Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend iPhone Pics {5.27.13}

I hope everybody enjoyed their extra long weekend! We kicked off Friday morning by taking Eva to go jump around at Urban Air in Southlake. She loves to bounce around and I'll admit it's pretty fun for grownups too! She figured out how to run down the runway and jump or fall onto the mats that are at the end. Future gymnast? And we ran into Ryan's cousin and his wife there with their twin 2 year olds. Eva had only met them once before when she was a little baby but when I told her they were her cousins just like Mallory she gave them a giant huge and kiss. Friday evening we got to play games and hang out with our friends the Fords while all of our kids ran around and got into stayed out of trouble. I appreciate having friends that we can just hang low with.
Saturday morning we woke up with a plan to go to Hawaiian Falls right when it opened on opening day. I was worried because the weather was only in the 70's and it looked like rain was headed towards us. Ryan suggested that we go anyways, even if just for a short time. What a wise man! The weather ended up being perfectly fine while we were there and the clouds kept the crowds away (good for us, bad for HF).

Every time we've driven by HF lately Eva points and asks about it so I was interested to see what she would do this year. Well, a few minutes in she saw the giant bucket and was scared....then she was standing with Ryan and a smaller bucket dumped water on them.....so we spent much of our time convincing her that she would have fun in the water. She did like the lazy river and I think will enjoy it more each time we go. I'm so grateful that Ryan gets to be a chaplain there again this summer so we can swim often!
After some good naptime on Saturday we met up with our friends the Palazzolos for dinner at Corner Bakery. It poured rain while we were eating so I'm glad we didn't try to swim Saturday night.
Sunday afternoon we went to eat with our youth group after church. Somebody fell asleep in the car on the way there.
Our awesome students. They even figured out how to use the self portrait feature on the iPhone to get a picture of our whole table.
Sunday night we went to a graduation party for one of our seniors. His family hosted a crawfish boil in their backyard. It was my first experience with pounds and pounds of crawfish.
Eva spent most of the night in their pool...which meant Ryan and I took turns swimming with her. She likes wearing her life jacket. Yay!
Monday morning we went to Southlake again just to walk around. I love this photo of Eva with the flag. I am truly thankful for all the men and women who have given their life for our country. I tend to take all of our freedoms for granted, but there are so many soldiers who risk their life so that we can enjoy our country.
Every time we are at Southlake Eva looks at this bull from across the street so we finally let her go over and sit on it. There wasn't any sign saying not to sit on it so I guess this was okay. If you can't tell , she is in a stage where she rarely looks at the camera...like she is purposely avoiding eye contact.
While she napped Ryan and I played sequence and watched a movie. I don't remember who was the overall winner. Probably me :)
Monday night our friends the Glassers invited us over to swim and grill. Our little fish just loves the water! Again she wouldn't look at the camera, but whatever, I still love her.

We are officially in summer mode around here!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mallory!

Happy Birthday, Mallory Anne! Today is our nieces 2nd birthday! We loved her from the moment she was a tiny newborn and we love her even more now that she is a happy, energetic 2 year old!!! Her birthday party was Saturday and we got to celebrate with her. 
All 4 little girl cousins were there to play together along with other family and tons of Mallory's friends. I got to visit with Kati from The Ivey League and Lindsey from It's A Love Story, Baby Just Say Yes - both of these women are friends with my sister in-law and I've read their blogs for a while so it was fun to see their cute kiddos in person! Mallory is lucky to have so many people that love her tons!
Then it was time for presents! We got Mallory the frilly tshirt Amanda is holding up and the Minnie Mouse camera that Eva stole back decided to play with.  Then it was time for her big presents. Mallory got a Little Tikes coupe car....if you look at the photo on the left you can tell that Eva was eyeing that car from the moment it arrived....the she decided that if she couldn't ride in it she would just push Mallory around in it. I guess we will have to go visit Mallory to play with that sometime :) After cake time they did a balloon drop from the second story inside. What a fun idea! I told Ryan that I'd like to do this in our home every morning.
Mallory's other big gift was a tricycle from her parents. Words cannot describe how excited Mallory was when she saw this come out. It was that joy-filled extreme moment that all parents hope for when delivering the "big gift." Ryan said that my smile watching Mallory's smile was equally joy-filled. I think it's safe to say that Mallory had a fantastic 2nd birthday party!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Update Pics {5.19.13}

Oooh, do ya'll feel summer creeping it's beautiful face in around the corner these days? I sure do! We have been loving the outdoors and the longer days. So I'm going to pretend that the weekend started Thursday night this time. We were invited to go the the golf banquet for Byron Nelson HS. When your high school is named after a famous golfer, you're bound to have an excellent golf team, right? We have several youth students that are on the guy's and girl's team so we were happy to go celebrate their golf season. Peggy Nelson (aka Mrs. Byron Nelson) was there to speak which was really cool AND the girl's golf team was the first team in Northwest ISD history to ever win a state championship. That's a big deal! BNHS has lots of really good athletic teams and these ladies are at the top of their game.
Friday morning we took Eva to the Grapevine Botanical Gardens. I saw a sign for this when I took a back way home from Grapevine one day to avoid traffic. The gardens are free to walk around and they even have a playground. 
I tried to make the focus mostly be on having fun and enjoying our family but of course I had to take some photos. Eva wasn't up for smiling because she was too busy taking in all of the beautiful surroundings....and feeding the fish....and running away. Not pictured: Eva trying repeatedly to climb into the fountain. 
Saturday morning we went to Rockwall for our niece's birthday. Mallory's official birthday is Tuesday so I'm going to post more of the photos that day.
Saturday evening my best friend Ashley and her husband Jason came over for dinner and games. Ashley brought along her guitar and Eva was fascinated. Naturally a sing along time followed dinner, complete with a harmonica, tambourine, and maraca. Yeah, our dinner parties rock! Literally.
Sunday night we hosted a neighborhood block party with our youth group. I love that in the photo on the left Ryan and I are posing happily for our photo while Eva is sneaking around in the background. Don't worry, we always have plenty of helping hands to wrangle her in. Or to put a horseshoe around her neck. She really likes parties :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bucket List

Today is my half-birthday....officially only 6 months left before I turn 30! Oh, yikes....it's pretty weird to think about turning 30. Not like, "I'm going to be so old" or "I've accomplished nothing" weird...more like acknowledging that it is a stepping stone in life. I don't feel super old, probably because I am married to a younger man and we hang out with teenagers all the time for youth ministry. And I feel like I've accomplished pretty much everything I would have hoped for by this point in my life. I probably would have thought I'd own my own house by now, but at this point that is more of a long-term goal and not a "have to". I'm pretty content where we are at since living where we do is a good fit for our lifestyle and budget. My desire to be a stay at home mom outweighs my desire to own a house by a hundred-million percent.

But there are just a few things I want to do before the big 3-0. Some people make a "thirty-thirty" list of 30 things to accomplish in the year they are 29. Umm, that's a bit overly ambitious for me. Instead, her is my list of 6 things to do over the next 6 months. Much more realistic.
1. Go rock climbing! I've even set a date to do this with my best friend Erica on June 17th.
2. Go canoeing! I've been wanting to since  I saw it on The Bachelor and hope to make this happen in Oklahoma this summer.
3. Go on a getaway with Ryan!  Being a mama is awesome, but my marriage is important too. I feel like she's old enough that 2 nights away from her would be a good thing for our marriage.
4. Take a family vacation! We went on a big vacation with Ryan's family last summer, but this fall I want to plan some kind of family vacation for the 3 of us. Even just an overnight somewhere to take her to a new place and do something different as a family.
5. Go two-stepping! We used to dance much more and I miss it. This goal seems so easy but with a baby it isn't. So my goal is to go dancing one more time before I turn 30.
6. Make homemade ice cream! Again, this isn't hard or life changing. It's just something that I always want to do but don't get around to. I have my own ice cream maker so there is really no excuse why I can't make some this summer.

That's it. My big list. Maybe I'm not a world traveler or a crazy dare devil. I'm okay with just being me and accomplishing things that are fun for me. Watch out 30, here I come!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sleepy Head

Let's take a minute to talk about how wonderful sleeping babies are. Not only is it your chance as a parent to finally get something done or even sleep yourself, it is just such a sweet moment to see your child resting peacefully. They look beautiful and warm and oh-so-cuddly. It's almost enough to make you want to wake them up and kiss them, but don't you dare do that! Hahaha, well the other morning I posted an Instagram picture of Eva sleeping. I love it when I open the door to her room and she is still alseep. I will be sad one day when it's too stalker-ish to take a photo of her sleeping....you know, like when she's 25.

The photo above is when we put her in her crib for the very first time the night we brought her home. She is so itty-bitty in that giant crib! Mostly she slept in the pack and play or swing for the first month because her crib was too huge.
This is her at 2 months. The photo has pink tent because I took it early in the morning when her pink drapes were closed with the sun shining through. Ahhhh, she looks so precious all swaddled up. She loved being swaddled. And I'm pretty sure that this was back when we could lay her down with her body going across the crib instead of top to bottom. It was so much easier to place her in like that and she was so little that it worked great. 
This is Eva at 4 months. As soon as she could rock her body at all we unwrapped her arms in case she rolled herself over (which didn't happen for many more months) I love her hand up by her face. It's like she's saying "Oooh. It's so exhausting to have to sleep."
This is her at 9 months. It is one of my favorite sleepy time photos because you can see the "LOVE" across her back. I took this photo when Ryan was at camp last summer and remember beaming with joy when I sent it to him. 
This is her at 10 months. She loves this soft blanket and still sleeps with it. I remember smiling so much when I went in to wake her up that morning and she was all cuddled up in the corner. How did she get her blanket to do that all night?
And lastly, this is Eva this week, at 20 months old. She sleeps with a whole army of lovies - her baby, the blue blanket, a sippy cup of water, and a pillow. I always put her down on the pillow all tucked it with her cup on one side and her baby on the other. At some point I guess things get wild in her crib. It makes me laugh when I see her scrunched up to fit in across the crib instead of long ways. Maybe it's because that's how she felt safe when she was little?

In case you couldn't tell, I'm pretty much in love with this sweet sleepy head.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Style {Hand me UPs}

We are all familiar with the idea of hand me downs - the old clothes that some sibbling or cousin has outgrown that are now passed down to you. I'm sure the if one day we end up having another girl she will have many hand me downs from Eva. But when you say "hand me downs" it almost suggests that these clothes aren't that good anymore. Like nobody else wanted them so you are stuck with them. Thus I decided to call my outfit in this post a "hand me UP" ....these are not hideously old clothes that are torn or outdated....they are simply outfit pieces that no longer suited the original owner.

A friend from church, Mey, who also happens to be my neighbor, was cleaning out her closet in preparation for a big move. She gifted me this awesome dress as a "hand me up" It is in great condition and I love the tiered ruffles. The dress she no longer was wearing is now my new spring dress!

The boots were handed up to me from my friend, Brooke. Brooke is 13 and got these boots passed on to her from another friend. The boots weren't the right size for Brook but they are great for me! I love the yellow stitching and they are so comfortable, especially for some two-stepping!

The belt I picked up this spring from a resale shop. So it wasn't a true hand me up since I bought it, but it was a piece that somebody else was finished with that now I get to enjoy.

And the black cardigan is actually an old piece from my wardrobe. I got this cardigan in -----sit down for this---- 9th grade. Umm, that is like 15 years ago! I had many years where I didn't wear it much but rediscovered it in my closet awhile back. I guess you could say it is a hand me up from my former teen self! Haha, but its from Express and still fits great. I must have had good taste in 9th grade. PS This is one of the only articles of clothing I still own from middle school. You know it's a good buy when you wear it for 15 years.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend {5.12.13}

Well my Mother's Day weekend started off with the hardest part of being a mama - taking my little girl to the doctor. She had a little infection and we ended up spending a loooonnnng part of the day Friday at the doctor's office trying to do some lab work. She is on antibiotics and doing better now, but man, was that a long, hard Friday. I never want to see her cry like that again! 
After some good nap time on Friday afternoon we met up with my best friend Erica for dinner at Fuzzy's. Eva loves Auntie Erica and it was nice to catch up on life with this girl I love so much! 
Saturday morning we were up bright and early to have our youth group over for donuts. This picture makes it look kind of empty but we had a good turnout for our donut time :) I just like the pic because Eva is sitting there on her rocking horse while all the teenagers are hanging out. She's just one of the gang!
Literally minutes after everybody left our house we were headed over to our nieces' birthday party. Kiersi turned 7 and Kayden is about to be 6. I still remember the day Kayden was born! When did these pretty girls grown up so much????
Their theme was Candy Land so they had lots of fun games and plenty of candy. Eva mostly liked jumping on the trampoline....and chasing her cousin Mallory....and cuddling with her Nana.
Saturday evening we tried to go to Costco since we didn't get to go on Friday because of the terrible doctor's visit. Who knew that Costco closed at 6PM on the weekends? Not us. We were those weirdos that walk all the way up to the door before realizing that they were closed. Ironically we noticed that there were hardly any cars in the parking lot when we pulled up but instead of concluding that they might be closed we literally said, "Wow. What an awesome time to come to Costco!" as we naively thought we'd hit the jackpot.
So instead we headed to Southlake to make a quick return, only to discover that Brave Combo was playing a free concert on the square! Alright! We did hit the jackpot! If you aren't familiar, Brave Combo is an awesome polka band that is based out of Denton. These guys are so much fun. They actually played at my parents wedding 30 years ago because my dad knew them in college. We kept Eva out past her bedtime to run and polka around with us.
Sunday we celebrated Mother's Day! I had told Ryan that it was really okay if we saved money and didn't do presents for mothers/fathers day. To me this day is more about showing appreciation. Doing things like letting mom sleep in, or washing the dishes, or letting her lay out by the pool. Well I had to get Eva up early for church, and it was too cold to be at the pool in the afternoon, but we did eat lunch off paper plates so I didn't have to wash dishes. And how could I not be happy with that amazing smile looking at me?!
Sunday night we met my parents and grandpa for dinner at Fish and Knife, a sushi and hibachi restaurant in Trophy Club. They don't do the full out hibachi display, but the food is good and less expensive than normal hibachi. I would recommend it!
The best part of Mother's Day was getting to be with my family. I am so happy to be a mama and to have a wonderful mama.
And then when we got home there were ducks in the yard. So Eva ran off after them. Yep, it was a good end to the weekend.

Friday, May 10, 2013

For All the Grandmothers {and everybody who loves them}

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, I thought I'd write a post dedicated to all the wonderful grandmothers that have helped make me a good mom. My Grammy passed away almost 5 years ago and even though it seems like so long since I've seen her, I still remember everything about her. I remember small things - she was a wonderful hostess, she loved to cook, she liked to see kids shriek when she popped balloons, and she was afraid of snakes....and more important things - like how she hugged me when I walked in to her kitchen when we arrived and how she took such good care of me when I would spend the night. As I look at parts of the woman I've become, I see pieces of myself that I think I get from her. Aww, I miss her so much! I can't wait to see her in Heaven one day!

My other grandmother is Dede. I love Dede so much! We lived with Dede and Papa for the first few years of my life and then only lived 10 minutes away from then so I saw Dede all the time. She is such a generous and loving woman. My first memories of hearing about Jesus are from her. Also my first memories of shopping :) I love that our dining room table is the one she picked out for her home decades ago. I am always up for a girls' date with her!

This is an old photo from one of my baby showers - nobody freak out now. 

Then there are the new grandmothers in our lives - Mamy and Nana. It has been sweet and wonderful to see our  moms become grandmothers to Eva. I think they have the forever loving, always spoiling, arms wide open grandma role down pretty good! When Eva sees these women she runs to them and never wants them to leave! I am so thankful that she has such wonderful grandmas who love her so very much. I hope that she can continue to have strong relationships with them as she grows up because our moms are so amazing.

So Happy Grand-Mothers Day to Mamy, Nana, Mamaw (Ryan's grandma), Dede and Grammy. I love each of you and appreciate the love you have poured into our family!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How do you smell today?

Recently I shared that I was asked to speak at our church's women's brunch. I love to write. I actually really like to speak in public (unlike most people!) but speaking on something I've written is more intimidating. I guess because you have to be more vulnerable to share something that is really a part of you. I had considered posting the devotional that I wrote on my blog, but felt hesitant because I didn't want it to come across like I thought I was amazing or anything. But I honestly kept feeling like I should, like God was reminding me that somebody out there needed to read what I had written. So hopefully this is encouraging to even one person out there....

 Fresh cut flowers or wedding cake? Two amazing smells. {our wedding cake}

But thanks be to God, who always lead us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14 - 16

The theme from these verses is that we were designed as believers to draw others to God, to attract them to his abundant love, and to the truth of who Jesus is. As Christians the way we live our lives, the way we love others, the things we say and do can all be used by God to bring others to Christ.

Some days, maybe I'm like this. Some days I hope that the joy I find in Jesus is sweetly seen by the others in my life. Some days my heart is so bursting from knowing the love of God that it overflows into my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, and my interactions with strangers. I really, really hope that your heart is so full and on fire for Jesus that your aroma, your fragrance, is sweet because that is awesome and that is fully how God desires us to be!

But what about the times when we aren't that sweet fragrance? I believe that God desires us to be authentic and real, and the real truth is that most of us will face days when we just don't smell that good. Maybe we can cover up our struggles with perfume, but the depths of our hearts are struggling to be that aroma for Jesus.

When I first thought of the word “fragrance” I immediately thought of the scent of a strong perfume. You know that scent of perfume that almost overwhelms you? Nobody wants to sit next to the person wearing too much perfume and I don't think the way we share Jesus should be obnoxious towards others, so I  tried to picture this in a different way. I thought of other fragrances that I enjoy. One of my favorite smells is fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. If I walk into your home, and it smells like cookies, I'm staying for a while. I don't care if its the real deal or a Scentsy warmer, I just want to stay somewhere that smells like a fresh baked goods. The other scent I thought of is that of the people I love the most. Not the scent of their perfume or cologne, but the scent that comes from their natural being. If I stop and think about it I can imagine the scent of my husband, the smell of my little girl Eva, and even the smell of my mom. I can think about their natural essence and it just draws me to them, it is a sweet aroma that makes me want to be near them. Isn't there somebody in your life that you can just imagine how they smell? That natural smell is part of what draws us to them, what attracts us to them.

Scripture doesn't tell us specifically what God smells like. Some people think it might be similar to the smell of incense that it used so often throughout the Old Testament. Other people suggest it could be more like the scent of milk and honey that is used to describe the Promise Land. Milk and honey seem closer baked goods to me, so I think I'll imagine that it could be that. But since we don't know what God's scent is,  lets look instead at what attracts us to God. What are the parts of His essence that make us want to draw near to him?

Side note: I tried to take the easy way out on this one by using Google. I typed in “What attracts us to God?” and it pulled up instead, “How to attract a Godly man”  Already good there! I decided to use my Bible as my guide instead of Google.

I came up with 6 main things that attract me to God. Let's pretend that each is a petal on a flower so that we have a good way to remember them.{I had actual flower petal cutouts when I was speaking. Gotta put that elementary teacher degree to good us!) 

The first is forgiveness. Psalm 103:12 says that “As far as the East is from the West, so your sins are forgiven.” I am attracted to the absolute, complete forgiveness that we receive when we put our faith in Christ.

The second is compassion. In Mark chapter 1 we read the story of the man with leprosy who came to Jesus on his knees, begging him for healing. And Mark 1:41 says, “Jesus was filled with compassion. He reached out his hand and touched the man.” Our God isn't afraid to get involved in our messy lives because of his great compassion towards us.

The third is provision. At first I hesitated to include this one because I didn't want anyone to get the message that we only love God because of what we can get from him. That's definitely not the point of following Jesus. Rather it's that we are deeply thankful for all that God provides us. Many people are familiar with the story in Mark chapter 6 where he feeds the five thousand. This short story shows us how excellently he provided for the people's physical needs while at the same time providing for their spiritual needs.

The fourth is God's strength. When the Israelite were escaping from Egypt God parted the Red Sea – he literally made the water into 2 separate walls. When Jesus and his disciples were out in a boat and the sea got rough, Jesus calmed the storm. When I read these stories I can picture how strong water is, how powerful the ocean waves seem when I'm trying to swim in them. And yet for God, that was nothing. His strength is attractive to me.

The fifth is God's faithfulness. Psalm 57:10 says that God's “Faithfulness reaches to the skies.” As I look at different seasons of my life I can say that absolutely, God has been faithful in his ways every single time, every single day.

And the last is God's love. And I'm actually making this the center of the flower because I felt like it was the piece that holds all the other pieces together. Exodus 4:6 says that God is “abounding in love,” John 3:16 says that “For God SO LOVED the world that he can his only son,” John 14:21 says that “The one who loves me (Jesus) will be loved by my Father.”

So all this takes me back to my question, “What about the days when we don't feel like being that sweet fragrance?” And here is what I believe. On those days when you know what God has called you to be, but you don't feel like a sweet aroma, you take your aroma from HIM. When we stop and read and pray about who God is, when we think about that parts of his nature that our fragrant to us, that attract us to Him, we will be better enabled to show those qualities to others. When we think of how God has forgiven us, we can offer the sweet aroma of forgiveness to someone who has hurt us. Remembering God's provision in our lives can encourage us to be generous in providing for the needs of others. When we are covered in the smell of God's compassion to His people we can let compassion flow out of our lives. When we are assured of God's amazing strength, we can be bold in sharing the gospel, knowing that it's not our own strength but the fragrance of the Lord that is being brought to those who hear it. When we can fully believe that God will always be faithful to us, we are freed from the burden of worry and fear. We can act more in love towards our friends and our families and our neighbors when we are reminded of a love so great and so deep that nothing can separate us from it.

.....This is most of what I said, not all of it.  I hope it helps YOU to remember how sweet God's aroma is so that you can share it with others! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekend Update in iPhone Pics {5.5.13}

We had a pretty good weekend so I thought I'd post another weekend update in iPhone pics. Our Friday started like most Fridays do around here  - with a trip to Costco! I split my grocery shopping between Walmart and Costco now so I usually do Walmart with Eva on Mondays and then Costco as a family on Friday. It was a chilly day for May so I put Eva in a long sleeved tshirt with a grey cable knit sweater.  She was super happy to ride in the cart after we checked out. 
Friday night we met up with some church friends for dinner at Central Market. The one in Southlake has a playground so it was nice to sit with our friends while the girls all played. I love these sweet girls so much! They are good friends to Eva. Eva did fall down and get some big bumps and bruises, but hey, that's part of being a kid!  I did have to bring out my "please-don't-mess-with-my-kid" side when one kid on the playground that we didn't know kept trying to drag Eva around and she didn't like it. Eva is super friendly and I know kids like to "help" each other and pick each other up but this kid wouldn't quit and I could tell repeatedly that Eva didn't like it. But she does love her little friends :) They were great with her!

Saturday we met up with Ryan's mom and dropped Eva off to go spend the night. Confession - every time I know we are dropping Eva off to spend the night away from us it makes me so sad. I usually cry a little bit when I'm packing up her stuff. I just love being her mama sooooo much and I cherish all the time I get with her. I always know that she will be well taken care of, but it's hard to leave your little kid. She never minds. She is always so happy to see her grandparents. I give her tons of hugs and kisses before we say goodbye. And then in the hours that follow I go through the transition of becoming a fun person. A person who doesn't have to clean up highchair trays or change diapers. A person who doesn't have the constant responsibility of caring for another tiny human. I realize, hmm, maybe it is kind of nice to have a small break. It is good to have time on a date with Ryan. It's refreshing to have the extra time to do whatever I want to do. I become spontaneous and carefree. Not saying that I would trade being a mama for anything, but it is good to get a break once in a while.
Anyway....we went and had a nice lunch date then did some birthday present shopping since all of our nieces have birthdays in May. I always want to be the fun aunt and get the girls each something they will really like. Saturday night we went to the Byron Nelson HS Talent Show, because where else would we go on our night without our baby? But seriously, this talent show was awesome. They had singers and dancers and we really, really enjoyed it.  Beforehand there was a spaghetti dinner so we got to hang out Kim and Emily, our pastor's wife and daughter and afterwards we won this super cute rocking horse for Eva!!!! Okay, Ryan says that it isn't really "winning" if you have to pay for it, but we did "win" our bid for it in the silent auction. I am so guarded against spoiling our child who already has waaaayyyyy too many toys, so I really contemplated saving this for her birthday, but I also wanted her to get as much play time out of it as possible since one day she will outgrown it. So we gave it to her on Sunday and she really liked it! Plus it's one of those toys that I can imagine keeping for a long time until I'm a grandmother one day. It is so precious.
Don't worry, Eva wasn't suffering without us! Nana took her to the park and then they went and played with her cousin Mallory! I got these pics via text and thought they were adorable playing together.
Sunday morning I took a break and enjoyed a morning to sleep in and not rush out the door with a toddler. I sipped my coffee while it was still hot, ate pancakes with fresh berries, and read my Bible. I did go to church but I honestly arrived just in time, which was a refreshing break for me since I'm usually there early. I either greet or teach kids most weeks but I felt like it would be a good thing for me to have just one Sunday to relax. After church I came home and baked up some sopapilla cheesecake and brownies for our youth Cinco De Mayo Fiesta! I had a lot more energy after getting to sleep in and relax that morning! With all my energy I also decided that Ryan should go ahead and blow up the new kiddie pool that our friend Emily gave Eva. I filled it with every ball we owned so that it would be a big pool of fun!!!! Then I waited for Eva to come home.....Sunday night we had our youth group over for Bible study. Ryan taught on loving your neighbor, and I was just hit with thankfulness for each of these girls. These girls really love and serve our family so well every time they help with Eva. Whether its helping in the nursery, babysitting for our small group, or just chasing after Eva while I help clean up things after church, they are each a huge blessing and I love them so much! These ladies are awesome living examples of the love Jesus wants us to have for others!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A License for Fun

Is there anything worse than realizing that you've lost your driver's license? Sure. But it's a pretty frustrating moment. One I recently experienced. I was hoping I could go online to request a new one like I do when we move and change our address. NOPE. If you lose your license, you have to go apply for a new one in person. I waited a couple of days to make sure that nobody had found my license and sent it to me in the mail, because that seemed like a logical thing for somebody to do. They did not.

So last week I had the fun of driving to Denton (the closet office) to pay for a new license. Once upon a time my driver's license listed a far away date as the next time I would have to actually renew it (not just replace it)....a date far into the future....November 2013. The month I would turn 30. "Oh, that date is soooo far away," I so naively thought. Well, yikes. That month is creeping up on me these days. And since it is now a mere 6 months off, I was able to actually go ahead an renew my license instead of just replacing it. It was more expensive on that day, but saved me from having to pay for one thing now and another in a few months.

Let's talk about the fun that is the Department of Public Safety. You walk inside, "What is that smell?" you wonder to yourself. You look for where to go. There are no signs that seem appropriate for the line you want to go through. You stand there confused until a nice, fellow license renewer shares her experience. You are taken aback when a woman ahead of you in line screams a bad word at the DPS worker who told her it will be just  minute. You shake your head in disbelief when the potty-mouth woman walks out, slams the door, only to return a few minutes later with her baby, the one she illegally left in her car outside. You are left speechless when the DPS worker says to you, "Are you sure you want to go ahead and renew it? Most people wait until it's been expired for at least a year?" Umm, yes. I'm sure I want to obey the law. Either way it expires at the same time and its cheaper to renew when it's not expired. Let's stick with that option.

Thankfully I did not have a long wait. They were already calling my number to the window before I was done filling out the paperwork. I got to retake my license photo - wait, nobody told me that I couldn't have any hair covering up my eyebrows?!?!!? Apparently that's the new rule due to face recognition software. Thanks technology, I wouldn't have woken up early to fix my hair if I had known that rule.

The one true blessing that morning? I passed the vision exam. My vision is fine but I always get so nervous having to push my forehead up against the machine to read the lines that I mess up and have to retest. Ryan prepared me going into this day, reminding me to adjust it to the right height (didn't realize that was an option) and to take my time. I did perfect :)

Next time I am eligible to renew online (when I'm 36!) as long as I don't lose my license again. With any luck, I won't have to set foot in a DPS for another 12 years...when I'm 42. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Splash Into Summer

Wednesday morning I had planned on taking Eva to the Keller library for story time. We were out the door on time but ended up getting stuck at a long traffic light. I decided that it wasn't worth it to go in super late so we headed to a local park instead. I knew that the splash pad at the park opened in early May but hadn't thought about it. Eva played on the playground for a while and the a group of kids turned the water on. After that moment she was done on the playground - and headed straight for that water!
Since I didn't have a bathing suit for her I just let her play in her diaper. That girl was so happy! It seemed a little bit cold to be in the water, but all the other kids were happy and playing so I figured she'd be fine. 
The other kids shared some water toys with her and she kept bringing me a cup of water. She thought she was soooo funny.

Can't wait for summer to fully arrive. I know we will spend lots and lots of days playing in the water!