Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Slippin' & Slidin'

The neighbors got out their water toys yesterday in honor of Memorial Day and we joined in for a bit. Jude had his first experience on a Slip & Slide. For a 1 year old, he fared pretty well on his first round:)

Yikes...he looks SO old to me in this picture!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

1. Over the weekend, we decided to join the local pool for the summer. Jude lOvEs it! (Minus the swim wear...which was soon after stripped off) We'll definitely be spending quite a few of our days in the water this year!

2. We also had a little piano time with Aunt Brek.

3. Yogurt Mountain. David loves it because he can get so much. I love it because I can get so little. Jude loves it because he gets the leftovers.

4. On days like this, I always find myself thinking about my grandfather and the many, many others who have so faithfully served our country. Freedom is not free. I am thankful for their sacrifices. Pictured here with my father:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lichterman Nature Center

I don't think I've set foot inside the Lichterman Nature Center since about 1990. But, when I heard about this deal for a free trial membership (sign up by May 31), I decided it was time to re-visit.

Jude and I spent an hour or so there yesterday, traipsing along the marsh trail (ok, really I was chasing him along the marsh trail and praying he wouldn't fall into the water)....

knocking on the glass of the sparrow's house, and staring in wonder at the museum animals...

...and encountering a bit of wildlife at every turn.

Pack yourself a picnic (and maybe a little bug spray) and head on over! It's worth a visit!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Unattainable Loaf

My sister in law makes the most delicious bread. A few weeks ago she brought it to a family gathering, then I had another piece at her house. For Jude's birthday, she brought us a whole loaf. I'm rationing it out. It's SO good.

I've been into bread making lately, so I was hopeful about re-creation.

Then she told me the terrible news. She uses a starter. Agh. Wouldn't you know it? I hate starters and starters hate me. I always have great intentions with things like that. And in the end, those good intentions just aren't enough.

I kill starters just like I kill plants.

If something can't talk to me (or in Jude's case, cry a bit), I forget that it needs food. And so, a starter would be just as hopeless in our household as a pet or a plant.

I guess I'll just have to invite myself over for bread at LA's house.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrating One

A few pics from the festivities last night. The grandparents and a few aunts, uncles and cousins joined us for burgers and birthday cake. Jude ate it up:)

Opening a truck with Grammar:

A new favorite from NanNan:

Getting a little crazy with the cousins:

A clown cake from NanNan & PopPop:

It was quite the celebration:)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jude's Arrival : a little nostalgia

One year ago tonight, I was tucking in for a night's sleep, in hopes that I would wake up to Jude's birthday. I did.

At 2am, I told David I could sure use a snack. He dutifully brought me some cheese and crackers. I had a backache and felt rather sick. I thought I might be coming down with something.

We went back to sleep but I tossed and turned. Finally around 6am, I decided to go for a walk. David rolled out of bed to accompany me. At the top of the street, we turned around. My back was killing me.

It wasn't until around 7am that I actually realized I was having contractions. At that point, they were less than 2 minutes apart. Consequently, we were rather rushed getting off to the hospital. I asked David if I could please dry my hair, which was wet from a shower. He refused. It was a refusal I've lamented for a full year. My hair is disastrous in every picture.

My sister and her husband were staying with us for the weekend, in hopes that they would catch the excitement of his long overdue arrival. My mom had already been in town a week and a half waiting for him to make an appearance.

Lindsey always laughs when she talks about that morning. We were scurrying around, getting everything ready to leave. No matter what David was doing, when I had a contraction, he had a pen and paper handy and wrote down the exact time and duration. As we were fleeing to the car, my ever hospitable husband was giving Lindsey and Andy instructions about how to cook the pancake batter he'd left unfinished on the stove.

In the car, we tried to remember who we were supposed to call, but we were too excited. When we got to the hospital, I threw up in the parking lot. David ran inside for a wheel chair, which he pushed at great speed toward the elevator. A nurse asked us if it was our first child. We said, of course, that it was.

A lot of people had warned us that it probably wouldn't be as dramatic as they make it in the movies. Rarely do you have to race to the hospital these days. I remember laughing at that point. It really had turned out a bit dramatic after all.

I had hoped to give birth without using any pain medication. Nothing moral, just a hope. By 9am, I was ready for an epidural. If you ever want a good laugh, talk to David about this change of heart. Apparently, I was quite expressive. At 11am, they finally gave me one. I called the anesthesiologist my best friend and never looked back.

At 2:12pm, Jude arrived. My first words when I saw him were "Yay, Jude!" Apparently, I felt he'd just won some sort of battle. In a matter of minutes, he was in our arms...this little man we'd waited so long to meet.

It was love at first sight.

Apart from my wedding day, it was, without a doubt, the best day of my life.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Travel Log

A few moments from our trip this week:

1. 12 hours of drive-time turns into a LOT more road time than we realized. By the end, everyone was a little delirious..but we made it!

2. When your GPS tells you that it needs updates, you should probably take care of that. Otherwise, you may end up in a similar situation....on a dirt road through the ghetto of small town NC:

3. Jude loves apples. Hours of car entertainment gnawing on a big red apple.

4. I love our new apple too. (the techy kind of apple:) We had a little backseat fun with photobooth:

5. Grammar was our HERO all week. She trekked all the way up just to hang with the little man and went above and beyond the call of grandmas! A whole post may be necessary.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wild Ponies

We've been in Virginia this week for meetings. We drove. 12 hours. With Jude.

He was a dream baby. We were really glad when we finally arrived though.

We took the opportunity to spend a night in one of the coolest cabins I've been in with my old college suitemate and her hubs. We went into Grayson Highlands State Park to see the wild ponies. How crazy is that?

Most of you have probably seen these pics on facebook by now...but I thought I'd share a few just in case.

I love that mountain air!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shabby to Chic?

Nevermind that we are selling most of our furniture in -45 days, when I came across this little table for free, it screamed "craft me."

So, I did. And for the rest of our time here, I'll be enjoying this little porch table in all of its glory.

My latest crafting love is anything that includes modgepodge and scrapbook paper. I intend to spray the table top with a waterproof coat in the next few days for some added protection.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Not long ago, I read a pastor's statement to his church leaders upon returning after a sabbatical. He was listing the progress he'd made in study and personal growth during his time away. He told them that he was less prone to sullenness. It was only a brief statement and not one that he dwelt on long, but it's been rolling around in my mind for weeks now.

Sullenness. It's not exactly a word we throw around a lot these days. Oxford calls it resentful, sulky, dismal. A synonym is glum. It brings to my mind a picture of Eeyore, the remarkably melancholy donkey in Winnie the Pooh.

I would say that I am prone to sullenness. Usually, it is a result of an unfulfilled desire or disappointed expectation. I wanted what I wanted and I got real life instead. My shoulders droop and I take my time recovering from the situation. Until I read that line, I doubt I would have called it sullenness. But there it is.

The sins that seem to have the most power over me are the ones I haven't named. They stay in those murky waters away from thought and the mirror of the Word. I poke them in the closet and mutter something about how this is just part of my personality. There is something potent in looking a sin in the face and calling it by its ugly name. I've found that to be true over the past few weeks for me in this area.

Things don't go my way. I heave a sigh. I feel my shoulders starting to sag. I drape myself over the couch. And the word pops into my head: sullenness. Exposed.

Christ didn't sulk. He obeyed. He served. He moved forward in the midst of troubles and disappointments. And He told me that my attitude should be the same as his: a humble-hearted, loving servant.

It's a bit harder to be sullen with those thoughts running through your head.

Monday, May 16, 2011

That Kind of Girl

I've talked about getting a pedicure for my calloused runner's feet for upwards of a year. But I probably wouldn't have done it. I'm not a pedicure kind of girl.

This is why a gift certificate to a salon from some very kind friends who know me quite well was the perfect incentive. I have to admit: I walked away thinking that maybe I am a pedicure kind of girl after all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mud Pies

Lately, I've noticed that I have a tendency to shrink from outside time because of the dirt involved. We come inside sweaty and dusty. My make up feels a little melted and my hair is a bit frizzier.

Jude doesn't care though.

He just wants to frolic in that green grass, rub his knees raw on that playground,and follow the big kids around on their bicycles. He loves being outside. And so, slowly, I'm adjusting myself to this new, dirtier life. David is my biggest encourager in the adjustment. He loves it.

Today, Jude and D spent the morning doing manly things. This included playing in the mud. When I opened the door, I found them in this state:

The mud face paint was for my benefit. The rest was, apparently, genuine wear and tear.

Like father, like son.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


After a long history with HP, I'm switching over. I think I'm going to love it. I love what other people can do on their little apples. But, I'm slow. {It took me 2 days to find the new tab command} So, it may be a long process. I think it will be worth the effort.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Horsing Around

We discovered a new favorite stop on our way through Shelby Farms yesterday:

{Half Clad Baby Explanation} He was in his pajamas because I thought it might be cool down at the lake. However, we are in a Memphis May. I should have known that it would be 80 degrees at 8:45am. So, I stripped him down and lathered on sun screen....and there he was in his diaper and socks for all the horses to see.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Family Fun for $1

A few weeks ago when Jude had his cousins over, we painted grilled cheese sandwiches with food coloring and made edible butterflies. How cute is that?

I confess: a good number of my creative kid-friendly ideas come from the Family Fun website. I caught a great deal last night for a year's worth of their magazine for only $1. That moneysavingmom.com knows how to find a bargain:)

Click here for the info. I think it expires tonight.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On Motherhood

Just in time for Mother's Day, a friend gave me a late birthday present this weekend. Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic has been on my wish list for a few months now. Lee, who inevitably recommends favorites to me, put it on my radar. In less than 24 hours, I'm on the latter half...and loving every minute of it. I confess Jude got more than a little wrinkled during bath time as I sat on the edge of the tub reading. It may well work its way to the top of my motherhood book list.

As a result of her thoughts about motherhood in the midst of the everyday chaos and the reflection that Mother's Day rightly brings, I'm posting a little list of things that I love about motherhood in this very fleeting season:

Unbridled Affection : Jude knows no restraint in his affection, and quite often induces my more reserved nature to a lavishness of affection as well. Of late, he's taken to throwing his arm around me for pictures, crawling across the room to give me a hug, or opening wide his baby mouth to give me kisses. I. love. it.

Hopeful Wounds : Some days I love motherhood like I love the book of James. Have you ever read the book of James and walked away feeling particularly good? I haven't. But it is among my favorites. He ruthlessly exposes sin that I quite often gloss over. It cuts me to the core. And in the process it gives me the opportunity to repent. It is a bit like a much needed surgery. There is a fresh wound, but it's a step toward being wholly healed. Motherhood exposes all sorts of sin in me: selfishness, laziness, ungratefulness. It makes me desperate for the God who helps.

Unexpected Laughter : These baby days are dramatic. Just this morning, Jude squirmed his way under the changing table to retrieve a pacifier. He was, of course, trapped. He screamed, I laughed (and helped him). Quite often, I look in the backseat to find Jude squealing with laughter apparently over pulling on his socks. It doesn't take much for that kid. He is like an ever present reminder to me of the joy of living this life.

A Gift to be Cherished : Laurin wrote this beautiful post. It was a poignant reminder to me of the many mommas who are longing to hold their little ones this year but instead have empty arms. The mourning goes alongside the rejoicing.

These are just a few of the thoughts in my head as I celebrate my first Mother's Day with a baby on my hip. Grateful for my boy, grateful for our moms who taught us how to love him.

Friday, May 6, 2011

J is for Josie

I've been crafting up a few things in anticipation of my niece's arrival in late August. Scrapbooking paper, a chip board letter and modgepodge are the only real supplies required for this under-15-min craft!

Every time we enter our friend Sara's house in Clinton, I come out with a craft idea:) A very fun and easy gift!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Out of Control

Since college graduation, I've lived a fairly transient lifestyle. A year in this country, 2 years in this city, 3 months in Africa, a year back at home, etc, etc. For the most part, adventuring is in my blood, I enjoy the flavor it adds. However, the older I get, the harder it seems to be. I'm in a settle-it-down stage of life. I run the same route most days, haunt the same stores, drive the beaten path to my sister's house, and have a fairly consistent routine. But, as we all know, what we feel, and what faithful living require of us aren't always running on a parallel line. So soon and very soon, off hubs, baby and I will go into the vast unknown of South Asia.

I've been thinking about that up and coming move lately. And, almost unconsciously, I've been groping for some control as I try to imagine what life will be like for us in a few months. I find myself clipping magazine photos of funiture I think locals could make for us, taking pictures with my cell phone of store items I might be able to re-create after the move, wondering what fabric will be available for curtains, reading and re-reading Lonely Planet's helpful commentaries, browsing regional cookbooks....you get the picture.

On the surface, there's nothing wrong with those kind of thoughts. It's a natural reaction to a move to an unknown country. But for me, it seems to be rooted in something a little more than that. It's as if my mind is trying to piece together the unknown to pull back a little of the controlled daily life in which I live.

As I've noticed this tendency it's given me some fodder for thought. All these controlled measures around me only give the illusion of security. They're as changeable and uncertain as the rest of life, I just don't always recognize them as such. I'm not saying I won't keep standing in front of the travel section at Barnes & Noble for hours, but I do want to make a more conscious effort to shrink from that tendency to box in what life will be like tomorrow as if everything were up to me.

The deep reality is, I'm not in control. And thankfully, I wasn't made to be. There's a joyful peace in that recognition.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome Back....

We've missed sun shining in the spring weather. Today did not disappoint!


On weeks like this, I'm especially glad Jillian's 30 Day Shred is in my possession. Until yesterday, it hasn't exactly been running weather.

Jude loves a good work out video these days.

He works on his abs, plays with my "hand weights" and laughs at my jumping jacks. If it means I get a work out in, I'll take it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Today is my sister's birthday.

What a year to come in her life: late this summer she'll welcome a wee little girl into the world. No doubt, even through the miles Josie and Jude will be the best of friends.

As for me, I sure am glad to have my feet planted in Memphis right now to celebrate with her. Happy Birthday, Sis!

For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray,
to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.
Christina Rossetti

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday, Monday

1. A friend from our church in Louisville was stuck at the Memphis airport last night with her 17 month old, so off we went to pick them up and put them in our guest room. Ahh. It was good to catch up on the community there. It made me realize something that I don't consciously think about too much: After a wonderful year in Memphis, I do still miss Louisville:)

2. Jude is crazy today. So far, he's eaten a yellow crayon, followed me around the house crying, almost hyper ventilated at the mere sight of Amanda's dogs....you get the picture. Thankfully, he's napping now...or, quite obviously, I wouldn't be blogging today.

3. I just finished up yet another Piper biography on my ipod: George Mueller's Strategy for Showing God, It was so good for my soul.

4. Jude learned a new trick this weekend: hands-free standing. I feel those first steps a-coming!

5. Does anyone else feel like every time you turn on the news these days something earth shattering is taking place?

6. A friend put this in the mail to me for my birthday and it is simple, straight forward truth in an area I need simple and straight forward.