Friday, November 21, 2008

We love cousin Dylan

Eli's wish is to never out grow cousin Dylan! We received three big boxes of clothes and shoes last night from our cousin. Eli thoroughly enjoyed pulling everything out of the boxes...and of course, enjoyed the empty boxes too!
We sincerely appreciate Dylan thinking of Eli. Eli will be kept warm and stylin' all thru the winter!
OH - and as a bonus, Chris was waiting at home for us when we pulled in the driveway! They are great playmates!
Pulling surprises out of the boxes
The loot

Kisses to cousin Dylan
The famous fish face

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who is writing your story?

There are days when life is just hard. Or, we feel our circumstances make our lives hard. I've been having a few of those days lately. Chris recently began a new job that will eventually have more opportunities, but right now, it's taken about 15 hours of family time at night. This would be hard for any couple - but, on top of it you can add a 16 month old and an 8+ month pregnant wife. It's a miracle if everyone eats something remotely healthy, gets bathed, and has a clean bottle of warm milk. Not to mention the filth of piled high dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and don't even get me started about the last time the floors were vacuumed. So, it's very easy to feel like a single mom (never underestimate the load they carry). Then, there's the day-time drain - work (which is a complete separate issue in itself), making sure there is enough money for gas and milk, trying to figure out how we're going to afford maternity leave AND incremental expenses when I return to work. It's all mentally and physically draining. And, yes, I remember that I am blessed to have a husband come home at all in the evenings. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have a husband or if he were in Iraq for the next several months. I'd probably just move in with my mom and dad and be on some type of medication.
I've been praying about this because I do believe that God has blessed me and it's important to be a thankful and gracious person. My state of mind has a great impact on my ability to be a decent/good wife, mother, friend, and co-worker.
As if on cue, Chris got up with us this morning and woke Eli up, fed him, and dressed him. This was so meaningful. Especially because I haven't had a night of un-interrupted sleep in who knows how long. Plus, Eli thinks his dad is hilarious.
On the way in to work I was listening to Focus on the Family. A lady was sharing about being a mother and she said something that stuck out to me: "let God write your story of motherhood." We create such preconceived notions about what the perfect life should look life and we make plans to meet that ideal. Often we don't leave room for God to write the story. It was a fresh reminder that my story of motherhood doesn't have to look like anyone else's- but it should most definitely be written by God. This is where peace and contentment come from.
As if the Lord were not done opening my eyes, I found a very interesting post on the Belly Chronicle's blog called The Invisible Mother. If you have a few minutes, you should read it. It has given me a different perspective on the work of a mother.
Anyhow, all this to say that being a Mom does get better every day. But, it many ways it gets harder every day. Having the right perspective and attitude at heart (and head) makes the difference.
And, thanks Chris for your help this morning!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spiritual lessons thru sinus infections

Thoughts from my daily women's devotion...

Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.Proverbs 3:7–8

Well, this is very timely. After Eli's ear infection, I have come down with an acute sinus infection...which led to a bout with pink eye. Thankfully I am able to take some antibiotics.

I have been feeling better and forgot to take my antibiotic yesterday morning. Big mistake. There is a reason I went to the doctor and that the doctor recommended 10 days of medicine. No more missing the horse pills for me!

I appreciate how the verse talks about being impressed with our own wisdom. It is often that I'm impressed with myself. Why? It's not like I've cured some disease or solved a mathematical dilemma. Maybe it's the triumph of making it through another day, balancing my checkbook (sometimes a mathematical dilemma), or making it to the grocery store with Eli without incident. Who knows. But, it does happen.

And, it's usually about that time I start feeling impressed with myself that I begin to rely more on my awesomeness than on the One who gives me talents and opportunities. It is He that I should be relying on to guide my path...and to be thankful for His guidance, provision, and protection.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2 months til D-day!

I can't believe AbiJean will be arriving in two months! Well...around two months! Although it seems like I've been pregnant forever, it's also flown by!

Eli will be a wonderful big brother. When we ask him where Abi is, he pats my stomach and gives it a kiss. So sweet! I can't wait to see how he interacts with her.

Chris is also getting very excited. Anytime I show him something for Abi, he says in his baby-talk voice, "Ohhh, it's soooo cute! I want her to come out so we can bundle her up in it!"

We still have lots to do before her arrival, but thankfully I've got some time off of work soon. I officially go on maternity leave on December 19! Woo Hoo! Eli and I will stay cozy at home while we celebrate the holidays and his sister's impending arrival! Oh, and we'll probably make cookies for his Daddy!

Here are a few things that we can't wait to put Abi in:
Super soft bear bundle thing from Old Navy
Some super cute Penguins - and a blue that will match her eyes!
And a hat for our sweet little cupcake!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Natural Food Store Visit

So...while running errands today, my mom and I decided that we would stop at the local Natural Food store to check out their salad bar. A co-worker eats there regularly. I commented that the store has all sorts of unique things (I had heard) and it would be a fun stop for Friday. We both agreed that we needed some fun (after the elections and Eli being sick). we go to the fresh produce. First, while the fruit looked yummy, there were all sorts of vegetables (roots and stuff) that I had no idea what they were or what I would do with them. We did stop and browse the fresh bread offerings (like good McDaniels) and selected a Cranberry Pecan bread for Dad. Anyhow, there were samples of some sort of cracker with seeds on it and organic dark chocolate for baking. We took a brief look at the salad bar and decided to stop back by after we browsed thru the store.
After walking down several aisles, I told Mom that I felt very out of place. I didn't recognize half of the items or ingredients on the shelves. (Remember, we live in WalMart world and are well exposed to the world of grocery stuff) I felt that people looked at us and chuckled, knowing that we had no idea what was going on. As we rounded the dairy section, Mom commented that she felt like she was in Costa Rica - and I agreed - where the products looked vaguely familiar, but a selection of anything would be a guess. It was definitely a cultural trip.
So...on to the salad bar. They did offer baked potatoes and soup too. The soups were Miso (who eats this outside of a sushi restaurant???), a corn chowder, and something with Barley in it. Again, I was at a loss. I decided to peek at the salad offerings before building my salad. I'm a cheese, boiled egg, bacon bit, sesame seed, crouton, Ranch dressing kind of salad eater. Don't think any of that was offered. I could not bring myself to get a salad when Ranch dressing was not available. Mom laughed at me. I couldn't do it. It was like my mind would not let me consider such a thing.
Mom encouraged me to get something from their grill. But, everything was organic and vegetarian. The longer we were in the store, the more I wanted a bacon cheese burger and coke!
Plus, the bread we bought Dad (which was great!) was super expensive. It was nice that the tag next to the price read, "Support your local economy." We were definitely doing that!
So, now I'm back at work enjoying an ice cold Dr. Pepper (not purchased at the Natural Food store). Mom did get a salad...but didn't eat it...she had to buy a sandwich from our in-house cafe (another story for another day).
We definitely had an experience together. That's the best part of working at the same place as Mom. We get to go discover things...just like we did in Costa Rica! Sometimes it's a success...sometimes not. I think next time, we'll stick to Jason's Deli or (the always awesome) Sonic!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Other Fall Fun

Here are a few snap shots of Eli this fall. He is getting so big and independant! He began walking by himself (finally) on Saturday. Plus, he's climbing everything! Eli has had several new experiences - riding the four wheeler, sitting in Eli-sized chairs, and reading every book within 20 feet. There are also a few pictures of the awesome Ozark fall foliage! Enjoy the pictures...

Thurman Farm

On Sunday, PaPaw and I took Eli to the "Thurman Farm." Our church friends have all these animals on their land! Eli had a blast!


Eli was a monkey for Halloween. We took him to the Bent Tree neighborhood and to the Keeling's for trick-or-treating. Thankfully the weather was great!

After about 20 minutes of gathering candy, we went to Mimi and Papa's house for pizza!

But, the little monkey was quickly exhausted...resulting in an awesome 12 hour sleep!