Friday, December 19, 2008
8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. CRACKER BARREL
2. Cheesecake Factory
4. Which Wich
6. The Cooker (sadly has been closed for years)
7. Pei Wei
8. Pancake Pantry in Nashville
8 Things That Happened Today:
1. Went to work
2. Drank a Starbuck's peppermint Mocha
3. Bought Christmas cookie cutters for KJ
4. Shared my dinner with Cbug without him gagging/puking...YAY!
5. Went to church
6. Made poppyseed bread
7. Shopped on-line for last minute Christmas gifts (apparently the same ones that every other mom in America wanted)
8. Went to bed too late (again)
8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Christmas with family
2. Meeting BL3
3. Seeing my boys accept Christ in baptism
4. A date night with RRL
5. Putting up my Christmas tree
6. Meeting baby Asher
7. Going to Wimbledon with RRL (someday)
8. Going to Alaska
8 Things I'm Scared Of:
1. Losing someone I love
2. Not teaching my boys enough
3. Being held under water
4. Parking garages
5. Someone breaking into my house while I'm home
6. Hurting someone's feelings by saying something stupid
7. Waking up and realizing that I'm still in highschool (I dream this all the time)
8. Having a wreck with my kiddos in the car
8 Things I Wish For:
1. Family Vacation
2. Traveling more
3. Living closer to my family
4. Friends to find Godly husbands
5. Good friends for my kids when they go to school
6. Going to Europe
7. A cookies n cream milkshake
8. Less "clutter" in my life
8 Things I Watch on TV:
1. Curious George
3. The Amazing Race
4. The Brady Bunch
5. The Cosby Show
6. Andy Griffeth
7. NCIS (thanks, Dad)
8. Christmas movies
8 People I Tag (no pressure!!):
1. Lori D.
4. Haley C.
6. Jennifer B.
7. Chris B.
8. Summer B.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
My cleaning NINJA (just as stealth and elusive as a cleaning fairy, yet way more studly and handsome) provided some major help at my house this weekend while I was out of town with the boys. After being gone less than 24 hours, I came home to a dusted, vacuumed, cloroxed, and mopped house. Someone had an idea that the chores I needed to get done before the Christmas festivities were weighing heavily on me and took it upon himself to ease the load A LOT. Have I mentioned how blessed I am?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm thankful for KJ and the way he reminds me to enjoy the simple things. While we were at my parents' house, KJ got to experience a taste of real fall leaves. He loved playing in this huge pile in their yard. Sheer delight.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It ended up being a perfect day for a nice (long) jog through the fun town of SA. I finished much faster than I thought I might and lived to tell about it!
Here are a few things that motivated me to finish:
1) THE ORANGE SHIRTS- There was a team of people running this race to benefit Crohn's Disease Research, all wearing orange shirts. The first time I saw one, it nearly brought me to tears. Here were people like me, who had been impacted one way or another by this disease, and were out to do something about it. I thanked every single one of them that I saw, but could never have said thank you enough. Thank you to each of them for what they are doing, and Thank you to the powerful Healer that I serve for giving me such a miraculous 4 years, pain free. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Lord brought at least one of them across my path every single mile to help motivate me to finish this race (and keep pressing on in my health race). That's pretty amazing considering the 30,000 people in SA to run...no accident, I'm sure that each one of these orange shirts crossed my path.
2) I saw a woman on the biggest hill in the race, really struggling. She was zig-zagging back and forth across the hill. She was struggling up the hill because she was in a wheel chair. She was doing the full marathon (26.2 miles) and I have never seen anyone so driven. Several people asked her if she needed help and she refused each one. What an inspiration!
3) Along the way there were tons of Daddies with their children holding signs that said "Way to go, Mommy" or "Run, Mommy, run" or "Mommy's pit crew". Even though my husband was running ahead of me and my boys were home with their Grammy, I didn't think these families would mind if I borrowed from their motivational moments. Nothing motivates me more than the three (soon 4) I love most. Even just imagining that it was them standing behind those signs pushed me on.
A few not so wonderful moments:
1) About the only kind of power bar or energy drink that I can tolerate is the snickers marathon bars. I have a race routine of eating 1/2 before the race and finishing the rest during the run. I was carrying my left-over 1/2 on the race with me this time and had decided I would make it to the 60 minute mark before enjoying it. At 57 minutes, I dropped the bar in the middle of a crowd of runners and it was unrecoverable. I almost cried.
2) At about the 11 mile mark, I was taking a (scheduled) walk-break. I usually run about 8 minutes and walk 1 minute. As I was walking along, a snooty girl and her friend came running past and smugly said "I hate it when so many people start walking at this point in the race". BAH. ARGH. And how far along in your pregnancy are you? Not nice.
3) At the end of the race, I was exhausted (to say the least). All I wanted to see was RRL's sweaty face. I knew he would finish ahead of me and that there was a HUGE crowd to sort through, but I just needed to find him. We had set up a meeting spot, but it took forever to limp-along and find it (and him). I felt so lost and started to panic before I realized I was in the wrong place and got turned in the right direction. I kept thinking "If I could just call the people we are supposed to be meeting, I could find them" but I couldn't remember anyone's phone numbers. Where I finally made it, and got to release some tears on RRL's shoulder, he sweetly reminded me that I had written the phone number on the back of my race number pinned to my shirt. NICE.
All in all, it was a great weekend, making lots of fun memories with friends and accomplishing a difficult goal. The Lord is good to give us what we need for each of the "races" we run and I was so thankful to have this race to remind me of that!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
10,000 points to the person who guesses first. 5,000 bonus points to anyone who can correctly caption the pictures as to how they relate to our "little" surprise.
Who am I kidding? As if I could wait until the end of some fake contest to give away the answer.
So award yourself the points if you labeled the pictures as follows:
1) My dream of owning a mini-van may come true sooner than I expected!
2) Recently I had lose-my-mind moment #1 (for this round) and actually buckled both boys into each other's car seats (KJ in the infant seat, Cbug in the big boy seat). NICE.
3) Foreshadowing to family of 5. Actually, this is us meeting sweet baby GCH for the first time. Isn't he handsome? You might be able to tell in the picture that I am a little green and feeling very sick.
4) Speaking of sick, nothing makes me gag more than opening a can of babyfood. I have to hold my breath to feed poor Cbug.
So NOW can you guess?
That's right...BL3 is on the way! We are absolutely over-joyed and so thankful that the Lord chose to bless us in such an unexpected way. We had our first doctor's appointment today, everything looks very healthy, and BL3 should arrive sometime at the beginning of June (right after KJ's 3rd birthday).
Thanks for sharing our excitement!ABL
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Obama won. I didn't really like either candidate but when I ranked things that were most important to me, based on my core values, I couldn't vote for Obama. But he won.
HOWEVER, that is not why I'm so disappointed.
I'm disappointed in the response...from both sides. This morning on the news I was still hearing about how much Palin spent on her campaign wardrobe. And yesterday on the ride home, the radio station I listen to went on and on about how bad things were going to be under Obama. Seriously?
In the media, and even in Christian media, I've had trouble finding a response that I can support. Our roles as Christians did not change one bit from November 3rd to November 5th. A new leader for our country was elected. And as our preacher pointed out last weekend, we elected a new leader and will see power change hands peacefully. A real honor and privilege.
We may agree with him or we may not (chances are we'll do a lot of both). But we'll stand behind him and we'll pray for him. And his policies on the economy, abortion, or the war won't change in the least my personal responsibility towards the poor, the helpless teenage mom or world missions.
Come on people, let's move on. Lets embrace CHANGE... and I do not mean "change" by Government. I mean change in heart, change in our churches, and change in our communities. If people got half as worked up about providing services for marriage reconciliation as they do about voting against gay marriage, what would it do for our families? If people spent half the energy they spend on welcoming the unwed mother and providing services for her unborn baby as they spend energy protesting abortion, how many lives could we save? And if we spent as much money on meeting the needs of the poor in our own neighborhood as we do on publishing articles about economic policy, how different would our communities be?
None of what I'm saying is new or original. In fact, I've read several really good blog articles lately about these kinds of changes. Thanks to so many of you who are sharing your hearts! I just needed to vent and to move on. I'm moving on towards change in my own life. Are you?
That's my 2 cents.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A trip down memory lane
A bit about me
Now for a few of my "favorites"
25) I always tell RRL that he is "My favorite" and to KJ I say "My favorite little boy" and to Cbug "My favorite baby boy"
26) Favorite scriptures
-If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
- Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
- I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone Oh Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
- NYC in 1997 with my parents andd brothers
- Backpacking in Italy after 2000 Summer Abroad
- Honeymoon in Boston/Nantucket Dec 2001
- Backpacking in the Grand Canyon with RRL, Labor Day 2005
- Anna Maria Island, the last trip with both of my Grandmothers, Dec 2005
- Honduras in 2007 with my family and RRL's family
- NYC with RRL, Aug 2008
28) Favorite treats
- Any kind of cookie (especially varieties containing chocolate)
- JLS' famous chocolate chip cake
- Ice Cream Cake
- Blue Bell Cookies and Cream Milk Shake
29) Favorite music
- For running: RRL's rock mix (containing favorites like U2's Beatiful Day and Bon Jovi's It's my life)
- For relaxing: JMCH's mix of hymns (love Fernando Ortega)
- For driving: "Mel's Music Memories with the Babe's" (from our college days!)
- For crazy fun: A mix CD that LNS sent me when I was in the hospital in 2004. What other CD can combine MC Hammer and Amy Grant?
30) Favorite age: 30! I'm love being a wife and a mommy. This really is one of the very best times of my life.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
We certainly are having fun around here!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Cbug is amazingly patient with this kind of displays of brotherly love. Sweetness
This little video is a pretty accurate display of Cbug's animated personality.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I set my expectations pretty low for pictures because getting a two-year-old and nine-month-old to look the same direction, smile at the same time and stay put for any amount of time is pretty much impossible. Thank to the patience of the photographer, though, here are some of my favorites...
Monday, October 6, 2008
...and today the Lord sent rain so that he could REALLY enjoy them.
DISCLAIMER: If anyone tries to convince you that KJ is actually crying in the last picture because he tried to go down a very wet and slippery slide, and I took his picture before helping him because it was so stinkin' funny to see him sprawled out in the wet grass...
I'd probably deny it.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Now for a few of my most embarrasing moments
17) Once my roommates and I were running around the coliseum track. C had just finished knee surgery so we were kind of making fun of her by running circles around her while she hobbled along. While running backwards, I tripped over my own feet, flew back and hit my head so hard that I briefly blacked out and peed my pants. (I can't believe I just admitted that on the www).
18) I've always been directionally challenged. When I was first driving on my own my Daddy taught me that I could typically get my bearings in Nashville by identifying where downtown is. Downtown was typically to my north. Easy to remember...Nashville, North. Unfortunately, despite how clever I felt as a freshman in college, downtown in my new town was NOT to your north.
19) Only a few months after beginning work at my current employer, I was walking up the stairs while talking to the VP/Controller of the company who was standing at the top of the stairs. I tripped over the edge of a stair above me, crashed down, and dropped everything I was carrying.
20) At our wedding reception I was amazed by the fact that all of the songs were familiar to me. I'm not typically very in touch with music and rarely know words to songs. I thought it was awesome that the band kept playing songs I knew and loved. It was not until we were on the plane headed to our honeymoon that I remembered that I had given the band the play-list. Welcome to marriage, honey! Did you know that your new wife is so brilliant?
Equally embarrassing, here are some fears/quirks...
21) I am not sure where this phobia started. I once either read a story or saw something on TV about a snake swimming through the sewer pipes and up a women's toilet. To this day I can't sit down without first looking in. If it is too dark to see- forget it.
22) I remember very clearly sitting in an assembly in 1st grade about hygene. The only big thing that stuck with me is that if you do not dry between your toes after a shower you might get a fungus. The first time I saw RRL dry his feet and not get between every toe, I freaked out. He told me it was irrational. Because I couldn't find any concrete research to support my case, I've since met him in the middle and allowed drying on top and bottom without necessarily going between every one.
23) I have an unreasonable fear of empty parking garages. I think it started when I was auditing a company and would leave late at night to wander out to my lonely car in a dark garage with elevator-type music playing in the background. CREEPY!
24) I used to be very afraid of escalators (and truth be told, still prefer an elevator). I would stand at the top and almost sweat from fear of making that first step onto the moving stairs. I was so convinced a shoe-lace would get stuck or I would fall all the way down that it was almost paralyzing. I can't remember exactly how I conquered the fear.
Stay tuned for the final installment of my countdown to 30. I'll tell about some of my "favorites".
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
As I fully intend to continue my little tradition of a fall escape, I'll call this my second annual. Last year, RRL sent pregnant-me off to lectureships at our Alma mater for a few days of r&r. It was so much fun and much appreciated. As the event approached this year, I was a little more hesitant about taking off. We had just returned from our fabulous week away and it seemed incredibly selfish to leave the boys AGAIN (not to mention that I kind of like spending my time WITH them). RRL encouraged me to go, nearly pushing me out the door on Sunday, and I'm so grateful! It was a great 2 days.
On top of just getting to be on campus, stay in a college-girls' house and visiting with so many fun people who have graduated from our youth group, highlights included:
1) Yummy zucchini bread from Hickory Street. (we'll not discuss amount consumed)
2) A record number of hours spent alone in the library where, among other things, I achieved a very balanced and tidy family budget (can't help it, I'm an accountant).
3) WONDERFUL lectures by KV. I loved getting to hear this story again. It made me want to go back and reread all of the blog entries they wrote on how mightily God worked to bring sweet their youngest daughter into their family. Even more it was a inspiration to spend some time studying the Word on all of the scriptures related to how precious we are as adopted children of our Lord.
4) Lunch with two of my favorite people, Dr. and Mrs. Willis. Seriously, I learn from them in every second I spend in their presence. It's almost overwhelming.
5) Catching up with Dub-dub and discussing the sad state of our social club (and other very important topics). While at their house I had the distinct honor of having an orange grasshopper named after me...thanks, CK.
6) Of course- coming home. Its strange to think that in last year's post I just came home to RRL and KJ. We've since added Cbug, but I already can't imagine a time without him. Isn't it strange how quickly that happens?
Thanks, Babe, for taking such good care of our precious boys so I could go. I love you!!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
- Colter wore this outfit this weekend. He can't crawl, still eats baby food and doesn't know any real words yet. However, he is wearing clothes that his brother donned at around 17 months. Have I mentioned that they currently wear the same size of diapers? We've found him the last couple of mornings STANDING in his bed when we go in to get him. He's growing up so fast. MAKE IT STOP!
- Our church does a special collection each year that all of the children participate in by filling banks with coins to bring to the service. This is KJ's first year to participate. This kid LOVES money (of course this is just because it makes noise and is fun to collect, not because he is greedy). So I know we are going to have to do a lot of preparation for the day when he takes his bank full and gives it away. We've been talking about ways for him to "earn" his pennies. He gets a few when he has a great attitude or helps us around the house. Every time he makes a deposit we talk about what the money will be used to do "It's for people who don't know Jesus or who don't have anything to eat or who are sick". A few minutes ago he wanted his treasures OUT of his bank so I went through this explanation again. He responded "I get sick". Good thing we still have more than a month to work on this concept- we're going to need it.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The previously mentioned volume increase was due to the fact that KJ wanted his window rolled down a little farther so...
RRL: Try again. Instead of screaming, just tell us what you want
KJ: Excuse me, please
KJ: Want my window down
RRL: Thank you for asking nicely
RRL fixes window and we go back to our previous conversation
KJ (whose imaginary light bulb just went on): Excuse me, please
RRL: Yes, sir
at which point RRL and I go back to our conversation
KJ: Excuse me, please
RRL: yes, sir
KJ: (From way out in left field): wise man built his house on the rock
ABL: yes he did, do you want to sing that song (we sing then rrl and i go back to our conversation)
KJ: Excuse me, please
RRL: yes (trying not to crack up as we wait to see what he is going to come up with this time)
KJ: (grinning ear to ear) n'ermind
We gave up on our conversation.
At least he is learning good manners.
Monday, September 15, 2008
In other news...
It has not been easy to adjust to real life after our week in NYC. RRL started his new job last week, KJ was a little sick and I'm trying to get back in a routine around the house. A week away from the boys, though, has certainly made me appreciate the little things with them. I've done a lot more snuggling, reading, playing, kissing, laughing and singing since we've been back. Of course I did all of those things before, but sometimes put them second to cleaning or cooking or whatever. I enjoy them in a new way now and find myself much quicker to look for ways to say "Yes" to the boys. One of the main reasons RRL and I decided to get-away was knowing that it would make us better parents if we continued to put our marriage first. I love that I can already see how the Lord is blessing us through that!
Since this post is about real life, here is what is going on with us:
RRL>> As I mentioned, RRL just started his new job. He will be the program director for a brand new non-profit organization to help hurting teens in our area. It will definitely use his amazing talent for building relationships with teenagers and I can't wait to see how the Lord is going to use this program. Please continue to be praying about this big step into something completely new for us.
ABL>> I've started playing soccer with a team from work. Its actually really fun, but it is very apparent to me that the last time I played was BEFORE I had two babies. Wow, I'm out of shape. We're also trying to train to run a 1/2 marathon so I guess I better fix that. In the meantime, soccer has been a great way to meet some new people and be outside and do something for me. I do have a pretty cute fan club.
KJ>> KJ is just, well, HILARIOUS. I know we are his parents and therefor very biased, but seriously, if you are around him for more than 4.2 minutes, he will have you endeared forever. We definitely have our rough days, but seriously if this is what being 2 is about, I love it! I do wish that I had a tape recorder on at all times because the things that comes out of his mouth are so funny. He loves to remind C-bug "maybe when you get a little bigger" usually referring to the toy he does not want C-bug to play with. He has no shortage of self-confidence, either. My mom said that while she was here, he would ask her "Am I precious?" Yes, KJ, yes you are!
Cbug>> Cbug has his first two teeth. They pretty much came at the same time and it seemed like it took forEVER for them to make it all the way through. He is working on the crawling thing still, but prefers to roll and scoot. He is an absolute delight these days and laughs and plays from the moment he wakes up. So full of life. He pretty much can entertain himself and be perfectly content (which he rarely has to do with big brother around). Can you see the two pearly whites in this gummy grin picture?
I would sign off with something witty about how I'll work on my grammar skills, spelling skills and basic sentence structure before my next post, but it wouldn't be true. So, signing off the same way as always....
Saturday, September 13, 2008
#1 I got a speeding ticket.
#2 I skipped jury duty.
The first matter occurred the day we left for our New York trip. I got pulled over for speeding on the way home from work. This was a huge deal for me because I never speed in the city. I'm talking always within 5mph of the posted limits (I will say that I view interstates as a different matter). Years ago, I was speeding through a neighborhood and got a serious guilt trip from a very stern policeman about how I might have killed a child. I promised the cop that if he wouldn't give me a ticket I wouldn't speed anymore. And I've made every effort to honor that commitment. So it was a huge deal when I got this ticket. I was on the access road going 50 (with the flow of traffic I might add) but the speed limit is 35. He was absolutely right, I was wrong, no excuse. I didn't even try to get out of it.
I did, however, wait until after he handed me the ticket to do my good citizen duty and tell him that I thought it might not be the safest thing for him to step out into the middle of the access road (where he had already commented everyone speeds) to wave me over for my ticket. He did not appreciate my advice.
Sassyness aside, the reason this might lead to my arrest, though, is the fact that he told me I just had to call the phone number on the ticket within 11 days. I did call...on about the 9th day (why wait until the VERY last minute) at which point I found out that the cop was wrong, I didn't have to call I had to mail it within 11 days. Next day was Saturday, 11th day was Sunday. I didn't mail the ticket until late in the day Saturday and it probably didn't get picked up until Monday. I don't think they'd really arrest me for mailing my ticket one day late...but they could.
Second matter had to do with jury duty. I was assigned to city court jury duty on a day while we were out of town. Being a responsible citizen (who rarely speeds), I called in advance to ask to be rescheduled. I talked to a lady that must have been working in that office longer than I've been alive. She was kind, though, to set a new date for me and let me know that my new summons would come in the mail. It never did. So, I called back (again with the responsible stuff) after we got back to town. "Oh, honey," and I quote, "You've already missed your date". Yep, she never changed it and had no record of our previous conversation. shocker. Technically you can be arrested (or at least fined) for missing jury duty, right? When I asked "Grandma" at City Court about this she said not to worry and that she'd "take care of it for me"...just like she took care of rescheduling my last appointment. That's a relief.
Think I should be worried? I've gone from a responsible citizen who rarely speeds and tries to keep policemen safe to a sassy rebel who avoids tickets and dodges jury duty all in one fail swoop. We might have to move.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sometimes you pay for the experience
We started Sunday attending church service where our friends that live in Manhattan normally go. It was cool to get this small glimpse into their lives in the city. I tend to feel more connected to people when I see what their Sunday worship experience might include so this was really important to me.
Our favorite NYC attraction
On Monday, our favorite NYC attraction arrived. Baby J came home! I've loved her Mommy for as long as I can remember and have been anxiously awaiting a chance to welcome this angel to the world. Her parents are the ones that graciously let us (and friends) use their apartment and we were so thankful. But even more, we were just glad to have some time visiting with them, catching up on their lives and sharing what the Lord is doing for us. We pretty much spent the whole afternoon/evening just enjoying this amazing family. And to top it off, Baby J's Daddy sure does make some incredible milkshakes!
Just a walk in the park