Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All You Mamas Out There...

I posted last week about a family who lost their 8 year old daughter to cancer.
I wanted to share a piece from her blog, written by her mother.

"My final request to all who read this blog: love. Love your babies, your husbands, mothers, sisters. Love each day like it’s your last. All you mamas out there, you have been entrusted with the precious gift of a human life who depends on you. Enjoy your gift. Breathe in the scent of your child’s hair, breath. Let them cook with you and make a mess of the kitchen. Play hide and seek with them, build sand castles with them, take them on picnics, read to them!  Listen to them, value and respect them, never shame them.  Your words they will carry with them their whole life and you have the power to give them wings or stunt their growth. Motherhood can be tough but it’s worth it. It can be exhausting, boring, tedious, but never for long. You blink and they’re grown. It has been my honor and privilege to love Daisy these last 8 years. I’m thankful for every minute; the joyful and the terrible alike." - Kate Merrick

These words are such a good reminder to take time to truly cherish and BE present with our kids. It's so easy to get caught up in the busyness and 'to-do's" of our daily life that we lose out on the sweet, precious moments with our little ones.

Jack is only 5 months old, and I already can see the struggle of trying to play with him while doing something else at the same time, instead of giving him my undivided attention. And while he might not 'know' that right now, I don't want to get in the habit of giving him half my attention.

Our kids are only young once and we don't know the number of days we will get with them (I'm sure Kate thought she would get more than 8 years with her little girl). I want to make the most of my time with them.

So, I've been squeezing this little guy extra tightly the past week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jack: 5 Months Old

A big month for our Jack Jack!
Lots of firsts and exciting things going on from month 4 to 5.
Poor guy got his first cold a few days after he turned 4 months.
He was a trooper though, and we enjoyed getting lots of snuggles from him.
He started rolling from back to stomach...and occasionally he will go stomach to back, but he is still perfecting that one.
Jack has been a sleeping machine the past few weeks.
We finally put him in his own room a week after he turned 4 months, and it has done wonders...(it's either being in his own room, being able to roll to his favorite sleeping position {his belly}, or the fact that we got new windows)...
but the boy is sleeping anywhere from 8-12 hours a night.
We usually put him down around 7:30 and sometimes I have to wake him up in the morning at 7:45.
He still sometimes wakes up once in the middle of the night after 7 or 8 hours and wants to eat...but still so much improvement...and it's only once in awhile.
Two nights ago he slept for from 7:30-10:30 (waking once after 9 hours to eat around 4am)!
The downside to long stretches at night is less sleep during the day.
He will sometimes take a two hour nap in the late morning around 9:30 or 10, but the most I can get from him in the afternoon is maybe 45 minutes (hence the early bed time.
Jack loves to hear himself talk...especially when he first wakes up in the morning.
Lately he starts cracking up and squealing when we lay him on his changing table to either dress or undress him...he seems to think that taking clothes off or putting them on is hilarious.
Jack's a busy guy...always looking around (can't miss a thing) and grabbing at everything within his reach or sight.
I think he's going to be an extrovert like his daddy.
He also wants to suck his thumb...which we are trying so hard to prevent...but as soon as we pull it out of his mouth it goes right back in. 
Any suggestions on how to prevent a thumb sucker?! 

Jack found his feet at about 4.5 months, and all he wants to do is eat them :)

Because he's a sleeping machine at night, he's an eating machine during the day.
We're going to start him on solids within a few days because a milk only diet isn't cutting it any more for this growing boy!
Here are Jack's Facts at 5 Months
Weight: ??? (we don't have a scale)
Height: 26.5 in (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17 in (50th percentile)
Diaper Size: 2 (almost ready for 3's)
Clothing Size: Mostly 6 month
Eating: Every 2-3 hours, sometimes even more frequently
Sleeping: 8-12+ hours at night...cat naps during the day
Likes: Chewing on anything, sucking thumb, outfit changes, talking
Dislikes: Taking Naps
Firsts: Rolling over, Sleeping through the night, Found his feet

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Heavy Hearted, yet Hopeful

On September 21st, 2009, 6 year Daisy was diagnosed with a stage 3 Wilms tumor. Three and half years later, after 3 relapses, over 30 rounds of chemo, and 6 major surgeries, her little body couldn't fight any longer. Yesterday, on February 16th, Daisy went to be with Jesus.

I feel asleep last night in tears, grieving over a little girl and her family, who I've never even met, but whose story I've been following here.

On May 4th, 2011, 67 year-old Tim (Jason's mentor and the man who did our pre-marital counseling) was diagnosed with brain cancer. This was his second or third battle with some form of cancer in his adult life. After almost two years full of many surgeries and the spread of cancerous tumors to many parts of his body, the chemotherapy and treatments couldn't keep up with the cancer. Tim decided to stop treatments a week ago and said he was ready to 'go home.' Early this morning, at 12:03am, on February 17th, Tim went to be with Jesus.

Two different people, two different battles with cancer, two very different ages...but one Hope. The same Hope. The same ending. 

Eternal Life with Jesus.

What hope we have as believers...this life is not the end.

Jason and I have been heavy hearted as we grieve the loss of such an amazing godly man...probably one of the godliest men I have ever met. Throughout his whole battle with cancer the past two years, he has continued to proclaim the sovereignty of God and the joy of the Lord. He is finally experiencing true and complete joy right now as he sits in the presence of his Lord. This is what he has always wanted.
 With Tim and his wife Patti at our wedding...one month before his diagnosis

And Daisy...she and her family have the same hope...what joy and hope her father expressed here in a sermon he gave shortly before his young daughter's passing.

So while death is worthy of our grief, I am thankful to know a Savior who can give us such hope even when we are heavy hearted.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oh, How He Loves Us

I'm not a huge Valentine's Day person.
It's just never done it for me.
Not into the hype.
Single...dating...now married...
I could care less about it.
Jason isn't into it either.
We have NO plans for the night, and I'm quite fine with it.
We did cancel our college group, though, which means we get a free night in which we are usually busy.
That works for me. 

However, I wanted to share something that Jason and I have been talking about and dwelling on a lot since Jack was born.
And since it's about Love, I figured what better day to write about it than on a day that is all about love.

Two weeks ago in church, the worship band was playing the song 'Oh, How He Loves Us.'
Our pastor's wife was sitting in front of us holding Jack (she always takes him as soon as we walk into the service. I love that).
Jack was starring over her shoulders, looking at me and Jason.
As I listened to the song and looked at my son, I was overwhelmed with love.
Love for my son.
And love for my Savior.

It brought me back to the those first few days and weeks after Jack was born.
Becoming a parent has helped me grasp a little better the vast love God has for me.

Jason and I have had this conversation many times...
The moment Jack was born, there was an overwhelming love for him that is indescribable. (Yes, I loved him the moment I heard that first heartbeat...but there is nothing like the moment you first see and hold your child for the first time).
Instantly, I loved him.
In our adult lives, we're used to growing to love someone over time.
When I met Jason, it took me months to come to a place where I could say I loved him.
With my friendships, it takes time to foster such a relationship where there is a true love for that person.

But with Jack, there was nothing he needed to do to earn my love.
As a helpless baby, there was really nothing he could 'do' for me.
In fact, he was completely dependent upon me.
If anything, his need for me just grew my love for him, as I got to provide for his every need.
Just sitting with him and watching him was joy.

And, there was nothing he could do to make me love him less.

The sleepless nights, the puking, the crying...
None of it could take away my love for him.

If someone were to ask me if I would die for Jason, I'm pretty sure I would.
But, I am 100% certain that I would give my life for Jack. 
Without a doubt.

And this love I have for Jack, 
this overwhelming, passionate love,  
is just a taste of the love the Father has for me.
For us.

I get it a little more, now.

How he could love me so much, despite all my shortcomings and faults.
Despite all the times I have turned from him.
Despite my lack of love back.

I have done nothing to earn his love.

There is nothing more I can do to receive his love.
He loves me just as I am.
So much, that He would die for me...
even though I can give him nothing of value...
except relationship with Him.

Relationship with us is what He wants.

That's the desire of His heart.
That's what gives Him the most joy.

 And it makes a little more sense now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

29th Birthday Re-cap

I'm not a huge birthday person, but I was looking forward to celebrating my birthday this year with Jason.
We joke about how every year since we started dating, he has been 'off the hook' when it comes to doing anything for my birthday.
Having a birthday in the first week of February means that every four years your birthday will either fall on Super Bowl Sunday, the day before the Super Bowl, or the day after the Super Bowl.
Which translates into: Super Bowl Birthday Bashes
(This is a huge change for me compared to my childhood. As a child, a birthday in the first week of February always meant a Heart Birthday Party...see here for my first 12 birthdays).
Anyway, the first year Jason and I were dating (2010), my birthday fell on Super Bowl Sunday, so we watched the Super Bowl with my family and then had dinner after at my parents.
The next year (2011), my birthday was the Monday after Super Bowl, so we celebrated it on Sunday...at my parents....with my family...watching the Super Bowl :)
In 2012, my birthday was two days after the Super Bowl, so Jason and I didn't combine it with the Super Bowl and celebrated with my family that Saturday and then planned to go out to dinner together on my birthday to use a gift card we had received for Christmas.
Well, on my actual birthday, I woke up the lovely gift of morning sickness.
I was a little over 6 weeks pregnant and it was the first time I threw up from pregnancy.
That night I was miserable (that became the time of day I felt the worst), and I remember laying on the couch telling Jason I just wanted Mountain Mike's Pizza for dinner.
He felt so bad for me and was trying to be really thoughtful and said he was going to get some pizza from a better place. He drove out of his way to get this 'great' pizza he had in the past.
Well, they either changed their recipe or Jason remembered it being better than it was cause the stuff tasted like cardboard and both of us could barely get it down.
We still joke about it to this day...

All this to say that Jason wanted to make sure we really celebrated my birthday together this year.
We still had the Christmas gift card to use from my previous birthday.
My birthday fell on a Thursday this year and the college group at church that we lead is also on Thursdays.
We ended up having a fun game night with dessert that night though, and then planned to use the gift card on Friday night.
We got all dressed up Friday night for a nice dinner.
(If you've seen the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, the restaurant scene at the end of the movie was the restaurant we went to).
We enjoyed amazing brie for an appetizer, veal and scallops for our entrees, and a chocolate/caramel/coconut moose for dessert.

My birthday kinda turned into a birthday weekend, though.
The next day, one of my college roommates got married, so Jason and I got another date out together.
Finally some pictures...
 (Really a pretty awful picture of us...I am way too short next to Jason since I had exchanged my heals for flip flops at this point in the night...and we both look tired!)
 (My college roommates...minus the bride. The one with her didn't turn out. Sad.)
And then on Sunday, we did the traditional family dinner at my parents.
My sister grabbed this shot of me blowing out my birthday candles with my nieces.
A very fun weekend...and I think I'm good with the birthday celebrating for awhile :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feeling Fine...

...at 29.
Twenty-nine years old today.
I'm not depressed about it, though.
I guess I'm not one of those who freaks out over my age.
Maybe once I hit the higher numbers, I will.
But for now, I'm loving what age brings into life.
Life just gets more exciting as we age...careers, marriage, growing families, new adventures.
I like it.
I feel like I'm doing what I've always wanted to do. 
Life is good.

I'll be back in a few days with a birthday re-cap, but for now here's a little throw back Thursday from my first birthday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


It's been a big week for our little guy!
Last Monday, (1.28), Jack rolled over for the first time (back to stomach).
Of course I missed it...I was at work...but my mom saw it while watching him, which I love!
He wouldn't perform for me and Jason that night, but we were both able to see it the next day.
The kid loves rolling...every time we put him on his back, right away he rolls to his stomach...and then gets mad because he doesn't like being on his stomach.
You'd think he would learn. Haha.
Every morning when he wakes up, he is on his stomach.
Speaking of sleeping...
The next night, on Tuesday, Jack slept through the night for the first time!
He did 7.5 hours on Tuesday night, then 10 hours on Wednesday night, and...has done 7-10 stretches since then for the past week!
I hope this continues.
I'm attributing it to our new windows (which were put in on that Tuesday...)
I think our boy is finally warm at night...haha.
 On Friday, (2.1) Jack rolled from stomach to back for the first time
I missed this one, too.
Jack likes to do his tricks for his Mimi, I guess.
I got a text from my mom about half an hour after I dropped him off saying that he had rolled stomach to back.
I was really excited that he figured this one out since he doesn't like being on his stomach, but he hasn't done it since, so I'm pretty sure he didn't know what he was doing...
Love seeing all the milestones our boy is having!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pin-spired: February Edition

I'm linking up with my sister Mel (and some of her blogger friends) for Pin-spired!
Super excited about this idea because after having a baby I got pretty lazy about my outfits. 
For nine months while pregnant, I stopped caring about how I looked because for the first half I felt too sick to think about what I wore and for the second half I was in maternity clothes and didn't care to buy anything that cute.
Then came postpartum and awkward body and not having time/energy to think about cute outfits.
So, this is great inspiration.
I started with just two outfits this month, but I have a bunch pinned, so I'm excited to start wearing them.

Here is my first pin and outfit:

Shirt: Gap
Scarf: The Pleated Poppy
Jeans: BP
Boots: Cathy Jean

I am really into stripes right now! And, pinterest keeps telling me to mix my colors up, so why not go navy and mustard! I have a few more navy/mustard combos I want to try out. And, get used to see this mustard scarf. Love it!

Second Pin/Outfit:
My Outfit:
Shirt: JCrew (Outlet)
Scarf: Gift from a student
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Target

When I put this outfit on, Jason was like "whoa", you're mixing black and brown?! I used to always give him a hard time if he tried to wear black and brown together. 
But, pinterest told me that black and brown or black and tan are in...
My outfit is not exactly the same, but I like how it turned out :)

So, I'm going out of my comfort zone and being bold.
Can't wait to keep this going!