Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We had one amazing Christmas this year.  Belle was way more fun than last year as she ran around, ripped open gifts, and went from one toy to the next.  She enjoyed her time with her cousins and her Meme and Papa and Mema and Bepa.  She wasn't a fan, however, of Santa.  As you can see from the pictures, he literally terrified the poor child! 

Paul and I have felt very blessed in 2010.  Belle is an active girl with loads of personality.  She has kept us busy, but always smiling (usually!). I have been learning the ropes of life with a toddler and it has kept me on my toes!  Belle is in the fun stage of saying words and exploring her world.  She has figured out how to break/undo all of the safety locks on our cupboards, and can climb up and down the stairs with ease.  She also has no problem climbing onto the couch, the coffee table, our side tables, and anything else she can pull herself onto.  As you can see from the pictures, she loves her new Christmas gift and crawls through the tunnels and tents.  In 2011 I hope she learns the word "yes," as she is REALLY good at the word "no" right now. 

I have also made it through my first half of my internship and in 2011 I will actually be able to say "I graduate this year."  It has been a long haul and I can hardly believe that I am in the home stretch to completing my masters.  It's bizarre that I started the journey without a child, and now I have a one and a half year old.  How time flies!

Paul is still loving Meijer.  He has taken on a new role in Reverse Logistics (yeah, I am not real sure what reverse logistics is either) that has kept him busy, sometimes crazy, but mostly happy with his job.  We love Meijer!  The greeters at the Meijer behind our house actually know who I am due to my frequent visits.  I am sure it helps that I have a 15 month old who likes to wave and ham it up for everyone. 

My little crochet business has been doing well and I am amazed at how much it has grown in 9 months!  It definitely keeps me busy, and sometimes overwhelmed, but I love it.  I get so excited to see pictures of little ones with my hats on!  Some days I wonder if I am in over my head, but some how I am able to stay on top of my orders and it feels good to make some money on the side!

So, the Thompson house says "goodbye" to 2010 and "hello" to 2011.  We pray it is full of more blessings and  we are able to laugh through the struggles it may bring.  We also hope for blessings for your family too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daniel Fast

Last year my entire church took part in a fast.  The specific fast that they did was The Daniel Fast.  I chose to opt out at the time because I was just coming off of breastfeeding and felt like I had taken enough time off of coffee and wine.  I felt like I had dodged a bullet and wouldn't have to worry about feeling guilty for not partaking.

Well, fast forward a year.  Guess what my church is doing to start of the new year again.  You got it. The Daniel Fast.  Darn.  I have no good excuse this year to opt out of the fast, and the more I have been focusing on my upcoming fast, the more I am getting ready.

First, I am sure many of you are wondering what the Daniel Fast is.  Here is the scoop:

"The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast. It is a method of fasting that men, women and young people all over the world are using as they enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.
There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. So from these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:
1. Only fruits and vegetables
2. Only water for a beverage
Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So from this scripture, we get a third guideline:
3. No sweeteners and no breads
Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that's why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Fast.
Finally, with all the above puzzle pieces, we conclude that no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals are allowed on the Daniel Fast.
When asked about the eating plan on the Daniel Fast, I often say it is a "vegan diet with even more restrictions."
There you have it.  Scary, huh?  Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I have done my share of diets.  I have found success and have often been able to stick to diets for a bit of time.  I know that I really need to work on not seeing this fast as a diet, but it's hard.  It is very similar to Weight Watcher's Core Plan, so it feels familiar.  I need to remind myself that this is not about weight, but about denying myself food so that I can focus on God and my spiritual life.  Herein lies the issue.  I tend to focus MORE on food when I restrict it.  I focus on what I can eat, what I can't eat, and how crabby I get when I deny myself what I want. 

So, I ask for support and for prayers.  I will update as I go and let you know what I learn throughout the entire process.  Thank goodness Paul is on board with me!  Needless to say, here are my goals:
  1. Focus less on the food and more on God
  2. Not to view this as a great opportunity to lose weight
  3. Get back into sync with God and grow closer to Him
  4. Find a way to survive without my AM coffee and PM wine.  SCARY.
  5. Pray continuously about my 7 (this is a reference to something our church is doing as well.  We choose 7 people to pray for continuously)
  6. Grow closer to Paul spiritually
Let's hope I don't whine like a baby!  I LOVE food, so it's time to put this love for food on the back burner and focus on the Creator that made all this amazing food.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Checking In

It's been a few weeks since I have talked about what's happening in the Thompson household. Honestly, life has been hectic, but SO much fun. Belle is a riot. Here is what she has been up to so far:
  1. She recognizes people and says their names. When Paul walks in she points and says "dada"
  2. She is ALL about books. She will grab a book and scoot herself into my lap so I can read to her.
  3. She is beginning to not want her bottle. I am well aware that at 12 months I need to ween her off, but I haven't really been proactive with this. Seems like she is doing this on her own. Yay!
  4. She is showing more of her strong willed nature. Gosh, she is becoming more and more like me everyday!
  5. She is busy, busy, busy. Into EVERYTHING. I don't know how people have twins at this age! She keeps me on my toes and running all over.
  6. She is getting a little bit of the bully attitude with toys. She gives Maia a bit of a run for her money.
  7. She has graduated from Praise Baby and Baby Einstein movies and has fallen in love with Horton Hears A Who. LOVES IT.
  8. She cries when she has to go into the nursery at church or when Paul or I leave the room.

Those are the latest happenings in the Thompson home. I am halfway through my internship and can't believe how fast it went. Only 350 more hours to go!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm thankful for...

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a fabulous day and stuffed themselves full of turkey and mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays! Who doesn't like an entire holiday devoted to comfort foods?

Anyway, the service today was about being thankful not only during our peaks, but also through our valleys. It is always a good reminder to me that God asks us to praise him always and to rejoice in our sufferings. Normally this part of the Bible makes me think "Oh sure, thanks, God. Yet another expectation I could never live up to. Really?"

Well, clearly this message was meant for me because it made me think about all of the annoyances and nuisances in my life that irritate me to no end. In the bigger picture, these annoyances should really be a reminder to me of all of my blessings. So, I thought that on this Thanksgiving I would take time to think of the things that bother me in life and reflect on why I am thankful for them. Trust me, most of these are stated, but I need MUCH work on TRULY being thankful for these things. Either way, it's a great reminder to me to view things differently.

  1. I am thankful for a daughter that regularly poops in the tub, because it means I have a healthy (and regular) child.

  2. I'm thankful for a husband who forgets to come home on time from work, because it means my spouse is driven and dedicated (or forgetful?)

  3. I am thankful for my clothes that don't fit me as well as they did before Belle, because it means that I have enough to eat.

  4. I am thankful for homework and papers, because it means I am mentally capable of furthering my education.

  5. I am thankful for staying home to change diapers and clean up toys, because it means that Paul has a good job.

  6. I am thankful when I have to drop Belle off to a babysitter, because it means I have sisters and a mom willing to watch my child for free and offer a safe environment.

  7. I am thankful when I only have the energy to make mac and cheese, because I know my husband thinks this is the BEST meal ever.

  8. I am thankful for the rising gas prices, because it means I have a car that needs gas.

  9. I am thankful for the snow and cold weather, because it means I live close to my family.

  10. I am thankful for messes left at my house after a party, because it means I've been surrounded by family and friends.

  11. I am thankful for needing to get an oil change in my minivan, because it means I have transportation.

  12. I am thankful for the furthest parking space, because it means I am able to walk.

  13. I am thankful stained teeth, because it means I get coffee in the morning and red wine at night.

  14. I am thankful for an overhwhelming amount of crochet orders, because it means I have a successful business and able hands.

  15. I am thankful for Belle's screaming and crying when she is tired, because it means I can hear.

  16. I am thankful for my dry eyes and need for glasses, because it means that I can see.

  17. I am thankful for my mortgage payment, because it means I have a roof over my head.

  18. I am thankful for pots and pans to clean, because it means I have enough food to make a meal.

  19. I am thankful for having to make a doctor's appointment when I am sick, because it means I have health care that is reliable and readily available.

  20. I am thankful for all of the dog hair I find all over the house, because it means I have a dog that is a guard dog, a friend, and Belle's best friend.

  21. I am thankful for all of the laundry that piles up, because it means I have clothes to wear (this one is REALLY hard to write!)

  22. I am thankful for having to admit wrong and apologize to Paul after a fight, because it means I married someone who some how puts up with my dramatic, opinionated, stubborn nature.

  23. As the pastor stated today...."I am thankful for Jesus."

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Nothing makes me happier than dressing my kid up and making her look as ridiculous as possible! I need to take advantage of this privilege as long as I can. It won't be long until she develops her own opinions and expresses them strongly. So, I chose to dress Belle up as a chicken. A chunky, little, waddling chicken.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays the past few years. My entire family gets together and we all watch the kiddos trick or treat in their costumes. Paul's brother, Marc, came to visit with our nephew Caden. Caden is so good with Belle and is obsessed with Mac. Paul and I love when he comes to visit because he is so stinking hilarious. That boy knows how to get attention and just when to turn on the charm. Love him.

The evening started with some trunk-or-treating at Providence CRC. Might I say that trunk or treating is my new favorite thing. It is the quickest and fastest way to get loads of candy! I think people in neighborhoods should sit at the end of their driveways and hand out candy. It would make the entire process much quicker! The rest of the night was spent be-bopping around Crystal Springs.

Belle's second Halloween was much more fun than her first. Last year, Paul literally drug the stroller around the neighborhood while Belle slept (she was only a month old). This year Belle was in her glory. She was VERY into the concept of getting free candy and having her own bowl all to herself. She had her head in her bowl almost the entire time. I found her with wrapped candy in her mouth that she was biting through. The girl couldn't get enough.

I know this is sappy and cheesy, but I literally love Belle more and more each day. I love watching all of the new things she learns and seeing how she experiences the world. She is walking all over and repeating a lot of things we say. Somehow she learned to wave to people as they drive by. Paul and I took her for a walk today and she waved at every car that drove by and said "hi." I didn't teach her that, and neither did Paul. Where did she learn that? The girl amazes me, not because I think she is so smart, but more because watching her grow up is so fun.

Can't wait for the holidays this year! Belle will actually have a clue what is going on (sorta, right?).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recent Happenings

Belle is walking and talking like a crazy girl! I has finally hit me that I no longer have a baby, but a toddler. Let me tell you, this girl's walk is a true toddle! She is far from graceful, but so stinkin' adorable. She has finally hit the point where walking is quicker than crawling and she is moving all over the place. She is a much happier and less frustrated girl since she has been moving and grooving via walking.

On top of the walking, Belle is exercising those vocals chords. She loves to repeat things we say. This has required this plumber's daughter to watch her mouth a bit more. I don't have the vocabulary of a sailor, but I have been known to let those cuss words slip when I am stressed, angry, or not thinking. Haha, let's hope Belle doesn't pick up on any of them....yet. Anyway, her vocab consists of: Mac, Mama, Dada, No, Hi, Duck, and Yuck, however I don't know how many of her words she says are deliberate. She definitely knows "uh-0h" and will say it often.

Belle took her first trip to Indianapolis with Paul and I this weekend. Our friends, Dennis and Amber, had a son 6 months ago and we had yet to meet him. Belle and Carson were instant buddies :-)

For those who don't know, Paul and I used to live in Indianapolis. Paul worked for FedEx straight out of college and I moved there when we got married. Indiana was an interesting time for us. I worked an hour from our apartment, and he worked 3rd shift. Not ideal for a first year of marriage . Despite the struggles, we had great friends and a fabulous church. In the end, Paul found a job with Meijer back in GR and we were able to move back. I would never regret our move, but I sure miss many aspects of Indy. Needless to say, it was nice to visit. However, next time I would go for a longer weekend because we were able to see our friends from FedEx, but there was no time for me to get away to see my friends from BehaviorCorp where I worked.

Anyway, not much else to report. Halloween is coming up and I can't wait to post pics of Belle in her costume. My goals as a mother is to make her look as ridiculous as possible on Halloween. I guarantee that I will be successful this year.

BTW, I will post pics of Belle's one year photo session with Kate Krueger soon. It's too late to load pics tonight :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Baby Steps. Literally.

I realize I have been awful at updating this blog! I will try to be better!

Tons has happened in that past couple of weeks. We brought Belle to the pumpkin patch, went to Artprize, and Belle has become a wobbly little walker!

The pumpkin patch was cold and windy, but we made the best of it. Belle loved the goats and hanging on all of the pumpkins. Paul and I were way more excited about the donuts. Holy cow. I could have eaten a dozen all by myself! I forgot how good orchard donuts were. My mouth is watering as I type!

Paul and I made sure to make it to Artprize this year. Last year was the first year for Artprize, but we had just had Belle. I wasn't quite confident enough to head out downtown with a new little baby, and let's be honest, I was way too busy at home to think about checking out art. This year Artprize was busy, but fun. We never made it into the GRAM, because the line was WAY too long and a teething one year old was not going to last through the wait. Belle was more into the people watching and loved riding on her daddy's shoulders!

Lastly, Belle is beginning to walk. Watch out world! She has slowly been gaining confidence in herself and took a good little walk over to my scarf this afternoon. I had to share her new found skills!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Party Time

We had Belle's birthday party at our house on Saturday. It was SO much fun! We had both sides of the family here, and Liz and Mike. Since it was raining we were all inside and it sure felt crowded! Either way, it was a great reminder of how many people love Belle and wanted to come out to celebrate her day.

Belle was dressed ridiculous. As her mother I feel the right to dress her in whatever I like and I often choose big frilly tutus. This time, however, I also opted for a big ole flower for her hair from Emma's Bowtique. Belle may be embarrassed later, but at this stage in her life I get to make the decisions on her attire, so I am going to go all out!

Belle got lots of gifts that she will definitely use. He Mema and Bipa Thompson got her an adorable outfit and some books. She had few books and I wanted more for her as she got older. Her Meme and Papa Huizinga got her a wagon. We gave it a test drive yesterday around the neighborhood. Every kid needs a wagon, right?

She also got lots of clothes (which makes me happy!) and other items like a stroller, cars, and a fridge farm (she played with this a ton at her Aunt Cricket's, so we felt she needed one of her own). All of her cousins were very into watching Belle open her gifts, as you will see from the pics!

Lastly, what one year old party would be complete without a baby covered in cake??? Belle dug right in to her cake and ended up covered in purple frosting. She actually ate very little of her cake and ended up just playing in it, but it made for GREAT pictures!

All in all it was a great day and Belle was exhausted by the end. We feel blessed to have our little one year old and thankful for everyone who came to celebrate.