Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Mops is here, which means the nesting has gone exponential around here. I'm stealing a moment on the computer while she's away at Hobby Lobby, but I do promise a full update when she leaves. For now, though, I thought I'd post a sweet picture of my Little Sweet eating a sweet treat with an even sweeter filling...

...but mostly I'm just filling space on the blog.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time Flies

I have had perfectly good intentions of updating... but it seems that time is just getting away from me! I'm also finding myself with dwindling energy and brainpower; seems to be the curse of the third trimester!

And with the third trimester comes full-on nesting mode. When I was pregnant with Phoebe, I wasn't home enough to enjoy these nesting urges. But now, do I ever! We have a master project list that includes clutter busting, decor additions, room rearranging, and bathroom updating. Fortunately, Mops is coming to town tomorrow to give me a hand for a few days; I am most excited about what we might accomplish!

That's all I've got for now... but be looking forward to the following:
  • a 30 week pregnancy update (!)
  • Phoebe shows you how to eat a delicious treat
  • deep thoughts with Sarah T
  • pictures of our nesting projects

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Years

Today is mine and Michael's third anniversary. On one hand, it's hard to believe that three years have already gone by. On the other, it's hard to believe that it's only been three years -- so much has happened! There is rarely a dull moment with my sweet husband!

The Lord has richly blessed our marriage, and we praise Him for the way He is growing us as a couple. We continue to look forward to the ways He will continue to grow us, and the adventures He has in store for us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's always a bit of a system shock to return to the "real world" after a getaway. There are dishes to be done, beds to be made, children to be cared for, and meals to plan. Although there is really nothing quite like coming home, there is always an adjustment period -- and I always dread it after a time away.

We seem to be adjusting well today. The bags are unpacked, most of the dishes are done, beds are made, and I'm back to operating on a to do list. My brain seems to be somewhat thankful for its return to usefulness, even if it is having to shake a little rust off along the way. And thanks to experience, I've learned to make the first day back an easy one, slowly returning to responsibility without causing undue shock to the system. But really, any of the shock is worth it for the chance to getaway like we did.

Michael and I had a wonderful time together in Asheville, North Carolina. (Although really, we could've gone anywhere and had a blast.) We spent the night with Mops and Pops on Wednesday night, preparing ourselves to release our Little...this was the longest we'd been away from her. It was a little more difficult to leave her than we thought; she came down with a 24-hour bug that included a 102 degree fever (her third in as many months). We knew, however, that we were leaving her in capable hands.

We left Thursday morning and drove for, well, a long time. Shattered glass on the side of a winding mountain road added another hour and a half to our trip, so we were relieved to finally arrive at our hotel. It was really everything we hoped it would be, and I was thankful to know with certainty that our historic hotel did indeed have air conditioning.

We woke early Friday to blue skies and cooler weather, so we headed out early to the Biltmore Estate. Beautiful! We were disappointed to learn that no photographs could be taken inside the actual house, but let me assure you... opulent doesn't even begin to describe this place! It reminded me of castles in Europe; it was hard to believe that the Biltmore is less than a hundred and fifty years old. We also enjoyed a stroll in the gardens, and we toured the Estate winery. The two of us geeks loved learning all about the history of the estate!

In front of the Biltmore Estate

(The shrimp plant...delicious!)

Saturday, we decided to take it a little easier. (My hip is still causing some aggravation, and I wanted to make sure we didn't overdo it!) We strolled around downtown Asheville, wandering in and out of galleries and shops. We enjoyed just being tourists for the day!
The Grove Arcade, downtown (built by a rich snake oil salesman!)

Playing the water bottle flute with some Appalachian musicians

On Sunday, we had a leisurely start. After breakfast, Michael and I listened to a message online from Voddie Baucham. I would highly recommend checking out some of his available messages; we listened to "The Centrality of the Home", and we were both challenged and convicted. Afterwards, we loaded up in the van and explored historic Hendersonville, NC. We strolled Main Street, enjoyed a free history museum, and devoured an incredible lunch at an old Apothecary/Soda Fountain. One of the highlights of my entire trip was enjoying an ice cold Cheerwine in a glass bottle! We then traveled a little further to the DuPont Forest, and took a short hike to a waterfall. On our return trip to Asheville, we stopped back in Hendersonville for some ice cream; what a great way to wrap up an afternoon!
Just "Kidding" around with the Hendersonville art exhibit

We know a cool photo op when we see it... the onion ring tunnel

Hooker Falls, also known as the redneck watering hole

We got up early Monday to head back, eager to get our Little back in our possession. We knew she'd had a great time, and so did we, but we missed her way more than we thought possible! After a couple of hours "layover" at Mops & Pops's house, and then dinner with the Harvards, we returned back home. It is so good to be back!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

28 Weeks

If you're holding your breath for a belly picture, you'd better hold it a little longer. Because it takes forever for my belly to look more pregnant and less beer gut, I'm waiting until at least thirty-some weeks to share it with the interweb. Sorry!

I did indeed have my routine checkup yesterday, and everything was... routine. In fact, I think it was the fastest I'd ever had an appointment there (and they are usually quite efficient). Everything looked good -- heart beat, belly growth, blood pressure, etc.

I have been having some moderate hip pain for the past couple of weeks, especially in my left hip. On Sunday, while teaching our little ones, I made the wise decision to sit in a preschool-sized chair. Doing so popped my hip out of place...whoops! Dr. D has suggested that I take breaks from doing things when I can to see if it helps; otherwise, if it continues for the next couple of weeks, I'm headed to physical therapy. Yikes!

The other exciting news of my appointment is that I am now starting the every-two-week visit cycle. Somehow, I'm already to the third trimester of this? I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is progressing. We have done nothing to prepare for Nora's arrival... so I guess I'd better get moving!

And speaking of moving, Michael and I are heading out of town tonight to celebrate our third anniversary. Mops and Pops will be keeping Phoebe for four days as we go on a getaway adventure. We're very excited to have some alone time and do some exploring together; we will, however, miss our critter! We're bringing the laptop, so we may decide to blog... otherwise, I'll return next week!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sixteen Months

This past month has gone by especially's hard to believe we're already at the 14th of the month again! Phoebe changes more and more every single day; I'm going to try and document a few more of the fun things she's doing now that she's a big sixteen month old.

Phoebe is...
  • saying more words, including: all done, nay-nay (we are almost certain this is her paci), that, moo; she has also started repeating things more, something she wasn't interested in before. The sweetest word she has repeated? Kisses. Phoebe continues to be very communicative, if not using a great many words -- and has really started jabbering nonstop. It's only a matter of time before we understand her!
  • 100 percent DONE with the b-o-t-t-l-e. She does still drink a few ounces of PediaSure or milk from her cup at bedtime.
  • walking, running (!), climbing, dancing, and walking backwards.
  • loving books even more! She is now willing to sit still in a lap for up to three (short) books on a variety of topics. Her favorites are still animal books, but one of her story Bibles has gone into the rotation as a favorite as well. She loves to flip each and every page on her own, too, and say "all done" when she is finished.
  • specifically identifying pictures of animals, household items, etc. She loves to point out things that she knows in books -- bananas, strawberries, flowers, bugs, etc. She has also started using her pointer finger very intently, rather than just her whole hand to point.
  • showing lots of body parts to us, such as her ears, nose, mouth, head, hair, tummy, toes, and knees. (These are the ones she does with some consistency.) She also loves to point out Mommy's tummy, and will kiss Nora at a mention of her name.
  • still taking two naps a day, fortunately! We had some question of this in the middle of the month, but we have worked back onto a schedule of two naps. (Mommy is thrilled.)
  • learning to eat with a spoon with great success. Forks are next!
  • cracking us up by smelling things. She makes an exaggerated "sniff" and will smell flowers and pictures of flowers, and other "smell good" things.
  • loving nature, animals, and being outside. She will gesture to go outside often, and we've added a morning walk to our routine. Phoebe carries her little bucket and collects nature items -- leaves, stones, etc. It's become a sweet part of our day!
  • easily frustrated when she cannot "exert her independence". This comes when she gets stuck someplace, can't get to something she wants, or can't accomplish a task quickly. She has, however, developed a longer attention span for puzzle-type tasks.
  • the owner of two more teeth this month, including that missing bottom tooth. It came in two days ago! (She also has one more top molar that is about halfway through the gums.)
Of course there's more, but the list has to end somewhere!

Also, for interested parties -- I have a Nora appointment tomorrow, so I'll give a newbaby update then!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Peter Piper Picked...

I have nine minutes to kill while I wait for my peach crisp to come out of the oven, so I thought I'd do a quick update and throw a few pictures up on the ole blog.

We've had a very low key, relaxing weekend this weekend. We kicked it off with a trip to Pepper Place early Saturday morning. Michael brought the cash and camera, I steered the stroller, and Phoebe delighted in the abundance of dogs at the Saturday market. I was also delighted to run into a few people we knew, including an old friend that I hadn't seen since college. After a sweep through the market to see what we wanted to purchase, we filled our bag with a bounty of delicious fruits (peaches) and vegetables (zucchini, corn, and heirloom tomatoes). Although some of the prices did seem a little steep (my tomatoes were $5 a pound), it felt good to buy local and organic. And everything has tasted so obnoxiously good.

We've thoroughly enjoyed our purchases so far, and it has inspired some extra kitchen time. We had a good old fashioned chicken and veggie dinner tonight, and the peaches have been great for eating. We'll find out how ridiculous this peach crisp is in a few minutes... but I've yet to try a Pioneer Woman recipe that I don't like. I also made a purple tomato and peach salsa yesterday that is both mild and acidic. And really. Do I need a reason to eat more salsa?

Anyway, I'm planning on making some zucchini bread tomorrow. Some leftover veggies may also make an appearance on pizza tomorrow night. The goal is to get rid of it all before we head out of town on Thursday.

And now... the crisp is done. Which means my time here is done. Eat your veggies, friends!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Eats

That Phoebs doesn't exactly eat a lot is no secret. She is a skinny little thing that would rather be going someplace than eating. That whole sitting still thing is overrated for her, including sitting still for food. I think she'd eat a lot more if we permitted her to eat all of her meals while walking about the kitchen; alas, no dice.

We have, however, noticed a spike in her appetite over the past few days. Monday night, she scarfed her entire plate of food. And trust me. It was a lot of food. And while we were at Camp Mops&Pops, one of her suppers lasted forty-five full minutes. In the high chair. And included three chicken nuggets, which supposedly all kids like, but my kid wouldn't touch before then. She has also seemed like a bottomless pit for liquid, drinking lots of milk, juice, and water. We're all a little surprised.

But today's eating has been pretty incredible all day long. I mean, I feel like I should catalog it here, for a record or something. For all those who care:
  • Breakfast: half a buttered biscuit, about 1/4 cup of cantaloupe, 6 ounces of milk
  • Before nap: 2 ounces of milk
  • Lunch: about 1/3 cup of pasta with peas, 1/2 of a small can of mandarin oranges, 1 slice of provolone cheese, 6 ounces of milk
  • At the grocery store: This is where things get amazing, at least to me... she eats 1 sample bologna and cheese roll-up (bologna!), 8 animal crackers, and at least 15 cheez-its. This is all after a big lunch! Where does this tiny child put all this?
  • Before nap: 2 ounces of milk
  • Afternoon snack: 8 slices of banana, 4 ounces of grape juice + 4 ounces of water (diluted)
  • Supper: Michael decided to give me the night off in the kitchen, so we spontaneously headed to get pizza. Phoebs at almost a whole piece of pizza (!) and half a can of mandarin oranges. She also drank about 4 ounces of water, and ate several chunks of ice. We then walked next door to get gelato; she ate several enthusiastic bites.
  • Bedtime: 5 ounces of milk
I realize that this is probably a typical day for most toddlers as far as food goes, but this is what Phoebe would typically eat over a two or three day period. I'm convinced she's going through some kind of growth spurt... and I'm loving it. It has been so much fun to have a kid who likes to eat!

Maybe she's been influenced by her mommy, who is really loving food right now? I think Phoebe is just trying to put on a little baby weight with me. Either way, it's all good eats!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At Camp

I fully intended to make a return to blogging with exuberance, but then my husband sweetly permitted Phoebs and me to make a journey to Camp Mops&Pops. And when we come to camp, Phoebe and I both get full camp privileges.

Phoebe, for one, gets undivided attention from doting grandparents and whomever we might spend time with. She also gets chocolate chip cookies, a slightly later bedtime, and entertainment in the backseat whenever we run errands. Errands may also result in a special treat to come home with, such as the sweetly stuffed Elmo that came home from the grocery store. Camp is always an exciting experience for the little!

But camp is also exciting for Mommy, who gets to turn back into a little girl at camp. Mommy gets to share critter-responsibility, and take a short break from household responsibilities. She also gets quiet, alone time when needed -- not just stolen moments during sleeping-baby hours. Mommy also enjoys chocolate chip cookies, a slightly later wakeup time, and fun special treats (such as the pedicure she is looking forward to tomorrow).

We wish Daddy could be here at camp with us, but we are grateful that he shared us for a special midweek visit. We will be returning home to him tomorrow, and while camp has been exciting -- we look forward to being reunited as a family!

But hey, what summer would be complete without a fun experience at summer camp?

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're Back!

We have, indeed, returned to the land of technology.

We actually did get our Internet (and cable) back on Monday, as hoped for. But it’s been a busy week, and blogging just wasn’t high on the priority list. For the two of you that have missed our fairly frequent updates, I apologize!

Prior to the “outage”, I had been stewing in a really awful funk for a few weeks, and I felt like the joy had left our little world. I was unenthusiastic, unproductive, and unhappy. Just living through life had kind of become drudgery, and the longer I sat in this “yuck”, the worse it got.

Fortunately, our break from technology was well-timed. Truly, it was a gift from God to be able to simplify and be free of distractions. By getting rid of those distractions, it freed up a lot of time that I didn’t even know that I had to really focus on the Lord, and what He wants from me right now.

When the technology returned, I found I hadn’t missed it all that much. Yes, it’s nice to be able to check my email and catch up with friends on their blogs. Yes, I like to veg out with some Food Network every once in a while. But my perspective on all of those things has changed a good bit. It isn’t as necessary as I thought it was. And life is good.

Things haven’t been perfect, and I haven’t been perfectly joyful. My priorities often still work themselves out of whack. But I was, and am, thankful for my break. And most of all, I’m really excited about the work that God is doing in our house right now… what a privilege to see glimpses!