Monday, December 27, 2010

All is Merry & Bright

in one of her Christmas dresses
she's gonna "get you!"
We had a wonderful Christmas. Now that I'm a mom I'm constantly thinking about traditions and how we might spend our holidays as a family. I love traditions and honestly don't have much so I really want some for our own family. I love being in our home and waking up here to a yummy breakfast. I wasn't sure how Charis would respond and honestly she wasn't totally into it. But she did look pretty darn cute in her holiday flannel pjs. So cute.

so cute in her flannel pjs!

checking out her stocking

yay! monkey mittens!

our Christmas breakfast...yummy

We started our celebration on Christmas Eve at my dad's then went to our church's Christmas Eve service. This was my first time back to church since my surgery and it was a good time to ease back into it. Christmas day we had breakfast then opened presents. Then we spent the day together just hanging out and being lazy. It was great. One thing we like to do in the days around Christmas is watch Christmas movies and movies that take place around the holidays. Some of our favorites are When Harry Met Sally, A Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Scrooged. It was really great just being together. I am so thankful for this season and getting to celebrate and be lazy with my sweet family.

the best way to open a present..with your middle finger

playing with her new "green" toy stacker

but the ribbon is most fun.

One of other favorite traditions is doing our annual GMO Cookie & CD Party with some girls from Country Day. These ladies actually graduated in May and just finished their first semester at college. I love them. We get together every Christmas to swap cookies and CDs. It's so fun to see them and catch up on their lives.

all the GMO girls!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Joyful Joyful

I absolutely love this time of year and celebrating the birth of Jesus. I am especially thankful for this first Christmas as a cancer survivor. That isn't my new identity, but it is a pretty big part of our lives right now. Two weeks before my surgery we took some family pictures with Lindsey Lee who is a sweet friend and old Young Life girl of mine from my YL days in college. We had lots of options for Christmas card photos and Sarah Pay designed my favorite card. May you not be busy or flustered, but instead be restful and soak up the love of Christ this holiday season. I know I am.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mountains & Ministry

I love the mountains. Everything about being in the mountains reveals God to me. His beauty, love, detail, power, divinity, all of it is evident to me by the mountains and it's scenery. One day I hope we'll live in some mountain town. We would go on hikes and camp all the time. I might even have dreads. Last Saturday night we had a mini family vacay to the mountains. A friend had encouraged us to get away, so we did. A friend let us go to their beautiful mountain house in Blowing Rock for the night. There is a lot that goes into getting away with a kid, but we felt it was important so we did it. And it was the BEST time ever. It snowed and we got to cozy up to the fire. There wasn't laundry or dishes that I "needed" to do. I left my computer at home. Charis slept more than normal, which is already a lot. And Adam and I had a yummy dinner with wonderful conversation. It's hard to always connect with everything we are going through. Oftentimes we miss each other, so this was an opportunity for us to talk and share our hearts. It was so life giving to both of us.

Just a day after this we got to go up to Windy Gap for Young Life. It was our annual Winter Staff Conference and Christmas party. My boss had an incredible treat in store for the staff, which means lots of preparation. Although it's work for me, it is so good to be with the rest of the Young Life staff. It's also great to be with my family at Windy Gap, one of my favorite places. Since it is work for me it's often hard for me to go to the meetings, but I made an effort to go to a couple of them. Our boss' boss shared about Zechariah and Elizabeth from Luke 1. I'm not going to go into everything he said because it wouldn't be so eloquent. One thing that stuck out to me was that together Zechariah & Elizabeth's names mean "God remembers His promise." He also said something about praying for God to disrupt our lives and all I could think about was how it feels like our life has been in disruption. Yet God remembers His promise. Adam and I have been talking about what this means for us. What is His promise for us?
The other times I made an effort to attend was worship, which was so sweet for me. Another gift from this time came from a couple conversations I had with two of the guys on staff. Both are dads who pray with their daughters every day. Both talked about how this time has been sweet for them and a learning experience about kids and praying. Both told me how their daughters always ask about me, especially when they are coming to a YL event and will see me. I was so touched by this in many ways. I know there are many people praying for us which I'm incredibly humbled by, and there was something about these two little girls whose hearts care about me enough to pray for me and ask about me. I love being a part of Young Life for many reasons...loving on high school kids, being a part of the community, caring for staff, and getting to go to Windy Gap.

I wish I had pictures of both of these trips, but the first one we forgot our camera and the second we brought it but were apparently too busy to take any. boo.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thirteen Months is Magical

We have passed the one year mark yet we still speak in months for age. 13 months. Not, just over a year or one, but 13 months. We definitely turned a bit of a corner at 1. Her wonderful personality is coming out more and more. I mean, she continues to be so fun and scrumptious. It is just so fun to see that she is a legit person. Of course, right!? Let's be honest, I can't describe what I'm trying to because clearly she's always been a person. It's just that she does more than eat, sleep and potty. She's communicating, she has preferences, she responds and reacts to her world. This month has been fun!

our family photo shoot
- She ate her first Thanksgiving meal and I know she loved it all...the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole and even pie. It's one of my favorite meals too.

- She got to hang out with her aunts, uncles and cousins over Thanksgiving. They all loved on her and she had so much fun.

Charis and her cousin, Andre
- She has two little teeth (teefers is what I like to call them) breaking through her bottom gums.

- She is more comfortable walking with assistance. She loves to walk behind her little radio flyer walker. She walks around furniture and anything else she can pull up on. Today at Staples she walked along the counter sideways like she was on a ledge. I'm not really in a hurry for her to walk b/c then she'll really be all over the place.

- She got her picture taken with Santa again this year. It was so fun to compare this year's picture to last year's. So much has changed in a year.

here she is in her little Christmas dress
- She's a little problem solver. When she's using her little walker thing she will back up and do a 3 point turn when she runs into something. The other day she was crawling with a book (it's amazing what she is able to crawl with) and she got to the doorway that she couldn't slide the book over so she stopped and lifted the book over then began crawling with it again. I guess it's kind of hard to describe, but it's really fun to watch her figure things out.

helping daddy cook
- She is babbling more and more. She mimics a ton. Sometimes she makes the same sounds as we do. So, what words is she saying? This part is always tricky to me. I can only tell a few words because she points to the object and says it even though it doesn't totally sound like it. "ba" for ball and "do" for dollie. All the other sounds she is making could totally be words and I'm just not paying close attention.

- We decorated our Christmas Tree and she helped by carrying around the felt garland. She loves putting things over her head.

wearing holiday garland
- She's such a big girl and is growing fast. Since we don't go to the doctor I don't know her official weight, but it's probably around 23 pounds. She's wearing 12-18 months clothes and my favorite outfit on her is leggings because I can squeeze her yummy legs.

having potty time
- She's doing a little sign language..."more" and "all gone" mostly. I'm trying to teach her "please", "thank you", "ball", and "book."

- She loves to read. She loves to turn the pages of the book too. Some of our favorite books to read are "I love you Stinky Face", "The Going to Bed Book", "Red Shirt Green Shirt" and any touch & feel books.

reading with daddy!
I love me some baby girl. She is such a blast. We are realizing that we have start with the whole discipline thing. She can be feisty and is definitely determined. She sometimes seems to know what "no" means but that doesn't mean she stops the behavior. Oh, I'm so not looking forward to discipline, but I'm aware of the need to be consistent starting now. I continue to be so blown away by her. She is seriously the funnest little girl ever. Sometimes I just want to squeeze her. Today I wanted to crawl into her crib with her and cuddle with her. I'm crazy about her. And I'm incredibly thankful that she is our daughter. There are days I still can't believe it...she is our little girl.

she loves her dollie and her thumb. Who doesn't want to cuddle with this sweetness?!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


During our last stay in the hospital we caught up on a little Real Housewives of ATL. And by "caught up" I mean watched for the first time since we don't have cable. I think Adam was pretty disgusted. But it's like a train wreck, you can't help but look. Then there is this other show called watch what happens live that had one of the "housewives" on. We were fortunate enough to catch a live debut of Kim's song "Google Me." It's ridiculous. Each time I watch it I crack up and I hope it does the same for you. I've never uploaded a video, but I think if you click on the link it will take you to your destination.

Watch What Happens Live Season 3 - Kim Performs "Google Me" - Video - Bravo TV Official Site