Saturday, January 30, 2010

frozen in (kind of)

We're iced in bloggers!

The storm warnings started at the beginning of the week, followed by an all out grocery store mob on Thursday. By Friday schools were closed and later that morning the ice storm of 2010 arrived in all its fury.

All in all, I guess we got about an inch of snow.
(Indicator #1250 that we're not in the Midwest anymore, Totos.)

In defense of southern meteorologists everywhere, I will say that there is ice.

We stayed home yesterday as long as we could. My daughter is many things, but a homebody isn't one of them. I realized she had reached her breaking point when I found her squeezing half of my face cream out on my nightstand.

If you see me in the next couple of days and think my face looks a little dry, know that my night stand is thoroughly moisturized.

Friday, January 29, 2010

a magical announcement

Our family's taking a little trip. It's where Someone special lives.

We leave in 76 days, meaning a certain mouse has 76 days to rest up for the Chica.

He may never be the same.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

negative mama, the pattern is full

For the first year and a half of my daughter's life, she never, not one time, ever said the word, "no."

In the past two weeks, she's making up for lost time. "No" has become a part of her everyday vocabulary. I hear it multiple times a day, sometimes twice in one sentence. When she's really ticked off, she repeats it while running in place, stomping her little feet to the beat of her own negative chant.

"Are you all done with that yogurt?"

"No!" (As she shovels as much yogurt in her mouth as she can.)

She must love how it sounds rolling off her incensed little tongue. Apparently, age 2 has come three months early.

Here are some things you should avoid asking my daughter anytime soon:

1. Are you happy to see me?
2. Will you give me a hug?
3. Do these pants make me look skinny?
4. Do you like my singing voice?
5. Should you get dressed before leaving the house?
6. Is there anything wrong with a mama's boy?
7. Do you love me more than you love Mickey?
8. Do you love me more than you love cheese?
9. Is Simon too mean on AI?
10. Do you promise never to lie to me?

On second thought, maybe you should avoid questioning her altogether. Unless you want to see the angry toddler version of Lord of the Dance.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

birthday season

A few years ago, our church had a bit of a baby boom. Nearly twenty babies were born in the course of six months. Chica came right smack in the middle of it. I'm so glad God included us in that era of fertility. It's helpful to be surrounded by those who can empathize with your sore hips, round the clock feedings, sleepless nights, teething, discipline, etc. It also makes for a spring full of parties!

Yesterday kicked off the birthday season. Can you guess what the theme of the party was?

The owner of those sweet little blond piggy tails turns two next week.

The Birthday Girl wasn't very fond of her hat that her mom made for her.

Nothing a cupcake can't fix.

Swarming the pinata innards. (Sorry, is that gross?)

Loading up on the goods. Some of the prizes were little bracelets and rings. For some reason the girls looked so old putting them on, I couldn't believe it. And instead of bottles there were juice boxes. Where does the time go???

Here's the Birthday Girl with her mommy. Her mom reminds me so much of my sister. Danny and I love their family very much. She did an incredible job with the party, especially considering in just a few weeks she'll give birth to another sweet girl.

As the festivities wound down, I wanted to be sure to take a picture of Chica with the Birthday Girl.

I'm thinking it'll make the cover of her next scrap book. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a face only a daughter could love

My daughter's a book worm. I'm loving it. And even though her daddy teases me about all the summers I spent as an adolescent with my head in a book, I hope she grows up with a love of reading. For now she prefers sitting in our lap and flying through the pages as we struggle to get the words out fast enough. Once we've sprinted through the book together we start over. Same book. Same rate of speed.

One of her books is about a monster under the bed (who looks kind of like a frog, so we go with that.)

(He hides under the bed and comes out at night, so we're sticking with frog.)

(Because it's a lot better having a huge frog under your bed than a monster, right?)

The other night, as Dan was reading this very non-nightmare inducing book to her, she'd point at various things and her daddy would identify them for her.




Suddenly, Chica cried "Mommy!" as her tiny finger landed on an image in the book.

Apparently this pantless, wild haired, barely conscious little boy bears a striking resemblance to her mother. My self-esteem has never been better.

From here on out she's only allowed to read books about beautiful princesses with long flowing hair.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

random thoughts on a saturday night

The following is what happens when I publish on the Internet whatever pops into my head on a random Saturday night. Continue if you dare.

Last night Dan, Reesie and I spent the night with a family of seven so their parents could get away for a little while. Aren't they cute? Next year three of them will be in youth.

Reesie slept in a pack and play in the master bedroom. For a girl who's hardly a pack and play fan, we were surprised she went down without a peep and slept through the night. Too bad that wasn't the case New Year's Eve.

We all had naps when we returned home today. I've never realized how quiet our house is.

Age difference between siblings fascinates me right now. I ask everyone with more than one kid for their opinion. Today I asked Reesie if she wanted a little brother or sister and she marched away without commenting. Hmm.

Tomorrow my favorite niece turns three. Somebody pinch me. Just yesterday she was a seven pound thing with the longest string bean legs. We wrapped her present the other day (it's still not in the mail) and every time Chica walks past it, she chants her big cousin's name. I wish we could go to her party.

Something is causing a serious stink in our house and we can't figure out what it is. We've scoured the house. No luck. Can't find anything. Any tips?

I have a feeling a difficult "no" is on the way. I hate saying "no."

Trying to read the Bible in a year. Read today and fell asleep mid-sentence. I'm getting a few weeks ahead because I know myself. I tend to start out with a bang and sputter out. Hoping that's not the case for this.

Or for mothering.

Or being a wife.

Tonight Reesie and I went to dinner, just the two of us. My sandwich was great, but the soup was sub-par. Not even good enough to take home for leftovers. It was a fun night. Hardly anyone was there. She scraped her straw along the floor so I had to ask for another one. I hate asking for special favors. Even if it's just for a plastic straw. She kept calling the restaurant owner "Daddy." It's a tad embarrassing correcting your child on that matter.

"No, baby, that's not Daddy."

"No, he's not Daddy either."

I think she does it just to make me laugh. She loves to laugh. She especially loves making others laugh. I love hearing her laugh.

I love laughing with her most of all. We laughed all through dinner. Just the two of us.

Missed her daddy. Thankful he hasn't had to take on a second job as a restaurant manager. But I would love the free food.

I love eating out.

I love lamp. (Name that movie.)

And I love you bloggers. Good night.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"I hold you"

Chica is talking more than ever and as it turns out, she has a lot to say. My current favorite phrase popped up just recently and since returning from our trip to Atlanta, it's oft-repeated in the Hinton home. I can't get far without hearing the swishing of her little toddler pants pattering throughout the house.

"Mama! Mama!"

Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.

It's a one woman search party. Her eyes dart about until she locks in on the target.

"Mama!" she cries. Part excitement. Part satisfaction of a mission accomplished.

Swish, swish, swish, swish.

Once under my feet she throws up her arms, her hands barely reach past the top of her bow.

Throwing back her head, her eyes connect with mine and with the sweetest voice I've ever heard she says, "I hold you."

It stirs every emotion in me. Whether it's the first time she's asked me or the fourteenth, I'm affected just the same. At that moment there's nothing I'd rather do than kneel down, wrap her in my arms, nestle my face up against hers and tell her how much I love her. I wish I could do that every single time she asks. Often I find myself frustrated. Not with her, but with all the other tasks that need tending to. Meals to cook, beds to make, phones to answer. They infiltrate my day and sometimes she has to wait. Regardless of how long it's postponed she's never satisfied until she has "held me."

When I read the first headline of the earthquake in Haiti, my response was that of a detached party desensitized by a world of bleak news. That was before anyone realized its magnitude. Before the pictures and videos started popping up. Before survivors started sharing the horror of it all.

Men...women...children. Trapped, mangled, lifeless.

As I drove through our town, I wondered what it would be like if every building was leveled. Where would I go? What would I do? And then I thought of Reese.

What if there's a little girl wandering through the battered streets of Haiti searching for her mother to hold? Or what of the mothers who can't find their children and would give anything to have them under their feet, arms outstretched, longing to be held? What about them?

It was then that the calloused pieces protecting my heart fell down. These are real people. With real families. In need of serious help.

I've been meaning to introduce you to an incredible organization called Compassion International and now is a better time than ever. Compassion exists to free third world children and their families from the grip of poverty. It partners with churches in countries all over the world, providing medical help, education and food. More than 65,000 Haitian children are connected to Compassion International. Compassion has received the highest possible approval ranking from The American Institute of Philanthropy. (They're the real deal.) And they're on the ground in Haiti, mobilized and ready to go. But they need our help.

All money received for Haiti survivors will go directly to Haiti survivors. Immediately. The only thing that could be worse than a disaster of this magnitude is for the rest of the world to sit by and do nothing. We can all do something. If you click here or on the Haiti button on the left side of our blog, you will be directed to a Compassion contribution page. This is a list of what Compassion can do with various amounts:

$35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
$70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
$105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
$210 gift helps care for two families’ needs.
$525 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
$1,050 gift helps care for 10 families’ needs.
$1,500 helps rebuild a home.
$2,100 helps supply 20 families with the basics for three weeks.

Please know any amount will be accepted. I'm urging you to consider helping. Believe me, it'd be much easier to numb ourselves from reality. Catching up on Facebook. Watching American Idol. All from our comfortable, intact homes. There are so many convenient ways to shelter ourselves from urgent need we can't really comprehend.

I'm praying that just as an entire city crumbled, God Himself would bring down all the materialistic, self-seeking, stuff- accumulating parts of us. What would happen if we decided not to let our greed paralyze us from being part of the solution?

If anyone could identify with those in Haiti tonight, it would be Job, a man who lost everything, including every one of his children. In the darkest hour of his grief he said this,

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth."
Job 19:24

Surely He will bloggers. So let's get going.

Monday, January 11, 2010

i heart faces: "best face photo"

Two years ago Danny surprised me with a digital camera for Christmas. I knew I wanted to take a ton of pictures of our new baby. It wasn't until she arrived that a true obsession was born. She's by far my favorite subject. Turns out if you want to get better at taking pictures there's a ton of helpful information out there. One of the best sites I've found is i heart faces.

The site is turning one this week. In honor of its birthday, they're having a photo contest. This is the first time I've ever entered and I'm hoping what I lack in talent Chica will make up for in cuteness. :) I took this picture of her last weekend. She was feeling like big stuff sitting at the kitchen table. I love her eyes and that you can see her sweet, little hands.

If you want to check out all the other entries, just click here.

Happy Birthday i heart faces!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

need your help

A few days ago I took Chica's picture. Normally I end up with just a few "keepers." This time around I liked thirteen of them. I narrowed those down to my favorite five, but now I need your help. One of these I'm going to have made into a free 8x10 canvas. (And you can get a free canvas too by clicking here.)

Could you help me pretty please??

I'll number each picture and all you have to do is choose your favorite. Leave a comment here, on twitter, text, email or call. I just need some input! Thank you in advance sweet bloggers. You guys are the best!

And now...the finalists:






Saturday, January 9, 2010

the old sheriff returns

While Danny and I were busy kicking it with college kids, Chica held down the fort. We called in for backup because she's not quite ready to spend the weekend alone. (Not until we get all the nanny cameras installed to secretly record all that's going on while the 'rents are away.)

One of Reesie's sets of grandparents came to stay and you know what that means...

The Toddler Girl was in the driver's seat all weekend long. In her world, grandparents who are crazy about her and live several states away are by far, the easiest ones to sucker.

You know she was sitting pretty on her Spoiled Throne all weekend long.

Until Mama came back.

That's right honey, the old sheriff's in town.

In these parts, Mama's the law.

Ain't no room for tangents in our neck of the woods, neither.

So have a cracker and mull over that for a while.

Cause Sheriff Mama is no dummy. She may be the long arm of the law, but she's never without a fist full of snacks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


This past weekend, we packed our bags and hightailed it out of town with some college kids. As youth kids graduate and move on to college, we want to continue ministering to them when they come back from school. We have a little college ministry in the works and we thought nothing would bless them more than attending the Passion conference in Atlanta, GA.

I love hanging out with college kids because they pretty much take care of themselves. Plus they're really, really cool. I eyeballed every girl's outfit at the conference and hoped that by being in their presence, a little bit of their coolness would rub off on me. Unfortunatley, my scarf never came close to all the other pointy scarves there. Even after Megs and I You Tubed a how-to video as we waited for a session to start, I still couldn't get it right. At least we watched the video on an iPhone. (Her) iPhone.

Cute college girl.

Cute college girl.

The boys and me.

The conference line-up was un-stinking-believable. John Piper, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Francis Chan. I loved each and every one of them. Inspiring, practical, authentic, honest. My hands couldn't move fast enough as I took notes. Hopefully the theology will become reality as I walk this stuff out and I'll share more with you as I continue to work through all I learned..

The worship leaders were also good. This is the order of my preference (my personal, biased, subjective, opinion.)

(They were all very talented, and I worshiped in each of their sessions.)

(Please don't hate me, I know it's not a contest, just want to remember.)

(Here goes.)
1. Hillsong
2. Christy Nockels
3. Matt Redman
4. David Crowder Band
5. Charlie Hall
6. Kristian Stanfill
7. Chris Tomlin
8. Fee

On the last night, four of these chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling of the Philips Arena. They were rigged to the lighting system, so they changed colors throughout the evening. This picture doesn't do justice to their beauty.

By far the coolest part of the entire weekend was the "Do Something Now" Center. Passion partnered with 12 mission organizations from all over the world. Each organization built a display explaining its ministry. The images were stunning.

Did you buy perfume this past year? Me too.

This is what a typical family of six eats in a week in Chad, Africa.

Compare that to what a typical American family of four eats in a week.

Confronted with such a stark contrast of abundance and poverty, I couldn't hold it together any longer. For $35 (Thirty-five dollars. Do you know what I waste thirty-five dollars on all the time??) Danny and I donated six months worth of food to a child in Africa. Maybe someone Reesie's age.

I have much more to share with you about this incredible organization. It's worthy of its very own post.

The combined need of all the organizations was $500,000. Would you know that in the course of four days, 22,000 college students (and their leaders) gave $668,000?

But it doesn't stop there. On the last morning of the conference a random, anonymous family unassociated with Passion heard of all that was going on for world missions and wrote a check to match all that had been donated. I nearly passed out when they told us. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if no one ever heard from the unknown family again. Maybe they were heavenly beings sent to lavish a small storehouse of wealth onto a people poised to see God move. Seriously. Do you know anyone who can flat out write a check for six hundred thousand dollars? To see a list of the organizations, you can check them out here.

Well, that's a pretty thorough recap. And I was thoroughly ruined. Humbled beyond words. I hope we're never the same.

Another highlight-visiting the original Chick-Fil-A. It was totally a freak occurrence we ended up there as none of us knew it was even in Atlanta! Not much of a Chick-Fil-A girl myself, but everyone else loved it. :)