Sunday, June 27, 2010


Elijah is 17 months old now (wow!) and let's just say we have been hitting the obedience concept pretty hard with him. He completely understands the word "no" now and yet, it still blows my mind how often he chooses to ignore it. Don't get me wrong, he's a pretty well-behaved little guy, but he likes to push the envelope and he can be a real rascal at times (try to picture that sweet angel of a child clothed in nothing but a diaper, standing on the dining room table and trying to knock over candles with a plastic golf club...that was my life yesterday).

I was told many times when I was pregnant with Elijah that God would use this child in my life to bring me to a greater understanding of His love, and I can not tell you how true that has been. And teaching Elijah to obey has made me realize how DISobedient I am at times. I see so many parallels to how he acts towards me and how I act towards God. Here's a few of things I'm learning. It's nothing profound...they're simple truths really...but they have been made so real to me lately through the process of disciplining my child.

-Obedience is possible. Elijah sometimes acts like what I'm asking of him is so unreasonable and so hard, and the truth is, it's not. He can do it. He is able to obey...he just has to make the choice to do so. I am the same way with God. I have a list of "buts" to everything he asks of me, but He's not asking me to do anything I'm not able to do...sure, it might not be preferable, it might not be fun, it might be hard, but it's doable.

-It really is for my own good. When I ask Elijah not to stick his finger in an outlet, or not to drink the lysol, or not to run into the street without holding my hand (and yes, he tries to do each of these things often), it's because I don't want him to get hurt. I am not trying to take away from the pleasure and enjoyment of his life...I am trying to add to it. In the same way, God disciplines me because He loves me...and because he knows better than I do.

-There is a great reward when we obey. Elijah loves to be praised. He claps for himself regularly. We do reward him and praise him for good behavior and guess what? It makes him more likely to obey the next time. Doesn't God do the same for us? The blessings we experience when we obey so far outweigh any momentary pleasure we would get from disobeying. And the more he showers those blessings and rewards, the more I want to follow.

So, as the song goes, Obedience really IS the very best way to show that we believe :).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Stuff!

You may remember me mentioning my friend Aubree and her super cute line of childrens clothes called Crew & Cate a few months back. You can check out their etsy store here. Well, Crew & Cate is now featuring a giveaway on their facebook page. All you have to do is visit this link and become a fan and then tell them on their wall what your favorite clothing item of theirs is! They will randomly select a winner who will be the recipient of a very cute outfit! Do it even if you don't have kids because you could give the free outfit to me :). It's that simple, but ends on June 30.

This is currently my favorite item...the newsboy hat and tie. Tell me Elijah wouldn't look adorable in that!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day 2010

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there! I especially want to wish a happy fathers day to a few dads who are very special to me.

Kirk, you are fantastic father.  Having been thrown into the role a bit (or a lot) unexpectedly a year and a half ago, I could have never guessed that you would have adapted to it so effortlessly.  You are naturally kind, loving and playful with Elijah and especially patient with him.  I don't think there is anyone else in the world Elijah would rather play with than you.  It is obvious he adores you and I know that adoration will only continue to grow.  I can't wait to see you as a dad of two!
Dad Duncan, thank you for raising a son that loves the Lord and desires to serve Him.  Kirk holds you in very high regard and values you more than you probably know.  Thank you also for taking on a FOURTH daughter and caring for me as your own!
Oh yeah, you are a wonderful grandpa too! 
Dad, I could have never asked for a better father in my life.  You have so many character traits I could only hope and strive to emulate: your passion, your drive, your wit, and your unconditional love and acceptance are only a few of the things that make you a role model in my life.  I have also never known anyone who believes in me like you do.  I am convinced I am a better person because of your encouragement over the years.
It's also so much fun to see you as a grandpa! You are a great one :). 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Congrats to the Diepstras!

Wedding season hit us hard in this month of June and we headed out again this past weekend to Chicago to celebrate the wedding of Nathan of Amy Diepstra! Diepstra and Kirk became really good friends at Taylor and Kirk was pumped to be asked to stand in his wedding! It was a great time and we are so excited for Diepstra and Amy! 

A couple shout-outs before I get to the pictures.

Uncle Bruce and family: Thanks for putting us up for the weekend and dealing with a rather active 17 month old taking over your home! 
Elisabeth and Kelly: Thanks for sharing babysitting duties so that Kirk and I could enjoy the rehearsal dinner and wedding! 
Rachel and Mason: Thanks for playing with Elijah and me all day Friday! We had a blast! 

Elijah was such a champ on the trip both ways.  We are always so proud of how well he travels.  
Kirk was SO excited to spend a weekend with some of his best friends! 
This is Kirk, Jeff, and Diep.  I was glad I got a shot of all 3 of them during the ceremony.  It may look a little awkward because Kirk is the only one on the stage at this point, but the rest of the guys joined him right after I snapped this picture :).
The newly married couple with the groomsmen looking on. Amy's dress was stunning, by the way.

Making the bubbly exit to the reception! 
First dance.  Couldn't get close enough to get a non-blurry picture, but I loved the back of her dress which you can see well here!
Kirk rockin the tux and me rockin the pregnant belly.
It's always so great to see you, Paul!
Some of the groomsmen took it upon themselves to decorate the get-a-way car.  Here is Jeff hard at work. 
Ready to go!
I love this picture.  These 4 have been good friends for a long time!
The Brookes :).
Kirk may not love me for posting this picture, but they were having a great time on the dance floor!
The Diepstras and the Duncans.  

The happy couple!
Kirk and Diep.
Since both of our husbands were in the bridal party, Rachel and I hung together for most of the wedding weekend.  It was great to spend time with you, Rach!
On Sunday, before we headed out of town, we stopped over at Grandpa Duncan's place to have lunch and visit for a little while.  Elijah loved exploring his apartment and Grandpa had a great time showing off his great grandson to the other residents. 
3 generations of Duncan men! Thanks for hosting us, Grandpa!

Monday, June 7, 2010

J-Bird's Wedding!

Over the weekend, Kirk and I headed down to Tennesse for the wedding of one of my Focus roommates, Jess Stollings (nicknamed J-Bird).  It was so fun to have a little road trip with my husband (HUGE shoutout to my sister-in-law Kelly for coming down from Chicago to stay with Elijah for the are the best!!) and reconnect with some of my friends from my semester at FFI (which, by the way, was almost 6 years ago! Wow!).  Jesse and J were so happy the whole day and everything was beautiful.  

This is Pep (also a nickname:)).  She is another one of my former roomies.  We got to sit together at the ceremony and the reception so we had lots of time to catch up!
Kirk and me after the ceremony.  
J and Jesse's first dance.  It started out slow...
...then they switched to swing dancing...
...then they switched to Usher for the last song.  It was funny and cute.
Rachelle, me and Pepster at the reception.

The 4 roommates.  I am laughing in this picture because Jesse had just done a little dance right in front of us.
The Strangs and the Duncans.
We had so much fun dancing to the live music!
The happy couple!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kids Room!

We took advantage of having a holiday at home yesterday and had a very productive day! We found a beautiful Pottery Barn crib on craigslist for 5o bucks (woohoo!), bought it and got it set up.  I don't know if I've mentioned this on the blog yet or not, but we have decided that we are going to have the kids share a room.  Even though I'm slightly nervous about this plan, we didn't want to get rid of guest room because so many of our family and friends are far away and we want them all to have a place to stay (hint hint, come visit us).   So anyway, I'm super excited about the room...I found cute bedding at Target (old faithful) and we are set up.  Elijah was a little uneasy during the changes, but he came around by the end.  I think he's going to be a great big brother! 

Because of the angle of the room and the placement of the door, it was impossible to get a shot of the room that included both cribs.  But they are on opposite walls.  Here is BD2's crib! Elijah's crib is now on the other wall, if you've ever been in his room before.
Elijah was kind enough to share his stuffed platapus with BD2.
Elijah and Mr. Giraffe hanging out in the new room.
An overhead view of BD2's crib.
And an overhead view of BD1's crib.  It has a slightly more "lived in" look.
I hope BD2 likes the mobile as much as E did. That thing was a lifesaver a few times.

4 Day Work Weeks!

Kirk's job recently changed to 4 10-hour work shifts instead of 5 8-hour shifts.  Elijah and I have loved the change because we get to spend 3 days in a row with him on the weekends.  The first week of the change, Kirk planned a really sweet picnic/family day in the park and we had a great time.  I just told Kirk last night how sweet it is to see how much Elijah loves having him around.  He seriously lights up when Daddy is home.

Having fun on the swings!
Chasing a squirrel.
If you look closely, you can see the dogs in the distane.  As soon as E spotted them, he went running after them while yelling "Cucka! Cucka! ".  My parents dog is Tucker and ever since we were in PA, that has been the name for all dogs.
2 favorite boys.
Happy family.


As promised, here are more pictures from my time in Pennsylvania.  It was so great to have time with both of my sisters and my parents.  Thanks for having us! 

Elijah was having trouble napping in a crib one day. I think he just wanted to nap with Grandma! 
This is probably one of the least flattering pictures of myself, but it needs to be on here because Anna gets very little playing time on my blog.  She and her husband Dan were sweet enough to come over and see me after having just flown back from Laos...they were seriously jet lagged but I was so happy to see them! I love you, Anna!
Elijah took his first carousel ride at a mall out there.  I think he liked it! 

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was when we were in PA.  I was happy to be able to spend the day with my mom and grandma and my son! He is the best and makes my job SO MUCH FUN.  I love you, little man! 
Silly face.
Wish those branches weren't in the way because I love that he was giving me a kiss.
It's great to be a mom!
He's not as crazy about my kisses as I am about his :).