Tuesday, December 9, 2014

November: 30 days of Thankfulness

August...wow, it has been since August.

Today I bring to you my November Thankful List...I've been keeping this in the notes section on my phone and trying to update it as best as I could throughout the month.

Day 1: Friends and Family. We felt so much support from those we love that came out to Mike's tailgate.
Day 2: Freedom to be a Christian. Praise Jesus.
Day 3: Gifts. I enjoy thoughtful gifts. Giving them mostly, but when I get them it is always a pull on my heart strings. Shanna, I love my new book. Every married person should read, From This Day Forward.
Day 4: Nap time. My baby doesn't take a quality nap unless I lay with her in the bed. It used to bother me, but now I take advantage of cuddling with my only little once sweetie. The world can wait for two hours each afternoon.
Day 5: Neighbors. If you don't live next door to your Grandma and your Mom, you really should.
Day 6: Cupcakes and Crockpots. I love to bake and cook. I always enjoy cooking and baking, even when things don't turn out like planned.
Day 7: Group text. "Baum Girls" texting is great, I appreciate the ongoing dialogue with my mom and sisters. 
Day 8: My Momma. She deserves my thanks each and every day.
Day 9: Sisters. I love how I can count on my sisters no matter what.
Day 10: Joy. I've found it really hard to see the true joy in my life. I have it, I just overlook it. Macy proves true joy to me all the time.
Day 11: Lanie and Levi. Almost 7 years ago I became an Aunt and again 5 years ago. I never knew how quickly my heart could be captured by those sweet little babies.
Day 12: My car. It's not great, it's not new. But, it's warm and it gets me there. Gas. The money to pay for gas. Insurance. The money to pay for insurance.
Day 13: Friends. Aubrey and Lindsay, it's great going through this baby thing together. I've loved having you girls at MAPS this year! Someday we will be those ladies at the front sharing about each other.
Day 14: Friends. Laura and Brielle. No words can describe the friendship God has provided through you two.
Day 15: Friends. Amanda and Sarah. Alex, Susan and Sharon. We have great times of celebration together.
Day 16: Friends. Our "Home Team" Dunhams, Griffins, Ewys, Funks, Rotolas, and McColms. We are blessed to have married people to meet with weekly. 
Day 17: Dance Parties. I am loving that my little is pumped to have dance parties whenever we feel like and to any music!
Day 18: My baby's Daddy. He sure isn't perfect, but he really does love and take care of us.
Day 19: Having a job(s) I truly enjoy.
Day 20: Hobby Lobby. I know this one may seem silly, but I love that store! My 18 mo old doesn't say very many words, but she has her own version of Hobby Lobby...we might go there at least once a week during the gifting season especially!
Day 21: My Hubs. I think he already got a day, but really he deserves thanks every day. I couldn't be the mom I am without him.
Day 22: Dreary Saturday mornings spent in sweats having good conversation, coffee, and donuts.
Day 23: Wonderful birthday parties
Day 24: I didn't have anything on this day...let me think of something now...God's gifts. Not like things we get from other people, but those gifts he has given us to give to other people. One of my gifts is thoughtfulness and remembering little details about someone or something they've said. I try to use this in a way that can bless them when they're not expecting it. I find so much joy in doing something little that makes a difference for someone, even if they don't notice it! I'm also thankful for other's gifts that God has given them, because they're so different from mine!
Day 25: My parents.My mom and dad went to the hospital 30 years ago to add a third lil girl to their family. I'm thankful today for the last 30 years and for my parents. I miss my dad, but God really worked in us before Dad passed away and I'm truly grateful for that. 
Day 26: Family Pictures. For my entire life we've done a family picture at Christmas that we send to our loved ones, they are always eventful! Thanks Jacque, everyone should go follow her page on facebook. 
Day 27: Traditions. Old and new. I love all of the traditions that my family does around the holidays, but I am also very excited about starting new traditions as a family. 
Day 28: Black Friday. We went to Sears at noon on Friday and came out with a damn good deal on a washer and dryer set. Something we needed anyway (we've not had a set for a couple months) and a good price!
Day 29: Bible School. I love my Bible study girls. We do some pretty intense studying of the Bible together, but we also share life. Someday when we are old and gray we will still be talking about Beth Moore as if she is in our group!
Day 30: This may seem silly, but I just want to, on this last day, be thankful for all the people in my life that make me who I am. The places I've been, the things I've seen or done (good and bad), all of it. I've been in some really dark pits in my life and I've been on some really great mountain tops. I am so thankful for my relationship with Jesus, not my religion (although I like that too), but my real, raw, uncovered relationship with Jesus. 

If you made it to this point, thanks for reading.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Be About Something Bigger Than Yourself: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

video

I was challenged and I accepted. The first thing I did was go the ALS website to figure out what the #icebucketchallenge was all about and why I should participate. Of course this wasn't the first time I've heard of ALS or commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, but I didn't really know a lot about the ALS.

From the website I learned this...

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.


Some other facts:
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
So, I finally decided that yes I would do the challenge. I was hesitant because I'm not so sure about following the social media crowd. But, I made a personal decision that when I went on the website to give I was not just following a trend, I was being about something bigger than myself...did you read my last post? If you didn't you should because that was the main point BE ABOUT SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELF!

I've challenged some of my besties...my hubby, Alex and Kristal :-) Mike has it easy, I've already donated for the both of us!



Friday, August 15, 2014

The Global Leadership Summit 2014

Pathway Church was a host site the last two days for The Global Leadership Summit and I was honored to attend. This wasn't my first Summit, but this was my first Summit as a full time Mom. My current season of life doesn't allow much time to be with adults only in a lecture learning setting. It was a nice two days of feeling like a grown up, professional, woman. Don't get me wrong, I love my current season of life (even though it is tough).

Another reason the Summit was valuable to me this year was because I have taken on some leadership roles in my lifetime, but the last year or so is the first time that I've chosen to do these things while being a Mom. Being a mom is a full time job, no matter if you stay home or go to work, so things change when you are a mom. You automatically put someone else before yourself, that is the only option. In everything you do you have to make the choice dependent on how it affects your family. So, when I choose to volunteer or work in a position that will take my time away from my family, it does just that. It is a hard choice to make.

So, as a leader...in my job at church, in my volunteer positions, as a Mom, as a Wife, etc...I was happy to hear from other leaders on how to become better. My favorite quote of the whole Summit was from Bill Hybels who said "Be about something bigger than yourself." Those words resonated in my mind in how true they are and what they really mean. Bill referenced Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do." No matter what you are doing, whether you are a leader or not, just be about something bigger than yourself. We are a society focused on ourselves, our happiness, our status, what we are doing, and how we compare to everyone else. Thanks Bill for the great advice! Another thing that Bill talked about was how Legacy Leaders make Legacy Plays. This stuck out to me because my Hubs is infatuated with this idea of a Legacy and well how great is the interpretation of this idea when you pair it with being a teacher and a coach. Bill inspired a focus on the importance of asking for help if you are overwhelmed, we have a super BIG God that is ready to be a BIG part of our Legacy Play.

A few other highlights, in my opinion (I guess I don't need to say that, I mean this blog is my opinion), were...
Carly Fiorina said something that got me thinking in a different way, "Jesus was a nobody and recruited other no bodies." Jesus was born in a stinky ol' manger, He wasn't born into privilege, and He hung out with the least of these. He put together a crew of 12 men that weren't really the cream of the crop. But what a team they turned out to be!
Bryan Loritts spoke on change and personal sacrifice. He gave an example of how he has diamond status when he travels, he gets upgraded to first class on occasion. He learned very quickly that when he travels with his wife it's not a great idea to upgrade his ticket and leave her in coach. So, what he does is he sits next to her and lets that person take his first class seat. He went on to say, "Jesus has Diamond Status, but is chillin' in coach." I like that view on my Lord and Savior. So simple. Jesus doesn't have to be so complex.
Tyler Perry spoke candidly about how seeing his mom worship in church the morning after she had been beaten by his father made him want to worship the kind of God that could make her so happy. I can't relate in the sense that I am being torn down at home, but I can relate in that Macy will someday love our great big God more because she sees how happy her parents are in worshiping Him.
Joseph Grenny spoke to all of those times you are in need of a crucial conversation, that you have to either talk it out or act it out. These conversations can become a pit or a path. We have to make that choice in how we approach them.

All of the speakers (mentioned or not) were inspiring in one way or another. Maybe in the future there can be a speaker that isn't famous, hasn't written a book, doesn't run a huge company, but maybe a leader that does well with what they have and is a leader in their home or at their church, on the path to becoming someone great in their life and in the lives of others even if it doesn't reach the "success" of some of these other leaders. Maybe someone that doesn't have their own website. Ok, Bill, if you want me to come speak I will....hahahahah.

A+ GLS14!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Girl

Well, she is now a little over 13 months old. But here are her amazing photos from her One Year shoot. Jacque-Inc. Photography did it again! She captured my Macy in such a beautiful way! You really should go like Jacque Inc. on Facebook. Like right now...I give you permission to leave my blog for just a minute to go over to Facebook and like the page of the best photographer I know. 








We are so blessed by this little lady! Macy is now a walking fool, she started walking about a week before she turned 13 months. She has 8 teeth. Macy can sign please, all done, and water. She doesn't like getting buckled into her car seat and she isn't a fan of naps. Macy is a gooood eater, she loves cottage cheese, frozen peas, green grapes, and just about anything you put on her tray. Macy loves dogs, she talks to any dog she hears or sees. She loves to spend time with her cousins, Aunts, and Grandma's. She enjoys playing with her Dad, he has taught her all kinds of fun things this summer. One of my favorite is that now when she laughs she covers her mouth and kinda bends over. Her favorite toys are her doctor set and her magnetic puzzles. She is starting to learn the song Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes...she almost has it down. Macy likes to stop and lay down when she is playing and pretend to take a nap, as soon as I "snore" she hops up and laughs. She can climb up the stairs and is still perfecting going back down. Macy likes to blow bubbles, she now wants to do it all on her own (imagine that)! She also loves to write, she can click pens and we're working only writing on paper, haha. Macy loves to push strollers or anything with wheels, she loves to ride toys with wheels and her trike. She also loves to stand up on anything she isn't supposed to, especially the trike. Macy loves to be outdoors, but reacts really badly to mosquito bites. She enjoys swimming, but doesn't love baths. She doesn't mind having her hair combed, but doesn't like having it washed. Everywhere we go Macy gets compliments on her hair and her eyes. Personally, I just love her smile and I love that she just doesn't smile at just anyone, she has to really be comfortable to smile at you.

Let me just say, I am one proud Momma!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Loved and Lost

I know God's plan is always good. I went to a wedding this weekend and the message had a focus on God's promises. God keeps promises. Today at church our Pastor challenged us to reach out to one person, just one, and tell them about Christ and how He is good, how He is working in your life. I have no idea who I will reach this week, but I sure hope I can be an overachiever and share how great my God is to more than one.

All of this is a reminder for me and for you. But, for me I needed that reminder before I type out the rest of this post. Tonight I was overwhelmed with grief. This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Usually it is fun filled, time in the sun, and enjoying family. While, all of those things are going to happen it will also be filled with remembering loved ones that have passed. Our family has always gone to the cemetery to remember those of our loved ones that are not with us anymore. As I grow older, I learn how much more it means to do this annual event because those we are visiting have been close to me and have impacted my life.

This Memorial Day I remember my grandparents that have died. They were a huge part of my life! I have been so blessed to have all of my grandparents as role models. I also remember my Dad. I get pretty sad thinking about how Macy will miss out on time with her Grandpa. She would have loved him and he would have been overwhelmed with joy when he was with her. She does this copy-cat laugh thing where she laughs when you laugh. Man oh man I can just hear Papa Larry laughing just to hear Macy copy-cat.

And lastly, I've been crying throughout this post trying to figure out how to put this into words. Let me remind you that I have an awesome little girl upstairs snoozin' in her bed. She really blows me away with her awesomeness : ) But I think any Momma that has lost a baby can tell you, the kids you have don't just replace those babies that you've lost. No, I never got to meet our first little babe, but I've loved that lil nugget since May of 2010. Our little baby would have turned 3 this year. It's hard not to look at what you don't have. I don't have a lil preschooler watching the same movie over and over every day, I don't have a little one running around making me crazy asking questions and trying to be a big and do everything on their own, I am not potty training, or all of those other things that come with a 3 year old.

YES, I have so much to be thankful for and believe me I am. As Memorial Day approaches I am remembering those I have loved and lost and loved some more. I am not ok with wallowing in sorrow and dwelling on it, so I won't. BUT I am ok with thinking about those things we are missing out on by not having those loved ones around and it making us love them even more.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This whole post is about my baby.

Little Macy is so close to walking! She has been pulling up for months, walking around things, pushing her walker/toy thing, and movin' and groovin' all over the place. We've been trying to get her to walk, take a few steps at least, for the last couple of weeks. In the last few days she has climbed our stairs multiple times, but no steps on her own. I've been by her side for a couple days straight, I leave for a couple hours and guess what?! She takes her first few steps for Daddy. I am super excited he was able to see this, but pretty sad I didn't. I know in the big scheme things it really isn't that big of a deal, but today I'm pretty bummed, but also SO thankful for Macy and Mike and all they bring to my life.

Although I missed the first few steps I am pretty proud that her favorite word is "Mom." Not "Mama" like a lot of almost 11 month olds, but a very enunciated "MOM." She also likes to say "Yum," when she is hungry, "Woah," as she pretends to jump, the way she, in a high pitch, whispers "Dada," she loves to talk about her cousin "Lanie," and when the dog that lives behind us barks, she rushes over to the back door and makes a "Woof" like sound. She also copy-cat laughs, if she hears a laugh sure enough she does it. Today Mike left me a voicemail, he laughed, and I hear her in the background "ha ha ha."

It's not all sunshine, she is super sassy and independent. She already throws pretty intense tantrums. She doesn't like being told what to do, funny, like I'm so bossy at this stage. If you try to help Macy she pushes you away, if she doesn't want to drink or eat she will put on her sassy pants and push whatever it is away with lots of attitude. She learns really quickly, especially the naughty things. She knows to throw things on the floor, to work her hardest at flipping over just as you're trying to put a clean diaper on her. She also hates getting dressed. We've decided to let her smash some fingers because she just won't give in on playing with cabinet doors. (I joke that I have a pretty hands off style of parenting, I'm definitely not a helicopter mom and I'm working on how I'd like to balance it all.) Macy likes to cuddle, she gives great hugs and awesome kisses, but she isn't the cuddle when hurt kind of girl. She likes to get back in there and try again, gotta love her intensity.

Last realization I had today...I was driving by myself blasting Let it Go from the Frozen soundtrack. I love God's plan. He gave me a girl first because I'm suited to mother a girl. I really am.

Ok, The End.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What a day!

Today was a rough day. My 10 month old tested me to my limits today. She threw fits, she wouldn't nap, she pooped and it got everywhere (head to toe and all over OUR clothes), and she was just super fussy. I had lots of tears as well to be honest. I think part of the reason I am so emotional about it all is that I am so thankful for my little girl. This is the hardest thing I've every done, being a mom. She tests me and drives me crazy, but man oh man I love this little lady. One of the things that I struggle with is she isn't a great napper, she doesn't nap in her crib. She has to be in her car seat or she has to be held. It is my fault, I never made her learn. Here is my biggest struggle with all of this...is it worth it so that I get to cuddle and snuggle my little peanut? Day to day I don't think so, but big picture I do. I never expected to be able to have little Macy and what if I don't ever have another kid? These might be the only 10 month old snuggles I get! No, I don't get anything done during her nap time (if she takes one), but is that what is really important? It is so hard to know what to do as a parent...vaccines or not, crib or co-sleeping, formula or breastfeeding, stay at home or go to work, cry it out or coddle, and on and on and on. After a long day of many tears for both Mommy and baby, I reflect so that I can remember how completely blessed I am! God has been so good to me.

And on that note, let me just show you how precious my little lady is when she isn't fussing, playing in the toilet, or being the most stubborn baby I've ever met!
Happy Easter!

Christ has Risen! Be joyful!

Miss Sassy Pants 
Totes Adorbs
I love this one!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I have no idea...

Two things you need to know..
1. Our Internet doesn't work well in the evenings.
Macy has been going to bed around 7, which leaves a good amount of time for me to get some things done (usually). Most of those things cannot be Internet dependent because I just can't count on it.
2. I lay with Macy when she naps.
Macy will nap for 45 minutes, sometimes a lil more, instead of the 20 minutes if I lay her down on her own. I love my lil darling, but a good long nap is not in her vocabulary. So, in my profession I have no time without baby to get things done.

Do you see how these things are related? If I can't do whatever I'm trying to do on my phone, it's hard to find the time! All of this leads me to this afternoon. Macy fell asleep on the way home from the doctor and stayed asleep as I brought her inside. I thought to myself, "Oh good! Now I can do a few of those things on the Internet that I can't normally do." I sat down logged on, opened the Internet browser, and just stared at my computer. What was it that I needed to do? "I have no idea." Yep, no clue. All week I've been trying to get done all these things...and at this moment I've got nothing.

So I wrote this pointless blog, to take advantage of having a moment, with Internet. And...now she is awake after her 15 minute nap. Back to work I go!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

S'mores bars...yes please!

I like to eat. I love to bake. I am a diabetic. These three things together equal one big struggle. While I’m working at eating better, especially less sugar, I continue to bake because it makes my heart happy.

I love to bake for others, it helps the cause, they eat em and I don't eat ALL of em. I also love a compliment. When people love my baking it makes me feel so good. If I ever make something for you please tell me how you feel. Now, you can tell me you don’t like it, but be graceful, please. In fact if you don’t like it just don’t say anything. I don’t like fake compliments, so if you don’t like it just don’t say anything. BUT if you do like it, TELL ME! I need the validation. Yes I do.

OK all of this is to share with you my favorite dessert these days. It is a s’mores bar dessert from Pinterest. I love it and it is delicious. Two problems; it isn’t by any means healthy and it comes out a lil bit expensive. Despite those two things, I love it and I keep making it because it is a crowd pleaser. 

So here is the recipe...

 

This is mine baking in the oven. This last time I doubled the "cookie" portion of the recipe and used 1 and a half of the filling. This made it fit in a 9x13 pan and served more people.


If you want to visit the actual website for the recipe you can link from my "Things I've tried" page on Pinterest or find it here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December Photo Challenge

Photo a day...kinda.

Day 1: Your view today
My lil sleeper, she gets her stinkin hands out of her swaddle all the time!
Day 2: Favorite Holiday Movie
Home Alone is hands down my favorite
Day 3: Red
Levi had on a red shirt and was playing with red toys


Day 4: Joyous
Bath Time is always fun!
Day 5: Today's Temperature
Burrrr it's a cold one
Day 6: Shopping
Online before I go to the store, it takes so much to go to any store anytime (didn't get this dress, it didn't come in her size)
Day 7: Bright
The "Brightest" Orange


Day 8: Ornament
We collected Stillwater dirt last year to fill our Oklahoma ornament
Day 9: Something You're Reading
I love to read my dear Shanna's blog, she updated a couple days after this screenshot
Day 10: Wrapping Paper
Pretty, ain't it?!
Day 11: Green
Macy's food this week..peas, this shot makes the spoon look giant!


Day 12: A Beautiful Sight
Our healthy 20lb 6 month old getting a check up
Day 13: Family
Our 2013 Christmas picture
Day 14: Christmas Tree
It's not fancy, but we love it
Day 15: Favorite Holiday Song
Go Tell it on the Mountain, the NeedtoBreathe version is my fav

Day 16: Outside Christmas Lights
We didn't have any and I kept forgetting to get a picture of someone else's
Day 17: Presents
That was before we did most of our shopping
Day 18: Stockings
We have a "family" stocking right now at our house
Day 19: Candy Cane
Macy carried one of these around while we shopped
Day 20: Tree Topper
This angel belongs to my sister Melissa I think, I found it on my mom's deck a few years ago and I just took it : )



Day 21: Peace
I couldn't think of anything for this...other than Macy eating "peas" so just refer to Day 11
Day 22: Tradition
My Great Aunt made most of these stockings, my second cousin has taken them over now. I love our stockings and all the goodies Santa leaves us
Day 23: Scarf
I didn't do this one because I don't wear scarves, I get too hot and I feel like my body isn't the best fit
Day 24: Favorite Part of Christmas Eve
Lanie Noel was born 6 years ago on Christmas Eve and she is definitely my favorite part
Day 25: Morning
I wanted two for this one because it was just a lil more special this year
Day 26: Grateful
I'm so blessed. We went for ice cream, Macy had her version...I tried to get it in the picture, but got caught off guard by her looking at Mike
Day 27: Night Time
Day 28: Words
Some funnnies from my pinterest page
Day 29: Sky View
Day 30: Your Winter Wonderland
Maui for Winter...yes please...a girl can dream
Day 31: Fun
Toast with the Hubby with sparkling grape at 10pm...midnight somewhere right?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top 3 of 2013


I stole this idea from my friend, Shanna. I love reading her blog and today I'm stealing her idea. Her year in review is SO different from mine and I think that is part of the reason I admire her so much. My list isn't going to be my top 13 because I feel like my last year can be summed up into really a top 3 (that each have many parts of course).

Ok, here goes...
3. My Mister
Many things go into this choice. In the last year he has lost, gained, and overcome in so many ways. First he was forced into making a change as a coach. If you know my Mister you know that he could easily say the top three things in his life are God, Family, and Football. When someone messes with one of those things it hits him hard and he has way more desire to make things right that I can even imagine. This summer my Mister got a position coaching Football at the College level. He didn't have an "in," no one paved his way, he had to work for it and prove that he was the man for the job. I have a love hate relationship with football season, but at the end of the day I'm so proud of him going after his dream and making it work.
Coach
Another accomplishment, this summer he completed his Master's degree. It wasn't easy, like many others he did it while he worked full time. I am so proud that he has such drive.
The Grad
Sis, Momma, and the Mister
Third...you should see this man as a Dad. He isn't perfect, no one is, but he really tries. During football season he had to deal with a hormonal new mom/wife, a new job, a lot of travel time, and a newborn. He did a lot of things wrong, but he also did a lot of things right and I couldn't have made it through without him. My Mister loves his little girl and she loves her Daddy. We've been so blessed to have him home over this Holiday break!
Twinkies
One of the latest things he has done for our family...he traded in his truck for a car. That is sacrifice! My Mister is definitely a "truck guy" but we needed something more fuel efficient and more fitting to our little family. Now, don't let him fool you, he loves his new car. It is very nice, new, and has lots of fancy amenities. It's so tough to have to drive that car...
The Dart
2. Our Home
In March we bought a house and spent the next few months trying to get it ready to bring home a baby. We had to remove layers and layers of wallpaper, then redo with layers of mud, and finish with layers of paint. If you had any part in this you know I'm not exaggerating. We redid walls in 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a kitchen, and part of the living room. Whew, we needed and appreciated all the help we had! We got new appliances, they delivered the day after Macy was born. To be initiated into owning a home our air conditioning went out when she was only a couple weeks old, we had a power outage not long after, and on Christmas Eve we got a new hot water heater. We were not really ready to buy a house, we didn't really want to have to do so much work on the house, BUT we had to decide which was more important to us that or the location. Location won because we bought the house next door to my mom and two away from Grandma. And as it turns out I really love this house even though the work it has taken hasn't been my favorite. I have really enjoyed the smaller projects that have come with making a home, some call these "Pinterest projects." I like to just call them projects because I also like to think some came without inspiration of Pinterest.

Layers of wall paper
Our Home
Working hard
1. Macy Abigail
Wow. You thought number 3 and 2 were long...wait til you get to read about number 1. My greatest accomplishment so far...being a stay at home mom, giving birth, and this lil lady we call Mace face. So much goes into Macy being number 1. The obvious, Macy. She is an amazing girl. She is so full of attitude already. She has so many different looks. She suffers from RBF (I saw this on Pinterest, it is "resting bitch face") and she got it from her Momma. We can't help it. Our resting face is a bit pouty and we look like there is something wrong with us. For the rest of her life she'll be asked "what's wrong?" and hopefully she'll learn to respond gracefully. You know what makes RBF ok? It's that it makes your smile even better! Macy doesn't give away smiles to just anyone for just anything. I love that about her! She is a good eater, she is a chunk and not every outfit fits her thighs. She likes routine, she is very intuitive, and she loves her Momma. That last thing is probably my favorite! Macy likes to ride in the cart at the store, look around, and take in everything around her. I could go on and on with details about my lil Macy.

Bath time smiles
Riding in the cart
First smile for the camera
What else goes into number 1, giving birth. A month or so before I had Macy the lady at the Kwik Shop told me, "Don't be a hero, get an epidural. Honey, you're already growing a human!" I didn't know how true this was until I was in labor. I was induced, which I've heard makes labor harder. I don't know if this is true, I just know the pain I felt. I hate that society can make you feel guilty for whatever you choose, especially when it comes to parenting. Do I feel like less of a woman for getting an epidural? Yeah kinda, but I also know that I got to enjoy the second part of labor. I got to happily, with no pain, welcome my lil baby into the world and that makes me ok with it. I'd love to encourage every woman to be happy and confident with your choices; same or different as the rest of the world, just do you!

June 6th
Third part of number 1, being a stay at home mom. Wowzers, this was harder than I ever could have imagined. It is hard. Going to work and leaving your baby with someone else, hard. Every choice you have as a parent, hard. You are making decisions for another human, hard! I struggle with "what everyone else thinks" in many aspects of my life, hard.

So, there are my 2013 highlights, here's to 2014 to bring many more good times and Shanna it just might be the best year EVER (love you girl)!  

And if you're still reading...a few highlights from New Year celebrations of the past...When I was a junior in high school I set my ring tone to "Auld Lang Syne" on my cell phone and thought I was sooo cool and frankly, at the time, that was cool! I spent a few NYE celebrations in the 90s at the Marriott here in Wichita with my cousin and friend being crazy young kids while my parents celebrated downstairs in style. Last year on NYE we announced to some great friends that we were pregnant and this year we wanted to be home so we could stick to the bedtime routine we've been working on with our lil blessing. Lastly, remember in 1999 when people thought that 2000 was going to bring the end of the world...
Bringing in 2013
Last Pic of the Year
(we toasted with the sparking grape
 the Hospital gave us when Macy was born)