.
Running everywhere. Yelling "yets GO!" and "ready pesegedi" when it's time to head out the door.
And we're not sure how or when it happened, but you have become President of the Seat Belt Patrol. "Mama seat belt?? Dada seat belt? Mama seat belt ON!" Goodness. You like things just so. :)

You now love to color (which I love) and want to do it daily. You hold your crayons correctly(!), in your right hand, and constantly ask us to draw things for you. Like Mickey, mama, dada, baby, pacifier, pony, rainbow, a house, circles and on and on and on. We're working on getting you to draw these things yourself. :)

You are SO very expressive. You have all sorts of 'faces' you make throughout the day.. some of my favorites are your disgruntled ones. Hilarious. You've also started to be a bit pickier about what you like to eat this month, which we're hoping is just a phase, but does produce some pretty memorable faces. You cross your arms over your face, fling your head back and to the side, scrunch up you nose.. the whole bit. Not dramatic or anything.

You are our little Jeopardy contestant. Always asking questions. I knew this would happen at some point, I just didn't think it would be so soon! You're so inquisitive! Hands down, your most commonly asked questions (as in, 50+ times per day) are:

Is it? Isisisisitisitisitisitisit????


Sounds like?

Any time you hear a sound, even if you know what it is, you say "sounds like?" wanting to know what the sound is. And the whole isitisitisit business.. we have no idea why you stream it together over and over like that, but you don't let up and get progressively louder until we answer you!

You still say a few phrases from my point of view, ie, exactly like you hear them. Some of my favorites:

Hold you!
Mama read to you?
Help me? 
(you say this when you want to help me with whatever I'm doing, not when you want help with something)

You continue your love affair with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and ask to watch it every single day. Sometimes you will randomly rattle off all of the characters and then shout "So much fun!" It's pretty cute.

The other day you set your Mickey doll in a little chair and pulled it up right in front of where you were sitting. After you had him just so, you reached out your arms toward him and said "Come ere, saweetie. Come ere saweetie." I seriously melted. You did this over and over, then changed his diaper. :)

Every time we drive by the park in our neighborhood, you say "Swing a Mama? Swing a Mama?" You are referring to this yellow tire swing. In the past I've laid on it, with you laying on top of me to swing, and clearly, you loved it.

You are beyond amazing, Evangeline. I can't believe how fast time is flying by and can't imagine life without you. Please stay little bitty forever!

We love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

sweet moments

Yesterday, I held and rocked my girl in the dark for close to an hour. She had a very restless (and sleepless) nap of about 30-40 minutes. So after 5 minutes of "hold you daddy.. hold you mama minute.. hold you mama" once she woke up, I went in there and scooped her up and rocked her so that she could get some rest.

It took me right back to a year ago. More than that, even. 

She wasn't a good sleeper in the beginning. Seemed to boycott it daily. We eventually figured out that she cried each night because her tummy hurt :( I still have quite a bit of mommy guilt about that. But even after cutting out dairy to remedy the gas, that didn't really fix the 30 minute/5 times per day catnap "schedule" we were on. It was exhausting. Physically and mentally. And time after time, I would go in there when she had awakened to hold and rock her in the dark, trying to extend that nap just a little bit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

Yesterday, it did. And I just breathed her in. 

She's still so tiny, that girl of mine. Her little body scrunches and molds to fit in my arms, just like it has this whole time. Her head still nestles into the right side of my neck. Always the right side. She still gets a little sweaty from our body heat, but wants a blanket to cover her, just like her mama. When she stirs, she often mumbles something in her sleep. Usually it's about her Daddy, and always, it makes my heart ache.

There is arguably nothing sweeter than holding a sleeping babe.
I don't want to forget these sweet, stolen moments and I definitely don't want to waste them. Now that she's older and typically a champion sleeper, I battle with whether or not to hold and rock her for very long before bedtime. My mind says no, keep it short... we don't want her to start to rely on us more to go to sleep and start the middle of the night wakings again. But sometimes my heart and my arms just long to hold her a while longer. To squeeze her to my chest and kiss her soft, chubby cheeks and face over and over and over. And to whisper in the dark how she'll never know just how much I love her.
May 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Project 52:34 {precision}

thankful for...

Well, she's definitely right handed. And this girl is precise about the way she holds her crayons.  No rough fist grabs for this little lady. I swear I only placed the crayon in her hand correctly 2 or 3 times, and that was all it took.

She's also very precise in other areas. Like "tying' her shoes, the way she plays legos and the thoughtful scoops of dirt she dumps out in strategic areas of the garage. She knows exactly what she's doing. And I could definitely take a cue from her precision.. slow down a bit and focus on what I'm doing, to do it correctly, rather than rush through, just to cross it off my list.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

this & that

Just a few randoms today... We had a great weekend. On Saturday, we celebrated baby Emmy and it was such an adorable shower! Afterward, a few friends and I went to this big consignment sale and proceeded to shop ourselves cross-eyed. I get pre-sale tickets to these things from work, otherwise I wouldn't bother. Yes, there are some good deals to be found, but it's ca-razeeee in there. I was thinking, though, how much fun the day was. It's really not often that I get to spend time with my girlfriends (without kiddos) for any length of time, doing things we enjoy. Sad, really. And, I think, just the time of life right now, with young families. But I do miss it, and want to make a point to do it more often.

  I can hardly handle the boot adorable-ness.

This girl continues to rock my socks off with her cuteness and spunk. She had a cold all last week, on top of cutting her 4 incisors. Not fun. But she's been a trooper and I've been trying to soak in all the extra cuddles and middle of the night rocking sessions. I've also been attempting to catch some of her antics on video lately, and will hopefully share those soon. The way she sings her ABC's cracks me up.

I started reading Sense and Sensibility last night. It's been, like, 20 years since I've read it. I thought I needed a little prose in my life. :) Definitely not a book you can read with the tv on in the background. I'm going to have to use my whole brain to catch all the nuance!

Yesterday morning I was laying in bed, waking up and starting to read my Bible, when I heard what I was certain was a gunshot. In my room. Seriously. I popped up and looked around but didn't see anything funny. No smoke or holes in the wall (!). I checked the drawer where we keep our gun, and it hadn't gone off. It was SO bizarre. I honestly have no other ideas what it could have been.

I'm watching Parks & Recreation episodes while I type today.. it makes me super excited for the new season coming up. It's so funny. Any shows you're looking forward to watching this year?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Project 52:33 {music}

thankful for...

I grew up in a very musical home. Well, two musical homes, actually. 

There was always music playing in our house- whether we were home or not. Lately, I've been missing that background noise here at our house. And I want to create that same type of memory for Evie. I want her to grow up associating certain songs or types of music with different times in her life. I want to expose her to all types of music, so she can appreciate different styles and figure out what she likes.

Plus- music playing constantly offers more opportunities for impromptu dance parties. 

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

my priorities & no more busy

I've been thinking a lot about this lately.. about exactly what my priorities are and what they should be. The word "busy" has also been at the forefront of my mind. And after coming across a number of blog posts about these very topics and touching on the subject in my bible study lately, I can't help but think that God is trying to get my attention. So here I am, trying to listen. 

It's been a while since I've felt He's tried to get me to pay attention to something specific. Not that He isn't always trying- more that I'm actually catching on this time. I'm praying that I really learn and take hold of what exactly He's trying to impress upon me right now.

So here are my jumbled thoughts on all of this. Hopefully by writing some things out, I will be able to clarify a little and someone else can benefit along the way..

"I'm busy" 
"We've been so busy!"
"Oh, just busy with xyz"

Busy seems to have become the expected, normal response these days when someone asks how you're doing or what you've been up to. Me? Totally guilty. If I think back, the standard "oh, fine" is no longer my answer. It's usually "oh, just keeping busy!"  Busy with what? Aren't we all busy? 

When I really sit back and think about it, my busy consists simply of my everyday life. Yes, there have been times in the past few months when I've had extra commitments or projects to complete or deadlines I was working against. In those cases, busy might have actually been appropriate. But every day? Not so much. It seems to be more of a cloak of supposed importance. Like I have to make sure people know that I am just going, going, going every second of the day, hardly stopping for a rest. And is that true? No, it's not. Frankly, as a stay-at-home-mom, I have a lot of down time. Oh, sure, there are always things that I could be doing, like cleaning the bathrooms or another load of laundry or actually putting on make up and fixing my hair or completing a project for our booth. But usually in the late afternoon, I want to sit on the couch with my girl and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Because to me, just sitting there, watching the joy on her face, holding her hand and snuggling her tight is much more important (and more appealing) than scrubbing the toilet.

I guess my point is, busy has just become an excuse. At least for me. And when we offer it as our answer when someone asks what we've been up to or how we are, it's like a little wall we put up, rather than sharing how we're really doing. Do I need to tell the usher at church that I've been super emotional this week, when they ask? No. And the acquaintance I run into at the grocery store doesn't need to know about the argument I just had with my husband/best friend/sister/whomever. But when someone close to me asks, and really wants to know... well, what's the point in responding with, "ugh, I've been SO busy" when that shares nothing at all? 

I also need to work on not carrying busy around with me all the time. And this is where my skewed priorities come in. I am realizing more and more that I just take on too much. I have not been intentional with my time. And that just causes me to be irritable and scattered. Not what I'm going for. When I start three different projects at a time and throw a load of laundry in and stop to play with Evie and start dinner and check my work email- all in a 30 minute span- my attention is not really on any of these tasks. I like to think I'm a great multi-tasker (all moms seem to be!), but when you aren't giving your full attention to something, how can it be completed well? It can't, really. And for the laundry or heck, even dinner, that's okay with me. But my job should get my full attention. When my husband comes home from work, he should get my full attention. And I don't for a minute want Evie to think that sitting in front of my computer is more important than she is to me.

So I've been trying to slow down a bit, really think before I start something new. My days could seem mundane, but I truly love them here at home with my girl. I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I don't want this time with her to just.. pass. I want us to enjoy it, take full advantage of it. Which requires me taking an honest look at all that I have on my plate, and perhaps cutting a few things out. Or at least scaling them back. Because I want to really focus, really enjoy what I do have going on right now. I haven't pinpointed exactly what will be scaled back, but I'm thinking and praying about it a lot.

If you want to read more, here are a few great reads:


Friday, August 10, 2012

dreaming of fall days.

The beginning of August.. not exactly the beginning of fall by any stretch of the imagination. Especially in my neck of the woods. We have a solid month (or two) before the fall weather really sets in. But with all the flurry of back to school marketing, it's like a tiny signal that summer might be on it's last leg. Oh happy day.

We've had a few little glimpses of cooler more moderate weather these past few days. Nothing much- just a 20 minute stretch here and there where I realized it wasn't too unbearably hot to let Evie stretch her legs outside. She's been in hog heaven.

All she wants to do is run and play outside. Get her fingers dirty and then promptly yell "oh NOoo!" and come running to me to wipe them off. Blow bubbles for days. Terrorize the dog and throw his ball a foot and a half down the patio. Point out buggies and spot airplanes. Feel the wind in her hair.

I wouldn't say I'm an outdoorsy type of girl in the sporty, dirt under my nails, camp-out sort of way. But I've always loved being outside, enjoying what God's created. Sitting in the shade, listening to the leaves rustling, reading a good book. Or if I'm really lucky, running down a scenic road or squishing my toes into salty sand.

When I was a kid, we lived in a bungalow house with a huge front porch and porch swing. I loved to sit or lay on it and sway back and forth during a big storm. It was so cozy. The smell of rain, the claps of thunder and beautiful lightening. We don't have any gorgeous mountain or ocean views around here, but I've always thought that gave me a leg up on appreciating what we do have out the front door. And that's something I hope to pass along to Evie.. a love of fresh air and sunshine, of cloudy days and amazing storms, green grass and wildflowers.

And so. In anticipation of the crisp, coziness that is autumn, here's a little list of what I'm currently looking forward to in the coming months. In no particular order.

Boots and cardigans.
Beautiful changing leaves.
Driving with the windows down.
The pumpkin patch.
Finally meeting our sweet new friends, Hattie and Emmy (!)
Planning Evie Girl's 2nd birthday celebration.
Visits to the zoo.
Family walks in the evening.
Bangs! My forehead misses & desperately need them.
A Chicago getaway with friends.
Piles of leaves to jump in.
Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Another round of strolling moms.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Project 52:32 {my people}

thankful for...
my people

These two.
They have a special bond. And I'm pretty certain they are each others favorite person.
He's the first person she always asks for when she wakes up. And she lights up his life, pure and simple.

I am beyond thankful that they're mine.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

my newest obsession: a video.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Project 52:31 {morning}

thankful for...

Each day I get to wake up to this face. To hear her voice babbling about anything and everything she can think of, with her "hold you mama" cries thrown in for good measure until I come and turn on the light. She's much better than any alarm clock I've ever owned.

We spend our mornings in our jammies.. she chugs milk and checks to make sure all her toys are still around and I chug coffee and check in with the outside world via my laptop.

And she is always happy. Joyful. Full of life, in the mornings. It's a new day, a fresh start. It's hard not to get excited over berries in your yogurt when she's clapping and carrying on like it's the best thing ever.

I am so thankful for our mornings together.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random on a Wednesday

So as not to have complete radio silence, I thought I would spill out some random thoughts today. It will be quite a treat, I'm sure.

Are you loving the Olympics, or what?? Yes, I think it's kinda jacked up that NBC is airing the good stuff during prime time, rather than live time, but that just means I get to veg out on the couch at night and take it all in. And I, like, seriously get into it. Yelling, cheering, tearing up- the whole bit. My kids are going to be in for it when I'm on the sidelines during sporting events. I'm not exactly quiet.

Also- how old are those baby girl gymnasts? They're all so teeny tiny and look SO young.

The stripping saga continues. Sigh. The stripping is done, but I'm not done painting. I took a hiatus this weekend and now it's just staring at me from down the hall, taunting me. Someone please remind me of this when I get my next bright idea to tackle something that seems easy.

My master bedroom saga also continues. I have purchased two different groups of items/art to hang over the bed and don't like either. I've also moved two different groupings of items (vague, much?) from other rooms in our home to try out... basically no dice. The only things I did like up there, are these 3 round mirrors that I currently have over our couch. I'm just torn on whether to move them or keep them in the family room. There are no less than 18 holes in the wall above my couch, if that tells you anything. So I'm inclined to keep them there, since I like them. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Sooo.. all those earrings I showed you guys that I'm selling in our booth? Yeah, pretty sure most of them were stolen. Like within a day or two of putting them out. Can you believe it? We put little sensors on all our jewelry, but I guess if people want to steal, they'll do it.

Is it seriously August? I would say that July flew by, but since it was the hottest July in the history of the WORLD, I am glad to see it go. I hope it rains ALL AUGUST LONG. I am so over this stupid 110 degree weather.

My car is also over the heat. It boycotted by overheating yesterday. I can't complain too much, as we've never had any mechanical issues with my car in the 4 years we've had it. And hopefully it's just a coolant leak. But still. I hate car problems. And yes, that was me, hoisting my baby girl and all our gear a few blocks back to my MIL's house when the car started growling at me and letting off black smoke. Lovely.

So here I am, stuck in the house all day today. Granted, there are some days when we don't go anywhere, but I typically get cabin fever and come up with some excuse to run an errand. If it were in the 90's, I might take us on a walk to Target. But it's not, so I won't. I'm not a total glutton for punishment.

Blogger is telling me I have met my photo storage limit...??? Do I seriously have to pay to upload photos to my blogs now? Anyone know about this? Please help. 

Happy Hump Day!
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