Monday, June 30, 2008

Strange but true...

Toddlers are just plain wierd. They can be adorable, quirky, or maddening depending on your outlook on life. Right now, Emory is just plain quirky to me. Since every new stage is unchartered in the waters of parenthood for us, we seem to always find ourselves stumped and at a complete loss as to how to handle each new situation that "appears" to need our attention. I say "appears" because I am positive that since we are newbies to this parenting thing, we are more than likely handling things better left alone. We'll learn, eventually, to sometimes just let sleeping dogs lie.

But on to how my adorable toddler was quirky today. Emory awoke earlier than I felt like I could handle this afternoon from her nap. After some quick thinking and a phone call to another mom who's toddler is not a great napper, we were on our way to a playdate at the park. Emory is into choices right now, and I am sure she will stay there for the next 40 years. She now gets to choose which shoes she wears - tennis shoes or sandals. Either one is fine with me on any given day and she gets to feel a little more in control of her world.

She picked her tennis shoes to wear to the park. A wise choice indeed, since the park has mulch that would probably irritate her by getting into her sandals. On the way to the park (and I kid you not) my beloved daughter was mad AT ME (!) because she couldn't see her toes. Why do moms take all the flack? And why are toddlers so wierd?

Food...

I love food. Anyone who knows me even a little can tell. I also love to cook... I suspect the two go hand in hand... for me, at least. I also love cookbooks. I'm that type of cook who is always trying something new. Our "rotation" of meals I prepare is about a year long. My husband has to specifically request that we have something again "soon" if he really likes it. Cooking new and fun recipes is a challenge that I enjoy.

Having said all of that... I have an aweome new cookbook. Our church puts out one of the best cookbooks I've ever owned. Due to popular demand, my friend Aimee just recently spearheaded the task of putting together another cookbook from the ladies in our church. I have been sooooo looking forward to meal planning from this cookbook! I had to finish out the meals I had already planned and bought supplies for in the last 2 weeks before I could begin cooking from my new cookbook. However, tonight was the first meal in our new rotation that included recipes from our new cookbook (how many times will I use the word "cookbook" in this post? sheesh...)

Tonight's menu was chicken and rosemary quiche with walnut and gorgonzola sauteed aspargus. My hubby is NOT a fan of quiche... he calls it girly food. But since this has chicken in it (translation = meat) I gave it a whirl. He LOVED it. The asparagus recipe actually calls for feta, but once again, in order to please the man of the house, I used gorgonzola instead which has a creamier taste than feta. He liked it as well. I was surprised since it was what I would consider a "froo froo" meal.

Here are the recipes I used (for those of you who own the actual cookbook, note the changes I've made). As I find others that I use and we all enjoy, I'll post those as well.

Chicken and Rosemary Quiche
1 deep dish pie crust
1 c. cooked chicken
1 c. shredded swiss
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 c. half and half
1 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Layer chicken, cheese, and onion in pie crust. Whisk eggs until frothy. Add half and half, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and cook for another 30 minutes or until "set".

Asparagus sauteed with walnuts and gorgonzola
1 bunch asparagus
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 or 2 oz. gorgonzola

Roast walnuts in 1 tbsp. butter over md. high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Melt remaining butter and sautee asparagus for 4 minutes or until crisp tender. Place asparagus in serving bowl and top with walnuts and gorgonzola. (Can also use feta or blue cheese, depending on preference.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Girlfriends...

Today I heard a wonderful little speech by a friend at church on the importance of really knowing what makes your friends tick. It was terribly convicting to me because I don't do this naturally, and I'm not even sure that I even know what a lot of my friends are "in to". Those who I do know about their little quirky collections, I am never good about keeping an eye out for neat little finds for them. I am so self focused! Something I intend to work on...

Well, despite my selfishness, God has blessed me with some terrific friends who think of me often. I get to go out with the girls tonight for a joint b'day celebration for me and another friend because my good friend A arranged such an outing. AND, I always get a terrific cookbook from her. She knows what makes me tick.

My good friend, B, is coming to dinner tonight and I can't wait to have a beer with her. She's my drinking buddy because she appreciates it as much as I do. She knows what makes me tick.

Another friend, R, loves coffee and fun creamer as much as I do. She lives SEVERAL hours away from me now, but whenever we get to visit there is a lot a coffee drinking and talking. I wish I got to see her more often. She knows what makes me tick.

M, who has a son 2 weeks younger than Emory, is always ready to point me back to Scripture whenever I am mommy stressin'. Last time we met at the park and I was close to tears over a rough morning, she handed me a Starbucks giftcard and commanded me to indulge!

And lastly, although this is by far not an extensive list of all my great friends, M shares my love for all carbonation in a styrofoam cup with a star and pellet ice. Today we ran into each other at the pool. After visiting for a while, we all packed it in and headed home for naptimes. One problem with said plan... my battery was DEAD. After working on it ourselves, she called her hubby who works close by and he came over to help. An hour later, I was in the car headed to Auto Zone and my cell phone rings. "It's happy hour at Sonic." M says, "How big do you want that cherry diet coke?" Does she know what makes me tick or what? She brought me one to where I was and the day was suddenly much brighter with a 44 oz. diet coke in hand.

I am so blessed and if I forget to tell y'all... I really am aware of how great you all are. I hope to become more like all of you and treat you more often!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fungomery...

Oh yes! So very "cheesy" I know, but we had a terrific time with our friends. We got there much later than we had anticipated on Friday night due to an errand that went haywire, so Emory had to wait until Saturday morning to meet "the boys". All 3 of us slept in the same room and she did great. Never gave us a moment's trouble about going down and even slept in late. However, once she was awake and discovered that we were in the same room... there was a rousing chorus of "wake up Mommy!", "wake up Daddy!". Made her daddy smile, though.

Emory had a blast playing with her new friends and their toys. Because K still takes a morning nap, we got a slow start on Saturday morning. It was just what the doctor ordered. The zoo was great and so much better than our own local zoo. My friend, D, is such a great cook and hostess and we were well fed. Saturday evening her parents drove in from South Carolina on their way home from visiting with D's brother, wife, and their little boy. Even though I know they had to be exhausted, they sent the mommies and daddies out on the town while they watched the little ones... dinner, bath, bed, and all!

We got to do one of my most favorite things together.... drink beer and listen to live music. D and B took us to a microbrew downtown known affectionately as the "Brewpub". We each indulged in the local suds and decided to split an appetizer so that we would still be able to make our own decisions :). It has been a long time since I've had so much fun. We got a couple of beers into D and I began to learn so much about my husband's college days. He and D were tight back then and she knows lots of stuff he'd never want me to know. Let's just say my husband had quite the knack for using flowers for symbolism way back then. And, I've never laughed harder.

When the nightlife got a little too loud for us old folk we headed over to the ballpark where the game was in extra innings. After watching the Biscuits succumb to the Braves we took in the fireworks and headed home.

Here are some of the pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!


Even though Emory is a year and more younger than J, se insisted on riding like a big girl and he was content to sit up front in the double stroller. He was so sweet to her.


Eventually, the thrill of riding like a big girl wore off. Letting her walk unassisted is not an option.


Emory and J enjoying coloring and a morning snack together.


K is the cutest and most content "baby" I've ever had the pleasure of beng around. I could just eat him up!


Wathcing the elephants. Yes, that is me letting my child stand on the window sill while everyone else keeps their feet on the floor like they are supposed to.


J made sure we didn't get lost and that we hit every exhibit that we wanted to see.

K was such a trooper! This is his attempt to nap in the stroller at the zoo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

updates...

So, who was it the recently blogged that summers were supposed to be slower? It just got cranked up here, as you can tell by my blogging lapse. With VBS last week, a house on the market, a teething toddler, friends to reconnect with, a husband to feed, a house to maintain at least at a tolerable level of clutter and dirt, and service to the Body that we are members of... there just ain't enough hours in my day! Not to mention all the extra fun summery things to do like swimming, eating popsicles, and scouting out all the great playgorunds.

Emory got to go swimming for the first time this summer on Tuesday and I have never seen her laugh so much. We were only there for an hour because we waited until after naptime to go. She giggled the whole time we were there. It was hysterical. It is times like that I am a little sad that her daddy misses so much of her firsts. If you think about it, we get to do so much with them that the daddies have to miss out on. But anyways, I'm looking forward to lots of Saturday swimming with our daddy this summer.

We found a terrific new park today that has a sandbox. How cool! I don't think I have ever seen my child dirtier than she was today. We had baby Helen with us, and she had a blast sitting in the shade and watching the children romp about. We met some friends there and had us a picnic lunch. The kids played hard and it was sad to leave such a fun place. We'll have to go there again very soon.

This weekend we are headed south to visit some friends and see a baby elephant. An elephant was the first animal noise that Emory made. Her daddy taught her that one and it has always made him sad that our zoo no longer has an elephant. When he discovered that there is a zoo close by that has elephants, we just had to see them. We had made plans to take a day trip and meet up with our friends to take in the zoo together. But, the day trip quickly became a stay-the-weekend-with-us and we are so excited to be getting a mini vacation. In the veternary world, the summer is the busiest time of year. So, we will never know the joy of getting away for a summer vacation. This is the closest we are going to get and God has worked out such a wonderful weekend for us.

We will be heading down after naptime on Friday evening. Our friends have 2 boys, J who is 3 and K who is 1. After making pizza and playing with her new friends, we'll see how Emory does sleeping in a new place. Saturday morning we will head out to the zoo armed with picnic lunches. After the zoo it is naptime for all. The best part is that Sturday night we have a free babysitter in the form of a grandparent who has offered to keep all the kids so that we can have a double date. The last double date that I can remember was the month before Emory was born. It's been a while. On Sunday we'll get to worship with not only the friends we'll be staying with, but also some childhood friends of mine who just happen to be members of their church Body. The last time I saw them, Eric and I had just started dating. The time before that I was in high school. It will be good to see them again!

We are so looking forward to being out of our house, to seeing our friends, and to meeting K who we've yet to lay eyes on. I'm sure there will be lots of picture taking! With J and K's mommy's permission, I'll post pictures of our adventure next week.

Happy weekend!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

top this...

I love dreams. I mean, I really love dreams. I think it is amazing that God provides us with entertainment even while we sleep. I have really wierd dreams sometimes. Freaky dreams. Once I dreamed that my cat and a toucan were playing in a crib and were talking, in Austrailian accents no less. My cat was pretending to be a jaguar and the toucan was telling a pretend audience that it was going to sneak up on the jaguar and bite it on it's nose. Wierd, huh?

Well, the other night I dreamed that Brad Pitt was chasing Noah Wyle (Dr. Carter from ER) around a pool and pinching him on his, well (ahem) let's call it hindquarters. They were both fully clothed and giggling like 2 schoolgirls. They were playing some sort of game that had rules and everything. Go figure.

Now, it's your turn to tell me all of your craziest dreams.

Monday, June 9, 2008

one last thought before the week begins...

Hey Girls! I read this during my quiet time this morning as I was preparing for our first day of VBS (yikes!). I felt as though it was written directly to me and even looked over my shoulder to see if Spurgeon was standing there. Unlikely, I know, but it could happen...

Anyway, from today's entry in Morning and Evening, based on Psalm 126:3....

"Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more on what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. ... It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Savior, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion."

And that reminded me of one more thing that I read a couple of months ago on Femina (check it out, to the right!):

"We are dealing here with deep forgiveness. The Lord Jesus did not come, live a perfect life, die on the cross and come back from the dead in order to dab around the edges of our wound. Our complicity in the sin of Adam, and our continuing screwed-up-ness required a great remedy, which could not be had apart from the work of a great Savior. But remember that Jesus is saving us from our sins, and not merely from the consequences of our sins."

Doesn't that just make your heart sing?

Happy week, all!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

thoughts...

I was thinking a lot this week about how we, as a society, seem to glorify the "I will not be taken advantage of" mentality. I can't remember how it hit me, I think the Today Show was on in the background, but I remember thinking how unlovely some woman sounded as she recounted a situation in which she put someone back in their place. It sounded like one of the most arrogant, self seeking stories I had ever heard. I was seething about how our society glorifies taking care of ourselves, our "needs", our "rights". I was wrapped up in thinking, "How dare they be so arrogant. Thank God I am not at all like 'them'." And then the Spirit reminded me of a very recent conversation where I arrogantly stood up for myself. I took care of me and I was so proud of myself. I probably even bragged to dear hubby about it.

Sad to say, I think we are all seekers of self. I spend so much time ordering my days so that I am convenienced the least amount. I have been so humbled by these thoughts this week and wanted to share. I am so glad that Christ was willing to be incovenienced, gave up His rights, surrendered His pride, and allowed Himself to be falsly accused to the point of giving up His life. You all had better be glad it was Him and not me. Not meaning any disrespect, but if had been up to me.... well, just be glad it was Him and not me.

There are times in my walk when the joy of my salvation is overflowing and this is one of them. I pray that it lasts as I embark on a week of PMS, VBS, out of town company, Father's day, a house on the market, packing, toddlers, etc... see you next week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

the pediatrician...

So, we go to one of those doctors that like to see the kids every 3 months until they are 18 months old. So, today we had our last visit for a while. I've become quite comfy with our doc, and I like him a lot. For some reason, Emory's excitement to see him always strikes him as remarkable. Poor guy. He must be used to kids screaming when he walks in the room. However, Emory is just that kind of gal. She doesn't know a stranger. On our way to the zoo on Monday we had the windows rolled down. She actually greeted each person we would pull up next to at stop lights. And, there was no ignoring her. She would wave and yell "HI!" until the poor driver or backseat passenger would finally roll down their window and greet her. What a great trait. I love that about her. I hope that she's brightened at least one person's day who otherwise felt forgotten. And, I hope she never loses that cheeriness, either.

The girl is tall. And I mean off the charts tall. Has been since day one. And she's "skinny" too. She lost a little weight in between visits. No surprise there. I mean, she's a toddler and food has become something to avoid at all costs these days. But the weight loss has put her below the 50th percentile. Doc's not worried, he just grins and says, "She's got the body type every girl dreams of... tall and thin." Let's hope she stays that way. It's quite possible. All the females on my dad's side are tall and thin. Everyone on my dad's side is tall and thin. Except my dad and one of my great uncles. They got some sort of short and stumpy throwback gene.

The best part of this trip? NO SHOTS!!!! YEA!!! I hate watching her get shots. Yeah, I'm "that" mom who has a hard time seeing the good things about shots and can't seem to get past the immediate pain and torture it causes my child. And at our doctor they make the mommy hold the kid down. Not fair! So, it is me that she gets mad at because she can't even see the nurse to know that she is the one causing all the pain and torture. And I get the front row seat to see her face go from happy, to wait a minute what's going on here?, to hey someone's poking me with something sharp, to HEY THAT REALLY HURT!

In my opinion, it only gets harder as they get older and more aware of situations. Next visit when she gets 4 shots, I'll probably end up promising her a pony. Good thing we have a big backyard.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

failure...

As moms we fail often, and sometimes we fail big. Today I failed my daughter big. I required a type of obedience that I should not require until she is a wee bit older. As I realized that she had no idea what it was that I requiring, I also realized that I was not showing or telling her what the expected behavior was. I was expecting her to just get it. She's 19 months old now, we should be way past the point of reminders right? Ha.

After the "episode" I was heart broken. I prayed with her, asked her forgiveness, and then we cried together. An all too familiar scene in our home at times. I personally would have preferred to be coloring or playing with playdough and laughing togther. But, alas, this was God's divine appointment for me today. In His graciousness, it was also His divine appointment for me to run into not just one but three of the members of my church body today as we were out and about. Each one shared a "struggle" they were facing with their kid(s) and I realized that once again I had sinfully isolated myself. I don't know how it happens, but it happens nonetheless. I forget to spend time with other mothers. In some of the brief conversations I had today I realized we are all struggling with the same things... disobedience, how to teach sharing, children's fears, etc...

It is when we are isolated that the Enemy has a chance to trick me into thinking it is only my child who doesn't obey, doesn't share, doesn't trust me to have good things planned for them. And then I get angry and in an attempt to correct this undesireable behavior in my child I get harsh and forget to enjoy her. I forget I am training and begin to feel as though we are backsliding. She's not even two yet, so why do I think all the lessons should have been learned by now. It's going to be a long hard haul if I am frustrated now.

I need to remember that it a journey. I need to remember that Emory will always be in sin of some sort because we live in a fallen world. I need to not be surprised (maybe saddened) by her sin. She's a sinner! I'm a sinner, and a redeemed one at that, and I am convinced that rarely a moment goes by when I haven't sinned. I need to remember that I am in a fight for God's glory and not my convenience. And most of all, like one of my friends reminded me today at the park, I need to focus less on Emory and more on God.

So, a day that started out as a failure, has actually turned out to be quite a success! And God was so good to bring some of His people out of the shadows for my encouragement. I love the way God has designed Body life. I just wish I remembered more often that I was a part of it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

there's no turning back now...

It seems as though maybe our sleep deprivation has been due to a developmental happening deep in the toddler's brain. Or teeth. Or fear. Or sin. Whatever... But, whatever the cause we are finally sleeping much better at night, although I am still awaiting the return of our afternoon nap.. Since she's never really been a terrific napper, I am not pleased at this turn of events. Maybe I should have seen it coming. We've always thought she might drop a nap this early, since she has never seemed to require much daytime sleep. Heck, her entire first full day of life she never slept, not even once! I do not exaggerate this information at all, ask anyone who was there. And all I could think was, "Crap! An alert newborn."

Back to the developmental jump... we're speaking in sentences now. No, not me. I mastered that quite a while ago. But Emory had a few sentences today. Ones she actually came up with on her own, not the kind where she is just repeating me. And they were funny sentences, too. I't not surprised. I have a feeling that she's pretty witty, and I also think she's going to have a lot to say :). Here is a sampling of today's "developmental progress":

It was time to get daddy up for work and I had sent Emory into our room to wake him. I walked back behind her, sat on the bed, and patted daddy saying "wake up daddy." When there was virtually no intelligible response from under the covers, Emory pats her daddy and commands, "Obey Sarah." (Hey Jenn, where do you think that came from?!)


After lunch Emory was enjoying a pre-nap ride in her swing outside. She asked for her juice and I reminded her that it was inside. She looked at me and asked, "Mommy go get it?" Such a princess!


And tonight at dinner she asked for a bite of her daddy's peas (why does the food on our plate always look better to them?). He gave her a bite and she seemed to enjoy it. So, daddy offered her another taste (she didn't have any, she had corn instead) and she shook her head and politely suggested, "No, daddy eat it."


She also requested we sing "Oh! How I love Jesus" tonight during family worship as well as "God is so good." I love seeing her preferences emerge and I love the independence it gives her to be able to communicate those preferences. I look forward to hearing more of her thoughts in the future.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Father's Day already?

It is if your hubby loves beer! This year's gift was a ticket to the 2nd annual Magic City Brewfest. Eric went last year as a last minute thing and loved it. This year he knew to be looking for it and was able to get a group of guys together to go. It is organized by Free the Hops, an organization dedicated to the lobbying for the passing of legislation to raise the legal limit of the alcohol percentage of beers to be sold in our great state. In short, in means that people who really love beer could actually buy some really great beer to enjoy locally rather than plan their vacations to places like Asheville, NC so they can bring home hundreds of dollars of really great beer.

A word to the wise... buy your tickets next year at the gate. The advertised ticket price to buy before the event is $22, but by the time you get done with all the fees that ticketmaster slaps you with you are paying $32. It is better to go ahead and buy your ticket at the gate when you attend. It is going to be just as expensive, $32, but all your money goes for the cause and not to silly fees ticketmaster has you pay.

I hope to be able to join DH next year. I was scheduled to make an appearance after the toddler awoke from her Sunday rest (yes, she was going with me, there are tons of kids there!). However, the rain prevented me from schlepping her all the way out to Sloss. More like, it was the lightening and thunder that kept us at Ms. Tiffany's and not the rain.