Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter isn't about Bunnies

I just got home from Target.  It was late and I could only pick one store, so Target usually ends up being my one stop shop for most things.  I needed to get Harper some tights in case it's cold on Easter morning and a small Easter gift.  I found the Easter section and after much searching, found NOTHING I wanted.  NOTHING about Jesus, God, Resurrection, or the Church.  I know they aren't a Christian company, but nothing?  It was just a little shocking.  It's a religious holiday.  How can America celebrate a religious holiday with no religion?

It reminded me that we live in a place where that is totally normal.  Celebrating holidays about the Savior even when we don't believe in or trust in that same Savior.  I've been thinking a lot about Jesus and this world.  We live in a broken world, a sinful world, a world full of junk.  And people that live in this world are incomplete, they are ashamed of their sin, they are looking for God without knowing it but they are looking for answers in earthly things.  And it breaks my heart when I talk with these people because I know their feeling of unrest.  I know their feelings of sadness.  I know their feelings of unworth.  And it breaks my heart to know that all they need is Jesus, the Restorer of our hearts, the Giver of unbelievable Peace, the Savior of the world.

I remember being in high school and always trying to fill a void in my life with people or parties.  When I was saved my freshman year in college, that hole was suddenly filled, overflowing with love, self assurance, trust, truth, and security.  It still makes me weep to remember how God loved me at my worst, how he came down out of heaven to save my sinful self.  He chose me.  He loved me.  He redeemed me.  He made me new.  And ever since, I've spent every day being completely grateful that He did.

My life isn't perfect, I still sin, life still sucks sometimes.  But at the end of the day, I have peace because I know that Jesus reigns.  He has already won the war.  He will always forgive me.  He will always love me.  He will restore me when I'm broken.  He will pick me up when the world knocks me down.  I have faith in Him.  I trust Him.  He has never let me down.  He is the ultimate friend - one who will never leave nor forsake you.  Can you imagine that?

So as Easter comes this year, I remember all of this and I am left in awe of God.  Of knowing that He chose me over His own Son.  Jesus went to the cross because He loves me.  He died the worst death possible so that I could have the best life possible.  And He rose again 3 days later because He is King of Kings.  He is mighty, sovereign, and good.  He is God.  He is Savior.

So this Easter, I'm hoping that people realize it's not about bunnies like at Target.  But about the Lamb of God.  The sacrificial lamb that was perfect and yet sent to die to save the sinful.  The Easter Lamb that died and yet rose again to sit in Heaven on His throne.  The Easter Lamb that brings redemption for all.  The Easter Lamb that brings eternal life.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Madness

March has been a fabulous month.  Harper is growing up so much and it's fun to watch.  It's weird to suddenly realize that she knows how to do something or can say something that your baby shouldn't be able to do or say.  But they grow up fast!  

Still loves reading.  She can point out random things on pages, things I don't think that I have taught her.  And it's almost like she has memorized all her books - she seems to know everything about them already.  She still loves to play outside and has recently found an addiction with collecting rocks, flowers, dirt, and sticks.  She also loves balls, coloring, stickers, cups and spoons.  She loves her baby, rocking her, wrapping her up, giving her a paci and a bath.  She lost baby for about a week so she started playing with bunny and minnie mouse stuffed animals she had.  Thankfully we found baby but now she has found a lot of new friends.

Harper's eating habits have gotten better and worse.  She is eating dairy now so her restrictions have decreased.  She has started eating quesadillas, yogurt with granola, and bites of my cereal.  She is still allergic to soy which means all processed foods or anything with vegetable oil is off limits.  Her fabulous eating habits of all fruits and vegetables however is dwindling.  I guess she's getting bored with plain fruits and veggies.  I am trying to find new recipes, but it's harder than it looks.  I found an all natural peanut butter and I'm sure it will get easier with time.  She is getting amazingly good with a fork and spoon, so hopefully we be done with this crazy, messy eating style soon.

At dinner we play simon says, and this is her copying Cody 

Harper is wearing 18 month clothes, but some are still a little big.  She can still fit into some of her 12 month stuff and she will probably be able to wear a lot of her summer stuff from last year again this year.  She wants to always wear a bow, and now wants us to wear bows too.  I actually went out the other day with a bow in my hair before realizing it.    

The only thing I could find green in her closet for St. Patrick's day

She got a few new pairs of shoes for summer, some new nike kicks and a pair of keen sandals.  She loves shoes, always wants to put shoes on, even in the house.  And she loves walking around in our shoes or helping us put our shoes on.  Her new skill she is learning is to put on her own clothes.  She is constantly putting multiple pairs of pants on and even loves trying on all of Cody and I's clothes. She is going to be a major fashionista.  

Trying on Carleigh's heels

In love with pockets and hoods

Harper has turned into a funny little person.  She likes to find random things and stand on them or lay on them.  Like cutting boards, pillows, books, etc.  She is becoming an expert on climbing up chairs, beds, and is almost able to climb out of her crib (NO!).  She also likes to run around and then "fall" onto the ground and see you care that she is "hurt".  We don't usually care, so it doesn't last long.  

We have had lots of playdates lately with our friends.  She is getting much better at sharing her toys, which is good.  When other kids play at her house, she doesn't understand why they can play with her stuff.  It's hers, isn't it?  So we are working on sharing, and it seems to be getting better.  We recently went to an indoor play area and she had a great time climbing the huge jungle gym and playing with the big kids.  She even went down the tall, twisty, tunnel slide by herself.  She's so big!

Reading before nap time at the Hunt's while we babysat

Cody and I are good.  We have lots of new stuff going on with the house, but that will be a whole other post.  Cody's school is good.  He has been hanging out with his work buddies a lot and that's good because they are awesome guys.  We are really getting to know and enjoy our home group.  I've been doing a lot of house stuff, so I haven't been out much.  My life is a little boring right now.  We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary.  Six seems like it's not so newlywed anymore - sad...  But we had some good food and were happy to just sit and talk about our fab life together.  

I got this bamboo tree from Cody two years ago for our anniversary and I have definitely killed it.  I am horrible at gardening.  I keep trying but I don't actually know what I'm doing so it doesn't help.  

We are trying to eat less processed food so we made some whole wheat homemade biscuits the other morning.  They were..NOT good.  This is the picture of the hunk of butter Harper tried to eat because it was the only good thing on this plate.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Month of February

February!  It was an interesting month.  We had a lot going on with deciding on the house, dealing with contractors in Denison, cleaning up our house, playing outside on nice days, and going from sweet baby girl to hitting the terrible 2's a little early!

This is how she tells you she heard something.  
Hand to ear, head cocked to the side, and a funny "huh?".  

Harper is starting to understand and explain herself better these days.  She is able to hear or see something and know what it is, where it came from, or why it is.  When I vacuum the living room, she immediately goes to her room because she knows I do that room next.  When Cody gets out the salsa from the fridge, she gets the chips out of the pantry.  She has definitely learned our routine around this house.  She also understands a lot more.  Now she can understand even Cody and I's conversations.  Guess we have to really start watching what we say.

She has progressed in her vocabulary too.  Her new words include outside, baby, run, and blow.  Her words that only we understand are Maggie (she calls her "B") and Come Here (she says "Ese" while waving you forward).  Harper also adds a Y to most words that start with H.  So hott is yhott, and hi is yhi.  And everything is always in her sweet, singsong voice.  Pretty cute.  She has also decided that she wants to always hold two people's hands - one person just isn't enough.

A morning playing with MMC stickers and sitting on her fav window ledge.  

Her favorite thing to do right now is to play with her baby.  She always tells us "bebe" so we don't forget to get Baby.  She likes to feed her, give her a paci, and cover her with the blanket.  She is going to be such a good big sister someday.  She is loving her golf clubs but usually plays more hockey than golf.  She still love to read and can sit and "read" 10 books at a time.  We still watch MMC everyday after nap but she is starting to enjoy Sophia and Jake a little too.  

She is still a super happy toddler.  She plays so great, loves people, can play outside for hours.  A dance party is always on the agenda and running naked after bath is a must.  However, as each day passes, she gets a little more stubborn.  Somehow, when I say No, it doesn't make much impact anymore.  She just does it anyways, sometimes as quickly as possible if she sees me coming for her.  We tried swatting her butt or her hand, but that didn't work.  She would swat herself right after and laugh because it didn't hurt or she didn't care.  So at my wit's end, I have started time out in the crib, no toys/paci, with the door shut.  It seems to be the only thing that is working right now because she doesn't like being apart from us.  She had a bad day a few weeks ago, was melting down, screaming on the floor, throwing toys across the room, so I put her in her first time out.  She was ticked.  But we made up at the end and I explained what happened and that I still loved her.  Afterwards, she wouldn't let go of me for hours.  I don't think she likes it.  

I made homemade breakfast muffins with yogurt and oats.  I put blueberries in them and I guess she didn't like that.  She sucked each bite until she had eaten all of the muffin except the blueberries.  

One good thing that has changed this month is that we are hopefully over the dairy issue.  She is eating yogurt and cheese, which she loves.  It seems to be going well, she seems to be acting normal.  She is still eating only Real food, nothing processed, but she is still such a good eater.  One night my stepmom made a sweet potato and carrot soup and no one would eat it except Harper.  

This day, Harper kept wanting me to put more and more pairs of pants on her.  I was talking to my sister and she heard me say "No ma'am Harper, you don't need anymore pants."  Then, about 3 minutes later, I told my sister, "Guess what I'm doing right now, putting 4 pairs of pants on Harper."  I can't ever say no to that kid.  

 Cody has been hanging out, watching DD, doing yard work, etc.  His schedule this semester has him alone all day so he has some guys he hangs out with on Tuesday mornings over coffee.  I have been enjoying our playgroup and seeing some friends from high school.  Plus, we have a new home group that has lots of kids Harper's age, so she has lots of new friends.   

Cody had open house this past week and was gone at bedtime.  Harper and I read books (which is usually his job) and sent pictures to him so he could say good night.  We miss him when he isn't here...

I have not been sewing lately because of the house stuff.  But we had a thing a Mom's Inc (my moms group at church) called a Pinterest Party where we could create something we had pinned for a contest. I made Harper a nap mat and she loves it.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Moving to the Country

So our big news right now, if you haven't heard, is that we are moving.  To the country.  To cows.  To no neighbors.  To small town life.  And we are going willingly, just so you know.  :)

We are moving to Denison, where Cody grew up.  It's just over an hour north from here, about 5 miles south of the Oklahoma border.  It's a nice town, everybody knows everybody.  His parents will live across the street (I know, but it won't be like Everybody Loves Raymond), and his Aunt and Uncle and Cousins live nearby too.  It's right next to Sherman, which has more shopping and such, but it has everything you need (not want, mind you, but need).  It'll give us a nice, quiet life.  A slower pace.  A life that feels more in tune with the old days.  If you know my husband, you know this is who he is and what he wants.

Cody's grandmother passed away in November.  Her house is from the 70's so it's small and needs just a wee bit of help.  But it's on 10 acres with tons of trees, a creek, a pond, a shed and a barn (which is 4 times bigger than the house - go figure).  So we are going to remodel the house, which I am excited about.  I'll finally get to put my hours of pinterest to good use.

It's a lot to process, even for us.  But we are excited.  I love my house and where we live.  I love our friends, our playgroups, our day to day routine.  I love that my parents are close, my sister and my niece and nephew are always around, and my sisters come over for Duck Dynasty marathons and trips to the thrift store.  I love our little life right now.  But I like change and adventure so I am excited to see what the future holds for us.

Cody will try to get a job teaching at Denison High School.  There aren't as many positions and a lot less turnover, so we'll see what happens.  Thankfully, our new next door neighbor (next door being a few acres away, but still) is the Superintendent so maybe Cody will have an in.

We have been working hard getting our house ready to sell.  It's crazy how clean my house is now that I'm about to leave it.  We are selling it by owner since I have time and energy and why not?  My mom will help when we need it and I'll buy her an extra special mother's day gift this year.  But since we are selling it ourselves, if you know of anyone looking for a house in Highland Village, send them our way, would ya?

So, that's that.  Life is about to change.  It's already gotten a little stressful.  But it's all just a part of life and God's plan.  When Cody first asked me to go, my answer was NO.  But as we prayed about it, I knew God was telling me that we were going.  I don't know why, but I know God wants us up there for something.

So pray for us, pray for guidance as all of this unfolds, and pray for our future ministry up in Denison.  Thanks friends!