Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Countdown to 30...a trip down memory lane

I'm not really a big birthday person. I mean, I appreciate that my family remembers my birthday and I do love a yummy cake or ice-cream cake, but I'm not really a "tell everyone and hope they sing to me in a restaurant" kind of birthday person. That said, I'm already thinking about my 30th (which is still 3 months away). Maybe it is because RRL and I are planning our birthday get-a-way; maybe it is because it is a big milestone; but really I think it is just because as a child 30 always seemed so grown-up and now it suddenly doesn't. 30 does not really scare or depress me, it just amazes me. Can it be? Am I really old enough to be a mommy, a wife AND A THIRTY-YEAR-OLD? I do not really feel any different...I'm basically still 17, right?

While I'm thinking about ME, I thought I might just start blogging about ME. On each 29th between now and the big day, I'm going to blog a total of 30 random things about me. Thanks for humoring me, it has been a fun trip down memory lane.

We'll start with a few "blasts from the past"

1) I once appeared in Seventeen magazine. It was a really small picture and not a great shot, but it was pretty cool, none-the-less. It was part of the High School highlight they used to do and they did a story about my high school.

2) I used to be a soccer referee for little kids. I loved helping them learn about the game and it was good money for a Saturday-only job in high school. KJ got his name because one of the cutest little boys that played. I did not ever really get to know him, I just liked his name.

3) In 7th grade I won the regional science fair for my experiment on how electro-magnetic fields affect the growth of vegetation (powerlines and plants). As a result, I got to attend "Environmental Camp". It was totally as nerdy as it sounds and I loved every minute of it.

4) I had 11 bridesmaids (4 college roomies/friends; 3 childhood best friends; 2 sister-in-laws; 2 might-as-well be sisters that I babysat). I love each one of them so much that I could not narrow it down at all. RRL managed to come up with 11 attendants as well so we indeed had a "host" of witnesses clustered around us.
5) In middle school I won a speech competition in the humorous category with a Brer Rabbit monologue. Don't ask- I don't remember it. I do still love public speaking. Sometimes that makes me wonder if I just love the sound of my own voice.

6) My brothers and I used to love to play cowboys. I just had to put that so that I could include
this picture. It is my favorite of the three of us and still sits beside my bed.
7) My college roomie, M, was really the one who taught me that jogging could be fun. She and I had a goal to run all of the stairs in the coliseum. I think we only ever made it about 1/2 way.

8) I studied abroad in Oxford, England between junior and senior years of college. It was one of the very best things about my college experience. One of my favorite memories was that I got to go to Wimbledon. One other girl and I decided to go out to the campus to just look around while the tournament was going on in hopes that we could see something. After we bought our $2 tickets to get onto the grounds we met a very nice Englishman who offered to GIVE us his day passes for the rest of the day at CENTRE COURT! We got to see the men's doubles finals. It was awesome...RRL, who actually likes tennis, may never forgive me (at least until I find a way to take him).

Stay tuned for "A bit about me"


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Prayers work better than hand sanitizer

While we were on the Nashville mission trip, we worked at a summer program for inner city kids. I was slapped in the face with something there that I was so amazed by. My boys have only really ever been around people just like them. I'm keeping a perspective here, I realize they are 6 months and 2-years-old, but still. KJ is really only friends with kids the same color as him, with the same general economic background and the same religious beliefs. While I was sad to admit that, it wasn't the amazing part. The amazing part was that KJ waltzed into a room of kids VERY different from him in nearly every regard, and did not even notice. I was expecting some quizzical looks, some awkward questions, maybe a little intimidation. But not all... There were kids and there were toys and that was all he saw. My first reaction was to pull out the hand sanitizer, ask the kids to not touch the baby, and generally shelter my boys. KJ's first reaction was to jump in and make new friends. C-bugs first reaction was to giggle at 5 new faces that were about 3 inches away from his nose at one time. I just stood back and watched and PRAYED. It sounds terrible, but I must say that my prayers in that moment started out something along the shallow lines of "oh, please don't let my boys get sick; keep the germs away; keep them safe!" Over the week and slowly to even the point where I am writing this, my prayers have begun to change "Lord, let my boys know you more clearly; help them to always view their neighbor with the innocence of a child; let them never be afraid to get their hands dirty in your name; May they always be eager to open their hearts a bit wider to love a few more of your children; help me find ways to expand their view of the world around them". I'm pretty sure I need to say a few prayers, too, about my own attitude in the situation. It was not a pleasant experience to realize how much I have to learn about the way I view people and the way I serve the Lord.

What a big responsibility it is to be a parent! In the very moments when I feel like I'm a pretty amazing mom (like taking my kids on a mission trip), the Lord shows me how much I have to learn (like the fact that prayers work better than hand sanitizer). I sure have a lot to learn.


Monday, July 21, 2008

C-bug at 6 months

During the craziness that was our summer, C-bug turned 6-months-old. We just went in for his check-up and he is doing so well. We continue to be amazed at how much bigger he is than KJ was. He is a good 6-8 months ahead of KJ in size at this point, weighing in at nearly 18 pounds. He continues to be so full of personality and rarely does anything 1/2 way. When he rolls over, he rolls across the room. When he laughs, he belly laughs. When he smiles, it covers his whole face. When he talks, he makes sure everyone can hear him. And like I've said before...when he's mad, WATCH OUT! We've recently started adding more foods to his routine and it has made a huge difference in his temperament. He goes longer between meals, takes better naps, and just generally is happier! Poor baby was just hungry.

C-bug still loves his big brother and sweetly tolerates the "affection" that KJ smothers on him. His favorite spot is his bouncy exersaucer, maybe because he is semi-protected there. Here are a few of my favorite recent pictures of my precious 6-month-old!

I love this little guy more and more every day.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Miss Jonah

The theme of this year's Summer Spectacular was Jonah and the Whale. We certainly LOVE "Miss Patty" and "Miss Mindy" and all the other amazing people who make our children's ministry and nursery absolutely amazing. If you ladies have any doubt that the lessons of the week were fully absorbed by those precious little hearts, just ask KJ about Jonah and the Whale...it is his new favorite story. So much so that there is a precious lady that lives next door to my parents who shall from here forward, thanks to KJ, always be known as "Miss Jonah" (her name is Jo).

On that note, tonight was C-bugs first night in the nursery. For some reason this is always a sentimental milestone for me. He just went during the bible class part, but it still made me feel like he is getting so big. Here he is with our precious "Miss Mindy". Thank you for making this an easy hand-off. I could not imagine a better person to leave him with! (And yes, that is just the kind of mom that I am...I took my camera).

I just wanted to let you ladies know what an impact you had on our summer, our children and our family! We love you!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jesus lives in Nashville

According to KJ, Jesus lives in "Nashville". Nonna and Papa J live in Nashville. Therefore in his little mind all planes, trains, boats, helicopters, and school buses are headed to Nashville. Naturally, where else would Jesus live? One of our new best buddies from the Ruidoso mission trip was trying to teach KJ that Jesus lives in his heart. We'd talk about it over and over during that week. It didn't stick. As we believe that Jesus lives everywhere (including Nashville) we haven't forced the topic yet.

We worked with an amazing group of 9th (going into 10th) grade teens in Nashville and for the week they really did show the heart of Jesus to those we worked with. I could not have been prouder.

Sorry I've been a bit absent from the blogging world. Oh the life of a YM's wife...summer is crazy. There are so many of you that I think about and pray for during the summers because I know what it means for you and your kiddos...Chris and Martha, you have especially been on my mind with your THREE little ones and hubbies so busy! Love you both.

The boys and I went on two of the teen mission trips with RRL this year (insert the "I must be crazy" speech here). We had lots of help from adult sponsors and teens, though, so it really was not as bad as I thought it might be to travel for 10-12 hours with the boys. I will say that I would not necessarily recommend that you spend 6 nights with two small children in a dorm room with community bathrooms unless you have lots of help (like I did). We went to Nashville and Ruidoso and had a blast. I learned a lot through the eyes of my 2-year-old along the way. Some funny (like the fact that Jesus lives in Nashville) and some serious (like the fact that prayers work better than hand sanitizer). I'm going to do a couple more posts of the highlights so stay tuned. I'll end with pictures (in a few days, when RRL can show me where they are).