Prepare for and plan for the best

photoJustin and I are going on our first vacation sans children in a couple of weeks.  It’s a work conference for myself, but we are adding a day so that we can spend some quality time together. It will be a great way to strengthen our marriage.

I’m terrified.

We haven’t left the kids yet, but for a night away here and there.  Link tells me he misses me when I leave his room at night!  How will he handle 5 days?  And sweet Eloise, who doesn’t sleep… what will she do when she can’t snuggle with mommy all night?

I know they will be fine. But I worry – I am a worrier.  It will be so good for Justin and I, and it will be great for Link to learn that we leave AND come back.

I did get my will finalized, so if we end up in the Indian Ocean or anything, the kids are protected.  I didn’t put a directive for Alabaster – so hopefully someone will take him.

All this being said, God has us in His hands.  We will all be safe, and loved, and protected.  But say a prayer for us anyway… please.

15 months and Halloween!

Link turned 15 months old October 20, which means we are almost to the next month marker! We had his 15 month checkup, which went fairly well.

At Link’s 12 month checkup they had to draw blood, and they did not do that well, so it was very traumatic (for mommy too!).  Our smart little boy remembers that too well, and has a hard time at the doctor now.  He cried the minute he saw the room, then when the nurses came in, then when they measured his head, then when the doctor came in, and so on.  He was just so scared that he was going to be in so much pain again.  Oh just thinking about it makes me sad and angry!

Link likes our doctor though, so he did pretty well showing off for him.  Link told Dr. Khoury that he is one (you ask how old are you, and he holds up 1 finger).  Then he gave Dr. Khoury “five”.  Then the Dr. asked if he played peek-a-boo and Link immediately put his hands over his eyes.  “That answers that” the Dr. said.

Link’s stats: 23 pounds 3 ounces, 30.25 inches tall, and head size was 18.75 inches.

The doctor was very pleased with Link’s vocab (20-25 consistent words and 5-10 sign language words) and everything else!  We talked a little about discipline, and the Dr. said that we might be able to try techniques that are usually for older kids since Link “is smarter than most kids his age”.  That was totally a proud mommy moment!

Two shots, and then the appointment was over.  Even though it was pretty terrifying for the poor boy, he was strong and brave, and recovered quick after the shots.

Then last week was Halloween!  Link is still too little to go out trick-or-treating, but we got him dressed up in his costume and spent the evening at my parent’s house with Justin’s parents also.  Link went as ‘Link’ from Zelda, the video game.

I made the costume, and had a lot of fun doing it!  What a great ‘mommy’ project!  You can see more pictures from Halloween here, including some of Link’s best friend Liam, who was a lion!  The cutest little lion I have ever seen with an adorable mommy lion.

We are now truly in November, and I am just itching to start the Christmas music.  It’s strange because I really have been a Scrooge about buying gifts this year. I don’t want to do it, I just want it to be over with, but yet, I am in the mood for Christmas.  Scrooge is a classic after all, so it isn’t the worst thing to start out the season as.  I will come around, and be the end-of-the-story-Scrooge.

And so the countdowns begin…

1 week until Cities Sampler
2 weeks until Thanksgiving (and I get to see Amy and Collin!!!!!!)
6 weeks until Graduation
7 weeks until Christmas


A Glance Back and a Look Forward

What an amazing year this past one has been!  I received the greatest gift that I could have ever asked for in July: a beautiful son.  Lincoln has made me the person I have always longed to be.  There is not one moment if 2011 that I would wish to change.  I am so proud of the almost 6 month old that he has become!  I love myself more than ever.  I have realized what an amazing mate my husband is.  I am completely refreshed!  More joyful, compassionate, patient than I ever have been.  I have a much greater love for our God!

My first time holding Lincoln:
He was able to leave the special care nursery about 5 hours after he was born.

Justin holding our sweet boy:

I am looking forward to this next year with such excitement!  We will pay off one of our cars this year.  We will watch our sister Amy graduate and get married.  *fingers crossed* I will be graduating from grad school this year!  Lincoln will be growing and changing every moment!

What a wonderful new year we have entered.  I am so excited!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

There are so many changes that come with starting a family.  One of the biggest ones for me is the growth spurt I am experiencing localized to my abdomen.  No longer can I fit into most of my clothes.  I also had to remove my wedding ring this weekend because it was getting just tight enough to warrant removing it.  I will be getting a cheap band to wear in the meantime though.

Also changing is this strange movement going on in my belly!  The baby loves to move around, but never when I want him to.  I would love if baby would move when Justin’s hand was near enough for me to grab and place on my stomach, or when baby hasn’t moved for a couple of days and mommy starts to worry.  But, just when I am ready to pull out my hair (this is an exaggeration), I feel a nice kick and I know that all is well with baby.

Besides the changes going on with me, my environment has been changing!

Alabaster, our sweet kitty (unless you ask Justin), is acting like he knows something is up.  I wake up in the middle of the night, and he is sitting up, staring at me!  He does this for hours sometimes, Justin says.  Too funny!

Justin has started the nesting process!  In the past couple of weeks, he has installed a ceiling light (with a dimmer!), installed 2 smoke/CO detectors, installed an outlet, rewired two outlets, rearranged the basement, and installed a shelf.  I may be forgetting something!  We are working on readying the baby’s room, which means making sure everything is safe and easy to manage.  We have a lot of work to go still, but it is looking great!

I am working continuously on trusting that God is there with and for me.  I make sure to pray to Him when I have doubts and to thank Him for the baby kicks that I feel.

Starting our family together has been stressful and exciting.  We are looking forward to much more of this and can’t wait to meet our little one!

Title quoted from Anais Nin

If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

Sometimes I think that I walk wrong.  When I am walking for exercise, I don’t get shin splints and I don’t get sore muscles too often, but the outsides of my ankles hurt.  I do not know why that is, but I am convinced that all of my life, I have been doing something so normal the wrong way.

Justin made microwave popcorn the other night.  It killed me, and I in turn wanted to kill him.  Now, I would never do that of course.  It is just popcorn.  But I am obviously still craving that which I cannot have.  I think that is somewhat a good thing.  If I wasn’t longing for it, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.  For example, when I was younger and Lent came around, I would try to give up things that I rarely encountered or that I didn’t like anyways.  I would give up meatloaf and homework.  Of course I want to not eat meatloaf and not do homework!  That was not a sacrifice for God.  And I was bound to fail – I had to do my homework!

I have worked out everyday this week so far, both indoors and out.  This is the first time in a very long time that I have worked out four days in a row, and I am hoping to continue.  Thankfully, God has blessed us with a few beautiful days to be outside.  Today is a not so beautiful day, but that just means wear warmer clothes outside!

My Lent goals have been transforming since the beginning.  I started out by giving up two food items that I LOVE!  Then I wanted to start trying to eat healthier meal options, and then add in exercise.  So far I have been doing awesome at it.  My biggest problem though, is convincing myself that I do not have to have a snack after dinner.  It is a very bad habit that I have long held, and will be a difficult one to break.  I don’t imagine that I will do so by April 4th, but I am hoping to do so more and more.

Here’s to a continued journey!

Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt

The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.

An amazing thing has happened while I have been trying to find something to fill my cravings – I have stopped craving!  I honestly did not think that I would stop wanting chips and popcorn when I am hungry or in the mood to eat.  Which is dumb, because I want to want it!  Now at night, I eat crap less.  I sometimes still do eat something but not because I am hungry, but because I just think that I should be eating.  The great thing about this is that I have started to recognize the difference between being hungry and just wanted to eat something.  I have never been able to do this before.  I am also choosing and wanting to eat healthier options.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still eating crap way too often, but not as often as before.

While this great thing for me has happened because of giving things up for Lent, it has not caused me to focus on God as much as I wanted it to.  God does asks us “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”  I feel that when I make wise decisions about how I treat my body, when I eat right and exercise, I am treating the body that God lent me with respect and that I am recognizing Him in my life.

The goal now for the rest of Lent for me is not only to continue doing what I have been doing along with exercising, but to also recognize exactly why I am making these choices.  When I prepare my breakfast/lunch/dinner in the morning, I want to think about the fact that God grew those strawberries and cucumbers for me to eat, He used His people to plant the ingredients that make the hummus and wheat bread, He gave me the animals that were sacrificed for my turkey and salami, and He gave me my beautiful hands to put it all together into a meal.  When I drive to work I will thank Him for the incredible sunrise/rain/snow that I am driving through.  When I am working I will appreciate every moment because so many are not working.  When I am walking on the treadmill, instead of complaining I will praise THE LORD that I have legs that move when my brain tells them to.  When I lay my head down at night I will realize how blessed I am for the wonderful man laying next to me and for the perfect cat purring on my pillow.

And at this moment, in the class that I should be paying attention in, while I am typing on my Mac, I am in awe of His creations, His blessings, and the amazing days that He gives to me.

Quote by Arthur Koestler