Monday, August 25, 2008

4 months old!

Right after I took the picture, she kicked off one of her little white shoes. It went flying across the chair and hit the lamb. So, I figure:

1. She hates sharing the spotlight.


2. She doesn't like shoes.

Either way, we have a huge problem on our hands.

Friday, August 22, 2008

praying for the sistas

Every Tuesday night we have girls Bible study in our home. The doorbell starts ringing around 6:50 and the last chica rolls out at a quarter till nine. It's a highlight of my week. I push the furniture out of the way, light some candles and we go to town. This week, Debs brought the thunder. After all, she is a professional! :)

The week before that we talked about the importance of prayer. As individual women and as a youth group, why the heck does it matter? We addressed that question. Then came the cool part. Randomly, I partnered each chica with a fellow chica. (As serious, women of the Word, that's how we refer to each other.) The pairs spread out around the house and shared personal issues that follow in the wake of a new school year. Next, they made a little string bracelet. They wore them on their wrists, tied them to their cell phones, chose any prominent place where they would see it daily and be reminded to pray for their specific sister.

Finally, I had them hold the hands of their partner and repeat this commission. No, we are not a cult. I promise we save group chanting only for the very rare occasion. :)

You (insert name), are my sister in Christ.
I hereby commit to praying for you.
That as you walk the halls of your school,
The Holy Spirit will give you power
To look different,
To act different.
No temptation will overcome you,
No mean girl will defeat you,
And nothing will separate you from His love.
You are more than a conqueror.
In Him, you are enough.
With His promises before us,
And His word within us,
I take my place at your side.
May your gentleness be evident to all,
And your time at school glorify Him.
In Jesus' name, you GO girl!

Awkward? A little bit. Cheesy? Maybe. But when the girls left that night, they did so with their shoulders a little straighter and their heads a little higher.

Knowing that someone is praying for you, that your school year might look a little different. Well, that's worth all the string in the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

we have a visitor

Look who came to see us this week!

We were so excited because last time she was here the Reester looked like this:

Three months later, after a loooong summer at camp, Debs returned for another visit. This time we looked like this:

For someone to come so far multiple times to see us, you'd think we were a hoot. But you'd be wrong. Let's see, during Debbie's first trip, Miss Thang screamed through the night. This time around, Reese thought Debs was her personal spit-up target. And boy, was she bound and determined to get in her practice time. The girl doesn't mess around. She will nail you. Most likely just after you've showered and dressed for the day.

When we weren't dodging the onslaught of flying baby puke, we feasted on puppy chow and Dr. Pepper. Regardless of what the scale says, I am pleased to announce that our appetite for chocolaty, peanut butter, powdered goodness was not deterred by a little Reese barf.

So why would Debs continue to make the eight hour drive across four states to come see us? Obviously, she could save herself some trouble, stay home and spit up on herself. The only thing I can deduce is that she must love us a whole lot. More than we deserve. And if spitting up is Reese's love language, then undoubtedly, the feeling is mutual.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

a new toy

Little Miss Thang has a new toy! My mom got this saucer at a garage sale for a steal of a deal. It is practically brand new and Reese loves it. We've been hesitant to put her in it. But now that her neck is buff enough to hold up her head, we're good to go!

I just love the face she's making. You'll have to excuse her nakedness. Let's just say if you go through more than two outfits in one day and it's almost bed time, you're a jay bird for the remainder of the night.

That little orange toy is a phone! Think that's an omen of what's to come? :)

Ok, is it just me or do you see a little bit of curl in her hair? If my baby ends up with curly hair, I will have died and gone to heaven!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

can a girl get a mute button?

I detest grocery shopping.

That might sound a bit harsh, but it's the honest truth.

Before I got married, I had never cooked an entire meal by myself. The first night Danny and I spent as a married couple, after the honeymoon and after the move, we sat down at the table around, well, dinner time. We looked at each other and then at the empty table. The realization of my non-existent culinary skills burst my newlywed bubble and the love train came screeching to a halt. A woman in love does not a Martha Stewart make. So I called the one person I can trust will always pull me back from the edge of a nervous breakdown: my mom.

"Mom, what's the easiest thing to cook for dinner!?"

"Well, that would probably be spaghetti."

She proceeded to talk me through the entire process while my patient husband waited on his clueless wife. It wouldn't surprise me if he was sitting in the other room, fire extinguisher in hand, prepared for the worst.

Around 9:30, I called Danny back into the kitchen and announced that I had finished. As I carried the pitiful looking pasta over to the table, I had a silent conversation with the Lord.

"Lord, please, PLEASE don't let this spaghetti be disgusting...and if it is in fact disgusting God, please just deaden his taste buds so he doesn't know the difference. Amen."

Fast forward two years. The cooking has improved somewhat, but I still haven't come to terms with the fact that in order to make dinner, you must have the necessary ingredients. Like, at your house.

Monday afternoon, I went to the Kroger to get something for dinner. Not only had I waited until the last minute, but I was also going at the time of day that when you get in the express check out, and the person behind you counts your items to make sure you are not there illegally. Heaven forbid!

It had been a long day at work. And I had no clue what to make. So I wandered around the store, picking up random items. Miracle Bake? I'm gonna need a miracle to get home without the assistance of local authorities. Seriously. Tired + hungry = Cranky.

Eventually Reese and I made it to the checkout. Don't give me that look lady. For your information, I have 13 items. 13. That's 2 less than 15 so I have just as much right to be here. Thank you very much.

Then came the nail in Kroger trip coffin. As I handed my credit card to the check out lady, she looks at Reese and says, "Yep, she'll be a mean one."

Excuse me? And it didn't end there.

"She's got that red hair. She's going to be mean."

"You think so?" That was the nicest thing I could mutter through clenched teeth.

"Oh yeah, I bet her grandparents have red hair, huh?" Oh great, not only is she blind, apparently she's also a geneticist.

"Well, no, they don't." Is this seriously happening right now?

"Oh, well good luck with her!"

It took everything within me not to reach across the register and whip her with my sack of Miracle Bake.

I went home and took an Advil. Later, I shared the story with Dan over our gourmet meal of Bagel Bites.

Maybe sweet (and yes, she is sweet) Baby Girl will end up with red hair. If she does, she'll match her cousin Nathan. Here's a picture with a good hair shot. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

bye-bye interns

This past Sunday was our last official youth group of the summer. And the office has been remarkably quiet for two reasons:

1. The stampede of teenagers armed with cell phones and Sonic drinks has once again been rounded up and sent back to school. (They started last Thursday, can you believe that?) Glory, glory, hallelujah and AMEN! Not that we don't love them, we do. But after months of pool parties and beach trips and late nights and rolling wars, a girl needs a break. And a normal, grown up bedtime would be nice too.

2. Our staff of interns who spent the summer herding those aforementioned teenagers have headed back to college. They escaped unscathed. :) I'm only partially kidding. No lie, for ten weeks the interns teach, entertain, chauffeur, disciple, referee, and serve. They pour themselves out. I wish we could pay them a million dollars. But it still wouldn't be enough for the impact they have made.

Sunday night the kids had a chance to share their gratitude and to testify how they have grown this summer.

Yes tears were shed. I admit, I was doing the ugly cry. But in my defense, you can't help but bond when you serve together. We were with the interns day in and day out. We encouraged them through the students' barrage of back talk and hormones. And we rejoiced with them, when kids' decisions were not of this world.

Sometimes there is nothing more humbling than serving.

But there is nothing more humbling than being chosen to serve.

Sarah, Whitney, Brad and Andy. We are so proud of you. Thank you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

God Bless America

So did anyone catch the Olympics last night? If you didn't I'm sure you've heard about it by now. Personally, I love watching the Olympics. Nothing fans the flame of my competitive spirit like seeing an athlete donned in red, white and blue, dominate the, I mean competitor.

It doesn't matter which event. I want to win everything. :)

(Do you like how I include myself when referring to the US Olympic teams? It's as if I am one of those talented few who have dedicated hundreds of hours to rigorous training. Ok, I admit to living vicariously through their success. But in all honesty, who wouldn't want to be a ripped, six-foot tall machine laying the smack down on other countries??)

Needless to say, when I heard the French swimmers were trash talking our 400 Free Relay, I was miffed. This girl took it personally.

We hurried home after youth group, because I was not about to miss this. Especially since Michael Phelps is in the running for more gold medals than anyone in history. U-S-A, U-S-A.

I can't tell you how nervous I was watching. And the underwater cameras made it that more intense. I thought we were done with when our third leg touched the wall half a body length behind French team. My faith faltered.

But then, our anchor hit the water...and pulled off the greatest athletic comeback in history! Ok, so I don't know much about athletics. I know even less about comebacks. But I do know, when we touched the wall a split second before the French, I almost went hoarse doing a silent scream. (Baby was asleep). Dan and I locked hands, pumped fists and taunted those good for nothing trash talkers that had this whooping coming to them.

At that moment I burst with pride! And I'm not ashamed of my flair for the dramatic, nor of the fact that my face looked very similar to the real victors:

Chant with me now...U-S-A! U-S-A!!

bubby's birthday

Today my baby brother is twenty years old. How can that be? My heart hurts that I'm not there to celebrate. (But don't worry, a present is in the mail!) So now, in honor of his big day, here are 20 reasons I love my brother:

Drum roll please...

20. He gives my sister a run for her money in being the smartest person in the family. He's working on his engineering degree and she's in medical school. They've both been warned about the possibility of their youth director sister becoming a bit of a mooch.

19. His hair rivals that of a Californian surfer even though he's never lived there.

18. He has the same taste in movies that I do. If it gets a good review from him, I know I'll love it too.

17. When we lived in New York, he would climb the poles in the subway.

16. His competitive spirit always made family games fun. Unless he was beating me. Then it was war, which inevitably ended in one of us being sent to our room.

15. He came to all of my dance recitals and even closed the book he was reading when I came on stage.

14. He was a groomsman in my wedding.

13. He's a Mizzou Tiger.

12. When we would go to Panera Bread Company after church he would have no shame in ordering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

11. He's not afraid to voice his opinion.

10. He's witty.

9. He gave up part of his Spring Break to come down and paint Reese's room.

8. I've continued to call him Bubby his entire life and he tolerates it.

7. He would keep his Halloween candy out on his dresser, where it was easy to steal.

6. He was an all-state athlete in multiple sports.

5. He's fun to tease because he can dish it back with ease.

4. He spent his entire summer at an engineering internship. He got up every morning, put on a shirt and tie and went to work.

3. Whenever we played each other in tennis, he would push me to be better...that is until he turned 10 and I no longer had a shot at beating him.

2. After growing up in an estrogen filled home with three women all up in his business, he somehow avoided becoming a mama's boy.

1. He's forgiven me for calling him last year to wish him a Happy 18th Birthday. He was 19.

Adam Joseph, I love you. I am so proud to be your sister. Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

if only...

chubby rolls and dimples could look this good on everyone! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

a sweet, sweet sound

Want to hear my favorite sound in the whole world? Turns out, we have a little chatterbox on our hands. Miss Thang LOVES to talk. All the time. And once she gets going, her volume increases by the decibel. It seems she loves the sound of her own voice.

And so do we.

The other night she was jabbering away at the dinner table. I looked at her Daddy with a huge grin on my face and said, "Isn't that the most beautiful sound you've ever heard?!"

And it is. It really is.

The following video is a demonstration of sweet Baby Girl chattering, smiling and laughing. Does it get any better than that folks? Not in our world!

Warning: Reese's beautiful narration is interrupted by my annoying Mommy Voice throughout the video. Please forgive me. But I promise, it's worth it!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I've got issues.

Ok, for those of you who know me, that's a teeny bit of an understatement.

What you are about to read is a telling example that barely scratches the surface of my flaws. Let the record show, you've been warned.

Sunday morning Reese and I stayed home from church *gasp* because Danny was returning from the sixth grade summer retreat. We hadn't seen him all weekend and he was planning to leave for Dallas that night after youth. So we anxiously awaited his arrival. We worshiped in our jammies from the comfort of our couch. Well, Reese from her swing, but that's beside the point.

Sure enough the man of the hour walked through the door and into the arms of his two favorite girls. After we feasted on our Sunday dinner of turkey sandwiches, chips and bananas, (Rachel Ray better watch her back!) I picked up the TV remote. As I haphazardly flipped through the channels, I spied...oh it's almost too embarrassing to admit...Titanic. I wish I could say it was an informative documentary about the Titanic. I really do. At least I would have learned something. But no. It was the full blown 1997, Leonardo DiCaprio, "never let go" version.

My sister and I went to see it in the theater when it first came out. Why? I don't remember. I do remember forking over money to sob my eyes out for eight hours...or however long it was.

Here's the real kicker. I don't like the movie. There's nothing uplifting about it. We know how it's going to end. And the ending ain't happy! Since that lapse of judgement in seventh grade, I've had no desire to see it again. Ever.

But for some reason, Sunday afternoon it sucked me right in. I don't know what happened, but for an hour and a half, (thankfully I started watching after they hit the iceberg) I was glued to the TV. I watched every minute of it. The water came up, the boat went down and the old lady threw the necklace into the ocean. If you haven't seen it, believe me, I'm not spoiling it for you. I'm saving you 6 hours of your life and protecting you from the self loathing that is bound to follow.

While I was glued to the TV, I missed a call from my best friend Debs. Danny thought I was in the shower. Oh yeah, a shower...we'll get to that in a minute. Missing her call wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but she is away at camp and we can only talk every couple of weeks. Just one more repercussion of my lack of self control.

As the credits rolled, I came to and realized I needed to get in the shower. Something I had intended to do two hours ago. But somehow the idea of climbing into a confined space with water rushing over me didn't seem too appealing. So I sucked it up. I had to. We had youth that night and this girl needed to bathe, in something besides baby spit up.

It was the world's fastest shower. And I left the door partially opened. And I put a life jacket on the floor.

I warned you guys...this girl's got issues. Thank goodness I'm not the One dealing with them.

That ship has sailed.