Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's finally fall!

School has started and the weather is cooler.  I absolutely love fall weather.  Cool in the mornings so you get to enjoy a nice cup of coffee.  Sunshine in the afternoons so you get to feel the sun's warmth.  Perfect in the evenings so you could just play outside for hours.  It's absolutely perfect.

Hanging outside with Dad while he fixed his boat

Cody's school has kept him busier than normal.  But the other day he got great praise from his principal, so he feels like it is worth it.  So we wait by the door or go out front and wait for him to get home each day.  She takes a minute to make sure who it is, and then she waddles her cute self over and jumps into his arms.  I love how much she loves him.  It's so cute.

We are spending lots of time outdoors now.  We have learned the joys and messes of sidewalk chalk.  I learned that playing in the dirt and mulch is more fun than outdoor toys.  She has figured out how to get up and down all the steps by herself and she does this for awhile each day.  She loves to be out back while Cody hits the ball to Maggie.  When Maggie catches it, Harper claps and giggles really loud.  And her newest trick is finding and pointing out airplanes.  She loves to hear them and look around till she finds them.  Crazy enough, sometimes she points and it takes us a minute or so to find them because the plane is so far away.  She's got a good eye.

Pointing at an airplane as she dragged her bag of cheerios around the house

Most things about Miss Priss are the same.  Loves to read.  Loves her dollhouse, kitchen, and motorcycle.  Loves getting stuff out of our kitchen cabinets, playing makeup with mom in the morning, dancing to the ipod, stacking coffee k-cups on the windowsills, etc.  Her new toys include a stroller for her baby, a play vacuum, and an animal alphabet train set.  She loves her new toys (so do I  - they were garage sale treasures!).  We also finally built her a learning tower and she is always saying "Up, Up" so she can see what we are doing at the counters.

Snack time lasts longer when you put them in a muffin tin

Sweet Harper had her 15 month checkup at the beginning of September.  It was a little early but we needed to get some answers from her doctor.  Turns out that it's ok for her to be off milk now.  We are just going to stop forcing the milk issue.  She does have to take vitamins and get extra veggies and sun to make up for it, but now everyone seems happy.  She weighed 22 lb. and was 28 in tall.  That's 75% for weight and 15% for height.  It's that belly and those thighs!  The doctor said she is perfect and seems to be a happy, healthy little girl.

Made a mohawk with all the food she rubbed in her hair during dinner

Learning to use a spoon (with Lactose Free Yogurt that she actually loves!)

Learning to dip her chicken in Chik Fil A sauce (a must!)

We are on a pretty good schedule, but it's funny how we've loosened up a bit.  She seemed to stop napping most of this summer.  We tried putting her down earlier, later, etc.  Nothing has really worked.  So we've just decided that we'll just try and if she doesn't sleep well but can still be a happy girl at night, then that's what we'll do.  It's so funny how hard we held on to that schedule at the beginning.  You just want everything to go as smooth as possible, so you try to control everything about your baby.  Now, you realize that it will all work out in the end, and if not, tomorrow's another day to try again.

We had our first playgroup the other day at our house.  Harper absolutely loved seeing all the kids - she is a true people watcher.  There were 4 bigger kiddos and at one point, she just sat down in the hallway and watched them run back and forth.  Playgroups are great because the kids have friends to play with and the adults have other adults to actually converse with.  It was a great morning and I'm excited for the next one.

First Playgroup

Impromptu play time at the mall one rainy day with the Hunts

Sewing napmats for our friends the Longs (twins in our playgroup)

We've also been spending lots of time with family.  Usually we go to my sister's once a week and to my parents in Argyle once a week.  Kristen is home with Reese (who is only 3 weeks old!) and we love getting to see them.  I even got to hold her the other day and she didn't cry.  Love my sweet niece!  And Harper always has fun with their dog Bentley.  We also have fun visiting my parents and sisters.  Kristi lets me run errands and then fixes us dinner (such a treat!)  Harper enjoys everyone but loves their dogs too.  She can actually lay on Pumpkin and hug her.  Harper really does love dogs more than people.

Reese at 2 1/2 weeks in her cute little dress

Learning to color with Grayson

Hanging with Maggie.  Sitting very still because she knew she wasn't really supposed to be there.  

So we are thankful for fall.  Cooler weather.  Long sleeves.  And football.  Always tons of football.  
Gig 'em Aggies!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today, the devil was near, but my God was big!

Today was a day where, if it could go wrong - it did.

Harper woke up at 5am, which is much earlier than her usual 6.  So I was tired, grumpy, and felt like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Harper was in her frustrated, hold me or I'm gonna cry mode, so the morning just kept getting worse.  Cody left for work, telling me to suck it up, which of course made me even more frustrated.  Harper pooped 3 times by 9 am and I just felt tired of sitting around the house with a crying baby.  What a bad morning!

My stepmom told me about a garage sale that was advertising those cute kids cars (yellow and orange and totally Flinestones).  I grabbed Harper and we dashed out the door, super excited about getting one and having an errand to fun.  45 minutes later I was still driving and Harper had fallen asleep in the car (which means that nap time later would be a huge struggle).  I got there and the "garage sale" was tiny, had electric 4 wheelers, not plastic toy cars, and very little worth my drive.  But as mad as I was, I wanted something to show for my effort, so I bought the cheapest 4 wheeler she was selling, hoping that Harper would like it.  Fast forward 30 minutes trying to find the charger, trying to charge it, not getting charged, and just getting my money back and we were headed back home.  What a waste!

On the way home, I kept thinking how frustrated I was.  Everything was going wrong.  We were late getting home for lunch and nap.  Harper spilled her squeezie pouch in the car and a wreck caused us to have to use backroads.  Enough was enough.  I determinedly said, out loud, "The devil ruined my morning, but God can save my afternoon."  I don't know if I believed it, but I hoped that God would help just the same.

See, this morning I was reading in my new study, about how all the devil wants to do is distract you from the Truth.  In the book, Having a Mary heart in a Martha world, it's about learning how to remember that we were made to worship God in the midst of all this worldly junk.  Sometimes we get so busy, so caught up, so overwhelmed living this life, that we forget to really LIVE the way God intended.  We want to worship.  We want to pray, to read our bibles, to serve others, to meet that neighbor who doesn't go to church, to really trust in God when everything is a mess.  But somehow we forget, we get busy, we get lazy, we just don't think God is really there or really wants to hear from us.

But why do we think that?  Hasn't God shown us over and over again how much He loves us and cares for us?  It's a seed, a seed of doubt, of distraction, of discouragement. Given to us by the only one who wants to see us fail - satan.  He doesn't want us to fall apart or become worthless.  He just wants us to stop doing good.  To stop glorfying, worshiping, loving our Creator.  He wants us to live this life for ourselves instead of God.

So this morning, the devil saw that I wanted to try not to let distraction of this world take over my thoughts of spending the day worshiping Christ in all the little things I do.   And he won - this morning.  But thankfully, my God loves me and cares for me.  And HE won this afternoon.  God always wins, because He is love, and truth, and hope, and salvation.  And if we can remember that, if we can remember our purpose, our reason for being here, then we will always win with God.

This afternoon got better.  I don't have any other reason that it got better than God changed my heart, my attitude, and my world.  I wish I could say that I prayed for a long time or spend time in the word while Harper napped.  But all God needed to hear was my short cry for help.  My uttering that I didn't want the devil to win.  And he stepped in and gave me peace and rest.  What an awesome God I serve!

So next time that you have a bad day, and you will, remember who you serve and remember that God has already won war.  And hopefully God will give you peace and rest as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reese's 1st Week

Since it was Brian's first week of school, he had to teach his morning class each day this week.  So he would go to school and get back to the hospital around noon each day.  So I went up in the mornings to visit and let Kristen eat, shower, and rest.  

I'm just lucky that I stay home and got to see Reese so much!  I held her as much as I could and still didn't get enough of her.  She was wide awake each day from about 9-11 and then took a nice long nap.  She didn't really cry or fuss - she was pretty content to just be held.  So that is what I did!

Harper enjoying cheerios at the hospital

KK with Harper and Reese

Mimi with Harper and Reese

It was quite an eyeopener to take care of a newborn and have a toddler around.  Harper did good at the hospital-watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, ate cheerios, sat with Krissy.  But when she started pulling cords, it was time to go.  Yeesh.  The next one might have to wait...  

Sisters and Cousins

My two favorite girls 

Harper hugging Reese

The McCool's brought Grayson to the hospital on day 2 after naptime.  This time, there weren't as many people around and he was very excited to meet Reese.  He showed her his toys, gave her kisses, and loved on her bunches.  Then he played bouncy ball with his dad for about an hour, because he is a boy after all.  

Sharing his bouncy ball with Reese

First picture of a family of four


Reese Marie, you are my favorite niece ever!  I love you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reesey Peesey Lemon Squeezy

Ok, so I'm sure my sister will not allow me to call her this, but everytime I think of my sweet new neice, I think Reesey Peesey Lemon Squeezy.  It's catchy.

Reese Marie McCool was born on Tuesday, August 28th at 12:14 pm.  She weighed 7 lb. 6 oz. and was 19.26 in long (what's with measuring to the hundredths?).  She is absolutely beautiful!

Monday, Kristen and I went shopping for furniture for their new house.  They sold their house at the beginning of the summer but weren't able to find a house they loved until the end of July.  So they have been living in a friend's guest house (a barn!) for about a month.  They move at the end of September and it's a beautiful house.  So glad we have pinterest for this one!  Anyways, she felt great Monday and it was almost surreal that she was having Reese within 24 hours.

Tuesday, I left Harper with Serena and picked Kristen up at 9.  We got to the hospital at 10, were immediately put in a room, changed, and pretty much ready to go.  It's so different when you have a scheduled c-section.  They were so non-chalant about the whole thing.  Brian and Kristen went back at noon and she was out 14 minutes later!

Reese's door decoration

I ran some errands, got lunch, and then went and sat around the waiting room.  We didn't actually even hear that she had arrived until 2:00.  I guess she was causing some commotion because she was kinda pissed off about being born.  In all her first pictures, she is giving Kristen the biggest stink eye.

At 2:30, I finally begged my way into the room with a redbull for Brian and got to hold sweet Reese.  I absolutely love her!  She is absolutely beautiful and already has such personality.  She is definitely going to be outspoken when she grows up.  And I have to brag...  She immediately stopped crying twice when I got her.  I think she loves me already!

The family arrived by busses and we all took turns passing her around.  The McCool's brought Grayson up but he was overwhelmed by the amount of people.  He also was not quite sure why he should go kiss the crying thing in the blanket.  But he had fun running around the hospital and having Car and Tay chase him.  Cody brought Harper up after work and she followed Grayson's around the hospital.  It's so stinking cute how much those two cousins already love each other.

The family arrived by busses and we all took turns passing her around.  The McCool's brought Grayson up but he was overwhelmed by the amount of people.  He also was not quite sure why he should go kiss the crying thing in the blanket.  But he had fun running around the hospital and having Car and Tay chase him.  Cody brought Harper up after work and she followed Grayson's around the hospital.  It's so stinking cute how much those two cousins already love each other.

Grayson was a little overwhelmed by all the people so he was a little shy

Grayson loved his bucket!  He got a car, a bouncy ball, a coloring book, and fruit snacks.  

My favorite little man

Best Cousins

We took a few family pics, and headed out, hoping to give the sweet new family of 4 some peace.  We had dinner with Dad and came home and crashed.  On the way, Cody bragged that Reese quit crying for him too, so we felt like she already knew how much we loved her.

Harper showing us Reese's eyes

Harper giving Reese kisses

It was a great day.  Kristen did awesome and is feeling pretty good.  And sweet baby Reese is amazing and beautiful and fully loved.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hot Air Balloons next door

Living in Highland Village is nice because you get a small town feel without being far from the city.  They always have festivals, concerts, and lots of events to go to.  This year, we went to the HV Balloon Festival which is an awesome display of tons of beautiful hot air balloons.  It started at 5 so we got there early, knowing we would have to leave by 7 for Harper's bedtime.  Sadly, most of the festival was running behind, so we walked around for an hour or so and got hot, tired, and a smidge cranky.  And just as we were about to leave, the hot air balloons starting coming out and filling up.  So we stayed for a bit and watched them up close.  They are so HUGE.  One balloon was offering "rides" but there was a line 100 people long, so we said goodnight and figured that was that.

Then, Sunday morning at 8am, as we were getting ready for church, Cody saw some balloons and we went outside to watch.  All the balloons were taking flight this morning for a "race".  However, we were concerned because a few seemed extremely low to the ground.  Like, skimming houses and scraping trees low.  So we sat outside and watched a few get closer while there were a few others far off in the distance.  After a few minutes, a few neighbors were outside with us and we watched as one balloon seemingly landed on the street behind ours.  Then another landed two houses down.  Come to find out, a few balloons left from a seperate field and didn't have enough wind to get high in the air.  So they had to find a place to put down, and our street seemed as good a spot as any.  We spent the next 30 minutes watching them work on the balloon and see how it worked.  It was pretty cool.  

Our neighbor, Taylor, and Harper