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Friday, August 30, 2013

5 on Friday!

I am so glad that it's finally Friday! It has definitely been a long week and I am grateful for a three day weekend! Linking up with Darci and friends for another 5 on Friday. :)
(ONE) I am so excited because my sister comes home today! She has been doing an internship at Yellowstone National Park all summer... she left in June and I have missed her. Can't wait to see her after I get off of work and home from physical therapy. :)
(TWO) I am excited about fall. I am hoping hubs and I can hike and fish more... we didn't do too much of that last fall b/c Em was so little. We've always done a lot of hiking and fishing and I miss it.
(THREE) Speaking of fall... Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights... oh my goodness. I love them. I've already started on box number 2. Also, I have a couple of Starbucks gift cards and can't wait to get a pumpkin spice latte! :)
(FOUR) Excited for the three day weekend... we have lots of family plans (and big hopes of sleeping in!)... my other sister and her husband are coming in to town as well (they live about an hour and a half away) and we found out recently that they are expecting their first baby! Yay Emerie's first cousin on my side of the family! :)
(FIVE) We are starting to do some updates/repairs around this house this weekend... we have hopes to put it on the market in January! More on that later. .
Hope you all have a fabulous (long) weekend! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Em is 15 months!

15 Months! I can't believe that my sweet little baby is 15 months old. Wasn't she just born yesterday? She is such a fun little person now. She talks constantly... she can repeat almost any word that you ask her to. She still loves saying baby doll after everything... all done baby doll! hi papa baby doll! no no baby doll! It's adorable.
She is a pretty good eater now. She will try just about anything but she doesn't always like it. She loves hamburger, any kind of casserole, avocados, eggs, yogurt, cheese, chicken, and applesauce. We still give her a pouch or two of the pureed stuff occasionally because she's not a huge fan of plain veggies. She loves her snacks... baby goldfish and Cheerios.
She still loves to walk and stand on her toes and looks like a little ballerina. We got her some new tennis shoes at the Stride Rite outlet and made the mistake of not making her wear socks with them... Man alive! That girl's feet. Let me just put it this way... when we take her shoes off she lifts her foot up and says peeee-yewwww! Today in the bathtub when hubs was washing her feet she said, "Pee-yew baby doll". Hysterical. I love her so much.
She loves to dance and sways back and forth and bounces up and down anytime that music is playing. She loves clapping and moving to the beat... she will even dance without music.... I can just start singing something random and she will dance to my voice. I can hardly wait to get her in a mommy and me ballet class. Daddy will probably protest the ballet lessons in favor of a softball bat or a basketball team but that's just too bad! :)
She can recognize people now and will call them by name (dada, mama, papa, nonna). She is so smart... she can tell you what a horse, cow, cat, dog, duck, and a sheep say. Her knowledge of things amazes me. She knows what lots of things mean now... I keep telling hubs that our kid is a genius. :)
She will sleep through the night occasionally... usually gets up once. I've gotten used to it but I would love for her to sleep through the night consistently... especially now that I am back to work. We just aren't good at sleep training... the whole cry it out thing doesn't work for us. We've attempted it but I don't like to lay there and listen to her cry. Maybe one day it will all just click for her and she'll sleep through the night without tough love.Wishful thinking? :) 
Happy 15 months sweet girl! We love you!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beautiful Weekend

This weekend was filled with gorgeous weather and lots of quality time with my sweet little family. Saturday we had a nice and slow morning. We drank coffee and hung out around the house. After Em got her nap in we went downtown... our town is so cute and quaint. It has been featured in several magazines, including Southern Living! My sister (who is on her way back to home right now, squeeee!) and I love to shop and hang out at the coffee shops downtown. We decided to take Em out so she could walk around and get some fresh air. She had fun running around... she rarely holds still for the camera anymore!
 Always on the go!
This sign was outside of one of the shops... I want this for my classroom door! Hahaha. :) Anyways.... we had fun downtown and we stopped by to see my parents later that afternoon. Sunday we went to church and then hung out at home most of the day. We took Em to the park Sunday evening so she could run around again (she could run around in our yard but the park is more entertaining).

 Best friends (Em loves to sit on Piper's back and bounce up and down)
 She will never look at the camera.
 Daddy's girl
Fabulous weekend! (If you are reading this post in Bloglovin' and several or all of the pictures seem to be missing, it's because Bloglovin' is annoying and it's some sort of issue that I have no control over. I have found the Feedly app to be much better! :) Feel free to check out this post on my actual blog.). Have a great week friends!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday!

Finally Friday! Here is a quick look at my week!
(ONE) I survived the first week of school with 16 new Kindergartners. I have a sweet class but it's been an adjustment for all of us getting into a new routine.
(TWO) I am exhausted. I don't think I need to explain or elaborate on this one.
(THREE) I started physical therapy for my neck yesterday. If you have been reading this blog for awhile (or are friends with me) then you know that I injured my neck back in February (I knew going to the gym was a bad idea!). I've had problems with it since and have been suffering from chronic headaches that last only a few seconds but happen several times throughout the day because of the injury. The physical therapist was very helpful and thinks that we can take care of the problem by doing exercises that he taught me at home and by coming to physical therapy once a week for the next four weeks. He gave me a short neck massage at the end and let me lay on an ice pack... most relaxing part of my week!
(FOUR) My sister has started her journey home from across the country! I can't wait to see her... by the time she gets here it will have been almost 12 weeks since we last saw her in person. We've facetimed plenty while she was at Yellowstone so that she could see and talk to Em.... Em was crawling when she left and now shes running around at full speed! She won't believe how much my sweet girl has changed!
(FIVE) How adorable is this picture that I miraculously captured yesterday? I only wish it was on my regular camera and not the inside camera of my iPhone!
Happy Friday! Be sure to link up with Darci and friends to join in!
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

40 Years of Love

My parents celebrated their 40th anniversary on the 17th... what a blessing. They are a beautiful example of what love and marriage should be like. We are taking them out to dinner on the 31st. We are waiting until then because one of my sisters is doing an internship at Yellowstone National Park's Research Library and she gets back that day. Can't wait to celebrate their love!  They have been a wonderful godly example for us and I am sure I speak for my sisters as well when I say we are blessed with the best parents. They have always been supportive of us in every way and we were blessed with a happy childhood because of them. Hubs and I strive to live up to their example for our sweet Em girl.
Happy Anniversary to my sweet parents!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New School Year

Tomorrow starts a new routine.... summer has come to an end and the school year is officially beginning. No more sleeping in and drinking coffee while blogging... my morning will begin at 5:30 a.m. and I will wake up and rush around and get Emerie and myself ready and out the door by 6:45. I'll chug my coffee in the car and drop her off at the babysitters. Then I'll proceed to school where I will welcome 16 nervous/excited new Kindergartners into my classroom. The day will speed by and we will all be exhausted by 3:00. New Kindergartners are always exhausted by the afternoon during the first few weeks because many of them are not used to being in school for the entire day. I am excited to meet my new students and I look forward to getting to know them. My goal this year is to read aloud to them every single day (which I do anyways) but this year I want to keep track of the books that we read. I want to write the titles down somewhere and have celebrations when we reach certain milestones. I want to introduce them to Quack, Flat Stanley, Junie B., Tacky, and Rocket. I want them to know Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, Jan Brett, Mercer Mayer, Norman, Bridwell, and Marc Brown (among a zillion others). I want them to love being read to and to love reading to themselves and others by the end of the year. It's going to be a fun and busy year. Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Get out of the boat

The post that I've had on my heart but haven't had the words to write.

God has been moving in my heart. I've been scared though. Scared to get out of the boat. The title of this home of mine on the web is called My Walk By Faith. But am I walking by faith? Or am I walking in fear? Fear of hurt. Fear of failure. Fear that God won't provide even though His Word clearly assures me that He will.

I fear and fail daily. I wish that I had the courage to get out of the boat. To give cheerfully and not fearfully. We want to teach Emerie to be giving, love others, and to show God's love and compassion to others. I have been considering sponsoring a child through Compassion International. To give back to those who need it more than we do. What would I have to sacrifice to do that? A meal out at a restaurant? My view of this world is so small. I have more than I need and I grumble and complain that I can't travel or shop as much as I want to. Other mothers don't have enough food for their children, blankets for them, beds, clean water. I can't imagine struggling to survive everyday. I can't imagine living in a house with a dirt floor when I spend time every week (ok, every other week?!) keeping my house free of dust. I can't imagine life differently because this life is what I am used to. And so often it's taken for granted. I've been praying about this a lot and thinking about it and researching. My sorority sister started sponsoring a child from Nicaragua and recently went on a Compassion International trip to meet her sponsored child. I asked her about it and the response I got was exactly as I expected it to be. It changed her life and the life of the child she is helping.

I've been selfish long enough. I wrestled with whether or not I should sponsor a child, but yet I have paid for an unused gym membership for months?! So I did it. I got out of the boat.

I am so excited to be a sponsor to a little girl named Estefani from Guatemala. I pray that what little I give will be a blessing in her life.  This post is not to congratulate myself or brag that I am helping someone in need, it's a reminder to myself that God is faithful if we trust in him. That God is in control. It's to look back on the struggle that I had making the decision to get out of the boat and serve Him. And to be thankful for all of my blessings. And if it encourages someone else put their faith into action then that's just another blessing.
My heart is full.

Matthew 14: 28-31

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Acts 20:35
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

*This post is not sponsored by Compassion International but it is written by a new Compassion International Sponsor!! :) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I cooked twice this week -- look out! :)

I actually made a meal plan for most of this week and I've tried two new recipes. The first meal was so delicious that I had it for lunch Saturday and then I made more for dinner Sunday evening. I got this Mexican Rice Bowl recipe from Pinterest (which you can find here) and I added chicken because hubs has to have some kind of meat with his meal. It was so good and tasted so fresh. The recipe for the cilantro lime rice is also on the Two Peas and Their Pod blog. I didn't follow the recipe exactly.... I'm a short cut cook... the second time I made this I used the steamable bag of white rice and added cilantro and lime to it and it was just as delicious. I also added rotisserie chicken so that I didn't have to worry about cooking chicken. And of course I loaded it up with sour cream and salsa. :)
I also made these enchiladas last night and they were really good.
Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
I should have taken the pictures before we ate part of it but I was hungry and didn't think about it! I'm pretty proud of myself for cooking this week. This is our first week back to work and things are crazy busy. I am so exhausted.... I've been going to bed way too late, getting up wayyyy too early, and working like mad at school.
That's all I have for today because I'm sleepy!
 ... okay, maybe one more picture because no post of mine is complete without a cute toddler picture! :) Here's Em in the CNU shirt that we got her on our beach trip.... I wore my CNU shirt today too so we matched (nerd alert) but she wouldn't cooperate for a picture with her mama! Her eyes are the same color as her shirt. Little heartbreaker.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fresh Start

Summer is officially over for us, it's back to work! We didn't travel a whole lot this summer... but we spent an abundance of time with our sweet little Em and I can't think of anything I'd rather do. :) She was fantastic during her first day back at the babysitter's house. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful babysitter. She even text me today and said "thank you for sharing your precious baby girl with me again this year!" So sweet. I didn't cry this time (last year I was a blubbering mess, hubs had to take her on our first day back to work) but I did shed a few tears Sunday night. She is just so much fun right now. Full of personality... she says baby doll all the time now... no no baby doll, all done baby doll, hi baby doll. I could just kiss her little face off. She loves the dogs and lays on them all the time. She calls Mason Maymee and screams with glee when she sees the cat. Needless to say the cat doesn't come downstairs until Em goes to bed. I could talk about Em forever... but back to the original topic of this post.... a new school year.
My classroom is coming together slowly. I have so much to do before my kiddos come on Monday. I like the beginning of the year because it's a fresh start. I switched classrooms so I've redecorated and things are looking pretty good. I've met two of my students so far and can't wait to meet the rest of them. I'm also excited about working with TAG this year. I'm thinking about pursuing my add-on endorsement... I would only need to take three classes so it doesn't seem too daunting!
The beginning of the school year always reminds me of New Years. A fresh start. New goals. My goal this year is to be more intentional in life. I do a lot of thinking about things that I want to do or wish that I could do. This year I am praying to have the courage act more. To be more involved in life.
We've started going to a new church (for about 3 months now) and we are really enjoying it. I'm trying to get more involved and find an area of service. I've joined a Women's Bible study and am looking forward to the fellowship with other women in the church. I've also felt my heart being moved in the direction of missions. I'm not sure what God's calling me towards in that area... whether its local or global. Whether I go or offer support in other ways. I'm still praying and listening but I am hoping that when it becomes clear, I act. Bob Goff said it best, "In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does" (from his book, Love Does, a great read by the way). I also love this quote from that book, "It’s not all planned out for us either, and that’s where most people get too nervous to take the next step.  But know this: when Jesus invites us on an adventure, He shapes who we become with what happens along the way."
So here's to a fresh start and a new adventure. :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

End of Summer Mini Vacation

We took a mini vacation to the beach and it was wonderful! This was the first time Emerie had stayed in a hotel (she's stayed in a beach house before and in a camper but never a hotel). I was a little worried that she wouldn't want to go to sleep since hubs and I would be in the room with her and I was also concerned that we would be forced to have lights out by 8:30.... luckily that was not the case! Em was awesome the entire trip. She was an angel the whole ride down and at all the restaurants.
We stopped and watched a Circus at the Beach performer and Em clapped and yelled yayyyy a lot. :)
We went back to the hotel around 8:15, changed her into her jammies, nursed her and laid her in the pack and play... she was asleep within 2 minutes. Not only did she fall right to sleep.... she.slept.through.the.night. That's right, the girl who rarely sleeps all night, slept the entire night in the pack and play (with the light and TV on to start with!). So proud of my girl. She is made to travel. We had a lot of fun on the trip. Hubs and I went to college near the beach so we stopped at both of our alma maters on the way down. We didn't get out at hubs' school but we did at mine and I bought Em a little CNU shirt. So cute! We couldn't leave my college town without stopping at the best smoothie place ever (I'm sure I've mentioned my love affair with Tropical Smoothie in previous posts!). Em loved the smoothie!
We also stopped at a big outlet mall on the way home and I got her some new tennis shoes at the Stride Rite outlet. I'm sure she will grow out of them in like a week but I couldn't help myself. She needed some new shoes and they were adorable! She wasn't feeling the best on the way home so we didn't shop long. She was running a fever when we got her home so we gave her some meds and she perked back up. Hopefully it's just teething related. Here a few more pics from the trip.
 This makes me laugh so much. She freaked out when I gave the camera to a stranger to take our picture. This kid!
 She calmed down a little later and I asked someone else. :)
Had to include this picture... my girl is getting my naturally curly hair and it is so cute! The salty sea air agrees with her hair, it did not agree with my new bangs haha! :)

Also, I wrote a post yesterday on breastfeeding and published in kinda late.... you can find it here if you haven't read it!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On Breastfeeding

We just got back from a mini vacation so I have lots of catching up to do. I didn't want to let this week go by without writing a post on breastfeeding, it is the last day of World Breastfeeding week after all. Let me preface this by saying that I don't care how you feed your babies. If you formula feed or breastfeed, makes no difference to me. As long as you feed your kid, I don't care! :) I chose to breastfeed Emerie and had prayed throughout the pregnancy that I would be blessed with the ability to do so. God is faithful. Emerie has been nursing for 14+ months now and I know that the end of this journey is in sight. I don't take a single moment of it for granted. It was definitely hard at first. Newborns nurse forever. Hubs jokes that I would take Emerie and disappear for what seemed like hours during those first few weeks of nursing. It has had it's ups and downs... I can remember feeling like I was on fire during those first few weeks right after she would latch on. Talk about painful. I often asked myself if I would be able to continue to nurse after slathering on layers of lanolin. I not so jokingly referred to Em as a barracuda. Hubs was very supportive, woke up with me every single night, would change her diaper and talk to me while she nursed. He still does that (yeah you read that right, she's still getting up in the middle of the night, that's a whole separate post). It makes a difference when you have a supportive spouse. After the pain of those first two months it got a lot easier and the nursing sessions got a lot shorter. I am so so glad that I hung in there. I was lucky enough to have a good milk supply and had no problems stocking the freezer full of milk (our freezer and my parent's deep freeze). Pumping takes dedication and persistence... I missed several meetings throughout the year and gave up some of my planning time during the day to pump enough milk for Em. I don't know how mom's who exclusively pump do it. You definitely deserve props for that! This breastfeeding journey has been filled with pain, exhaustion, clogged ducts, and during one phase, an occasional bite or two (ouch!). But it has also been filled with happiness and joy, baby snuggles (now toddler snuggles), and a closeness that I wouldn't have experienced had I not continued through all of those not so pleasant moments. I love nursing Emerie... did I imagine that we would still be nursing at 14.5 months? No but I'm glad that we are... I'm not going to rush her to wean... I'm sure it will happen within the next four months... so for now I am going to continue to enjoy my sweet time with my girl... She's growing up too fast.
So for all of you breastfeeding mama's out there... Happy World Breastfeeding week! :)
And since I don't have any pictures of Em nursing (I wish I would have had hubs take some!! Remember that for next time!), here is a pic of us at the beach this week... vacation update will be my next post! :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 on Friday

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
Here's a little of what we've been up to lately! I can't believe we only have on Friday left before we head back to work!
(One) We spent yesterday evening at my parents' new house. Em hung out with my mom and dad while hubs and I took the canoe out on the lake for a little fishing. It was so much fun. I used to fish allllll the time when hubs and I first started dating and even through the beginning of our marriage. The last few years I haven't fished much and I forgot how much I love it!
(Two) I've spent some time working in my classroom this week and it's finally starting to resemble a classroom. I switched rooms this year so it's been a little more work unpacking and getting things ready. Also, this room has two chalkboards, yes, you read that right... chalkboards. I need to find some Pinterest ideas to revamp those things! (Don't worry, even though some of my classroom is still from the dark ages, I do have a document cam, computer, and SmartBoard.) :)
(Three) Can I just say that I am going to be so sad to leave my sweet little Em everyday? I just told hubs this morning that I'm going to miss bringing her to our bed every morning and listening to her talk and jabber and give us kisses. Back to rushing around like mad and running out the door every morning! One week of summer left. :(
(Four) I enjoyed reading these two blog posts... you've probably seen them... The first one takes me back to my church youth group days. Sigh. 
My husband is not my soul mate. and When you think your love story is boring.
(Five) Happy World Breastfeeding week! I feel blessed to be able to nurse our sweet girl. 14 months and still going!
Speaking of our sweet girl, how cute is this? Kissing the "baby" in the mirror. Happy Friday!