Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is hearing my mom read the "Night Before Christmas" and the story of Christ's birth before we go to bed. In a little while, before we put our little one to sleep he'll get to hear his Nonna read. I can hardly wait. The anticipation of moments like that this holiday season are far greater for me than any anticipation of marterial gifts.

I hope your Christmas is filled with joy, special times with your family and most of all a thankfulness for the baby we celebrate all year as our Savior.

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

No apologies...

I will not apologize to you who disagree with me, or even to my husband. I do not plan to make apologies to my boys later in their lives either. I will not apologize for the fact that I like to dress my baby boys like the precious babies that they are. I love smocked overalls, peter pan collars, knee socks and little white shoes. I love baby blue bubble suits and cordorouy christmas outfits. I'm not quite ready for sweaters and ties and black leather shoes like daddy's. Don't get me wrong, KJ has his share of "big boy" jeans, polos and tennis shoes. He loves to wear baseball caps and his crocs. I do not plan to try to keep him from growing up, but I just can stand to rush through the way my heart melts when my baby can just be a baby.

We only have a few months left before I will feel like KJ is outgrowing some of this so I've been in high-gear making sure we make the most of that time. Only problem is, I seem to be in a minority. You can't just walk into any department store these days and find a white peter pan collared shirt or white dressy knee socks (wardrobe essentials in my opinion). Stride Rite, at more than $40 a pair, seems to have the market cornered on solid white dress shoes (although, thanks to a shopping tip from Tara, I did find finally some at Walmart). Anyone else out there working hard to dress your baby boy like a baby without spending a fortune? Any tips?

As inspiration for those of you who may disagree with my dressing philosophies, here are a few of my favorite pictures of KJ.

3 months

6 months

9 months

12 months


Now if that last one won't convince you, probably nothing will. I think even RRL admitted that he looked really cute that day! You don't have to agree about the clothing choices, but hopefully we can all agree on how cute KJ is!!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

November in a Nutshell

What does that mean, anyway? "In a nutshell"? I'll need more than a nutshell size of piece of paper to recap our November and I certainly hope that anytime you spend reading this will not equate to the part of the nut that you throw on the floor. Anyway, here are some updates from our whirlwind month. Any one of these items could make for an entire post, so be prepared for a long read...

1) MARATHONS- While "marathon" would be a pretty accurate metaphor for November at our house, there were a couple of literal ones this month, too. I finally achieved my pregnancy goal of walking 13.1 miles. Technically I power-walked 10 miles and strolled the last few; out of 2000 people in the race about 12 finished after me. Still, I count it as mission accomplished. The best part was that a childhood friend came to walk with me. We had nearly 4 hours of one-on-one catch up time and that was a huge blessing to me. RRL RAN a marathon a couple of weeks later with some of our favorite running buddies. I was so proud of their stellar time, despite being one of the hardest courses I've ever seen and I cried as they crossed the finish line (shocker). Here is a photo of the whole 1/2 marathon & 5K crew in Tyler.

2) RENEWAL- I had the joy of organizing an event for the women of our church during the 2nd week of Nov (with a LOT of help from some amazing volunteers). I have been hesitant to post about it, since I was in charge, but I just need to say publicly how blessed the event was. It was not blessed by my talents, efforts or wisdom; it was blessed by the Lord who provided so abundantly for it. Seriously, I was under prepared for the magnitude of the event and I have zero experience with dealing with that many women. If left to myself, my patience would have been zapped by questions about cloth vs paper napkin, people arriving 45 minutes early and whether the decorating theme should be fall decor (not even sure what that actually means). If it had been up to me, there would have been zero chance that 300 women would be willing to step outside their comfort zones and sit at tables with women they did not know. Instead, those details just fell in place, people came who have not been to women's events for a long time and there was a peace on the place as we dealt with some uncomfortable "laundry" that was among us. I was once again amazed at how the Lord uses me to accomplish HIS plans, despite my efforts to accomplish a personal agenda. Eventually, I will quit fighting and just surrender to his purpose. Why is that so hard?

3) HOME SWEET HOME- RRL, KJ and I drove to my parents house for Thanksgiving. We got to spend one whole glorious week with Momma and Daddy and visited a host of other relatives and friends. You are never too old to be renewed by sleeping in your childhood bed, having meals prepared for you and getting hugs and kisses from your parents everyday. At least I hope I never get too old! I love that RRL, KJ, BL2 and I are making a home here that is a place I cherish and long to return to, but I can still have that home, too. I just love Thanksgiving. Our family has so much to be thankful for and I pray we can be more mindful of that all year. Here are a couple of pictures of our trip:

4) DREAMS- When I was pregnant with KJ I remember having weird dreams. They were mostly far-fetched sort of sci-fi kind of dreams about childbirth. The dreams have started again, but are so different this time. This time they are so real and vivid that I wake up able to remember every detail and I often get the dreams confused with reality. It is such a funny feeling to be in the middle of my day and not be able to remember if so-and-so is really angry with me or if that just happened in my dream, did I forget to send KJ's lunch or was that in my dream. Crazy. One of the funniest dreams I have had, though, was one I like to call "Michael Scott and I save Dunder Mifflin". Seriously, I had a very intense dream about how MS and I met with the owner of Dunder Mifflin to remind him to have more fun at work. This would help people want to continue working there. I had a whole power-point presentation that I wish I could recreate. The dream started as just any ordinary day at my real office, but some how went down this very different path. Do you think I watch too much TV?

5) TRICKS AND ENTERTAINMENT- KJ is full of tricks these days and I often I find myself just sitting and watching him. He is so funny. One of my favorite things that he does right now is sing the ABC's. We have a Leap*frog letters magnet on the fridge that he sings along with. He only does a few of the letters, but always yells "Z" at the end. I love it. He also loves any kind of ball and some of his favorite words are catch, pass, dribble, shoot and miss. A recent favorite is a Christmas book that sings "Away in a Manger". He loves to pat the baby in the pictures and call him still my heart! I could go on and on, I'm just so proud. If you run into us expect a show while I encourage my child to show-off. I'm definitely one of "those" moms.

6) COUNTDOWN- BL2' s expected arrival is less than 8 weeks away. He is definitely growing and so am I...WOWzers. I seriously love being pregnant, though. I do not love people that have negative things to say about my size, the way I am carrying the baby or about how full my hands are going to be with two young boys. No JOKE, I know, thanks for the input...all things (and a few I've censored out) that I would love to say to such people. I'm thinking of wearing a sign that says "encouraging words only, please...may bite". On that, we don't have room ready for the baby; and no, we don't have a name picked out. The list of names is constantly changing. Current front-runner is Hudson Clark (funny, I don't even think that name was even on the list last time I posted about this). Despite the lack of planning, I am not stressed. I know he will be welcomed with joy into a family that will love him and teach him about Jesus, who cares what color his room is. We just can't wait to meet our littlest man.

7) PRAYERS FOR THE TRAVELERS- My parents are about 1/2 way through their trip to Paraguay right now to visit my brother. They went with 278 lbs of luggage, a small corner of which was reserved for their clothes and the rest was gifts (including components of a swingset) to take to the people they have never met, but that they love because my brother has come to love them. I love that my parents (and mother-in-law, too) have the desire and ability to travel to all parts of the globe to see their children and experience their lives. I hope I can pass that kind of love on to my boys, it is the only way I know to let my parents see how much it means to us!

Hope that explains a little bit of why I have not posted in a month. It was such a fun month that really wanted to document it, even if it was long. I did not even get into all of the normal youth group activities, going to work 3 days a week, having house-guests, etc. Like I said, this was just the "nutshell".


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If he weren't so stinkin' cute...

I am posting these pictures for myself more than anyone. Just a reminder to me from me of how seriously eat-him-up cute my son is, how generally compliant and easy going he is, and how many days there are when he makes me smile so much my mouth hurts. I love that he enjoys making people laugh, that occasionally he needs to "mah" (march) instead of walk, and that he sings outloud with the radio or even just music in his own little head at random times. I love that he gives me hugs and kisses when he says night-night and that he loves to push a broom around to help me clean. There are so many things I love about this little personality.
Yesterday was not a day when it was easy to remember these things. I had one of those days with KJ that make you wonder if you were intended to be a mom. My patience was worn down to a tiny thread as he pushed every limit there was to push. We had tantrums, meltdowns, blatant disobedience, and best of all got to make our first call to poison control. KJ decided it might be fun to eat diaper ointment. In order to accomplish this he had to find it at the back of his dresser, open the little box it came in and unscrew the lid (it was the dr. smith's kind in the tub). If I was not worried about figuring out how much of it he consumed, I might have been impressed that he accomplished this.
Just as FYI to other moms...zinc oxide has fairly low toxicity and generally does no serious harm to a healthy seventeen-month-old. Good to know.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I love fall because it marks the beginning of so many fun holidays which bring so many memories and so many traditions. My favorite Halloween tradition growing up was that we always had grilled cheese and soup before we went trick-or-treating. When I was a freshman in college I went to my little dorm room and made myself grilled cheese and soup (impressive with only a microwave and toaster) then called my family so I could be part of the special night. They weren't home...they went out to eat. I was heart-broken. My mom told me that it really wasn't a tradition it was just a convenience with three young kids. I corrected them and now remind them each year about having soup and grilled cheese on Halloween.
We started a little family tradition last year of taking KJ to the pumpkin patch for pictures. Thanks to an amazing photographer, Tara, we got some wonderful pictures this time.

Just for fun, here is a picture from last year. I am amazed at how much he has grown. Last year the pics were a little easier, prop him up and he stayed put. There was a little less drool this year, though.

What are your favorite fall traditions?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego

What a fun weekend we had! RRL was attending a national youth workers conference in sunny San Diego and we got to join him. I love hanging out with the people that RRL works with- what a fun staff and they are some of KJs favorite people, too. To add even more joy, my parents were able to join us. My daddy was going on to a convention in LA so it worked out perfectly. KJ sure loved having them around ("Nonna" and "Papa" quickly became his favorite words), our suitcase came back weighing slightly more than when we left , and my heart was full from just getting to hug their necks! AND...If that wasn't enough, one of my other college roomies, Chris, has a husband in youth ministry so they were there too with their two boys! It couldn't have been much better than all of that. Not too much to tell about the trip that the pictures won't cover. So, here's what you really want...

1) The Fam
2) Roomies and their families (or almost families)

3) I love this because of how intently both of them were watching the elephants...and you can see that KJ is FINALLY getting some hair!!!

4) KJ, What does an Elephant say?

5 and 6) Buddies

7) Nonna and Papa J. (thanks for the sweet pearl snap shirt, uncle D)

8) The beach (and a grumpy little dude)

Only slight downer to the trip was that my absent-mindedness (refer to previous post) resulted in two lost items. I left my brand new denim jacket on the plane on the way there. I've been searching for a denim jacket that would fit me and my extra-long torso literally since college. Finally found one at a bargain price (60% off), wore it twice and then left it on the plane. I'm sick about it. On the way back we left KJ's book with Thomas the train magnets on the plane. One of his favorite toys. He doesn't seem to have missed it yet. Ah well.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Update in numbers

I really enjoy the little column in each edition of the ACU Today that has all the random numbers with interesting little tidbits. Here are some of our family numbers:

The hour of the day that KJ likes to eat lunch (3:00 pm). He has this new routine of sleeping until 8:30 or 9 (no complaints from me), eating a late breakfast, taking a nap around 11:30 or 12 and sleeping for 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours, then waking up for lunch. If I go out for lunch he might eat a little something, but still goes down for a nap when we get home before he eats his lunch. This works for us at our house and actually makes a lot of things easier for me. HOWEVER, I can see how this unconventional lunch time won’t fit with things like school. I’ve read a lot of things about how important it is for kids to be on a “normal” meal routine. But when I’ve tried to feed KJ at “lunch-time” he just doesn’t eat. He is obviously not hungry and if the boy is not hungry he would much rather play than eat. I don’t want to force him to eat EVER, I help him make choices about what he eats, but I don’t make him eat. Maybe this will correct itself when he has to get up earlier. Any other suggestions?

Approximate number of weeks until the arrival of the BL2. I feel like I had things way more together by this point with KJ. For instance, this poor baby boy does not even have a name yet. At the risk of breaking my no-names rule on my blog, some of the candidates for names have been Zachary, Sawyer, Pierce and Paxton. RRL will not commit to any of them. On a side note, I must admit that as BL2's arrival gets closer I’m getting a little nervous about moving into the world of a family of four…thrilled, but nervous.

Estimated number of hours that RRL spent this weekend building a back-yard storage shed for us. Hopefully it will not be long before our 2 car garage can actually hold 2 cars. It really bothers me that we have a garage that we cannot park both of our cars in. No matter how organized we have gotten it or how cluttered (like the current state), it only holds one car thanks to the lawn-mower, tools, bicycles, running stroller and red wagon that also call it home. I am so thankful that R has the capability and willingness to embark on projects like this for our family (with the help of a contractor friend).

Number of minutes that it took me to walk 12 miles this weekend. My ½ marathon training is in full swing with the race only a few weeks away and 12 miles is the most I will do before the 13.1 on race day. I am moving a little slower these days and have quit taking KJ in his stroller for the longer routes, but I do have a few extra pounds to carry now (we’ll skip that number in these updates).

Number of miles between my house and my parents’ house. Sometimes this distance feels overwhelming to me. I’m in one of those periods now, when I just wish I had them close and didn’t have to drive 10 hours for a visit. We will get to see them lots over the next couple of months and I am so thankful for that, but oh to have them close enough for dinner.

Number of losing-my-mind moments over the last few weeks. Ok, so really I’ve lost count, but there are so many days when I feel like my brain has just been disconnected. Let’s blame it on the pregnancy. One quick example: Last week I drove to work and was proud that I arrived early enough to score a perfect parking place…only to realize I had to go back home because I forgot my shoes. This would be really funny if it was an isolated incident, but things like this have been constantly happening to me lately. I’m not sure I should be allowed out of the house.

I guess that’s about it for today’s number stats. I’d love your input on the eating thing, name suggestions or tips for remembering to wear shoes to work!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fair-headed friends

Here's a picture to make you smile. I love that my friends have boys that are friends with KJ! These three sure had fun playing together, but getting a picture of all three looking at the camera at the same time was impossible. SPG is about to jump ship in this one (with a push from his buddy KJ) and CMK had to be bribed with a Sonic Drink. Doesn't that sound like the makings of life-long friendships? And I do love their moms!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sappy Sentimentalist

Yep, that’s me. I’ll admit it freely. It doesn’t take much at all to send me reeling down memory lane or dreaming about the future- both of which usually come with tears. I’m not talking the sobbing kind of tears, just the kind of lump in your throat, eyes welling up, catch your breath kind of moments. I cry over songs on the radio (especially those about growing old, having babies, losing loved ones), I’ve even been known to cry at the end of races I run, or cry watching other people I love finish races. I cry when I drive over the bridge across the state line to Tennessee and again when we drive over it to leave. I cry at baptisms, even people I do not know, and I always cry at weddings. One of the places that always stirs-up these kinds of moments for me is being on the campus of my alma-mater in the beautiful town of Abilene. I always catch my breath as we drive into town and you get that first glimpse of the campus skyline over the hill. WHAT A DORK!

As a very precious gift from my husband, I spent three days there this last week during lectureships. He kept KJ at home and sent me off on the road-trip alone. I can’t remember when I’ve had that much time to myself. It was much needed and VERY much appreciated. I have not been able to thank him enough for being so understanding and for being the kind of Dad that I did not think twice about leaving KJ with him for a few days. I didn’t even have to leave any written instructions. He just took care of everything. He really is amazing.

This trip was such a different experience than I’ve had in Abilene in a long time. Usually when we go at Homecoming and/or Sing Song we pack our agenda full and run from place to place and friend to friend. It is so much fun, but far from relaxing and leaves no time for sentimental introspection. This week I did not really tell anyone I was coming, felt no obligation to keep any commitments and spent all my time leisurely eating at my favorite places, getting a pedicure, taking classes, walking around campus and staying up late talking to the friends I stayed with. It was perfect.

Here are a few things that stuck out to me about the trip, some sappy some just funny:

1) On Sunday night I went to the library to see the reconstruction and just to sit and read for a little while (I told you, I’m a dork). As I walked out of the library, with my backpack on my shoulders the bells started ringing on the hour. I cried. Too many memories.

2) I love to hear Dr. J. Willis teach the Bible. When he teaches about the Bible, you learn the Bible. No fluff, just the Bible. If he says the text is over Micah (as it was), you come away feeling like you have a better insight into the book of Micah. What an amazing gift!

3) I love zucchini bread from Hickory Street. Including the two pieces I ate at the restaurant and all that I’ve eaten of what I brought home “for RRL” I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed an entire loaf in the last 3 days.

4) Professor Brooks has an amazing gift for using her experiences to encourage others and share the gospel. She does it humbly, with grace, and prepares in a way that obviously allows the Lord to work on her and speak clearly through her. By the way, her class was so full people had to sit on the floor.

5) Men doing your pedicure, who never speak a word, and only shove your feet in and out of the water, can make a delightful experience very awkward.

6) At lectureships I was kind of an odd-duck. There were other people my age, but most people fit into two categories…1)obviously older than me; 2) students. I had to laugh in several situations as people I met tried to tactfully fit me into one of those categories. This was made especially difficult by the conflicting large bump of baby on my front and the backpack I was carrying. More that one sweet lady commented that I “looked young enough to be a student” and acted surprised later in conversation when I told them I was expecting. As if it was not obvious! I tried to keep my wedding ring apparent to avoid awkwardness.

7) I am very jealous that within walking distance of campus there is now a Cracker Barrel, SuperWalmart, and Chilis.

8) Staying in the apartment of college girls sure made me miss life in our little UP apartment. The girls I stayed with even had a Beta fish. Here’s to you, Mr. Fluffy.

As much as I loved my time in Abilene, as rested as I felt from my little get-away, and as thankful as I am for my experiences there, nothing about those three days could top the feeling I got as I drove into my own driveway and walked in our little house to my husband and my son. KJ’s huge grin and sweet kisses, RRL’s strong arms waiting for me- there really is no place I would rather be. No two people who can make me sappier. It is nice to get away sometimes, just to remember that.

You should have known that with a title about being sentimental this post was sure to get long! Next time I’ll just post what you really want- pictures of KJ.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

KJ has a new word

One of the fun parts about the stage KJ is in right now is all of his new words. He tries to repeat everything we say and has a growing list of words that he uses without prompting on a regular basis. I liked Wendy's idea of documenting this (thanks for letting me copy you) and I've actually been adding to it throughout today as I remember more words he knows. They all require some interpretation still, but he uses these consistently so rrl and I at least know what he is saying. So far he says:

Maaaah- mee (Mommy)
Daaahhhh-dee (Daddy)
Pea (please)
Dat-doo (Thank you)
wahk (walk)
Bi (bite)
Pah-Pah (pat pat, while banging on any object)
Bah-Ball (basketball)
Bot-Ball (football)
Pea-Boo (peek-a-boo)
Bibah (Bible)
May-man (amen)
Yeah (Yes)
Wah (water)
Bah-bee (Baby-but he pats his own tummy instead of mine)
No (with hands raised and shoulders shrugged- "i don't know)
No (when pointing to nose- nose)
Nah-No (no no- usually while waving a finger)
Dat (that...usually while pointing to say "I want that")
Nah-None (all gone or all done...when waving hands)
soo (shoe)

And yesterday we started teaching him a new word...BROTHER. That's right, we found out yesterday that KJ is going to have a little brother. We had a terrific sonogram. I love that our Doctor actually does the sonograms herself. She was so detailed in her explanations to us of what we were seeing. It was so cool that you can see so many things like the heart chambers and valves, the fingers and toes, spine, ribs, tiny bones, stomach, etc on a little person that weighs less than 1 pound. I loved seeing our little boy in this way and knowing that he is healthy and growing all at the hand of our good Maker. What a miracle!

One funny part about yesterday- During the earliest part of the sonogram, the doctor thought we were having a girl. She showed us on the screen even what she was looking at. Apparently our little guy was just being really shy and had his legs crossed just right. At the end of the sonogram the doctor went back to just check again and said "Hello, where was THAT hiding before". I think I said something to the effect of "Is that your professional opinion?" We all had a good laugh and I realized we had just been moments away from preparing for a little girl, only to get quite a SHOCK in January.

We are so thrilled about having a brother for KJ. Literally, I've been bouncing off the walls with joy! They are going to be the best of friends (we pray).

Thanks for your continued prayers as we prepare to welcome Baby Boy #2 (still unnamed).


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Baby He or Baby She

We will find out on Monday whether KJ will be welcoming a baby brother or sister. Here is your chance to say "I knew all along". Go to the comments section at the bottom of this post, sign in and cast your vote!

We'll post the exciting news on Monday...Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'll just walk


From this point forward in my life, you will never see me turn-up my nose at those who walk for exercise, you will never hear me refer to walking as an "old-lady" sport, and you will never again hear me utter the words "I'll JUST walk" as if there is any JUST about it.

Nearly 2 months ago, rrl and some of our running buddies decided to start training for another 1/2 marathon. I certainly did not want to be left out of the early Saturday am adventures and especially the chick-fil-a breakfast celebrations that follow, but I really did not feel like BL2 would appreciate running that much. That is why I uttered those famous last words "I'll just walk". Sure, a half-marathon is 13 miles, sure I'll be more than 6 months pregnant at the time of the race, but how hard could walking be. I've run two 1/2s already, so if anything the walking might bore me to death... I'm still laughing at my naivety. Oh how wrong I was.

This last weekend was our 8 mile workout. There are a couple of other walkers in our group, but they weren't there this week. So, I loaded KJ in the stroller, got some tunes, gummy bears, water, banana for KJ (the essentials) and headed off alone in the dark. Roughly 2 hours later KJ and I made it home (he was fast asleep), and we plan to keep going with the training. The point of this post is not to make you feel sorry for me, I'm really enjoying this work-out. I just needed to go on record now as saying that JUST walking 8 miles pushing a stroller and keeping a good pace while being nearly 5 months pregnant is not easy in the least- in some ways maybe even harder than my running days. In fact, I did take a few "run" breaks to make the time go faster and to give my legs a rest. (funny, i used to take walk breaks).

Hope this post might save some of you avid runners the mistake of saying you'll "just walk" someday.


Monday, August 27, 2007


After constant harassment (as if I have that many readers), I decided to post something. I know it has been a long time, but thanks to our CRAZY summer, there wasn't much time at home for blogging and such. Now, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the gap in my blogs- so much space to fill with all that has been happening in our little family. Our trips to Honduras and Ruidoso could each fill their own post, I could post about my growing belly and the excitement over BL2. I guess the easiest thing to start with, though, is pictures. So here you go, all 4 of you that have been waiting so patiently, here is a quick glimpse into our recent happenings. I'll try to come up with 8 things so that maybe this will also count as my tag from Elisa. At least one picture, involving a goat, is sure to be random so I guess that is close enough.

1) In June KJ started walking, while we were on the mission trip to Ruidoso. He noticed that all of the teenagers were walking, and since he basically is one too he should walk like them. He went from crawling to exclusively walking overnight. I love pictures of his early steps. So cute!

2) The Ruidoso mission trip with 10th graders is great because it is very family friendly and we got to take KJ along. Here is a pic of our fam at white sands in Ruidoso.
3) I rediscovered this summer how AWESOME my husband is at his job. I love watching him lead kids, from the smallest to the teenagers, in worship, service and fun. I also love getting to be part of his work, especially forming relationships with girls.

4)) We spent some amazing time with both of our families on the coast in Honduras. We went to visit RRL's sister whose family is doing mission work there and also to enjoy some beachy vacation time. What a joy to be with family!

5) Our last trip of the summer was a retreat for the seniors in high school. We went for a weekend at a ranch owned by some of spiritual heroes. We did not take KJ, our longest time away from him, and it was really good for our relationship with the teens (but we sure missed the little man). In the below picture I had been challenged to "catch a goat" and thanks to my training in the intramural rodeo, it was NO PROBLEM.

6) KJ has lately become a big fan of waterparks. There are several small ones in the area which I discovered way too late in the summer. Last week we went with his friend SPG and boy did they have a blast. It was quite a coincidence that the two were dressed EXACTLY the same. They really are the best of buddies. You can see the determined look in the second water picture. KJ loved these parks because he can crawl and climb by himself. So BIG!

7) I do not have any pictures to post of BL2, but we will find out in 2 more weeks whether the baby is a "he or she". I'm sure we'll have some pictures then. No guesses from me yet as to boy or girl. We have a girl name picked out, but no boy name. With KJ we had decided on a boy name, but not a girls name...maybe it is a sign?!?!

8) No picture for this one, either, but we have just started being a part of the most amazing small group at church. Some of our really good friends (the Turners) are part of it, too, which made the jumping in easier, but we have come to love all of the group. We've had some awesome conversations this summer that have been such an encouragement to our family- what an amazing answer to prayer and a true gift (thanks, guys!)

There is so much more I could share, but I guess that gets the ball rolling, my 8 random facts out of the way, and gets me over the hump of not wanting to blog because I felt so disconnected. Thanks for letting me scatter-shoot a little to plug back in!


Thursday, June 28, 2007


The last couple of weeks, my eyes have been very open to the power of prayer. It is awesome when you can see things you pray for really come to fruition. I know that God always answers our prayers, but when you have begged and pleaded for an answer, the answer is all the more vivid when it comes about. We've been praying for two families in particular, one that we know personally and one we only know through others and because our teenagers help to raise money for them. We've been equally touched by both. Check out Samuel's story and Lael's story for amazing displays of faithfulness and the Lord's mighty hand. He has clearly been at work for these families. To Him be the glory. Please join us as we continue to pray for these sweet families as their journeys are continuing.

We've had some of our own miracles, too, recently.

First, we are so thrilled that the Lord is blessing us with another child (see details in my last post).

Secondly, and the reason behind the title of this post, we are so thankful to have KJ's passport in hand finally. This seems like such a small thing in the scheme of things, but it sure has been stressful for us. Because I know that some of you were praying specifically for our trip to Houston, I thought I should try to put into words all of the ways we saw God work in just those 24 hours. RRL and I specifically prayed for things to go smoothly (which they did) and that this would happen at the hand of others we would meet along the way. Let me introduce you to some Angels KJ and I met on our trip.

1) As we got in line early Tues am, we were surrounded by people asking how they could help me juggle KJ, stroller, diaper bag, important papers, etc. The line wrapped 4 long times through the office so we were all aware how long this would be for a 13-month-old, especially with guards barking to stay off the ropes, turn off your cell phones, contain your children, etc. As we neared the end of the first straight there was a sign listing important docs that were necessary for processing. I was almost in tears as a realized that, despite asking LOTs of people LOTs of questions, I was missing our one thing, our travel itinerary. Getting out of line to go get it would mean starting all over. The lady in front of me and family behind me were so sweet, offered to hold our place in line, keep the stroller and help me and Kj get out so we could go get the itinerary we needed.

2) The guards were clearly in the room for security purposes only and would not answer any questions related to passports. However, the line for "information" was almost as long as the line for processing so I approached two of them standing beside the door. I started explaining that I needed to get another form (really just my travel itinerary) and the first guard kept cutting me off rudely. The second, maybe because he could tell I was frustrated and about to cry, maybe because he had children of his own, DEFINITELY because God softened his heart- whatever the reason, leaned over, asked me what I needed and literally whispered "Go down to the deli on the first floor, talk to the owner, and ask if you can use his laptop to print something". Praise God!

3) When we finally had all papers in hand we came back upstairs and we were next in line- perfect timing. We went to the window and met our next angel "Ms Torres". She was so helpful when she realized that my pictures were too small (if the papers had been sent for processing with these pictures the whole thing would have been kicked out and we'd have to start again). She told me how to get to CVS (because the place in the building charged way more) and then said "when you get back, tell the guards that I'm holding your papers. Don't wait in line, just come straight to my window". Amazing!

4) Everyone that had morning appointments shows up at 2:30 to pick up finished passports. As you stand in line, some are ready, some are not. Most of the time when there were 2 or more passports in one family (as was our case since i was also getting mine renewed), they were not ready. Amazingly, ours were there!

5) As we drove back home on Tues night it was pouring rain. At times I really was terrified and could barely see the road. I knew that I was approaching a particularly tricky interchange, to get on the interstate I needed I had to exit and go up and over a huge overpass. I was really debating even trying it since I could hardly see the edge of the road, and I was afraid I would hit the side of the ramp. There were no cars around so I couldn't tell if anyone else was trying it. I just started praying specifically about this and really, I'm not exaggerating, out of no where a pickup truck came from behind us with his flashers on and led us up over the interchange and into traffic where there were lots of cars to follow. I get chills as I think back to this angel. AMAZING!

So that's the short version (you know me better than that by now). I just couldn't help but share. I wish I had pictures of some of those faces, of KJ cruisin' around the office while we waited and making friends, or of him trying to share his beloved (and quite slobbery) blanket with a sad little girl. You'll just have to take my word for it!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Top 5

Below are the top five ways we know that KJ is growing up quickly. They are actually not in any particular order, except that #1 is definitely TOPS on MY list!!

5) He has his own passport! Thank you so much to all of you who were praying for success in Houston. I'll post more details soon, about the angels that helped us along the way, but we are home safely with passports in hand.

4) He is getting very good at making up his own mind. This is not always cute and typically means that what he likes one day does not apply to the next. Occasionally, he'll even take his favorite foods, touch them to his tongue and make a terrible face. So far RRL and I have been able to take turns cracking up and staying strong.

3) His list of animal noises is quickly growing. Current favorites include the lion, duck, monkey and fish. He loves to entertain.

2) He is walking like a champ. He's been taking steps here and there for a few weeks and just decided while we were in Ruidoso last week to take off. I looked over in time to see him just stand himself up and walk off. I couldn't believe it. He hits his head on a regular basis, usually while trying to carry something like a blanket, pillow, or Daddy's basketball shoes. RRL and I hardly flinch anymore when he falls- we're just great parents like that.

1) HE IS GOING TO BE A BIG BROTHER!! I know most of you already know the exciting news, but I wanted to make it official blogger news for those of you that I talk to less often. BL2 is due around January 22nd and we couldn't be more thrilled. We actually found out on Mothers' Day, which made the weekend of fun in San Antonio complete.

He's just so big (but not as big as he thinks he is)!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

So little to be so big

It is so hard to believe that KJL is SO BIG...yet so small! I'm more than a week late with his HAPPY BIRTHDAY post, but things get a little crazy around our house as summer begins. Do not let the lack of blogging recognition, though, fool you into thinking we did not celebrate his big day. Celebrate we did- for almost a whole week!

First, let me just brag...I was up until 2am working on this cake. I was really proud of the results (for a first ever attempt at anything creative).

As for the rest of the party...If you want the fast version, I've posted a couple of actual pictures. If you want to take a little longer, you can watch the whole slide show. As you can tell, he's just a little dude. But he sure thinks he is big. He is trying to walk, into everything, and talking none stop (if only we had a translator). What a cute kid! I cannot imagine my life without this one-year-old. He has taught me so many things in such a short time, and he has even helped me to love his daddy EVEN more than I already did. What a gift it is to be a parent! This last year has definitely come with its obstibles, we are learning to rely on the Lord in a whole new way and some days are just play TOUGH. I wouldn't dare trade away one of them, though, because I would, no doubt, miss out on some slobbery kisses, snuggly hugs, a few good laughs and more joy than my heart can hold. We love you, KJ! Happy late birthday!!

I am glad that KJ's party gave me some time with family. I really missed my brother, though.

We were so thankful that RRL's sister and her family could join us from Central America. What a treat to spend time together!

Red icing was a FANTASTIC idea... It sure was cute though!

The party was fantastic, KJL was an angel and I felt so blessed to have so many of the people who have loved and supported us through this year to be there with us to celebrate! There were a lot of you that we really missed though! Thanks for all you've done to make KJ's first year amazing.



Ps- Here is the slideshow

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mothers Day Extraordinaire!!!

Quick note:
KJ's bday party pictures will be coming soon, but because I'm a little behind on blogging, I wanted to start with Mothers' Day...

My first mothers day could not have been better. RRL, KJ and I went to San Antonio for the weekend. I loved getting to spend some quality time with my family. We have been running 100 directions lately, so I could not have asked for a better gift than getting out of town together. We laughed and played, visited family, went to church together, and enjoyed Sea World. KJ was an angel all weekend- as if he knew it was a special time. RRL, as always, treated me like royalty and made me feel so special. I'm a lucky gal.

I've been so blessed by my own mother, mother-in-law, grandmothers and so many others who are motherly role-models to me. All of the mothers that are dearest to me, especially the one I call "Momma", are amazing women of faith, they are tender and kind, they are wise, they are humble and they are gracious with their gifts. It is strange to even think about lumping myself in the same "Mommy" category as those heroes in my life. Certainly I could not be old enough or wise enough to be any one's Mother. Anyone else struggle with this? Yet, on Mothers day, there were two pretty stinkin' terrific guys that honored me as the Mommy in our house. I don't think I've ever been awarded a role that came with as many rewards as this one does.

That said, here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend:

On the way to SA, we enjoyed spending some great time with one of RRL's cousins and her family. KJ had so much fun with his cousin LJS. He has very few boy cousins so it was really fun to watch them do "boy" things together. They played with the football, checked-out the puppy, laughed and played.

We definitely had to wipe down the glass on this tank after KJ finished with it...he loved banging on the fish!

Mommy and KJ getting a Mothers' Day Photo!

Our little navigator.

Sea World is hard work!

First swim...KJ loved the water- no surprise.