Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Looking forward to having a silly night with the cutest pumpkin in town... check back for photos tomorrow!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wedding Weekend

Here Comes The Bride

This past weekend one of my closest friends got married! Whenever I had pictured Ashley's wedding throughout the years we've been friends, I always pictured her having a beautiful outdoor ceremony. That is exactly what she had! With the weather getting cooler this week there were a few sad moments where we thought the wedding would be moved indoors but everything worked out so well. It was chilly but thankfully Ashley adapted and we got to get bridesmaid cardigans 5 hours before the ceremony. I'm sure she was cold, but she was so beautiful that nobody could tell.

Ashley's ceremony was really so amazingly beautiful. She and her groom Jason got married at the Oakmont Country Club and it was perfect. I loved that their ceremony was such a testimony to the work Jesus has done in their lives and that it reflected their unique personalities.

Gettin' Our Party On!
After the couple said their I Do's we moved the party to the ballroom. Instead of a traditional cake Ashley and Jason had a selection of pies. The germane chocolate cake was definitely the best!  And when we all took a break from the dance floor, Jason seranaded Ashley. Woah. I didn't realize that Jason is equally as talented as Ashley! Mr.&Mrs Cobb - I hope your marriage always rocks :)

Friends for Life...The Hottest Date Ever...The Coolest Dudes on the Dance floor

As amazing/beautiful/enchanted/full of love as the wedding was, my absolute favorite part was hanging out with my best friends! We got to get main/pedis on Friday, visit with each other at the rehearsal dinner, and spend 10 full hours together on the big day! I LOVE my best friends so much and spending so much time together was like being back in college together. We have always had a blast together and laugh so much. I love that we've been in each other's weddings, and I love that our husbands can be nerds out on the dance floor together. Being on a hot date with my husband wasn't too bad either!

Congratulations Ashley & Jason!  Thanks for sharing your day with us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sleep Monster

For the past 2 weeks there has been a sleep monster in our house. You know, the kind of monster that sneaks in while your child is supposed to be sleeping and instead makes them restless and causes them to cry frequently and resist sleep. Every single day last week Eva refused to take an afternoon nap. The morning nap was fine but the afternoon one was just not happening. I would put her down sleepy but awake, she would play for 30 minutes, then cry for 15 minutes until I would finally decide to go ahead and get her up. This meant that she was overly tired by bed time, leading to more tears and restless sleep all night long.  What is causing this? One theory is the evilness of teething. She is cutting 4 teeth at the same time right now. Ouch. The second theory is that she is moving towards a typical toddler pattern of taking only one nap a day.  Let's discuss this option. In theory, she would simply merge her two 1 1/2 hour naps into one great 2-3 hour nap right in the middle of her day so that she would still get plenty of sleep and have energy to make it all the way to bedtime. Too bad that babies don't read theory books. Instead I've tried to put her down in the middle of the day but she still only naps for 1 1/2 hours. She's exhausted by bedtime. She cries so much during the day because her little rhythm of life (feeding, sleeping, playing) is all messed up. She wakes up in the middle of the night way too many times for way too long each time. Plus I am trying to combat the time I'm loosing for her not taking a 2nd nap by waking up early most mornings to squeeze in things that I can't get done with her during the day. And Ryan has been working a lot. Our entire house is exhausted.

I read this quote on a website about baby naps:
The move from two naps to a single afternoon nap is a hallmark of toddlerhood, but it’s fraught with confusion for parents. Your tot knows when he’s ready to transition, but with decidedly limited verbal capabilities, he can’t easily clue you in.

Instead, he cries and fights naptime, wakes up tired after a too-short nap, or skips them altogether. Even worse, diminished day sleep may leave him so overtired that he sleeps restlessly and wakes at night. The result: a cranky toddler with exhausted parents.

Umm, is the author of this article secretly spying on us???? This is exactly how I would describe our life right now.

To make matters worse, I will admit that when it comes to sleep schedules I suffer from extreme Mama guilt. I have read so much about sleep for children that I know that it's really important for them to keep a routine and that early bedtimes are best for kids, even bigger kids. I'm also married to a youth pastor which means that many nights out of the week we are involved with things that keep Eva up later that I would like. So I'm left trying to decide if I protect her need to sleep at the cost of being less involved with serving our church or if I decide to make serving a priority at the cost of Eva being overly tired and emotional. And I know that there are people on both sides of this issue that would say that I should let this be the season of life where I just do less or that would say that I should make Eva be flexible to our schedule. I usually just try to balance between nights we're out later and nights she can sleep earlier, but still....Mama guilt.

Does it help that on the day that I decide to skip going up to the high school to have lunch with Ryan and some students so that Eva can nap earlier I look outside our living room window 15 minutes after I put Eva down to see this scene? Work men digging a giant hole with some motorized vehicle that are talking and making lots of noise right below where my baby girl is finally sleeping? No. It doesn't help. Unless they are burying a few ZZZ's for me to catch, or possibly some gold, I really don't care about whatever they're wanting to put in that hole.

Look how cute she is when she isn't tired and cranky :) I love her so much, I just wan to do whatever I can to help her little body adjust.  During my quiet time this morning I read through the book of Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 16-18 says:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I guess that instead of worrying too much about sleep, or lack thereof, I will rejoice that today my baby is healthy. I will pray for God's blessing of peace and ask for wisdom for each choice I make. I will give thanks that even on days when I'm really tired or frustrated, His love is enough. I will give thanks that I get to stay home with Eva because there is no where else I'd rather be. I will rejoice for the nap time that she does get because a little bit is better than nothing. I will pray that He will fight that sleep monster for me. I will PRAISE HIM for knowing exactly what my heart needs. And I will trust God to help Eva in all ways, believing that He truly loves her even more than I do. That's worth finding joy in.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Garage Sale-ing

Twice a year Trophy Club allows its residents to hold garage sales. It seems a bit crazy but it's actually pretty smart. This allows for people from wherever to come and check out all of the garage sales in the city at the same time two days a year. I had a few items on my garage sale, bargain hunting list for a while so I was looking forward to waking up early to shop the sales.

Before I get to what I actually purchased, let me share a few of my thoughts on garage sales:
1. When you are planning on hosting a garage sale you weed through all that you own and pick out the belongings you don't want anymore. Then you start to have high hopes that even though you don't want it anymore, maybe somebody else will want to pay good money for it. Right?
2. When you are shopping a garage sale you know full well that the person selling doesn't want that stuff anymore and that it is very likely that whatever is left unsold will be donated anyway. So you want to pay the cheapest price possible, right? Interesting juxtaposition.
3. I'm not a haggler. Just tell me what you think I should pay for it. If I think it's worth it I will buy it. If not, I won't.
4. No matter where a garage sale is hosted, many people have the same old junk that comes creeping out. Strange lamps. Dusty vases. Random shoes. Puzzles. Also so many people were selling non-flatscreen TVs and big computer monitors. I'm guessing that the market for those items can't be huge anymore.
5. Clothes being sold at a garage sale are no where near as appealing as sold in a store, even a resale store is much more attractive. For some reason seeing the clothes in piles or boxes or even hung up outside just screams "OLD CLOTHES" and I lose interest even though I love bargain hunting for clothes!
6. Yet isn't it crazy how much most people will spend on new clothes that within a few years they will most likely not even want anymore? Same with shoes. In store - $40. Garage sale - $.50. That is terrible depreciation of value. But it's true.
7. When there are hundreds of people having a garage sale in a small town parking is crazy. There should be a rule about parking on one side of the street so that people driving to drive past don't risk hitting other cars.
8. Some things are awkward to sell at a garage sale. I won't name them, but really, think about what you're putting out there before you place it out on the sidewalk for the world to see.
9. Design matters. The most appealing houses have items on tables. You should also put big ticket items out for people to see as they drive up.
10. This might be going back to number 1 on my list, but if you are hosting a garage sale, don't overprice your items. People looking to make more should consider selling these things on line. If you are selling a table at a garage sale for $200, you are probably not going to find someone to buy it. That's fine if you want to drag it back inside at the end of the day. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Now on to what I bought! My best find of the day was a desk for our living room. Previously we had been using a card table with a table cloth on top of it so I was hoping to upgrade a bit. I found this solid wood, good condition desk and purchased it for only $10!!!! That is a good bargain. It's very sturdy and I like the finish. Plus for only $10 I won't feel bad if something happens to it (crayon marks by a toddler) or if we move again one day and I have to get rid of it (which I hope never happens because I love where we live). I also picked up two toys and some books for Eva which she will be receiving for Christmas (right now they are cleverly hidden in the closet). The one thing I was really looking for and didn't find was a Little Tikes coupe car. I think Santa will be bringing her this. I guess he better start looking at Craigslist and Kid to Kid if he wants to get a good deal :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fair Day

What a busy weekend! We kicked off the fun on Friday with a family day at the State Fair of Texas!!! We had been planning to go but hadn't made a definite plan and then Eva let us all sleep in until after 9 AM (shocking!)...we got up, cozied around in our jammies for awhile, had some breakfast... and then decided that we could still pack a quick cooler of snacks and hit the road to be at the fair by noon. It was a spontaneous decision that worked out so great!

This was Eva's first trip to the fair. I grew up going every year on my school's fair day (or whenever my mom would check me out of school!) and I was soooo excited to share this with Eva. I know that she won't remember going but we will always remember taking her.

We started off the afternoon by seeing the Dog Show and then visited the animals so that Eva could pet them. She wasn't up for posing for photos that day, I guess she was more interested in the animals, but she did enjoy seeing all of the new animals. There is an animal called a zedonk that is a cross breed between a zebra and a donkey. We were petting it and the zedonk tried to nibble on Eva's shoe! Yikes! Thankfully it backed off and no shoes were damaged.

Then it was time for a Fletcher's Corny Dog. I meant to take this photo before I ate so much of it but you know how corny dogs don't seem to last long. This is probably one of the few times that I enjoy eating a corny dog.

I wanted to get a picture of me and Eva enjoying our wonderful family day at the fair....

 ...she wanted to walk. We tried to find places where we could get her out of the stroller to let her roam every once in a while. She's so fearless that she would probably just walk off into the midway to make new friends if we'd let her.

Guess what used to be here? Or should I say who? That's right. Big Tex. We arrived about 2 hours after the tragic burning. As they wheeled away the last of him, Ryan turned to me somberly and said, "May he rest in pieces." Haha, okay seriously. Yes, it was fun to see Big Tex but some of the NATIONAL media coverage is a little bit extreme. People placed flowers on the site and a lady on the news was crying. These people know that Big Tex was never a real person right? He wasn't like a statue of a wonderful man. He was just a statue. That will be rebuilt. Okay, off my soapbox now.

This was a really cool pumpkin carving though. I like the man that carves awesome pumpkins. Maybe the State Fair needs to make a statue of him.

Howdy, folks! We love the State Fair!

Every year my family always went to see the Bird Show. You know the big bird is going to fly down from the gold car on the ferris wheel. You know it's going to swipe somebody's money. You know a lady is going to fall in the pond after getting "scared by the bird." The gimmicks may be the same but I still enjoy seeing the amazing birds. And I'm not even a bird person.

Wiggle worm. She didn't care as much about the birds. She was more interested in crawling over the diaper bag and eating the bench.

Speaking of eating - these were our fair treats. If you don't know anything about the State Fair of Texas let me tell you, they FRY EVERYTHING. Bubble gum, beer, cheesecake, butter? All come in fried varieties. We decided to try the fried tres leches cake and fried brownies. The cake was fine but the brownies were definitely the winner! Really they were so rich we could have just split an order. I would best describe them as warm, goey brownies inside of a funnel cake like coating. I wish I was eating them again right now.

The best part of the day. I took Eva on her first carousel ride! About halfway through she decided that she was done and I had to hold her in my arms as we stood and went round and round. I didn't mind. Seeing her smile in awe as she went up and down on the horse while the music played was such a sweet moment.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eva's First Pumpkin Patch

Friday we took Eva to The Original Pumpkin Patch in Flower Mound for some pumpkin fun and family time. We've been reading board books about pumpkins and fall and she always walks up and pats the pumpkin on our porch so I knew she'd be excited to see a whole field of orange wonderfulness.

Let's go for a hayride!

 Wow! Look at all those pumpkins!!!! Where is Eva?

Some of those pumpkins were almost as big as Eva.

Good thing Ryan is strong! Those were ginormous pumpkins.

Eva loved walking around and touching all the pumpkins. 
The grass was nice and trampled down so she could walk a lot without stumbling and falling down.

I wish I could put all of these pumpkins on my front porch. Or make them into lots of pie :)

 Daddy and Eva

 Mama and Eva

Friday, October 12, 2012

Like a Sponge

Probably over a month ago I found a fun idea for "painting" with water outside using a sponge. I'd been wanting to do this with Eva but the first day I attempted it I discovered that our disposal was broken, had leaked disgusting water under our sink, and that all of my fresh sponges were mildewed - yuck! Then I bought a new pack of sponges and the cold front came through - buurrrr!!! Thursday was the perfect day. It was warm and humid enough to make water play fun without being crazy hot.

Eva had fun making a big wet mess with the sponge. I was prepared for this and let her play in only her bathing suit bottom and shoes (since I knew she'd want to walk around in the grass). She also discovered that she could turn the spout on my water dispenser to make a big puddle! 

Most of the time I love dressing Eva up but she was so freakin' cute in just her bathing suit bottoms on the back porch! Some days you need to be able to make a mess and get a little bit dirty.

We walked over to look through the fence onto the golf course behind us. She cracks me up!

As we were playing with the water and sponge I started thinking about how Eva is like my own little sponge each day as she soaks up everything I do. I know that as a toddler she will understand more and more of what I say and do - this is both awesome and terrifying! Each day I'm modeling for her things about life. The way I talk about God, the way I communicate with Ryan, the way I speak to the check out woman at Walmart, even the foods I eat - she is soaking it all up! She's looking to me to teach her and to build her own character, especially since I'm the one she's with the majority of each day.  She's also able to soak up how I handle situations when I feel frustrated, how I act when I'm tired, and the way I frown at my tummy when I see it in the mirror. Yikes! I sure have some habits that I would not want my sweet baby to grow up with. I pray that she would get only the best parts of me and that God would continue to refine my heart so that I can pass along joy and hope! So I better look out, because some little munchkin is always watching :) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Birthday Hoopla

In celebration of my husband's 26th birthday yesterday we had quite the birthday hoopla. We started the morning by giving Ryan his presents and having some orange danish roles for breakfast. Ryan mostly wanted some $ for new golf stuff, so instead of buying him something specific I took his old golf stuff, wrapped it up, and hid money in it - that way I got the satisfaction of wrapping gifts and he got the joy of receiving cash to put towards whatever he wants.

He worked in the morning and then the Bara staff took him out to Chipotle for lunch and Eva and I got to join them. After lunch Ryan took the afternoon off and we walked around Southlake with Eva for a while and let her play by the fountain.

For the evening we dropped Eva off to play with some friends for a few hours so we could go on a real date. We have awesome friends who watched Eva and were grateful to have a little bit of baby free time. 

We ate at Benihana's and it was delicious!!! Join their birthday club- they send you a coupon for $30 off your meal - so worth it!!!!

Our waiter and another man, possibly the manager, sang Happy Birthday to Ryan. Then they sang another song in Japanese and were joined by some more staff. Yeah, it was a bit awkward when it was just the 2 of them singing, I guess the other staff were busy.

They served the birthday boy some chocoalate icecream for dessert. He was nice and shared with me.

I hope yesterday was everything Ryan dreamed it would be. Now on to my birthday....only 39 more days!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ryan!!!!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Ryan!!!! Here is a flashback photo from one of our first dates 5 1/2 years ago. We went to Aubelo's that night and then sat out by the lake and talked. We look very young in this photo.  Liked you then, LOVE you now. Hope you birthday is worth the other 365 days you had to wait through for it to get here (leap year!). Time to party like it's your birthday!!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

If the Shoe Fits

{Photo Credit:}
Eva's sweet little feet have been growing so we recently went on the hunt for shoes. I  had a very specific picture of what I wanted for her shoes. I didn't want to spend more than $10/pair since her feet will grow. She needed the feet to have soles that would grip well as opposed to her previous soft sole shoes that weren't made for walking and were too slippery. I wanted a pair with some pink in it and a black pair that could be dressy but were also normal shoes. I wanted her shoes to be sturdy to support her wobbly toddler walking skills. I also knew that at home she'd still be barefoot most of the time and that often in public places she is still in her stroller, so I didn't feel like I needed the world's most amazing toddler shoes (although I get spending a little bit more once your kid is running around all the time, especially if they're in daycare and bare feet aren't an option). Also I'm practical enough to keep in mind that my one year old doesn't have to have the most stylish, baby courtier shoes, although something that somewhat matches is good since I do take the time to make her look cute.

I took her to Kid-to-Kid to search for a pair that was slightly used but affordable and in good condition. Eva hates Kid-to-Kid. Every single time we stop by she gets frustrated quickly. I think there is too much to look at that she can't play with and not enough movement of the stroller and I pause to look through everything. I tried to try on a pair of shoes with her and it wasn't worth the screaming fidgety response. So instead I would try to hold up shoes to the sole of her feet to see if the size was approximate. I ended up selecting a pair of black, some cute pink tennis shoes, and a pair of brown boots (because I love boots for fall!). When we got home I tried the shoes on - the boots worked great, but the black and the pink tennis shoes were both way too big. Side note, baby shoes are just like women's pants - you can have two pairs that are marked the same size that are very different in length. I decided that since the store wasn't near by and the shoes were under $5 it was worth it just to put them aside until she grew into them. But she still needed shoes for now.... so over a week's time I browsed through Walmart, Payless, Children's Place, Old Navy, and Target. I discovered that the cutest kids' shoes start when they wear a size 5 shoe. I also realized that Eva has really tiny feet for her age. She could still comfortably wear a size 2 in some brands, but I was looking for size 3's that would fit her with just a bit of growing room. Most shoes in her size were like her old ones that were too slippery on the floor. In the end I got her 2 more pairs at Target - some fancier black ones and some light pink ones that are more casual. I'm sure she'll have a growth spurt and outgrow them in a month because that's how life works, but at least she can get down and walk in public places for now.

PS I absolutely did not buy the shoes in the above photo. They are $195 and have real Swarovski crystals. Crazy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Warm My Heart

A cold front arrived in Texas Friday evening and so far it's still here. Ryan, Eva, and I were at the Byron Nelson football game Friday and it got very cold, very quickly - we ended up leaving after the 1st quarter. I love bundling up my sweet bundle of joy for the cold weather. This morning for church she got to wear some of her new birthday clothes - jeans, a leopard print sweater, and she fancy coat. Since it was a cozy morning we listened to Christmas music and danced around while I made our oatmeal for breakfast.

Tomorrow Eva will be 13 months old! I guess I'm not going to do a monthly post for her anymore...probably more like a bigger post every 3 months. The biggest change this past month has been that Eva has officially become a real walking toddler. Before her birthday she'd take a few steps back and forth between people, but about a week after she turned one she took off. She walks more than she crawls now and is getting steadier and has more balance, although of course she still falls down all the time! That's part of being a baby :) She walks so fast too, and since her walking is much quieter than she crawling she sometimes sneaks up on us. Her favorite game is walking around our living room and past the bar in the kitchen and then having us peak around the corner and say, "BOO!" This game always leads to big baby chuckles! She warms my heart every day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

They See Her Rollin'

Check out Eva rollin' in her new big girl car seat! When we went to Hughes Springs a couple of weeks ago we experienced the longest car ride ever with our screaming one year old. Part of it is that she just doesn't like being in the car, she never has, but we thought part of it might also be that she was getting bigger and would be more comfortable in her new seat. She's only 28 inches tall and 18 lbs so she still had plenty of growing room for her infant seat (it went up to 24 lbs) but if you look at the photo above on the right you can see that she's leaned back a bit and that the seat isn't as wide since it's made for newborns. 

Enter the Graco My Ride 70 which we had purchased about a month ago when it was on sale at Target. I looked into many different brands, price ranges, and models of car seats and was happy to get this one. In her photo above on the right you can see that she has tons of room of grow, she has 2 cup/snack holders, and looks pretty stylish.  More than all of that, this seat is a rear/front convertible seat that will grow with her up to 70 lbs. Current Texas law requires kids to stay in a car seat until they are a minimum of 8 years old or 4'9" tall. With the exception of being in a car accident, which I hope and pray never happens with Eva in the car, this seat will last her for the next 7 years.

You can also see in the photo above that we installed her new seat in the rear facing position. The previous recommendations were to keep a baby in the rear facing position until they are one year old and twenty pounds. Now the recommendation is for children to stay rear facing for as long as possible, preferably up to two years as long as they don't exceed the weight limit for that position as listed on the car seat  (although the law is still set at turning them forward facing at one year). Ahhh! Let me state that I am so wanting Eva to be forward facing. I know she would be happier in the car, I could see her more easily, and it make the whole experience easier. I am not here to judge the decisions that others moms make for their kids. Your baby, your choice as long as you are following the law. I decided to write a post and share my thoughts on all of this because I read this blog by The Mom Diggity (my sister in-law's friend) the week that I was looking up information and research about this topic and I was thankful to know that other parents are wondering and learning about the same things I am. It is so much safer for a child to stay in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. I decided that it was the best choice for Eva to leave her rear facing for probably the next year. Sigh. I don't love it but it is what I think I should do for her. There is also a ton of information about where to place car seats (my car doesn't fit one safely in the middle), proper installation, and using the chest clip correctly. Mamas sure have to make some tough decisions for their babies.

And just because she is so darn cute - here is a photo of my sweet girl who climbed inside the cabinet while we were getting ready this morning. This had nothing to do with car seats, although it does reflect the important of baby proofing :)