Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A few fun Ada stories and other news from the Moore household

Ada is crawling like crazy. She is finally crawling well enough that she can follow me around, into the kitchen, around the living room as I clean, and even this morning she followed me into the bathroom. There is not much privacy when you're a mom. It was so funny. I cracked the door so that I could hear her in case something happened, and in about two seconds, the door to the bathroom swung open, and there she was, grinning up at me. She's a little stinker, that's for sure.

She has been feeling so bad the past few days. Her little nose is just running and running, and snot has covered her face. Such a mess. She has been getting two baths a day for the past two days just to keep her somewhat clean. I think she was feeling sort of miserable yesterday because she didn't eat much or sleep well, and there wasn't much I could do to satisfy her. It made for a hard day for both of us. But, she seems to be doing much better today, though the nose is still flowing. She is down for a morning nap, and she has already had 1 1/2 bottles, and some yo-baby yogurt. Things are looking up. Plus...she has had LOTS of dirty diapers in the past few days. I honestly think what has helped the most is to use only two scoops of formula rather than three per every 6 oz bottle. I think she just needed more liquid. At least it seems to be working. Yea. That makes for a very happy mom. And it seems, a happy baby.

So Scott and I begin another year of marriage today. Scott is giving me a little gift everyday this week, and yesterday he gave me a new pair of capri sweat pants from Target. It makes me laugh because it is honestly the perfect gift, but a far cry from the dozen roses and book of poetry he gave me when we celebrated one year of dating. He did bring me flowers yesterday, though. Honestly, I prefer the sweat pants. It was a perfect night--me in my new sweats, a good sandwich for dinner, and Idol on tv. And that is a TRUE picture of married life. ha, ha:) Don't worry, we are actually celebrating the anniversary this weekend. My parents are coming to stay with Ada Friday night, and Scott and I are spending our first night together away from Ada--woo hoo!! We are staying at the Twelve Hotel in Atlantic Station, and just plan to spend Friday and Saturday hanging out at all our old favorites--Atlantic Station, The Virginia Highlands, and maybe even lunch at our favorite mexican restaurant on Ponce. We are going to pretend we are newlyweds once again. I think I may take the sweats with me, though:) I remember one Friday night when we were first married, living in midtown, and we were eating at a fun Italian restaurant in the Highlands--we used to spend every weekend trying out fun, new restaurants. We were sitting there by candlelight, eating a good dinner, enjoying good conversation, and I said, "You know, maybe we should wait about two years to have children and just really enjoy this first year of marriage with two incomes, living in midtown." Scott agreed. So that was our plan--two years of living in midtown, fun dates every weekend, two incomes, etc. etc. I am sure God got a good laugh out of that conversation. But hey, it's two years later, and we plan to have a very fun weekend in midtown, so it's all working out.

So that's life today. Ada is asleep--yea. I have LOTS of cleaning to do in preparation for my parents' coming. I have brand new sweat pants to wear while I clean. And I am so looking forward to a weekend away with the hubby.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Celebrating Two Crazy First Years of Marriage and Hoping for a Calmer Third Year

Today marks two years since Scott and I said our vows and became man and wife. To be really honest, it seems like much longer than that. Don't worry, Scott agrees with me. A LOT has happened in those two years--I moved to Atlanta to join Scott in a tiny 600 sq. ft. midtown apartment, and we attempted to plug into a new church in an effort to make Atlanta feel somewhat like home. I began one job a few weeks after we got married tutoring students with learning disabilities, then in July I was offered and I accepted a teaching job that started at the end of July. The first few months of teaching were incredibly stressful, and I was working long hours that included late nights at home and very early mornings at school. Just as I was getting settled into the teaching job and into marriage, we found out we were pregnant. Because we were living in a tiny apartment with barely enough room for two people, we immediately began looking for a new place to live that would be affordable on one income. God blessed us with an affordable apartment in Vinings, something that we thought was impossible, and in February, 10 months into marriage, we left midtown. This was very emotional for me because I loved living in the middle of everything, and it was the first in a series of things that the Lord was asking me to give up in order to stay at home and raise the baby that was on the way. We attempted to celebrate our first anniversary in style, despite my growing stomach and our dwindling income, but it was a major flop. As a result of the pregnancy, I was very, very sick the night of our anniversary, so there we sat in the Georgian Terrace Hotel across from the Fox, with me holding my head over a toilet. There were many tears involved:) Again, God was asking me to give up my expectations for what I thought marriage was going to look like. As we quickly approached the due date, Scott and I sat down to try to come up with a budget, and we were facing the fact that we had no idea how I was going to stay home and we were still going to pay the bills. But both of us were certain that I was not supposed to go back to work. Amazingly, the week that Ada was born, the first month that we were going without my paycheck from teaching, Scott was offered a job at Fresh Express in Morrow, GA. This was, of course, bittersweet. We were so thankful and relieved for the job and the increase in income, but we were facing leaving our church and community group where we were finally starting to feel like home. Plus, Vinings felt like the perfect place to raise a family. However, most of Atlanta agrees with me, making the housing prices in Vinings impossibly expensive, so we began to pray about buying a house in McDonough, closer to Scott's job. And you know the rest of the story. It is what I have been blogging about these past few months--us in a new town, starting over once again.

So here we are, two years into this thing, and I feel like there is much to celebrate. First, we have survived two years. That is worth celebrating. And, I think we are finally looking at a calm, settled year. The Lord has provided in amazing ways. I have this memory of Scott and me sitting in TGI Friday's after my final doctor's appointment before Ada was born, and we were both so overwhelmed with how in the heck we were going to afford for me to stay at home. The numbers just didn't add up, and we didn't really know where to go from there except to trust the Lord. We were concerned about putting food on the table, so it was unimaginable that we would be in a brand new house by April. I then have the memory of being in the hospital two days after Ada was born, and Scott received a phone call from Fresh Express. God is so good. He has been so faithful. And the crazy part, the most amazing part, is that He has been so faithful and so good in the face of our doubt and sin and indifference towards Him.

As for marriage itself, I have to laugh, and I know that Scott laughs with me because it has been so much more reality and so much less romance than we ever imagined. I was so one of those college girls that idolized marriage. I pictured romance out the wazoo, and somehow even babies seemed romantic, and I just pictured us waking up Saturday morning and we would go get Ada, and we would all hang out in the bed like you see on the commercials--do you know the one I am talking about. Everyone is beautiful, and the sheets are so clean and white, and the children are jumping up and down on the bed, and the parents are laughing. This is what I thought marriage and babies looked like. So funny. So, so funny. Because obviously, that is not it at all. Saturday mornings mostly consist of each of us, selfishly, trying to convince the other to go get Ada, as we roll over and put the pillow over our face. We certainly don't look beautiful, and we aren't smiling. And we spend our lives hoping that the numbers all add up, and that we manage to survive another week on one paycheck. But, hey, at least we're crunching numbers in our very own house:) But, at the end of the day, no matter how tired or annoyed or not like I thought it would be it is, Scott is still my best friend. There is still no one else I want to do marriage or parenting with. He has seen me at my worst, because I think most of you would agree, marriage has this way of bringing that sinful nature to the surface, and wow, has he seen my sinful nature. But he still loves me. He is still gracious to me. And we are growing together. And learning together. And lots of days fighting each other in the process.

One of my favorite books, one I recommend to all engaged or married couples, is called Sacred Marriage. The entire premise of the book is that marriage is not created to make us happy but to make us holy. In the book, Gary Thomas writes, "Marriage helps us to develop the character of God himself as we stick with our spouses through the good and the bad. Every wedding gives birth to a new history, a new beginning. The spiritual meaning of marriage is found in maintaining that history together." He later writes, "Becoming one--in the deepest, most intimate sense--takes time. It's a journey that never really ends, but it takes at least the span of a decade for the sense of intimacy to really display itself in the marriage relationship." What I am thankful for most of all, is that God has provided me with a husband who understands these truths. We are both in this thing for better and for worse, and I am excited about slowly, together, building our history. We have only just begun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

another mile down, a million more to go

I marked off my second run today. Yea. It was such a hard run. Only a mile and a half, but my legs felt so heavy, and I am feeling slightly discouraged. If a mile and half feels like this, how am I ever going to run 13 miles. Oh well, one day at a time, right? And all I had to do today was run a mile and a half, and I did it, as hard as it may have been.

I was very tired, which may have contributed to the yuck of a run. Ada had a night last night like I haven't seen since she was first home from the hospital. She is suffering from a bad cold, and I assume that was the cause. She cried, at times hysterically, for two hours, until my mother finally rocked her until she was so sound asleep that she did not wake up when mom lay her down. I tried rocking her, but she started trying to grab my eyes, lips, etc. etc., and I was not willing to play that game. Mom was better at getting her to sit still. Honestly, I thought that because she had cried so hard and so much, that she was worn out and we were looking at her sleeping all night. I went to bed so hopeful. And so tired. No such luck. She proceeded to wake up almost every two hours for the rest of the night. Mom woke up with us at 3:30, and she stayed up with her while I went to sleep. Mom put her back down at 4:30, and then Ada woke up again at 6:15. Again, mom let me go back to sleep so that I wouldn't be so tired driving home. But nights like that wear me out both physically and emotionally, so I am a bit haggard tonight. I am hoping my next run will come after a normal night and day, and it won't be so, well, HORRIBLE.

I am happy to report that Ada is already asleep, though, and she went down without a fight, so hopefully we will all get more sleep tonight.

As for the rest of the weekend, it was so nice to be at home. There is something about walking into my childhood home that always comforts me. The smells, the sounds--so famliar. So comfortable. So safe. The birthday party was a success, but I won't say much because I am holding out hope that Ann will report all the details in her very own blog. Stay tuned to see if she actually starts one.

While home, Scott's parents came to Scottsboro for the day, and they brought Ada a precious dress. I will post pictures soon.

And that's today's update. Tomorrow, Scott and I have been married for two years. I will have more on that tomorrow. Happy Monday, everyone.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Half-Marathon Update

Well, I am at again...this crazy thing called believing that I am actually going to run 13 miles in October. I am home for the weekend with all of my sisters, two of whom plan to run with me, and I decided to get off my tail and actually do this thing.


I printed off an actual training program, starting with eight weeks to a 5k, then I printed off a training program for the half, and it looks like I have just enough weeks to finish the training. I'm praying for no injuries so that things can stay on schedule. My youngest sister, Kate, ran the music city half last year, and she used this training schedule, and she finished, so let's hope it works its magic on me. We'll see. I am trying to be confident. Or at least hopeful.

I marked off my first run today. My first real run, that is. My first eyes on the goal run. Almost two miles, which weren't too difficult. Take that jogging stroller away from me and running isn't so much death warmed over. I am going to do this thing. I am going to do this thing. I think if I say it enough times, over and over, my head might start believing it.

I came home from running and put a pink X over the first day of training. I can't wait to watch those pink X's fill up the chart. Each one carrying me closer to my goal. And, I predict, each one making me feel a little more like the old me, pre-baby, pre-my life turning upside down. And therefore, each one making me a better wife and mom.

Friday, April 25, 2008

You must check out this website

You may already know about this blog, but I have just discovered it, and it is so great.

All it is is a gospel centered quote per day.

Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Adding to what I started earlier

It's about six hours later, and I am finally back. Idol just went off, Ada is fast asleep, and Scott is in his element playing baseball on X-box, so I decided to finish the blog I started earlier.

As I was saying, the dominant thing on my mind these days is Ada's little digestive system, which never seems to be working properly. And my doctor is NO HELP. He just keeps telling me to give her laxatives, but, really, for 4 months now, that's the only solution? So...we are going organic. Or at least Ada is. I did use organic whole grain bread when I made the grilled cheese I ate for dinner. And I had boar's head white american, yum, yum. But I also had a 100 calorie pack of cheetos and diet coke, so it certainly wasn't a fully organic meal. But it served it's purpose.

I have been in a funk lately when it comes to cooking. I just don't feel like doing it. Once the warm weather hits, I stop wanting to cook. Give me February, and I will give you a warm and cozy home cooked meal that could comfort anyone, but as soon as it hits 80 degrees outside, I'm thinking, let's just make a sandwich and be done with it.

Ada and I are headed to Scottsboro this weekend for Ellie's third birthday party. Bless her heart, she has had to sit through many a kid's party at pre-school, and each and every time, Ann promises her that her day is coming. And tomorrow, her day has finally arrived. The actual family birthday party is not until Friday night, but Ann is taking "refreshments" to Ellie's pre-school tomorrow. I have a feeling she is going to be one excited little girl. She is a hoot, that one, and because of that, I am confident that Ann would have plenty to blog about, if only she would start blogging. I plan to take care of that this weekend while I am at her house. Hopefully by Monday, Ann will have joined the blogging community.

Not much else is going on--the vacuum salesman showed up at our house again today because he forgot it was our house. It was slightly awkward when I answered the door, and he realized that he had already been to our house. To add to the awkwardness, I guess because he felt so close to me after spending ALL NIGHT at our house last night, he gave me a hug before shutting the door. Random. Very random. Ada HATED the vacuum. It scared her to death (sadly, she is not used to the sound of a vacuum), and I almost think she remembered this because as soon as I answered the door and she saw that it was the salesman, she buried her head in my shoulder and kept it there until he left. Add this to the awkwardness of the hug.

So, that's all for today. We're going organic, sort of, we still don't own a fancy vacuum, and Ada and I are hitting the road tomorrow for a little birthday fun.

This and That

So, you know those five things on my to-do list? Not one single thing got done. I did feed Ada plenty of food, but she did not go to the bathroom. I never knew how much trouble a baby's digestive system could be, and it all started when I stopped nursing. Sad.

Anyway...this past Sunday night I told the wife of the couple that hosts community group all about our bathroom trouble, and she gave me this great book to read along with lots of food advice. I have now read the book and am feeling slightly overwhelmed, but I am going to at least try a few things, starting with making my own rice cereal out of whole grain organic rice. This is cheaper and much healthier than packaged baby food. I have been mixing it with pears so that Ada will actually eat it. (The pears are in fact packaged baby food, though the book suggests pureeing your own--like I said, overwhelmed). This organic brown rice is called super porridge, and it is super easy to make-ha;). You just grind up the rice in a coffee grinder, cook it on the stove, and you are ready to go. The book is called, what else, Super Baby Food, written by Ruth Yaron. Jane, if you're reading, it seems like something you would totally get into, since I think you are probably doing all of this stuff already. The only other thing I think I will do from the book is add tahini to the porridge. It is supposedly like the super food of nutrition. The word super is used A LOT in the book. So, little Ada is on a healthfood kick right now. So far, however, not helping her go to the bathroom.

Speaking of, she just woke up, so this will have to be continued...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Okay, I have been tagged by Lindsay, so here goes.

Ten years ago I was...

15 years old--wow!! Young, and probably fairly self-absorbed as most 15 year olds are. I was most likely either at cheerleading practice or hanging out with my then boyfriend because that was all I did, it was not the healthiest of relationships I have to say. I guess at 15 healthy relationship with the opposite sex might be considered an oxymoron, and if I have any say at all, which I plan to have LOTS of say, Ada will not be dating at 15. And that's about it. Either doing some toe touches and stunts or I guess hanging out at my house with the boyfriend or possibly with the youth group. Let's just say I am thankful to be 25 and not 15. Fifteen is the reason I loved teaching my seniors, and barely survived teaching my sophomores.

Okay, on to the next thing.

5 things on my to do list:

1. laundry, laundry, and more laundry. Always laundry.
2. Finish vacuuming my house. The door to door salesman that came by last night took care of most of downstairs. Nice.
3. Feed Ada plenty of things that will make her go to the bathroom--this is a battle that is going on 5 months now!!
4. Run or tae bo
5. Return jeans to Old Navy--yea, an outing!!

5 snacks I enjoy:

1. string cheese
2. pita chips and hummus
3. boars head white american cheese
4. potato chips of any sort
5. chips and salsa from Chili's

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. pay off the house
2. then build a new house complete with a HUGE kitchen and a bonus room, and hopefully a basement where I can go in case of tornadoes (I HATE severe weather season)
3. hire a personal trainer
4. hire someone to clean my house--I HATE cleaning my house, but I get stressed out if it's not clean
5. adopt lots of children, then hire a nanny to help me, and of course, I would have plenty of room for them in my huge house. But I would definitely adopt children.
6. (okay, I know this is #6, but I have to add this one) Build a beautiful vacation home in Rosemary Beach, where Scott, me, and all the children would vacation. And I would let people stay in my house rent free--people that I know that is--particularly young couples and families who need a vacation so badly but just can't afford it.
7. (I know, but there are SO MANY things that I would do) Buy any book that I wanted, including the ESV literary study bible that Scott has been saying I could get forever, but we still haven't ordered (are you reading this, Scott? This is me asking again;)) And about a million parenting books.

5 bad habits

1. Procrastination, which reveals itself in all areas of my life.
2. picking at my nails
3. worrying
4. watching too much television on dvd
5. not exercising regularly enough

5 places I have lived

1. Scottsboro, AL
2. Auburn, AL
3. Chong Qing, China--summer after freshman year
4. Midtown--Atlanta, Ga
5. And now McDonough, GA

5 jobs I've had

1. Lite Side Restaurant--sandwich maker and yogurt fixer
2. Shacky's gym and tanning bed
3. Heartstrings
4. Tutor and study monitor for AU football players
5. American and British Lit. Teacher at Pebblebrook High School

I will tag
Ann (so that you will start a blog), Shannon (so that you will start a blog), and if you girls aren't reading or willing to start a blog, I tag Lindsey Slagley, Jane, and Rachel Olis

Saturday, April 19, 2008

There is a lot working against me today.

Scott is gone for the day. He is off to Turner Field for a little baseball and guy time and after that at 9pm tonight, he is headed over to hang out with some guys from church. What does this mean for me? A long day of nothing much other than watching Ada crawl, fall, crawl, fall, her knees so red from the effort. Bless her heart. And her knees.

Baby Beethoven is playing in the background because I haven't found the energy to turn it off since I lay Ada down for her nap. It is our soundtrack these days--Baby Einstein and Praise Baby. The melody of our lives. I crash onto the sofa as soon as I put her down. Ready for a little me time while a voice in the back of my head says load the dishwasher, take a shower, take out the trash, hurry, she will wake up soon. And I continue to sit here.

However, despite the drudgery of the day, Ada curled up against me before I lay her down, and that is enough to make it all worthwhile. Just a little snuggle and this mama remembers all the reasons why she chose this job (or did it choose me?). I am so thankful for that little stinker in all her messiness, fussiness, and wearing me out-ness. Give me grace for this day, Lord. Grace for this day. Grace to understand the hugeness of this role that seems so daily. Give me a glimpse of how all these tiny moments add up to raising a person whose purpose is to bring you glory.

What does that grace look like today? A smile. The drooly sound of mama from that little mouth. A one step closer to pulling up. A snuggle before naptime and a squeal when she sees me after she wakes up. And the promise of not one, but two, weekends away with the husband. Just enough grace for this day. That's all I need.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday's Happenings

Well, I am marking it down in my virtual baby book, April 17, 2008 is the day I will say Ada started crawling. She has been trying for so long, but today she was able to stay on all fours and move forward at least three crawls (?) at a time before falling onto her stomach. Plus she has gotten quite creative in getting around and getting to what she wants. She is a fearless little thing. She is not afraid of falling down, she just lets go of my hands when I am "walking" with her, and of course immediately falls. It's as if she is not aware that I am what is enabling her to walk. So funny.

We went for a run today in my oh so feeble attempt to keep up some sort of running routine. We first went to Target to buy some baby sunscreen. We ended up with some spf 55 for that white, white red-headed baby skin. She is looking at a childhood filled with lots of sunscreen lathering. As a child I suffered through it myself. The run was not so good. It is just not easy to run with a jogging stroller. Or to run at all, for that matter.

As for other day's events...I am making my way through Tim Keller's, The Reason for God." My mom ordered both Keller's book and D.A. Carson's Christ and Culture Revisited, but she had them sent to my house so that I could read them first. I am just devouring Keller's book, as I knew I would. I actually went into it thinking it would not so much apply to me since he is all about the city, and I am certainly not in the city. In my daily life I am not dealing with graduate students searching for truth and the meaning of life as much as I am dealing with diapers, bottles, and the occasional conversation with other McDonough moms. Honestly, what I am wrestling with the most is how to approach the gospel in southern suburbia. This is the culture I am living in and I truly have no idea how to approach the gospel here, in a place where everyone is a Christian by default. That is a complicated conversation that I certainly haven't figured out yet. Postmodernism (post-postmodernism?) hasn't hit McDonough too hard, I have to say, at least not in the way it has engulfed the city. However, I am learning so much from his book, of course. Keller has really shaped my understanding of Christianity ever since I first listened to him during graduate school when my faith was really being challenged by a class I took on Post colonial Literature. He continues to shape me. Reading the book is bringing much clarity to what I believe, but it is a lot to take in with just one reading. I feel as if it is a book I will have to read over and over again. And I am only halfway through. I will report back when I reach the end.

Meanwhile, as I type this Ada is screaming at the top of her lungs because she does not want to go to bed. However, when I picked her up out of bed a minute ago she immediately rubbed her eyes and cuddled up to my shoulder, so I know that she is SO TIRED. It's like we are in this war, and she feels like she hasn't fought hard enough if she just gives in to bed time. She can be a fighter, that little girl of mine. (She also fights getting her diaper changed every single time. You would think she would be thankful that I don't allow her to wallow in her own filth). So, it's just a normal night in the Moore household.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Big Girl

A few pictures to illustrate little miss independent who has moved into the Moore household. She loves to stand and gets so angry if I make her lie down or sit down to do anything. The problem with this is she can't stand on her own (though she thinks she can, resulting in many falls), so I spend my day letting her hold onto my hands or sitting behind her while she holds onto something else. She is also feeding herself, which consists of her grabbing a handful of puffs and trying to stuff them all into her mouth--most end up as a soggy mess on her bib. My one way to get a break during the day and actually get other things done--Praise Baby. See pictures below.

see the bib...every once in a while one actually makes it into her mouth.her little table that keeps her occupied until she lets go, thinking she can stand on her own, falls down and gets upset, and we have to find something else for her to do. And a few moments of contentement while she watches Praise Baby.

Check this out

A VERY interesting and convicting article on race. Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How the Kroger Pharmacist Made My Day

As I have previously mentioned, the most common question I have experienced since my little red-headed Ada was born is, "where did she get that red hair?" And as I have previously mentioned, I HATE this question. I always politely reply that my hair is in fact red, it has just darkened over the years, but on the inside I am thinking not such nice things. Well, today I had to run into Kroger to pick up a prescription, and of course Ada was on my hip because she is my little sidekick. The pharmacist was talking to her, making her laugh, etc., etc., and he said, mark it down, "you have your mom's pretty red hair." I stopped what I was doing, looked up at him with a HUGE grin on my face, and said, "she does indeed!!" I wanted to jump over that counter and give this sweet old southern man the hugest hug. It may not be obvious to all, but there are a few out there who look at my daughter and know EXACTLY where that red hair came from.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The tale of our first weekend apart

so it looks like Ada and I survived our first weekend apart.

I honestly did much better than I thought I would, and, in fact, I didn't feel too miserable the entire time. Coming home I felt more freedom than I have felt in a long time because I can now know, in the back of my mind, that a weekend away is doable if needed. But as I got closer and closer to our house, I drove faster and faster, so eager to see those chubby cheeks and thighs. She and Scott were waiting for me on the porch, and the hugest grin covered her face as I got out of the car. Of course it was my imagination, but she seemed bigger somehow. We spent a lot of time cuddling last night and even today. She rarely wants to just sit in my lap and let me cuddle with her, but today she has been willing, so maybe she missed me too. There is nothing like your mama, no matter how good a dad is at parenting. We just have that instinct about our baby that no one else can have.

As for the weekend, it was so much fun. I always love wedding weekends--the whole hoopla of the bridesmaid's luncheon and rehearsal dinner and such. And Katie was such a beautiful bride!! Check out Adam and Ashley's blog for pictures. I took the camera with me, but took a total of two photos, and she didn't even have her dress on yet. Sad. The entire weekend was rather nostalgic for me since it was the wedding of a childhood friend. I don't tend to get emotional at weddings, but this one got me somewhat choked up, and I can't really put my finger on the reason why. Perhaps it is because we have been friends for so long, and as a result, our friendship has survived A LOT of junk. Mostly my junk. I was not the most unselfish highschooler, I have to say. And it was fun to catch up with my other high school friend, Courtney. She is a mama, as well, so we mainly compared notes on motherhood. That's what tends to happen when moms get together, I have discovered. Other than those two, and Katie's sisters, I really didn't know any bridesmaids, so I played third wheel to Adam and Ashley at the rehearsal dinner. Thanks, Ashley!! I so enjoyed our chat at dinner, by the way. As we always say, I wish we lived closer together so we could hang out more often.

I also loved seeing my college bffs, Amy and Lindsay. There is just nothing like hanging out with friends who allow you to be completely yourself. Amy was so cute with her tiny little baby bump. And I do mean tiny. That girl is not going to do pregnancy the way I did. She is tiny everywhere, and I would predict she will gain the exact amount of weight she is supposed to--not the 40 lbs that I gained!! I looked at the stick that said positive and gained 10 lbs on the spot, or at least that's what it felt like. When I am not in the throes of pregnancy, I am able to look at a pregnant woman and just squeal and carry on about how cute she is and how much fun it is to be pregnant, but I'm not fooling Amy, she had to endure much complaining from me when I actually was pregnant.

I rounded out the weekend by also seeing my mom, three sisters, and niece. So the weekend was filled with quite a bit of fellowship. Because I live in a family that consists of 5 women, each blessed with strong emotions in different ways, we didn't escape the weekend without some drama--one being that the older of my younger sisters threw up on her black diamond formal date (not because of drunkenness, but instead, the result of a combo of a migraine and a bumpy bus ride). Thankfully, her date was quite the gentleman and totally took care of her and acted as if it was no big deal.

To top it all off--I was able to eat meals from both Big Blue and Amsterdam.

To me, Auburn is a little bit like Heaven on Earth, so you throw in all of my favorite people (minus a few--mainly Scott and Ada) and you get an almost perfect weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yesterday's Bargains

This is just a quick post to share two things that I just have to share with someone because they were so exciting for me.

1. Did you know that everyday from 2-4, you can get a large diet coke from Sonic for only 86 cents!! Crazy, right? So from now on, at 2:00 you will find Ada and me sitting in the drive through at Sonic. Great ice. Fountain Diet Coke. You really can't find a better afternoon treat.

2. I have had my eye on this fun summery tank top from Target, and yesterday it was on the clearance rack for 3.24!! I scooped it up even though it was not the color I was hoping for. Oh the treasures you can find on the Target clearance rack.

Happy bargain hunting everyone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A few photos and things I want to remember about Ada at 8 months

I took a few pictures while we were outside yesterday, but no matter what I did, Ada refused to look at me. Therefore, I only got profile pictures. Oh well, I think her profile is just as cute as the rest of her:) While I am blogging, I want to record a few favorite things that she is doing at 8 months, just so I'll have it on record. Her baby book continues to collect dust on the shelf, so I need to record these things somewhere.

She is sitting up so well, of course, but she won't stay sitting up because she immediately lunges forward as if to crawl. She will stay on her hands and knees and rock back and forth, but she always plops down on her stomach before she can actually move forward. She usually tries to scoot forward, but in the process of trying so hard, she flips over. Therefore, she spends a lot of time rolling all over the room. It is her preferred form of transportation right now.

She cannot sleep without her little pink blanket. We put her pacifier in her mouth, hand her the blanket, and she immediately puts it over her face and turns to her side. If she doesn't immediately do this, I know that it is going to be a battle getting her to go to sleep.

She is drinking 8 ounces at a time, and eating three "meals" of baby food a day. I only let her eat things with plenty of fiber because she has had A LOT of bathroom trouble. She tries to hold the bottle on her own, but she can't figure out how to turn it upside down to actually get milk out of it. I am starting to give her a few little pick up foods like cheerios, but most of the time they just fall out of her mouth, which, to be honest, is fairly gross.

She loves to clap, and she has learned that it is the best way to get our attention. If things are going along sort of quiet, she looks at us, gets a huge grin on her face, and starts to clap. Of course, we love it and immediately start saying, "yea, Ada." I am attempting to teach her sign language, and I am starting with the sign for more. However, every time I do it, Ada thinks I am clapping and she starts to clap, so I am not sure if she will ever learn the difference between the two.

She is a huge people person and little performer. She loves when people talk to her, and she has this way of getting strangers to talk to her. Fun story, we were in Cracker Barrell last weekend eating breakfast, and a father and his little boy who had down syndrome sat down near us. The little boy began to talk to Ada, and she absolutely loved it. He was probably about seven years old, so he totally got the concept of talking baby talk, playing peek-a-boo, etc. Well, Ada was just grinning and squealing, and the little boy looked up at his dad and said, "Dad, I love her." It was the sweetest thing. I just wanted to scoop him up and take him home with us.

So anyway...that's our little Ada, who has completely changed our lives. We can't get enough of her--though I am looking forward to my mini vacation this weekend;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I met a neighbor, and other ways this day surprised me

so the day started out not so good. Scott woke me up on his way out the door to let me know that because he couldn't find his keys, he was taking my car, leaving Ada and me carless. This is not so good for this mom and daughter who like to get out at least twice a day just to break up the monotony. The day began with a fussy Ada, and a very short morning nap, and I thought we would not survive. At one point I put in Ada in her bed simply because I think we were both tired of each other. She was fussing for no apparent reason, and everything I tried failed, so I put her in her bed and she seemed happy enough. Maybe she is a little introvert and needed some alone time to reenergize. Thankfully, the Lord provided an absolutely beautiful and warm day, so we were able to spend some time in the backyard getting a little fresh air and sunshine--two things that are always good for the soul. During our afternoon outdoor time, a neighbor from two houses down was also outside letting her dog get some fresh air. Naturally we said hello and introduced ourselves, and it turns out, she is this cute little pregnant girl--yea for a mom-to-be. She is almost as short as me, so we were even able to compare stories on how it seems to be harder to carry a baby when there is so little room in the torso. (On a later date, I will fill you in on the joys of having complete strangers stop to ask you if you are having multiples). She immediately picked Ada up because when you are pregnant you want to cuddle with every baby that you see. I don't know if she plans to stay at home after the baby is born, but I'll take a mom to hang out with in the evenings and on the weekends if need be. I may not have best friends here, and I may not feel like McDonough is home, but on this afternoon I feel the foreshadowing of community, and for now, that is enough.

p.s. Scott took Ada and me to Taco Bell for dinner to get us out of the house, so in addition to meeting a neighbor, I also got to have a large diet pepsi from Taco Bell, plus a refill on the way out. It turned out to be a not so bad day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Let's talk books

Here I sit in pajama pants that I bought the week I got home from the hospital after having Ada and a t-shirt I earned when I ran the Emerald Nuts Midnight run in Central Park the new year's eve before Scott and I got married. Such contrast--such examples of the two lives I have lived. The pajama pants were purchased because I desperately wanted to wear something not maternity and everything in my closet was obviously too small. I wore them for weeks after Ada was born, even when visitors came by, even to the grocery store. They will always speak of sleepless nights and adjusting to this new tiny person that had entered our lives. And the t-shirt, such a surreal night for me. Running in central park at midnight, knowing that before the year was over I would be a Mrs., and celebrating one last moment of singleness with my college friends. And now, three short years later, I sit in the home I share with my husband, Ada asleep upstairs, and Scott gone to a community group social without me because I cannot leave Ada here alone. And as much as I may want to be selfish, as much as I AM selfish, I know that Ada needs to be in bed, her bed, so I sit here alone. And I am tempted to feel sorry for myself. Perhaps tempted is the wrong word--perhaps I DO feel sorry for myself;)

Because writing has always been a form of therapy for me, I decided the better option, over wallowing in self pity, is to blog.

Amy Rambo is the friend I was running with on that New Year's Eve that now seems so long ago. She has always been my best running partner. Neither of us have a need for speed, and we are both short girls, so our stride is the same, and we like to chat as we run in order to make the miles go by faster. Our best conversations happened as we ran all over Auburn's campus. Tonight, I am reminded of a conversation we had one night as we were running with Laura Galloway. Just as we passed Mamma G's, and needing to make it all the way back to the hill, Laura posed the question, "What books have been most influential in your life?" I love this question because it isn't the typical, what is your favorite book. So tonight, with a need to get my mind on something worthwhile, I return to that question.

That night Rambo and I both agreed that the Christy Miller series was certainly a group of influential books during our middle school years. If you were a typical Jr. High youth grouper, I am guessing that you have heard of these books. To give you an idea, my dad bought us the first one because it was a christian book and it had a picture of a cheerleader on the cover--a combination that clearly made this book a winner:) Though these books may never receive any literary claim, they did shape my views on dating and how to dress and who to be friends with in a way that parents and youth leaders cannot do for a teenage girl. I learned not to be unequally yoked and that tight jeans may send the wrong message:) And of course, I began to actually think about my future husband. There must be at least one reader out there who also crushed hard on Todd Spencer. I made many bad decisions during my teenage years, but I really believe, crazy as it may seem, that I made fewer bad decisions than I would have had I not read the Christy Miller series.

Second on the list for me has to be Hind's Feet on High Places, an allegory in which the character much afraid is taken through much suffering in order to be given a new heart, and therefore, a new name. I first read this book, or was read this book, one summer as a child. My mother wanted us to have structure that summer, and every afternoon we would sit on Ann's bed, and my mom would read a chapter to us. Later, at sixteen years old, after I had experienced an intense break up with my high school boyfriend, I returned to the book in search of anything that might bring comfort or peace. Looking back, I see that it was the sovereignity of God, and His shaping my relationship with Him, that brought me back to the book. As my young heart dealt with the first suffering I had ever known, God began to teach me the privilege of sharing in His suffering. I did not read the book in hopes of growing in my relationship with the Lord, I just wanted anything that would bring some meaning to what was happening to me, but clearly God was shaping my life through the story.

I will end with those two, for now. The two most influential books from high school segment. If I keep going, this post will be much too long. Maybe I will return to the list at a later date with the college influences chapter.

What I would love to know, however, is what books have most influenced you? Mainly because I am only 25. Hopefully I have many more years of reading ahead. And also because I want to get to know you a little better, and don't the books we love serve as a way to reveal who we are?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

8 months of having Ada as my sidekick (and other weekend events)

So my little Ada is 8 months old....she is slowly making her way towards the one year mark. Crazy, crazy. I was thinking today, as I was getting her up from her nap, what a shock to the system those first six weeks with her were. This past summer as I was going nuts waiting for her to be born--as I mentioned in the previous post, I HATED being pregnant--my mom kept telling me that it would be a whole new level of not having control over my own life after she was born. And this is so true. Yes she controlled my life in many ways prior to being born, but she took on a whole new level of control once we brought her home from the hospital. She is truly my little sidekick. Where I go, she goes, and vice versa. That is, until this coming weekend. Ada and I will be separating for two nights. I am going to AU to be a bridesmaid in Katie Tate's wedding, and in an effort to keep things sane, Scott will be staying in McDonough with Ada. It will be a big weekend for us all. Scott has set a limit of 3 phone calls per day from me--I am sure that I will call much more than that, but I will give it my best effort to limit myself. While in Auburn, I will be staying with my best friend Amy Speakman, who is a few months pregnant herself, and Lindsay L. Krupicka will also be joining us. It will be a taste of my old life, but I have a feeling that I will be very ready to get back to Scott and Ada when Sunday rolls around. We'll see how it goes.

As for other news, Jane and Elisha came to visit this past Friday, which was such a treat. Such refreshment to talk to another mom!! We let Ada and Elisha play, and we talked, and ended the visit with lunch at Chik-fil-A. Also, Jane brought me lots of adorable clothes she had picked up at a consignment sale, so on Friday, the shopping came to me. Thanks again, Jane, for making the drive!!
Elisha found the stairs and Ada's pacifier:) And finally, Friday night, Scott, Ada, and I had dinner with another couple and their 4 month old son. I have mentioned this family before--Scott works with the husband, and the wife and I are connecting over motherhood. We have plans for coffee Monday afternoon. So, as always, God is meeting the need for fellowship with other women. Why do I ever doubt that he will provide my daily manna?

Headed to dinner Friday night. Ada is wearing a pair of pants that Jane brought.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm tagging more people

okay, because I am loving learning everyone's 100 so much, I want to tag three more people
Laura Bohler Foreman--a friend from Scottsboro
Rachel Olis--a new blog friend
and Amy Eaton--a friend I met in Atlanta.
Okay girls, blow me away with all of your fun facts, and keep the chain going by tagging more people.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's 100, and I finally finished mine. It was sort of crazy trying to come up with 100 facts, and I am not sure if any of it is anything too interesting, but here if you want...

1. I was born August 12, 1982 as Laura Elizabeth Rhodes (I almost typed Moore).
2. I was a breech baby, and therefore a c-section.
3. I was born with a head full of black hair.
4. It later fell out and came back red. (It is a pet peeve that people say I don’t have red hair. I realize it has gotten darker and at times blonder over the years, but I am a redhead—and that is where Ada’s red hair came from).
5. I am the second of four girls—Ann (27), me (25), Sarah (22), and Kate (20).
6. Last year my students were trying to help me come up with a name for Ada, and they asked what my sisters’ names were. When I told them, one student told me, “those are the whitest names I have ever heard.”
7. This same student wanted me to name Ada, Larmeisha--a combo of my name and her name.
8. Until I was seven I shared a room with all four sisters, and I remember loving it (most of the time)
9. When I was seven, Ann and I moved into separate bedrooms downstairs.
10. Ann and I are only 18 months apart.
11. I love this now, but it made things rather difficult growing up. We fought a LOT.
12. Now we talk on the phone multiple times a week.
13. When I was in the first grade, I won 100.00 in an essay contest.
14. As young as first grade, if asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said a poet.
15. In high school I was editor of the newspaper and yearbook staff, and because of this I became very burned out with all things having to do with writing.
16. Therefore, for the first two and half years of college, I was a fashion design major.
17. I loved fashion design, but I CANNOT sew. Junior year, I designed a skirt for a class project, and it was so big, that I had to hold it up while my teacher graded me.
18. In that same class, I designed a jacket that ended up being miniature.
19. While I was spending all of my time in the design studio, I was making A’s in my English classes, and this is when I realized it was time to change my major.
20. So…second half of junior year I became an English major—fashion design and English are two completely different worlds.
21. I once again fell in love with English and the liberal arts—I can’t believe it took me so long to become an English major.
22. In addition to not being able to sew, I also changed my major for personal reasons—I tend to be a little bit of a control freak when it comes to things like weight and fashion. I realized that this was never going to change as long as I continued to immerse myself in a world that worshipped those two things.
23. This is the primary reason I changed my major.
24. This does not mean that I think the world of fashion is bad or sinful—for me, however, it tended to be bad and sinful.
25. I still struggle with being obsessed with weight and fashion, though God has given me such victory over these things—praise God for redemption!!
26. I was a cheerleader from 7th – 12th grade, and I took it very seriously.
27. I made All-American four times.
28. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I was at a college prep cheerleading camp at Purdue, learning what I needed to know to become a cheerleader in college, and I ended up in the hospital with kidney stones.
29. While in the hospital, I celebrated my 16th birthday, and my junior year started without me. I missed the entire first week.
30. I have had kidney stones twice since then.
31. I have given birth and had kidney stones. Because I had an epidural, I did not feel the full force of my contractions.
32. Based on the contractions I did feel, kidney stones hurt worse.
33. In the heat of the moment with kidney stones, I always think I must be dying. Obviously, it gets better once the doctors give me morphine.
34. By the way, I never cheered in college. I went to the first meeting for tryouts my freshman year, but I was too terrified to actually go through with it.
35. I have had my heart broken more than once, and therefore, I have huge empathy for anyone going through a break up.
36. Thankfully, Scott and I never broke up. We had a very uncomplicated dating relationship.
37. This was the primary reason I knew we should get married.
38. The first thing that attracted me to Scott was his kind heart.
39. We had a conversation nearly a year before we started dating in which we both discussed the fact that we believed any two Christians could get married and make the marriage work. Later, this played a huge role in my knowing that he was the kind of guy I could see myself marrying (you know, the question every girl is supposed to ask about a guy before she goes out on a date;)
40. As Scott mentioned in his 100, he is very passive aggressive, and there are times it makes me want to bang my head against the wall.
41. I spent the summer after my freshman year of college in China with Campus Crusade.
This was the scariest decision I ever made—I did not want to go despite the fact that I believed God was telling me to go. Finally, when it was almost too late, I committed to the trip.
42. It was an amazing and refining summer, and I met some of my very best friends on that trip, including Amy Speakman, Amy Rambo, and Anna Thompson.
43. While on the trip, I took a personality test and learned that I am a melancholy.
44. This means that I become easily depressed, don’t do well with change, struggle with insecurity, and tend to focus on the negative, but this is NOT all it means.
45. It also means that I am passionate, analytical, artistic, idealistic, and a deep thinker.
47. And that I tend to have extreme emotions—I think these extreme emotions often make Scott want to bang his head up against the wall.
48. For the most part, Scott and I are complete opposites. We have very little in common, but this seems to be what makes us work as a couple.
49. The fact that we are both trusting Christ to fulfill our marriage vows for us is the primary reason that we work as a couple.
50. 6 months into marriage, we found out we were pregnant. This was not planned.
51. I called my mother to tell her I was pregnant before I told Scott, and I was crying so hard that she thought I had been in a car accident.
52. Ann was the second person I called.
53. Scott was the third—he was at work.
54. By that night when we were sitting in California Pizza Kitchen, I was excited about the pregnancy. My emotions continued to go from panic to extreme excitement throughout the pregnancy.
55. I did not enjoy being pregnant mainly because I had no control over my body.
56. I struggle with having to be in control. This is something that I have to turn over to the Lord on a daily basis.
57. I did, however, enjoy labor. I thought it was a very cool experience. (I should add that I had a very easy labor, which included an epidural and only 30 minutes of pushing)
58. I did not enjoy the days following labor because Ada would not nurse, and the nurses in the hospital guilted me into giving her formula in a bottle.
59. Because of this, nursing was a struggle for the entire five months that I did it, and I am now very interested in learning about baby friendly hospitals.
60. While in graduate school, I tutored Auburn football players. As a result, I got to know both Kenny and David Irons. Kenny is extremely shy, and David is crazy. They are both very nice guys. I absolutely loved that job. It prepared me for my first teaching job.
61. My first and only year of teaching was at a Performing Arts School, where I taught the district kids, not the performing art students.
62. My school was considered “at risk”, which meant that many of my students were difficult to deal with in the classroom.
63. I really stood out in the classroom, since I was this little 5 foot tall white girl from Alabama, but I grew very close to my students, and strangely enough, I was able to manage the classroom fairly well.
64. I was a floating teacher, which meant that my classroom consisted of a huge bag packed full of everything I needed to teach a class. I just carried this bag from classroom to classroom.
65. I played the trumpet in the middle school band.
66. I quit band in the 8th grade so that I could be an office worker.
67. In my senior class who’s who, I was voted most dependable.
68. I used to be able to start at one end of the football field and do back handsprings (almost) across the entire field.
69. If I tried to do a back handspring now I would break my neck.
70. In the 5th grade I played rec league basketball, and I was so short that if I ever had to shoot a free throw, my coach told me to do a granny shot.
71. In 6th grade I wanted a pair of white guess jeans overalls. I received a huge bag of hand me down clothes from a family at church, and there was a pair of guess overalls (not white) in the bag. I told my dad that the Lord had heard what I wanted and provided, and I was very serious.
72. Scott and I started dating after weeks of running together my senior year. Scott overheard me tell somebody that I wanted to run a 10k, and he told me he wanted to train with me.
I later learned that Scott liked me and was looking for a way to get to know me better—turns out Scott hates to run, and we never ran the 10k.
73. We really haven’t run together since those first few weeks of dating.
74. Lindsay Luginbuhl Krupicka also ran with us, and she and Scott often talked about dogs.
75. Because of this, I thought Scott liked Lindsay, not me.
76. I’m not really a dog person, which I hate to tell people because I know it makes me look like a mean person. I try to act like I like dogs when I am around them, but Scott says that people can see right through this act.
77. I do think that there are many beautiful animals, and I don’t mind watching television shows about them. I just don’t really want to have any pets.
78. My favorite animal is a tiger—not because of Auburn, though I think it’s cool that Auburn’s mascot is my favorite animal.
79. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I turned my hair blonde using lemon juice.
80. This completely fried my hair, and I had to cut it short.
81. In high school I was the flyer on my cheerleading squad, meaning I was the one who went up in stunts.
82. One day while falling from a stunt I broke a girl’s nose.
83. I became a Christian when I was four years old. My mom was giving me a bath, when a friend of hers called to tell her that her son (the friend’s son) had become a Christian. I began to ask questions about it, and I prayed to receive Christ that night. I had a very simple understanding, but I believe it was real.
84. I was very legalistic in high school, and looking back, I think that my actions revealed that I was finding my identity in my “goodness.” It was not until my senior year of high school, when my brother-in-law became my youth minister (he was my youth minister first, brother-in-law second) that I first began to grasp the truth that even me at my best was complete filth compared to Christ.
85. I am still learning this truth, and I find my actions often reveal that I still find my identity in things other than Christ.
86. I believe that only in Christ can we find satisfaction. Everything else—money, looks, fame, success, family, marriage, whatever—will always come up short. I believe that even the good things in life exist to point us towards Christ, and if we are relying on them rather than Christ they will lead to death. It is only in Christ that we can find life.
87. I can read strangely fast, and I often finish books in one sitting.
88. I literally will read anything. For example, if I am sitting in a chair, and I see a children’s book sitting beside me, I will pick it up and read it. I have even been known to do this with things like the backs of shampoo bottles.
89. I really enjoy writing poetry, but I don’t do it often because it overwhelms me.
90. My favorite poet is William Carlos Williams.
91. Langston Hughes is a close second.
92. I dream of being a published author one day.
93.But I doubt very seriously that it will ever happen.
94. I have only been out of the country twice—once to the Bahamas and once to China.
95. I so badly want to go to England.
96. In Jr. High I started writing a young adult novel, and got through maybe four chapters. The book was basically the story of what I wished my life was like as a 7th grader.
97. My main character was pretty, popular, lived on the beach, and went to parties with cute boys. Such depth.
98. I am not a stay at home mom because I love staying at home with Ada; I am a stay at home mom because I feel like it is what God has called me to do.
99. I miss teaching so much that I often dream about my students and my old office at Pebblebrook.
100.However, I really, really mean it when I say that I am so thankful for Ada and how she has changed my life.

And now I tag Milla (I know you've already been tagged, but I planned on tagging you anyway, so I am still going to), Jane, and Lindsey Slagley. No pressure girls. I realize that you probably have much more to fill your schedule with (such as teaching, Elisha, and Kate) than typing 100 facts about yourself, but I chose you three because though I know you, I feel like there is lots more to learn.