Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend recap and other thoughts

I have been blogging my little heart out lately, and I have been pondering the reasons why. I am sort of adding to a blog that my friend Jane did a little while ago, but, as Jane mentioned, I do feel like blogging serves that need that we have for community. My mom recalls being a child and staying home sick from school. She says that there were always neighborhood women sitting around her mother's kitchen table drinking coffee and chatting about this and that. I guess the computer has become a virtual kitchen table, as sad as that may be. So, Jane, to respond to your blog, I do wish that I lived next door to you so that I could come over each day, even if for only fifteen minutes to share a cup of coffee (or tea, as I prefer) and chat about the day's happenings. Oh well, Scott and I still have no neighbors on either side of us or across the street, so maybe the Lord will provide another stay at home mom. I would be delighted!! Right now, it is only me and the construction workers during the day, and the neighborhood gets rather lonely.

So, virtual community, here are the things I would tell you if you were sitting across from me, drinking coffee, as Ada (tried) to crawl around the kitchen floor...

1. Ada is trying so hard to crawl. Every time we sit her up, she immediately leans forward onto all fours and grunts as if somehow that will propel her forward toward the object she has her eye on. When she realizes that she is not moving forward, she looks at me and fusses, as if to say, "please help me." I usually let her sit there a while, thinking that one day she will finally figure it out. So far, she hasn't.
2. Ada has learned to clap. Scott and I think it is so cute, and we actually have a video of it. I am going to try to post it. We say "yea, Ada" over and over, making idiots of ourselves in the process, and she smiles and claps. Such a fun little game.

3. The haircut that I got this weekend is somewhat of a dissapointment. I don't hate it, but it isn't what I was hoping for. I am debating going somewhere else and trying again. I just really wanted a certain haircut, and this isn't it.

4. My friend Lindsay Luginbuhl (actually Krupicka, but I think it will always seem to me as if she is a Luginbuhl) sent me two beautiful dresses for Ada that she found in a consignment shop in Birmingham--I may take a picture and post because I am just so impressed with them. It has really inspired me to search for some good consignment shops in the Atlanta area. So...if any Atlanta residents happen upon my blog, I would love a recommendation for a children's consignment shop worth going to. And while you're at it, I would also love any antique shop recommendations.

So...that is all. Really nothing even worth posting except that I have a need for a little conversation.

And, by the way, if you really were sitting at my kitchen table, in all likelihood I would offer diet coke instead of coffee.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Random Friday morning happenings

Remember the 7.00 jeans that I bought from Target? Well they were too long for me--jeans always are unless I can get them in ankle length, and even then you never know. Anyway...I constantly buy pants that are too long for me, a consequence of being 5 feet tall, and I was determined to actually get these hemmed instead of letting them sit in my closet forever. Well, I went to get them hemmed today, and it turns out that it is going to cost 20.00 just to keep the jean hem on them. Do you know what I mean? So they don't look super dorky and hemmed. So much for my 7.00 deal. But hey, 27.00 is still good for a pair of jeans, but not nearly as impressive as 7.00.

As for other Friday news, I received my first tutoring paycheck!! I am once again a working woman. I am still waiting for my fingerprints to go through, so I currently get an average of two hours of tutoring a week. Needless to say, the paycheck was very small, but it is enough for Scott, Ada, and me to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant tonight. Yea. And hopefully the fingerprints will go through soon, and I will be on my way to contributing to the bank account once again.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A few more Easter pics.

That morning as I was getting ready for church, I gave Ada her Easter basket to keep her occupied, then I put it all back together and back on the table with Ellie and Luke's. She never knew what had happened when I gave it to her AGAIN that afternoon. Everyday could be Easter, and she would be fine with it. Bless her heart, I just filled the basket with things that I needed to buy anyway. Except for the stuffed peeps. Those were purely for the cute factor. Look at them peeking over the edge of the basket in the picture below.

Luke and Ellie with their rabbit ears. Notice Luke's soccer ball basket, and his little ball easter eggs. He is obsessed with all balls--football, basketball, whatever, he wants to play with it. Already a little athlete. Ellie had cinderella eggs, her favorite disney character, I think.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Things I am excited about on this Wednesday evening

1. My new "the essential" jeans from Gap.

So during pregnancy I became very accustomed to elastic wasted jeans that came up past my belly button, so when I finally had to give up my maternity jeans (weeks after Ada was born), I was astonished at how low waisted they all were. Not to mention the fact that they no longer fit like they did pre-pregnancy. I have been on a mission to find jeans that are not too tight and not too low waisted. Mission accomplished. Gap's "the essential" jeans are just the right fit. Slightly baggy and slightly higher on the waist, and I am IN LOVE with them.

2. My new, 7.00 jeans, from Target.

Yes you read that correctly, 7.00. I was looking through the clearance rack at Target--a weekly activity--and I noticed this pair of jeans in my size. Now, as I have mentioned before, I love Target, but even I have been slightly skeptical of their jeans. I tend to splurge a little when buying jeans, but I decided it wouldn't hurt to try them on. And I loved them. The waist is lower than I now prefer, but for 7.00 I decided I could live with it.

3. Sandra McCracken

My sister, Sarah, let me borrow one of Sandra McCracken's c.d.'s because I needed something to listen to in the car this past Sunday, and I am in love with her. Her voice is beautiful, and I love her lyrics. Check her out. I added a link to her website. Plus she is wife to my long time favorite, Derek Webb, whom I will always love.

4. The fact that I am picking up my BRAND NEW straightener from the post office tomorrow.

My chi died this past weekend. It was so very sad. I plugged her in, and she started smoking. I go no where without my chi, so I did go through a time of mourning, but by Saturday night, I had ordered a brand new straightener from the website, Folica. I opted to go with something other than the chi, and it had really good reviews, so I am excited--and somewhat nervous--to try it out. The one I ordered is called the HAI--anyone know anything about it? It was somewhat of a gamble, so we'll see. I have a hair appointment on Saturday, and I really need a quality straightener to really get all that I am wanting out of my new haircut.

5. And finally, Fountain Diet Coke

I am always excited about fountain diet coke, but the love affair has been renewed lately due to the fact that I am no longer pregnant or nursing. It is almost an addiction. It just isn't the same out of a can. Particularly, I love large diet cokes from Zaxby's. Nothing gets me through a long afternoon like a large diet coke from Zaxby's.

Easter Weekend and Ada's first "big girl" bath

Here are a few photos from Easter--My mom bought Ada and Ellie matching Easter dresses. Ellie was dancing around Sunday morning showing me her "pretty dress," and I was like, bad news, Ada has the same one. But she didn't mind. There was a matching outfit that Luke could have worn, but Ann took the more masculine route and dressed him in a blue vest and khakis. He looked like such a little man.

As for the second group of pictures, last night Ada took her first bath in the real bathtub without her blue baby tub. Scott and I thought she would love splashing around in the water, but she was too busy chewing on her rubber duck to even notice the water. I even took her hand and showed her how to splash, but all she wanted to do was the eat the duck. Oh well, I am sure that there is enough splashing in the future to cover the whole bathroom in water.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we live."

Today I was in Scottsboro for Easter at my brother-in-law's church. The entire sermon was so good, but one phrase really stuck with me, and I have been mulling over it all day, "Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we live."

In this post-modern world that we are living in, it is often hard to find clarity about anything. We are living in a culture that has blurred the lines of right and wrong, fact and fantasy so much, that I often view the world with marred vision. However, the gospel allows me to find the truth to stand on and view everything else. It is as if I am looking around and cannot quite make out an image of anything, then I turn to the gospel, and everything comes into focus. All that matters, the only thing is, are we living or dying? Without the death and resurrection of Jesus being a reality in our lives, we are dying, and if it is a reality, we are living--simple as that. There are two options--life or death. And it affects everything.

I am reminded of the C.S. Lewis quote, "And that is precisely what Christianity is about. This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life." And isn't that true? If we know Jesus in his death and resurrection then everything, all of life, is about being made into the true version of ourselves--the live version of ourselves. If I am changing Ada's diaper, and fixing her bottle, and cleaning my house, and cooking dinner, I can trust, as one who has been redeemed, that Jesus is using these daily things to make me more and more into the person that He has intended me to be. And if I am not redeemed, even if I am accomplishing great worldly things, I am still living a life that ultimately results in death. No matter what great thing I do, I will still die. It will still end. So there is always this great dichotomy--either we are living and investing in the eternal, or, even in the great things, we are dying. What hope we have in the fact that Jesus came to us in our despair and lived and died that we might come to life. And, as Steven mentioned in the sermon, it is not a truth to ponder only on Easter, it is a daily thing. Because it is his resurrection that brings life to our daily stuff. Our daily routines. If we do not grasp the meaning of his resurrection then the life we are living is lived in vain.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A surprise Easter shopping trip

Oh how I love to shop. A famous line in my family is little five year old me walking into the mall, stopping, taking a big whiff, and announcing for all the world to hear, "I love the smell of the mall." 25 year old me still feels a rush of anticipation when I walk into a favorite store with a little cash in my pocket--oh the endless possibilities.

Because I am now a stay at home mom living on quite the strict budget, I have evolved into a very creative shopper. So when Easter Sunday loomed ahead with its tradition of a new, spring dress, I headed to Target (always my fall back when in need of a new outfit) in search of good fashion and low prices. And I was successful. However, Thursday night I was sitting in my mom's kitchen having just arrived from Atlanta, and my youngest sister walked in the door excited to show us her Easter dress. Lo and behold, it was the same dress I planned to wear in a different pattern. It was quite the fashion emergency. My mom, however, saved the day, when she offered to not only give me the money to purchase a new dress, but she also agreed to baby-sit Ada while I spent most of Friday shopping in Huntsville. I felt as if I had won the lottery.

All of this to say that yesterday I found myself in Banana Republic at Bridgestreet Town Centre in Hunstville, AL purchasing a new outfit. And sadly enough, I discovered that Banana Republic clothing does in fact fit and look better than Target and Old Navy--the only two places I ever shop. I can only imagine how it would feel to dress myself in true designer clothing (and I don't mean Vera Wang for Kohl's). Another exciting discovery about Banana Republic, I wear a size smaller there than everywhere else, another reason to love nice, expensive clothing. By the way, I am so impressed with that shopping center. It was a beautiful day, I was in flip flops and short sleeves, and there is nothing I love more than a day of shopping all by myself. I love to be with friends and family, but I always prefer to shop alone.

Today, however, I am back to being mom to Ada, and she has just woken up from a nap, so now I must go.

Happy Easter to all!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A weekend with Grams and Pop

Scott's parents came to visit this past weekend, and I am not sure who was more excited about it--them or us. Scott's mom is so great with Ada, and it allowed Scott and I to go to our Church's "Explorer Weekend" (the class for membership) without having to worry about Ada. We also went to lunch on Saturday afternoon--just the two of us. It was wonderful. Plus, it is so fun to have visitors in our new home. Until now, we really haven't had room for visitors, so I get very excited about playing hostess.

Below are some highlights from the weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A day in the life of a 7 month old

As I have mentioned before, this blog is helping me to record Ada's first year of life because I am not so good as keeping up with her baby book. I plan to eventually sit down and transfer info. from here into her baby book, but until then, I will continue to keep a record on here, for all the world to see.

On that note, I thought today was a day worth noting. Ada is going through a stage where she easily becomes bored. She had already had two semi-succesful naps, we had been on a run/walk (in a continued attempt to train for the half-marathon), and I desperately needed to clean up my bedroom (it has not really been straight since we moved in). Afternoons are our longest stretch because there isn't much for Ada to do, so I decided that she would practice sitting up while I cleaned the room. And she did so well!!! This is the first time that I have been able to just let her sit in the room and play, so I feel like this is a sort of milestone. And of course I documented the milestone with pictures. Enjoy.

Okay, so the first picture was actually taken last night, and I realize the quality of the pic. is not so good, but I had to post it anyway. Please note the fact that the entire front of Ada's onesie is soaking wet. This was caused by drool. Drool only. If she doesn't cut a tooth soon, I think she may drown in her own spit. Right after the picture was taken, I gave her a much needed bath. What the picture doesn't show is the squash baby food that is all down the front of her shirt and under her chin. She didn't seem to be bothered by the mess. She was as happy as ever despite her filth. (The picture is blurry because Ada can't stop moving. She won't stand still these days.)

And today...

There she sits, with her pile of toys that I thought would keep her busy for a while. And she is playing...playing...playing...and she topples over...and she continues to play. I let her play on her stomach for a while, hoping it would encourage her to crawl, and then I sat her back up, and we started the routine all over again.

Finally, because her shirt was once again soaking wet, I changed her into her precious pink auburn onesie that Laura Leary gave to Ada. Laura said she wanted to make sure that everyone knew that Ada was both an Auburn fan and a girl--thanks, Laura!! The Auburn logo is in the bottom left corner of the onesie, and I had to get a picture of the football on the back. So cute.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy 7 Months, Ada!!

In honor of Ada being 7 months today, I want to take a look back at where we were 7 months ago...

And today...

I can't believe how fast this first year is going by!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A refreshing weekend

Well, things are looking up with Ada. She is now regularly, without too much "fight," sleeping on her stomach, and she slept until 4 am this morning, which is better than 1 am, I suppose. Scott and I have a new deal--before 3:30, we both get up with Ada and tag team it--he gets the bottle, I change the diaper, from 3:30-5:00 I get up with Ada, and after 5:00, Scott gets up with Ada. This new system prevents Scott from waking up at 4:30 to feed Ada and put her back down, only to wake up an hour later for work, and it allows me to sleep in a little bit longer if she makes it until 5 am. So...Ada and I were up alone at 4 am this morning, but when she woke up again at 5:15, I got to stay in bed. It's a good system, I think.

As for the weekend--it's been a good one. Saturday, I left Ada with Scott and drove to Columbus with Amy Rambo to meet Laura Leary and Jeannie Myers for some quality girl time. It was so refreshing to see friends who have known me for so long--what a comfortable thing, to spend a day with friends who know you so well. We talked and laughed and caught up on each other's lives. It was such a good break for me, and by the time I got home Saturday night, Ada was already asleep, but when she woke up crying at 9 pm--something that normally would frustrate me--I practically ran up the stairs to get her, so excited to see her after the day away.

We ended the weekend on a good note by visiting a community group from the church we have been visiting here in McDonough. The group has been inviting us to come for weeks now, but we have been putting it off for one reason or another, and last night we finally went. The couple who hosts the group has three kids, and they had an extra baby bed, which turned out to be such a blessing!! As soon as we got to their house at 7 pm, we put Ada down, and she slept the entire time we were there--we had to wake her up just to take her home. The couple had this amazing fan that blocked out all outside noise, so though Ada was only one room away from Scott and me, in her room it sounded as if she was sleeping in her own little wing of the house. It was such encouragement to be able to talk and pray with other adults, and I was able to share some of the struggles I am having with staying at home and being in a new town. The mother whose house we were at prayed for me, and it stuck with me. She said, "Lord, help Laura Beth to be completely satisfied that she is in your will. Give her purpose each day." She really put voice to my desires--I know that this life that I am living is the Lord's will for me, as different as it may look from MY original plan, and I want to find satisfaction in that. Isn't that all that I need, to know that I am in the center of God's will? I want to really feel purpose each day that I wake up, realizing the importance of this job that I am doing--raising Ada. Scott and I were so encouraged by the fact that Ada slept so easily while we were there; it felt like such confirmation that God has led us here to this place, and that he is taking care of us. Even in these small, but important, details of our lives such as needing to be able to go somewhere with Ada and enjoy time with other adults. I am so thankful for a God that is present in the details of our lives. As small as my concerns might be, He empathizes with them. What comfort I find in that!!