Friday, February 17, 2012

Practicing for Baby!

Elijah found the boppy pillow today (thankfully my sister still had hers since we sold ours at a garage sale last summer!) and wanted to know what it was for. I told him it was to help us hold the baby when she comes. He wanted to see what I meant, so we grabbed a baby doll and went to town. I can not tell you how excited I am to see these 2 kiddos welcome a little sister. I know they will be a great big brother and sister!

We are going to try to learn not to cover her face, but otherwise, great job, bud!
A baby girl (or "grill" as Elijah says")!
I have an adorable picture of Leah smiling holding the baby, but my computer is not letting me upload it! Oh she is "burping" the baby. She is also dressed as a fire chief in case you are wondering about her outfit :).
And tonight, Leah decided to take her baby sister for a walk. She also decided face down was the best position for the baby. We have some work to do :).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy V-Day!

We had a really fun Valentine's Day yesterday. We are not huge into the holiday but we did make the day a little special, anyway :). Kirk leaves for work before I am up (around 6 am) and he texted me after he left and said "Forgot to tell you, I left breakfast in bed for whenever you decide to wake up).

I rolled over and saw this! This is a wonderful start to my day! Don't worry, I shared with my kids, who also thorougly enjoyed it.
My parents kindly watched our kids so we could get out for a little date. Kirk and I take turns planning outings and this year, it was my turn. I wanted to do something different and more "Kirk-oriented" than just going out to dinner or a movie, so I decided to take him bowling. It was really fun!
I don't know if you can see the score there, but I was defeated by 2 lousy pins. I was quite proud of myself for breaking 100 though! (By the way, if you're wondering about the initials, they are "Big Daddy" and "Mama C".
We only played one game due to my bad back, which has decided recently to rear its ugly head, but it was still a good time. We finished the night with Starbucks.
I put together this little gift for Kirk. If you are on pinterest, you have probably seen this idea to frame a note that says "I love you because ________" and then you fill it in with a dry erase marker on the outside of the glass so you can change it from time to time. Well, this past year, Kirk and I read Love and Respect and it really has helped us communicate more effectively with each other. I decided to change it from love to respect since I figured that would mean more to him.
He is incredibly patient with small task, my friends!

Anyway, I am thankful for a man and 2 children whom I love more than I could have ever imagined possible, as well as the love of so many friends and family members. Most of all, I am thankful for a God who IS love. We are blessed!

Just Can't Get Enough

I love that my kids both love to sing and dance. I just had to get my camera out the other day to capture it. Elijah is very serious about his music as you can tell. I have no idea where he learned this song or if it is actually the Black Eyed Peas song or what (that is not typically what we listen to at, I'm baffled). Anyway, I can't watch this without laughing.

Leah talks to the fish :).

The kids and Kirk set up a fish tank a couple weeks ago and all 3 of them are totally excited about this adventure! Leah especially likes to say hi to them in the morning and "bye bye" to them when she goes down for her nap and bedtime. I just love her little voice in this video :).

Monday, February 6, 2012

7x7 Link Awards

Well, I guess I have arrived in the blogging world, because here I am getting awards. Never mind that the "award" doesn't really mean anything and it is given to me by my friend who just happens to like looking at pics of my cute kids :). It's still an award, people! So anyway, here it goes.

1. Thank the person who nominated you: The person who nominated me is my sweet friend from the good ol' TU days, Erica :). I have read Erica's blog ever since she was living and teaching in Africa, to when she got engaged to a seemingly wonderful doctor man she met over there (I've never actually met him), to now, as she raises her adorable son, Bo on Long Island. Erica, thanks for thinking of me! I am still hoping that we will be able to get together soon since we live in bordering states and all :).

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

1. I believe there is no better combination of foods than peanut butter and chocolate.
2. I wish I was a reader. I do not enjoy all. Usually the only time I read a book in its entirety is if I need to for a Bible study or something like that or if it happens to be a really sad story (I am sucker for sad stories for some reason!)
3. I LOVE vacations. My family has always gone somewhere different each year and I love exploring new areas. I'm hoping Kirk and I can do that with our kids too each year. So far, my favorite spots are Nantucket and Palm Springs.
4. I am big fan of Taylor University. Huge, actually.
5. Ever since we were engaged, Kirk and I have shared a heart for adoption. I hope and pray that will be part of our story some day!
6. Puppy chow, a diet coke, and a chick flick pretty much sum up a perfect evening these days.
7. I love games. I also love to win. I don't love games as much if I don't win :).

3. Share 7 of your blog posts, in the follow categories:

1. most beautiful: I am biased, but I would have to say it is a toss up between this one and this one. I think my babies are pretty beautiful and I love having a blog to introduce them to friends near and far :).

2. most helpful: I don't usually post much besides pictures of my kids, so I'm not sure where I fall on the helpful radar, but this one seemed to encourage a few people, and it was very helpful advice to me!
3. most popular: definitely this one! It was not our first blog post, but also the way we announced our surprise pregnancy to most of our friends and family.

4. most controversial: I honestly don't think I have had anything controversial on this blog. I try to save the controversy for facebook :).

5. most surprisingly successful: I don't think I am necessarily going the right way with answering this question, but I will share the experience that I surprised myself with. Christmas of 2010 I planned this getaway to New York City with Kirk. I have failed many gifts for my husband, but this one, I managed to keep a surprise and he really loved it all (or he pretended really well :)).

6. most underrated: without a doubt, this one! I actually remember working on this with Kirk and being so excited about it and waiting for the comments (I realize admitting this makes me very, very lame!). Only one comment from my faithful commenter and friend, Bethany! Come on people, that was good stuff.

7. most pride worthy: Probably my most recent post. I wouldn't really say that it gives me any reason to boast, but I can certainly boast in Christ and in what He is doing in our family!

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers (disclaimer: none of you are under any pressure to do this right away, or really to do it all, but I would love to read it if you do!).

Looking forward to seeing what you ladies have to say!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2011: A year I don't want to repeat but never want to forget

I've been thinking for the past month that I need to write down the major (and maybe not so major) life lessons I learned in 2011. If you read my blog at all, you know we have had a lot of changes and a lot of challenges this year. I hope to never experience a year like it again, but I also want to remember the ways the Lord revealed himself to us and the ways we have grown as a family! I am so thankful that I serve a God who is refining us through the fire! One of the verses I have clung to is this:

"6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." -I Peter 1:6-7

What a hopeful promise! So anyway, I am certain this post will seem a bit disjointed at parts, but I just want to put down on paper (or, in this case, the world wide web) my reflections on the year.

1. There is absolutely no way to plan for our lives on our own. You would think we would have learned this when Elijah came along unexpectedly just after our one year anniversary, but apparently we are slow learners :). So many decisions Kirk made during his time at Roche (getting a masters, accepting a position as a team leader, etc) were done as a way to position himself for the "next best thing" in his career. We thought he would get laid off, have an MBA, and get a great (and better) job somewhere else. We were wrong. Very wrong. Not only did it take him 7 months to land a job, but it was an entry level, contract position. We thought we would stay in Indiana and continue to build our relationships and family there. We were wrong. Very wrong. When times got tough, we had to make tough decisions. We thought we would be happy with 2 kids for a while and wait until we were in a "better" financial position to grow our family. You get the picture: we were very wrong. However, our misconceptions of how things were gonna go only proved to us the divine story God was writing in our lives. We have already seen him reveal himself through these times and I am certain we will continue to see Him show up as we move forward.

2. Life works best when you live in community with the body of Christ. Christian community is something I thought I understood before this year. I've been around Christians my whole life. I went to a college that took great pride in its strong community feel. I have always had wonderful Christian friends who have prayed for me and supported me. But wow...never have I experienced it like this year! When we desperately needed help, we never even had to ask for it. We had friends who cooked us dinners just because, friends who sacrificially gave to us because the Lord prompted them to do so, friends who prayed for us, cried with us (or cried with me...Kirk's emotions aren't quite as close to the surface :)), and cared for us in way that absolutely blew us away. We even have a family who took us under their own roof! Our pastor shared 2 Corinthians 9:13-15 on Sunday and I couldn't help but think of all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have allowed God to accomplish His work through them:

"13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

3. Marriage is a great gift: one that needs to be nourished and protected. Again, this is not a new concept, just one that has been proven to me in a new way this year. We have had a hard year and we have been reminded of how important it is that we invest in our relationship and try our best to reflect Christ and the church. This is a huge job...and huge privelege!

4. Our children are our heritage. If we could, Kirk and I would give our children the world. We love them more than we could have ever imagined. I don't ever want them to miss an opportunity or feel like they were lacking something because of our financial situation. This year, I have been reminded of how important it is that we respond appropriately to difficult times. They are watching us and learning from us every day. There are many things more important than the resources we have. I pray that my children will know the values of sacrifice, generosity, and true selfless love for one another. And I pray that is modeled in our home consistently (we have a long way to go!).

5. Chick-fil-a sauce can totally revolutionize your chicken eating experience. Lest you think all of our lessons have been earth shattering, I had to share this one with you. A few months ago, a Chick-fil-a employee suggested we try the sauce and God bless her! Next time you go (and you need to go soon...the place is SO good!), try it. I promise you won't regret it.

So, here's to 2012! We have a lot to look forward to: a new baby girl, a new job for Kirk, a new church community, preschool for Elijah, and undoubtedly some unexpected challenges! This much I know: there is no one like our God. He is able! Lord, may your presence be seen and felt in this family!