Friday, December 31, 2010


Okay so I thought I would try to catch up my blogging somewhat before we ring in the new year in a matter of hours.
Our Christmas. Sigh, it was such a special one!
Our first one as a 'family'- Jonah + me + Oliver. This year we did something completely different and stayed home until Christmas afternoon. It was oddly quiet on Christmas Eve, and we did find ourselves missing the loudness of extended family around. I mean Oliver can get noisy, but not that loud. But we really wanted to celebrate our very first Christmas in our new home, with our own tree. And after getting past the quietness of Christmas Eve, snapping some memorable (picture to follow) family photos, the next morning made it worth it.
We woke up, headed down to get the coffee brewing and passed out our stockings. We didn't get Oliver a lot for many reasons, one being he is young and doesn't know what is going on, two we don't want to start the tradition of giving a billion gifts so that he can't enjoy them and get greedy therefore missing the reason for Christmas, and three we knew he'd have gifts from family.
But the one gift that Oliver loved loved loved was a little toy wooden car I picked up at Target for $1. Isn't that the way it goes? You find fabulous gifts for a six month old and he reaches for the least of all of it. Tissue paper was also a big deal to him. He loves to crinkle it and tries to eat it of course, as everything goes to the mouth these days.
Jonah and I also opened our stockings, which was fun and always surprising to see what we get each other. And yes we wrap those gifts too- we are the biggest kids of all when it come to unwrapping. Love love love to unwrap even the simplest little thing! .....or maybe it's just me that loves to unwrap....
For Christmas gifts we found a special toy for Oliver. Last year while I was 7 months pregnant we visited FAO Scharz in NYC and saw the most beautiful big white elephant. I really wanted it, but it was not in our budget at the time so we chose not to get it. For Christmas though we both knew we wanted to get this for Oliver, so we ordered it and waited and waited for it to come. What fun it was to see that big box on our doorstep from FAO!
Oliver liked it, but still loved his car more. Oh well! I think when he's a little bigger and able to wrap his arms around his 'Melvin' the elephant, he'll like the softness of him. Right now Oliver and Melvin are about the same size.
Our gifts for each other were fun to open as well, and I was able to surprise Jonah, and he did with me as well. One special gift we always save for the end is a small silver ornament that hangs on our tree. It's a present box and opens up so every year we rotate back and forth for whose turn it is to fill it. Jonah had it this year and he very tediously cut out a silver snowflake with the words 'snow, sew' written on it. My newest passion as of late is sewing, and he had contacted his sewing aunt for advice on a sewing machine. Well she actually had a sewing machine that I could have! It's an old Singer from the 50's and heavy as they come, but so thrilling to have! We went out this week and picked it up and it's waiting for me to use it....
After gifts we had a lovely breakfast complete with delicious fresh from the farm bacon....oh so good.
Then we headed to our in laws for a couple days. We spent time visiting with them and enjoying more gifts,  and memories together. We even saw some snow that night, which was pretty neat on Christmas day!
I want to say we didn't get caught up in gifts, and honestly I really feel like we didn't. Every year I try so hard to focus on what is the most important thing- Jesus coming to this earth as a tiny baby. And having Oliver here reminds me again of what Mary went through. Last year I carried our son within me and felt him move and kick, and imagined what he looked like. This year he was with us, watching the tree lights sparkle, listening to us laugh, and filling us with so much joy. It's so special to share the day with our son, with each other, with those we love, and I think the memories we made will stay with us for years and years to come.

scrabble, hot cocoa and sleeping baby what more could you want?

so much fun he fell over

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas news

Here we are a couple days after Christmas and I have such nice, loving memories of our first Christmas together as a new family...with our little boy with us.
But my thoughts are not there tonight. My heart is with my dad.
News this morning that he went to the hospital because he may have had a mini stroke. I about fell over when I read that text from my sister early this morning. Calls immediately followed and I learned he and my mom went to the hospital because he was having numbness in his arm and slurred speech.
Fast forward to now, he is doing okay and everything has returned back to normalcy. He is admitted and staying overnight for more tests, but so far the catscan came back good with no signs of stroke. My mom feels he had a TIA (I believe it's called) which is a small mini stroke.
I can't even believe I am writing about stroke.
I updated my facebook today with status of this and again my mind didn't seem to wrap around it. Isn't this kind of language something you use for much older people?? Say if my dad was 90? He is in his late fifties.
It's been quite a day.
Amazing how quickly your whole world changes in a matter of seconds. My mind read over those words and my heart stopped. My dad.
My parents live up in New York. That's a long way from Georgia.
We weren't able to fly there this Christmas because of the money it would take for us to get there. So we were here in GA. I have been praying for a way to visit them and I know God will provide it in time.
But it sure didn't make it easier to be here when this happened.
I sent out a book to my dad this Christmas that is a Grandparents journal. Having Oliver in our lives has made me realize even more how much I want my son to know my dad. I want those strings to be tied and woven for years to come. But the distance is hard! My dad hasn't even met little Oliver yet. My mom and sister and her family came to visit in the summer, but truthfully my dad has been searching for work for quite some time and hasn't been able to find any. Money has been hard to come by for them and I wish Jonah and I had so much more so that we could give it to them.
So my mom flew 'solo' without him to meet her new little grandbaby. I have been eagerly awaiting the day my dad can also meet Oliver and I pray it's not too far.
But my heart was so fearful, so sad, scared....I didn't cry immediately. I went through motions telling Jonah, stopping to pray.
Then walking downstairs to see my mother and father in law in the kitchen (we stayed at their house a couple days). I told them the news and almost immediately started crying. Your brain and heart do funny things in situations that scare and shake you. I guess it took a moment for me to really believe it, until I was telling others about it, then suddenly it made it real.
I love my inlaws. They are such sweet, loving people and immediately stopped to pray with me, standing there crying with Oliver on my hip- content little boy in his warm pj's not aware of his mommy's pain.
It was a time I needed that. I needed to just stop and be surrounded by His presence for a moment. Know He was in control of something I cannot touch.
I am still praying my way through this.
My dad is doing good, but I still have that gateway of fear opened. I'm trying to keep trusting in the Lord with all my heart. It's hard. Satan is working to get me to fear. A place I am weak in. My fears often take over and turn to worry, to anxiety. An ongoing battle in my life. So I am praying and pleading for God's peace, will, guidance, and healing. How great is our God. Truly how GREAT is He?
I am thankful this happened at a time when my mom was there to help my dad. It happened after Christmas, so they could enjoy the holiday together. It happened early in the day so that it wasn't the middle of the night. They made it safely to the hospital despite all the storms of snow up and around them. And tonight my dad and mom are safe.
This is a trial for them. And I wonder why? They have been through a lot these past couple years. It's not been easy. And I know that God has been cutting and trimming them, like you would a pattern. He has something He is making, something beautiful. And I don't know if He will show us the final result here on earth, but I pray for strength to trust Him through it now.
I love my dad. I love him so much, and I am so very very thankful for him in my life. If I learn anything out of all this, I think I am again realizing how precious life is. How each day is truly something to be thankful for. How trials come, but they cannot and should not rob us of our joy. Jesus is joy. He brings it, gives it, and is it.
I'll post more about Christmas another day, but tonight my heart is elsewhere. It's heavenly and upward, leaning hard on Him, and it's northward, thinking of my dear parents.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is almost here

Last night was a nice relaxing evening...
I say this because I want to remember the memories we've made together on this Christmas 'week'. While we usually head over to meet our small group for a Bible study, last night was cancelled due to so many of us traveling. So we had some time to relax together and enjoy the quietness of the evening over a game of Scrabble. I didn't realize how long of a game it would be. We played on and off between hot cocoa, miniature cookies, diaper changes, and ended up finishing after a few hours. But we played until the end! We used every letter up! The winner was Jonah. I was surprised that I was close to his score, since his vocabulary is much broader than mine. I tend to know words, use them, and use them incorrectly or say them completely wrong. It's a habit of mine to blurt out a word that doesn't even mean what I intended it for. Then I forget and do it all over again.
But back to last night, it was nice. Hot cocoa, board game, sweet husband, sleepy baby boy, and soft Christmas lights twinkling around us was so nice.
Tonight we had Jonah's family over to visit. It was the first time his brother and his family had been able to see our new home. I made a ham dinner and we enjoyed many many sweet treats (we had so many sweets given to us this year, I haven't had to bake, and felt guilty adding anymore sweets to our plate- maybe after the holiday!) Hot cocoa was made, coffee brewed and laughter shared by all of us. It was so nice to see everyone and enjoy the time together.
This year will be a different Christmas because Jonah and I decided to spend it here in our home with Oliver. Our first time! We usually go to one parents home and spend several days there. This time we will head to Jonah's family (they are in the same state as us, while my parents are up north, sigh) after we have our own Christmas together on Saturday. It's so much different than what we normally do, but I'm looking forward to starting our own traditions together.
These traditions are growing slowly and we aren't rushing to add many to our list, but it is fun to see what others do and incorporate some of their ideas into our own lives.
It's been such a nice week though, and we have both enjoyed it thoroughly. I can hardly believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve. It's so sudden this year. I think I feel that way every year! One minute we are decorating our tree the next we are waking up to Christmas day. Yes it's how it goes, but somehow I am always left feeling not quite ready for it to be over.
I'm excited though. It's the day we remember Christ's birth. A little baby sent here to die for us. How amazing this is. Speaking straight to my heart. Having our own precious boy this year makes me stop and see Christmas in a new light. A mothers eyes are different than that of a young woman. A different love, understanding and depth fill your heart when you think about Mary having her own baby boy in her arms, knowing He was the King of Kings. What must that be like?
I look at my own little chunky boy and love his expressions, his smell, his squishy thighs, his deep belly laughs and I can't imagine knowing what Mary did.
There is a love that fills my very being for God. For the loving gift He is. How great He loves me to suffer so on this earth for me. The one question that keeps coming back to my mind is almost haunting me...what are you doing for Him?
I keep asking this, or hearing this and I am wondering just how caught up I am in the lights, decorations, cookies, family time, gifts, and on and on the list goes. Am I stopping to listen? Am I wanting to listen? Am I searching Him out, like He is me?
I keep reading what others are doing, or say their doing to keep Christ in Christmas. But it's so much more personal for me...I don't want to tell others all the things I'm doing to keep it simple, keep it focused...
I guess I just want Him to be my gift this Christmas. His love is what I want to be filled with. I think of all the things we do, and all the things we get, this one thing will be my one want, my need.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

first tree

We finally got around to decorating our tree! We've had it for over a week now but we really took our time this year. Almost every year we are so tired and grumpy (make that I am so tired and grumpy) after picking it out, taking it home, setting it in the stand, it's too much to think about lights and ornaments. So this year we spread it out on different nights. We let our tree 'drop' for a few days, then we did lights, then we let it 'drop' some more, until we both felt ready to decorate. It was fun, I made some hot cocoa, played some holiday music and watched Oliver's little face as we brought out our collection of ornaments.
Since we've been married we've been collecting ornaments wherever we go on trips together. It's been fun each year to see this collection grow and to remember when we bought each one. This year we also started getting ornaments just for Oliver. I would love for him to have his own collection from growing up, for that one day far away when he has his own tree.
It's so much fun to watch him experience everything for the first time. Even though he doesn't understand much, his look of awe and fascination is darling. I'm so in love with my men, and so very thankful for them. This year is so special to us. Looking back at last year, I remember surprising our parents with the news of Oliver's upcoming arrival. Now here we are with him in our lives and it's amazing how quickly it's flown by.

But we are making memories, such good memories, and that's what will really stick with us through the years.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Oliver suffered through his first fever this past weekend. I didn't know he was even coming down with anything, but I did notice a little congestion on Friday afternoon. That night when we were heading to bed he had woken up and I felt his hot little body and forehead. He had a temp of 101. I tried not to freak out- Jonah was much better at this than I was. We let him sleep as much as he could, although he woke up early, and I called the pediatrician for advice. We gave him infant Tylenol, but I think it only bothered his stomach. I have read how fevers are actually good for us, and the reason our bodies heat up is to kill the infection that is in our body. Because he is so little and because I'm a mom, I wanted him to have no pain and I wanted to do whatever I could to help him.
It was a lot holding and cuddling these last few days, as well as interrupted sleep at night, suctioning out his nose, vicks, picking up a humidifier on Craigslist, splitting the day with Jonah to stay at home with our boy...and then right when he was starting to feel better I came down with a fever.
So now I feel terrible, but my sweet little boy is feeling better.
He does still have goop in his nose that comes out with sneezes....yum right?
But he isn't whimpering and sad anymore. What a difference it was to see him sick, and no I didn't like it! Poor little thing didn't know why he was feeling bad, but he did know mom and dad will snuggle with him. And do I feel like we spoiled him? Not at all.
I'm a strict, stay on schedule kind of girl, but when your baby is sick I think it all goes out the window.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

6 months

I can't believe it's true. Oliver is six months old today. How can this be? Did we really welcome him into the world six long months ago?
How precious these days have been. Parenthood is wonderful, and we both love love love our little boy. And what a chunka monka he is!
Today was his six month appt. and he weighed in at just over 18 lbs. I'm so proud of him. He has been exclusively breastfed and I know I'm giving him the best he can get. And to think about all that nonsense back in the hospital when the doctors were trying to make us give him formula. God knew I had the desire to only breastfeed, no matter how hard it would be, and he honored that. I'm so glad I stuck it out. I've been reading more about it lately and I'm amazed at how God made women to nourish their children. I'm thankful for how easy Oliver took to it.
I encourage other moms to try nursing, don't give up easily. Determine to stick it through. There are so many that can help you. Drink lots of water. My sister who has 8 children always told me that, and it's true. Drink drink drink! Get your rest, eat well, take your vitamins and drink...and work at it. It's a kind of dance- you have to learn the steps and you have to learn the roles. The two of you will find your rhythm and when you do it's like second nature.
So we are now halfway through his first year, and it's been so much fun. I think this phase is even more fun because of how animated he's become.
He is sitting up like a pro, and the doctor even gave him praise for his amazing coordination for only six months. What a big boy!
So six months...time for another big photoshoot of our little rolly boy!