Friday, February 24, 2012

know that you are loved

Ever read something and it just hits you in this super profound way?  That was my devotional reading this morning.  Need a little shoulder squeeze from the God of the Universe?  Read on.

From Feb. 24th, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

"Be still in the light of My Presence while I communicate Love to you.  There is no force in the universe as powerful as My Love.  You are constantly aware of limitations: your own and others'.  But there is no limit to My Love; it fills all space, time, and eternity.

Now you see through a glass, darkly, but someday you will see Me face to face.  Then you will be able to experience how wide and long and high and deep is my Love for you.  If you were to experience it now, you would feel overwhelmed to the point of being crushed.  But you have an eternity ahead of you absolutely guaranteed, during which you can enjoy My Presence in unrestricted ecstasy.  For now, the knowledge of My loving Presence is sufficient to carry you through each and every day."

Pretty awesome.  Happy Friday, friends.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

parenting is hard and other "no duh" things

We just got back from a wonderful weekend away as a family.  We traveled to Madison, WI, to visit some friends, a trip I had been looking forward since the getaway was booked.  When we lived in Columbia we took weekend trips often, with friends and family an easy two hours away there was always an occasion or trip to be taken and our life sans children and residency offered such fabulous freedom.  A weekend was unashamedly our own.  We could leave at 4:30pm on a Friday and return to our apartment Sunday evening without much thought or effort.

Since moving to Minnesota, we've yet to venture much further than a day trip to the cities for Ikea- with most friends in town and family a good day's drive away there's been little interest or opportunity in going out of town for the weekend.  That, and Chris' schedule is often demanding and a bit unpredictable.  But this weekend had been planned and anticipated and as soon as Chris made it home Friday evening we knew we were free for a Madison adventure.  I was so looking forward to seeing a new city, visiting friends, eating at tasty restaurants and staying in a lush hotel (thank you Priceline!).

The weekend was absolutely wonderful.  The company was the best, with lots of laughter and depth and an appreciation for people who know your story and have lived life with you over the years- something you miss when you leave home for a new place.  We ate our way through Madison, enjoying a fantastic feast of the best local fare our host could offer.  We swam in the hotel pool and chilled in the hotel hot tub.  We had breakfast out and sat around drinking coffee in the most wonderfully unproductive way.  But we also came home completely exhausted and a bit perplexed by our daughter's behavior.

There was no one specific moment that could be defined as horrific, she just refused to stay seated through a meal, wanted to walk through the restaurant while we waited for our table, put everything she could find in the hotel room in her mouth, cried when we strapped her in the car seat, wrestled her way out of the stroller, and whined that she was hungry in between meals.  She is 18 months, after all.  I suppose that's what kids that age do.

Chris and I chatted about our frustration on the car ride home.  We'd spent the morning having a late breakfast at Einstein's Bagel with our friends before we hit the road.  We'd probably sat in the restaurant a good hour and a half, squeezing the most out of our remaining time.  Nothing that Lakin did could be classified as awful but she began to get very impatient and whiny.  At one point I took her outside to have a time out and talk about her behavior.  She came back in a new girl... for another 15 minutes and then she was wrestling me to get down and running from me when I went after her.  We left quicker than we would have liked and with a child throwing a full on fit.

As we debriefed with a zonked out toddler in the backseat, we realized, perhaps we expect a bit much out of our 18 month old.  Don't get me wrong, high expectations are good and important, but I think sometimes we need a dose of reality.  We packed up our kid, threw her completely off her schedule, made her sleep in a playpen cage, and waited to feed her a good two hours past her typical eating time- given all that, a meltdown might have been inevitable.

Sometimes it's a hard pill to swallow that life is and has changed as you become a parent.  I do believe it's good to stretch kids and that they are more flexible than some adults give them credit for.  However, there is a difference between stretching a kid and asking for a fit.  It's a bit of a fine line, one Chris and I are often stumped about, but it's there.  For all the things that have changed that we mourn, there are so many things that I have gained in becoming Lakin's mother that I'd never ever want to give up.  I mean, this morning I was woken up with these big blue eyes in my face and a finger poking my side as Lakin whispered, "Mommy.  Asleep.  Shhhhh."  She makes me laugh in a way no one else can and without even trying.

So life is different.  At times it leaves me embarrassed or exasperated.  But it's good.  And worth it.  Just hard.  Only sometimes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

homemade Valentines

Thanks to Pinterest, we whipped up some simple and cheap homemade Valentines for Lake's daycare buddies.

By "we" I mean, me. by myself. while Lakin napped.  I am finding glitter everywhere, including someone's diaper.

Monday, February 13, 2012

can you blame me?

This swimming suit made it's way into my cart yesterday.  Never mind that it's negative temps and snowing right now.  How could I pass this gem up?  I mean, really.

I'm glad you see my predicament.

Thank you, Target, for making adorable things affordable.

so true

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Who are these people raising Colin?

So funny.  We've been enjoying clips from Portlandia recently.

Friday, February 10, 2012

a sweet surprise

Lake's the proud new owners of these sweet kicks.  They were a gift from Miss Cathy- early Valentine's.  She's pretty over the moon about it.  Took a nap in them.  She keeps rediscovering the surprise too each time she catches a glimpse of her feet.                                                                                                            

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lakin Lately

A few fun facts about our 19 month old:

- Big fan of wearing pretties to school.  Just the other day she picked out a necklace to go with her outfit before we left the house.

- Constantly inquiring, "Doing?"  when she wants to know what you're up to.  For example, when I'm cleaning the poop from her carpet she leans down in my ear and asks, "Momma, doing?" (true story from the other night- too much naked time after bath resulted in some ill-fated poop on the carpet).  Or when I'm pouring cereal, clipping my finger nails, cooking dinner, checking email, and the list goes on.

- She imitates my every move.  When I clear my throat in the car, there a small echo that can be heard from the back seat.

- Her favorite phrase right now is "hereyago."  She says it every time I hand her something or vice versa.

- She is still crazy obsessed with Dora and Boots (to be pronounced with extra emphasis on the ooo in the middle and t at the end).  Our car ride in the mornings is usually spent talking about these two characters even though they are nowhere in site.

- She prefers walking when we're out in public and is not into holding mom or dad's hand, thankyouverymuch.

- Disappointment of any kind typically results in an ostrich-like posture and some tears.

- She's been reading to herself in the crib each morning.  I don't know why we didn't put books in her crib earlier.  It extends her morning get up time by thirty minutes easily.

- She often asks for her nap and has been known to drag a pair of pajamas from her drawer into the living room when she's beat from the day and wants an early bedtime.  Sleep habits like her momma!

- She's very into coloring, although, she cannot be trusted with a crayon without close supervision.  Let's just say red was the unfortunate casualty this weekend.

- She's working on her colors right now.  When you ask her the color of something, her answer is always preceded with an "um...." and then she just names a color.  Every once and a while she gets it right but it's just luck at this point.

- She gives the best kisses and hugs.

Here's some photos of her loving on her Dora baby from my grandma.  Thanks grandma for sending this doll her way.  She loves it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

picture appetizer

in case you needed a fix...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Guest Post

Hop on over to Thriving Home.  They featured a small post by me earlier today.  Enjoy, friends!

- S

Thursday, February 2, 2012

writer's block

I have thought of you, dear blog, often.  I have meant to sit down and write.  I have filed ideas away of posts I wanted to share.  But when it came down to doing it, I didn't.  I've been a wee bit lazy around here these days.  Chris and I started watching Mad Men and it has consumed much of our free time together.  Chris has been home more lately since his current rotation is lighter which means I have missed the last several Pretty Little Liars episodes (which might be for the best, you decide) and I have let simple tasks go out the window.

So here we are.  Reunited.

Cricket, cricket.

I guess it's best to just jump right in.  We have been up to quite a few things.

Last weekend I shot a wedding with Midwest LifeShots.  It was a total blast, I learned a ton technically about the camera, and I can feel myself improving.  I certainly have more ideas these days when we shoot and Scott is able to explain to me how to set the camera to achieve the vision.  Weddings are probably my favorite kind of photography, but man, they are a marathon day.  Luckily we were able recharge with some Micky D's between the wedding and the reception.  I fully believe that double cheeseburger carried me through the reception.  I hope to put some images up from the day because we got some really awesome stuff.

Lakin is a talking fool.  I can't even tell you the amount of words in her vocabulary but she's soaking up words like a sponge.  We're taking a spin at potty training because I'm crazy like that.  So far, only one tinkle in the toilet but the girl LOVES to sit on the potty.  She requests drinks and reading materials and I figure the longer she camps out there the more likely she is to go in the potty.  There's a box of Dora fruit snacks sitting on the edge of the kitchen counter reminding her that a Dora snack could be hers if she makes some boo boo in the potty.  Naturally she's learning potty words, like stinky, boo boo, and pee pees.  I still giggle when she tells me boo boo and points to her diaper.  I need to grow up.  Yes, Chris and I rarely get to use the restroom in private without Lakin wanting to come in and announce to others that mommy and daddy are "go potty".  Her grammar needs work but we've got time to iron that out.

I got my new camera and I've barely had time to experiment.  I'm hoping to do some investigating with it this weekend.  I ended up with the Canon Rebel T3i and a 50mm lens.  I'm still saving for my fancy, one day lens but until then, I am eager to get my feet wet with what I've got.

I'll leave you with some photos of Miss Congeniality, herself.  After all, that's why you visit this blog anyway, right?