Thursday, June 26, 2014

You Know You're a Parent When... {Part I}

Do you ever find yourself doing something and think, "I am definitely a parent!!"? I thought I might document some of these things as they come up. So, here we go!

You know you're a parent when....

+Your "selfies" start to look a little different...

This was last Saturday morning after breakfast. :)

+ You smell something strange and your first response is to sniff your child.

+ Waking up *only* twice in the middle of the night feels like a small victory.

+ There's a small circle of pee on the bed, and you just cover it up with a towel and go back to sleep.

+ Drool, spit up, and half chewed food decorate your shirt, and you hardly notice.

+ You're willing to use a device to suck snot from your child's nose with your mouth! (The Nose Frida...and no, the snot does not get in your mouth. Parents who have this know it's a must!)

+ You say the words "uh-oh, spaghetti-o!" multiple times a day.

+ You constantly find yourself saying "YAY!" and clapping your hands. Sometimes you're not even sure what you're supposed to be clapping about...

+ You refer to yourself in third person-- "Mommy needs to get ready for work." "Give Mommy a kiss." "Don't hit Mommy!"

+You never leave the house without multiple bags. Diaper bags, pump bag, purse, lunch bag, some other random tote with other random things... and despite all the bags, you end up in situations like trying to clean up a blowout diaper without any baby wipes.


That's all for today's installment. Many more to come, I'm sure! Let me know if you have any others to add! I may just feature one of your suggestions on the next post! :)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Journey

Grayson helping us read The Bible this morning :-)

Scott and I (and Grayson!) have been reading through Joshua lately. God has been teaching us that often the point is as much in the journey as it is in the outcome. Yes, God calls us and leads us to various outcomes -- a new home, a new job, new opportunities for leadership and ministry, family transitions, etc... He has a plan for those outcomes and a reason for calling us to them. But He doesn't stop there. He often teaches us some of life's most important lessons on the journey to those destinations.

Today we read in Joshua 6 how the Lord told Joshua to instruct the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho once a day for 6 days, and then on the 7th day to march around the entire city 7 times, to blow the trumpets, and then to shout. At that time, the wall around Jericho fell and the Israelites were able to begin their battle. God called them to this land. God called them to this battle. But first, He called them to march. For 7 days. And do nothing else. Just march.

I don't know how big the city was, but I imagine it took a while to march around the entire thing. And to think they had to do that every day for 6 days, and then on the 7th day they had to do it SEVEN times! God also instructs them to not fight or shout a battle cry until they had marched the 7th lap around the city and blown the trumpets. Can you imagine knowing that you are inevitably going to war, but to not be allowed to act on that for that long? Can you imagine what the Israelites must have been thinking? Why is God having us do this? How will this help us defeat these people? How are we going to destroy this wall by just walking around it?!?! I imagine it was all confusing, frustrating, and tiring. I'm sure the anticipation was killing them, and they may have had moments of doubting Joshua or even doubting God's instruction.

How many times have you felt the Lord calling you somewhere only to feel like you're jumping through hoops or running in place trying to get there? Have you ever questioned God's reasoning for making something so difficult? Why do we have to wait? Why do we have to go through trials and hardships along the way to our promised victories? Why can't God just give us our jobs, our homes, our ministries, and all our blessings, without making us work for them? I'm sure the Israelites wondered this, too.

In the case of Joshua and the Israelites, I believe God was teaching them to be obedient. I believe He was teaching them patience and self-control. Those three things are hard to learn, and we often have to learn them over and over and over. I know I do. We want to do our own thing and still reap the blessings of God. We want to have our blessings and we want them now! We don't want to work for them, or we want to go about getting them in the way that makes sense to us, even if we know that's not what God has called us to do. I'm sure there were Israelites who were suggesting they just attack the wall right away and start fighting. But that was not what God called them to do.

They had to march and march and march. I'm sure it was frustrating and tiring and confusing. But you know what? At the end of all that marching, the wall just fell down! 

God will make good on His promises and He will reward you for your obedience, patience, and self-control. I'm not saying everything will work out perfectly. The Israelites still had to go to battle after the wall fell. But how much more equipped were they having learned the lessons they learned along the way?

I often think about our house journey. You can read more about it here. It was a long, challenging, and frustrating journey. If God wanted us in this house, why didn't He just work that out when we first looked at it in January 2012? Why did He have us go through all the hardships we went through only to still give us that same house in September? Well, we learned a LOT about our marriage, trusting God, prayer, worship, and contentment. And then, just a few months after moving into our home, we became pregnant with Grayson.

I have a stronger relationship with God, a stronger marriage, and am a better parent because of the lessons I learned during our house journey. And I am so thankful that God taught me those lessons before I had Grayson! So, in that case, it wasn't just about the destination (owning the home), it was about the journey.

What journeys are you working through? If you're feeling confused or frustrated, what do you think God might be teaching you through these times? How do you think these struggles are going to equip you once you reach your destination? I promise God has this thing figured out! :-)

Safe travels on your journeys, friends!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Feeling Reminiscent

Today I looked through all my pictures of Grayon (and there are only like, 1,000 so far! No big deal...). He's growing so quickly and becoming such a big boy! I find myself looking at these pictures of his tiny, newborn self and missing that stage. Funny because when I was in the thick of it, I often longed for a 6-month old baby who could actually do things and didn't require such constant holding and feeding. For all you new moms out there, when people tell you that you'll miss it and you scoff, just trust them. You will miss it. No matter how exciting and wonderful the current stage, there is always something to miss about the previous one, I'm discovering.

So, without further ado, reminisce with me!






















Thanks for taking a walk through sweet baby memory lane! :)

Happy Friday Eve!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today is Brought to You By: COFFEE!


Via
You know how when you have too much to drink things start to get a little hazy, and you think back on the night before and you can't quite remember all the details? Hopefully you don't know, but let's be real, most of you have probably had at least one night like that.

Well, that's pretty much what being a working mom is like!

I often have to ask myself if I told Scott about something or just thought about telling him. I try to think back to things I feel certain I did the day before, and it feels almost like it happened in a dream. Did I really email my grandpa on my phone last night to thank him for our anniversary gift? I feel like that happened, but my memory of it doesn't seem real. Better check it out. Yes, it would seem I did do that. I think I was sitting on the floor. Oh yes, that's when Grayson was fighting sleep and decided he would stay up until 9:15 and I spent the evening intermittently playing with him and watching the minutes of potential down-time tick-tocking away on the clock. Somewhere in there I remembered that I still hadn't emailed my grandpa (our anniversary was 2 weeks ago, and we received the card closer to 3 weeks ago!). And somewhere between making sure Grayson didn't climb the fireplace hearth, get stuck under an end table, or pull a cat's tail, I managed to hastily type out an email on my iPhone. No wonder I barely remember it!

Amazingly, most days I don't feel overly tired. I actually feel fairly well-rested. This is amazing because Grayson has only slept through the night twice in his 8-months of existence.

I think I need to attribute some of this to coffee. I've never been a coffee every morning person. I love coffee, but I never wanted to need it. So, I reserved it for weekends and other special occasions. Since returning to work after having Grayson, coffee has been a staple of my morning routine. And now there have been a couple times where I have felt the start of a headache, only to realize it is completely gone by the time I finish my cup of coffee. Eek! Looks like I may have a bit of an addiction. :/

So, you can thank coffee for bringing you today's issue of Christy! And maybe I'll remember writing this post. Maybe.


Any other coffee addicts out there? I know I'm not alone in this. And that makes me feel a little better! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Desperate

Sometimes I just feel desperate for Jesus to come back.
I look at this crazy, fallen world
and my heart longs for all the cruelty, evil, and suffering to end.

I don't think this is a commonly expressed thought. 
Jesus coming back would mean the end of this existence.
And don't get me wrong, I love life! 
I love my family.
I love my job.
I love my friends.
I love the beauty of creation.
I love that God gives us the grace to enjoy His blessings, 
even though we don't deserve them.

But if I truly believe what I do about God and Heaven,
then I have to believe that whatever comes after this,
while I may not be able to fathom it now, 
will be infinitely better than this life.

 Yes, I want to enjoy many more years of happiness with my husband.
Yes, I want to see Grayson grow up into a man who loves the Lord.
Yes, I want to know my grandchildren.
No, I don't usually feel ready to give all that up.
But I know deep down that what I would be giving up 
would all be worth it to live in the presence of God.

Despite the conflicting feelings stemming from my limited
human perspective,
there are days I feel overwhelmed with the desire for justice
and the end of worldly pain.

My heart breaks almost daily
as stories, pictures, videos, and updates of horrific
suffering and prolific sin
flood my world.

A video on my Facebook newsfeed 
of a mother beating her baby with a pillow
A photo of a beautiful baby who died of cancer
A blog post about a baby born with a birth defect 
that prevents him from living more than a few hours.
A news article about a baby found dead in his carseat
after his drug addicted parents forgot him for days.
Babies are suffering. 
Babies!
I want that to end. 
Desperately.

A friend who had a stillbirth
A mom and wife who discovered she has breast cancer
A family who lost their last source of income
A husband who is estimated to have only a few months left to live
Marriages ending
Children facing the consequences of their parents' divorce
Husbands who beat their wives
Parents who abuse or neglect their children
Families who are all but starving
Families on the street.
Families are suffering.
I want that to end. 
Desperately.

No matter how lovely my life is
and how much I'm enjoying living it
There is too much pain in this world 
for me to not be desperate 
for Jesus to come back.
Every knee shall bow.
Evil will be sentenced to death.
And all who suffer will be forever comforted and strengthened
in the presence of the Lord.

How can I not be desperate for that?

Monday, June 9, 2014

8 Months!



Today my little boy turns 8 months old. What in the world?!?! (I say that a lot these days!) And he pretty much does everything now. Or at least that's how it seems! I'm blown away by how much he has developed and learned in the last month alone. I feel like this has been the biggest change from month to month so far.

Awesome Things He Does:
+ CRAWLS! Everywhere, all the time, super fast! 
video 
(this was the first time he crawled. He is much better at it now.) :)

+ Pulls up on whatever he can. He can now pull himself to standing in his crib, pack 'n play, on the ottoman, his toy bins, our bodies...

+ Claps! He claps to say "yay!" and also claps along with music. :)
video

+ Very clearly says "dada" and sometimes it even sounds more like "daddy" or "dad"
+Very clearly says "cat" and sometimes even "kitty cat."
+ babbles constantly and every now he gets pretty close to real words. Some others I think I've heard - yay! bye! Uh-oh! yeah. 
+ Eats! Finally! He started getting oatmeal and one veggie a day at daycare. They say he's still not very interested. Will only take a couple spoonfuls of each. But he no longer gags and pukes, he sometimes will open up for bites, and he is very good at feeding himself (which he prefers). 
green beans and hummus :)
+ Plays in the bathtub. He is stable enough now to sit up and crawl around on his own in the tub without slipping and sliding too much (we also bought a rubber mat). He loves it!
+ Gives great kisses still :)
+ Intentional hugs and snuggles
+ Pulls toys and books off the shelf to play with

+ Looks at you and smiles when you say his name
+He has also cut his first tooth, and it feels like he's working on another! The awesome thing is that I didn't even know he was cutting the first one. He wasn't fussy or anything. But this week he hasn't slept more than a 3-hour stretch at night. Not sure if it's because of teething, growth spurt, the cold he has, or all of the above.

Dislikes:
+ getting dressed
+ having nose wiped or sucked out
+ being woken up. The times we have to wake him up at daycare and put him in his carseat to go home, he breaks my heart with his crying and REAL TEARS! :( It's also hard when I have to cut a nap short so it won't mess up his bedtime schedule. 

Nicknames:
+ Graysmo, Smo, little Smo, and Smo-Face (this all originated from our old phones auto-correcting Grayson to Graysmo every time. Not sure why...is that even a word??)
+ little boy
+ buddy, bubbs, bubbers, bud
+ baby or my baby (said more like "bebe")
+ little friend
+ lil' pup
+ boogaroo or boog
+ Mr. Poopertoots (when we ask, was that poop or toots??)

Favorite Toys:
+ his puzzle. He can't figure out how to put things back in the right place, but he still loves that thing! 
+ monkey teether and monkey rattle
+ those plastic, colorful, connector things... not sure what they're called. We call them amoebas. True story.
+ blocks
+ bath toys (rubber duckie, other squirt toys, bath books, cup)

Favorite books:
+ Time for School, Mouse -his favorite since he was 4 months!
+ The Going to Bed Book 
+ Pajama Time
+ Goodnight, Moon
+ Follow that Firetruck!
+ At the Zoo

Favorite Foods:
+ Breast milk! Any way he can get it! boob, bottle, it's all good!
+ hummus! I just put some on his high chair tray and he grabs at it and sticks his hands in his mouth. It's quite messy, but he loves it!
yummm!
+ fresh green beans that he can pick up and chew on. He isn't loving pureed green beans at daycare, though.
+ he seemed to enjoy black beans last night
+ pretzels (he's only had a couple!)
+ toast - plain, buttered, w/ fruit preserves, coconut oil, or hummus

Favorite activities:
+ crawling and playing with toys on the floor
+ exersaucer in the mornings
+ the jumperoo that hangs from the door frame 
video 
(we say "yay!" a lot in this house. other parents understand!! ha!)

+ being worn in the carrier and going on adventures!
+ going for walks and runs with daddy in the jogging stroller
+ sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed (done sparingly these days)
+ bath time
+ sticking out his tongue! Thanks, Daddy, for reinforcing this one! haha!
+ listening to music (he will shout in the car until we turn on the radio!)
+ chasing the cats (he's so fast now!!)
+ playing with other babies and especially big kids!
+ going to school (LOVE that he smiles and is happy to be there when we arrive)
+ going home from school (also LOVE that he smiles and gives BIG hugs and kisses when he pick him up!)

I feel like I could write for days about how awesome and fun Grayson is now! When we take him places, everyone always comments on what a good baby he is. He's calm, doesn't fuss or cry very often, and has a great sense of humor. Yes, I can already tell. :) Each month I think my love for Grayson grows deeper. I never think it's possible to love him more than I already do, and then suddenly...I do!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lately....

+ Praying for... 
* my mom's husband who recently had very extensive surgery on both knees and is in a lengthy and painful recovery process.
* my grandma's husband who has cancer and is on his last round of chemo. If this doesn't work, they expect he has about a year, or less, left.
* all the incoming college students I'm seeing at orientation this summer. My office book club is reading College of the Overwhelmed and I can't help but wonder if any of these students will end up suffering from anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, OCD, eating disorders, etc...It's a rough world, y'all. 
 * babies and children who are suffering throughout the world from neglect, abuse, and chronic or terminal diseases
 
+ Looking forward to...
* Getting together with the working mom group I host after taking 4 weeks off!
* Going to Atlanta in two weeks to celebrate Father's Day, my MIL's birthday, and my hubby's birthday. We will be renting a boat on Lake Allatoona with Scott's family and then having lunch at my dad's house on Sunday. Excited (and nervous!) for Grayson's first time on a boat!
*  Only 4 more weeks until our week-long vacation at St. George Island! Whoop!

+ Working on....
* gifts for Scott's birthday and his first Father's Day :)
* writing a letter to my sister for her birthday (which was May 22nd!!). I asked her for gift ideas at the last minute and she requested a letter that will make her cry! Sheesh! Talk about demands! It will take me a little while to perfect that one!
* Forcing myself to workout at least a couple times a week. I feel much better when I do, but I have such limited time. I think it's hilarious that I ever used that excuse before being a mom!
* SOAR (GSU's orientation for new students) All summer long!

+ Hoping for...
* being able to buy some new summer work clothes. Last summer I basically just wore maternity clothes. And I'm actually thinner now than I was before getting pregnant. So I don't have much for this season. 
* Grayson sleeping more at night. I know. I literally wrote a post about not caring about this. But with teething and growth spurts, he seems to be up 2-3 times a night. :/ Let mommy sleep. Just a little. Okay?

+ Recently....
* Scott and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary! I made him a slideshow of pictures, using the song from our first dance as the music, and I surprised him at work with Starbucks iced coffee and a brownie. He surprised me with breakfast in bed (freshly baked banana bread muffins, scrambled eggs, and coffee. Along with cut roses from our front yard), and beautiful flowers delivered to my office! Our Jacksonville trip the previous week was our anniversary trip, so we didn't do anything big on the actual day.

* Went to Atlanta for my step-sister's baby shower. My dad and step-mom hadn't seen us and Grayson since CHRISTMAS! Too long!! And Grayson and my sweet nieces finally got to meet! Yay for cousins!
My 5-year old niece holding Grayson. He looks about as big as she is!!

+ Reading...
* College of the Overwhelmed for my work bookclub
* The Bible (specifically the book of Ephesians this week)
* Your blogs! :)

+ Watching...
* We finally got Hulu Plus, so we're catching up on the most recent seasons of all our shows. Since we canceled Netflix, we have been only using Amazon Prime to stream shows. But it can be slim pickin's. Lately we've been catching up on Grey's Anatomy.

+ Listening to...
* My Pandora on shuffle at work. Such a mix of country, classic rock, alternative, 90's, pop, worship, etc...! It's an adventure! ha!
* the Disney station on my Pandora when I'm at home. We say it's for Grayson, but who are we kidding? He doesn't really care what we listen to as long as music is playing and we dance around. We're just looking for an excuse to get our Disney jam on! :)

+ Laughing about...
* My step-mom referring to me as the Captain of Breastfeeding in America. No, it was not intended as a compliment, but I went ahead and took it as one! 
* Grayson babbling more and more. And chasing the cats!
* This
* And This
* Oh, and This :)
What have you been up to lately? 



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