Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Belle = Mini Mom

Belle loves to be a little mama to her dolls lately. She nurses her Barbie and puts diapers on her dolls. It's too cute, and I had to share!

Below is a pic of her "nursing," and the video of her with her doll :)

Two Months

Yup, Evie is already over two months old! Where does the time go? This girl is a dream baby! She sleeps great, and really doesn't fuss much other than when she is tired or hungry. She is smiling loads, starting to coo a ton, and getting so big!

I'm busy with the two girls, but can't really remember life before Evie. It's like she has always been a part of our family. I can't give enough of this little lady :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Today was one of those days where you sit in church and you feel like the pastor is speaking directly at you.  Our sermon series right now is called "Surge" which is about communicating with God.  Today's sermon was about prayer.  This was one I needed to hear.

I can't say that my prayer life has been amazing lately.  I use the excuse that I am busy with two young children and that quiet time is hard to come by.  Waking up early isn't very appealing after being up at night with a 2 month old.  Today I was force to ask myself three questions related to my prayer life: Will I wake up or not?  Do I have a place?  How do I focus?

Will I wake up or not?  The resounding answer in my head was "no."  I like my sleep.  I want my sleep.  I feel justified in my sleep when I am up with a 2 month old sometimes 8 times a night!  As I am thinking that I don't need to wake up, Pastor Brad asked how we want to start our day.  Obviously, prayer seems like a great option.  Why don't I do this?  I know that there are mornings I pray before I eat my breakfast, but I can't say that I take a set a good amount of time in prayer before God.  I often can't wait to get my cup of coffee and check my emails.  Why am I more excited for that part of my day than stopping to talk to my Creator?

Do I have a place?  As Pastor Brad asked this question I seriously laughed in my head.  Right.  Finding a quiet place without distraction in a house with a two year old and a 2 month old?  Highly unlikely.  Again, as these thoughts are happening my pastor continues with saying that he knows many of us are young parents and that this is tough, however, we cannot wait for our kids to grow older to start praying.  He actually said that it was a matter of life and death.  That hit me square in the eye.  It makes sense.  I should be making a point to pray for my children, my husband, my family.  Why would I wait to ask God to lead their path and to show them grace?  The fact is that I have a place and I need to find a way to spend time in prayer when I won't be distracted.

How do I focus?  This one is so hard for me.  I feel like the minute I start to sit down to pray I began to think of my obligations for the day, my plans for the weekend, or even what I want to post on Facebook next.  Technology can become so unbelievably distracting.  I know I can focus, but why is it such a difficult task? 

All in all, my prayer life has been something I have been struggling with lately.  I want to be more disciplined in this area of my life and it has been on my heart.  How interesting that this sermon seemed to come at exactly the right now and seemed to speak directly to me.  I use a lot of excuses as to why I can't make this more of a priority, and I really feel that it is pure laziness.

I wish this part of my faith was easier for me.  I wish I was more disciplined and that waking up early was easy to do to spend time with God.  I know it is necessary.  I know that the prayer life I have right now is not the one I want to continue.  So, I hope that I will sit down and make a committment to spend more time talking to God and listening for his answers.   I want my girls to grow up with a vivid image of their mother taking time out of her day to pray. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


2011 is gone and now into 2012! I must say that 2011 turned out to be an amazing year. We welcomed our second baby, Evie, and watched Belle become quite the chatty and active toddler! I completed my masters degree after 3 years of hard work. It's crazy to think that when I started the program I wasn't even pregnant with Belle! How quickly life changes!

I don't tend to like to make resolutions as I am terrible at sticking to them, however in looking forward to 2012 I began to think about what I wanted this year to look like. Basically, the most important parts of my life are my relationships with others. Sometimes I feel I do great at feeding these relationships, and other times I know I get lazy and caught up in my own life. So, this year I want to resolve to improve the most important relationships in my life: God, Paul, my daughters, my friends, and myself.

My relationship with God:
Yes, this should be the relationship I focus on the most, right? Sadly, I must say I do not spend as much time strengthening this relationship as I should. I know that there are days I am physically and mentally exhausted from motherhood, and I justify this as reasons why I can't spend more time reading the Bible and praying. Unfortunately, maybe if I spent more time in the Bible and prayer I might not feel as physically and mentally exhausted....or maybe I will feel the same and the time spent with the Lord will be a much needed refuge from some of my crazy days!

My relationship with Paul:
Marriages always have their ups and downs, and my marriage is no different. This year Paul and I had some great moments, and some not so great moments. All in all, he was my saving grace when Evie was born and we were surprised with a c-section. Sometimes I think it is easy for me to focus on the kids and not take the time to stop and appreciate the man I am married to. I will never forget something my father-in-law said to us in his message to us at our wedding. He challenged Paul and I to "out-love the other." I can say that I haven't been doing much if this lately. I get caught up in what he can do for me and not thinking about what I can do for him. So, this year I resolve to out-love my husband. So far I have committed to making his lunch for him once a week (I know, why not everyday? I have to stick to promises I can keep). I also want to try to thank him for the things he does around the house and let him know I notice. Paul's love language is words of encouragement, so it's time I start speaking his language!

My relationship with my daughters:
I feel that I am a good mom. I often sacrifice my needs for my girls' needs, but I don't always do it with a joyful heart. I want to give to my girls in a less selfish manner. I also want to be better at getting on the floor and playing with them. Laundry can wait (sometimes). Facebook will be there tomorrow. I love the one on one time I have with Belle, but sometimes I think of all of the other things I should be doing around the house. It's time I tell myself that it's okay to leave the bed unmade as long as I am reading books, playing dolls, or singing songs with the girls. Obviously, housework will still need to get done, but I know I can be more proactive in playing with the kids. Heck, maybe I do better at involving them in the housework? Belle is pretty good at helping me dust :)

My relationship with others:
Sometimes I get so caught up in the happenings of my own life that I forget to be engaged in the lives of others. I want to do more to reach out to help my friends and my family. They give so much help to me and the small things make such a difference! It doesn't take much to make things easier on someone else. I resolve to try harder to see what I can do to put a smile on the faces of others.

My relationship with myself:
I must admit that I have been a bit down on myself. My body is not where I want it. I know, I know...I just had a baby. The fact still remains that I want to feel better about the way I look. I want to feel confident. I know I will never be a size 2...heck I'd even be happy with a size 6, but I just want to feel good about myself in the size I am in. I want to embrace this body that has housed two babies. It isn't THAT bad, just a little worn from motherhood, which is well worth the sacrifice. Eventually I want to get back to better eating habits and maybe join Body and Soul again at my church. Along with my body, I want to embrace the things I am good at and not be so hard on myself about the things I am not the best at. Organization is not my forte. I want to embrace this and do the best I can at what I can do without beating myself up that my house is not I'm perfect order. All in all, I want to love myself for my strengths, strive to be better at the things I can, and to quit expecting myself to have it "all together."

So, there you have it! Hopefully by the end of 2012 I can look back over the year and see stronger relationships with God, Paul, my daughters, friends and family, as well as my relationship with myself. I know I won't be perfect, but I don't think I can go wrong with trying.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One Month

This is also a late post, but I wanted to post pics of Evie at one month. She has been such a joy to our family, and I can hardly remember life without her. She sleeps great, and is a very easy baby. I pretty much know that when she cries it is because she is hungry or tired. Otherwise, she likes to hang out and watch what's going on. She is beginning to smile more and is already in 3 months clothes! I have a growing girl!

Belle does great with her! She doesn't try to poke at her or suffocate her with blankets. I feel like I can walk out of the room and not feel that Belle will hurt Evie by loving on her too much. That is a great feeling! Belle pretty much points at Evie and says "is that Evie? Awww, she's cute!"

Here is my little sweetheart at one month old. My, how it has flown by!

Christmas 2012

I know I am a week late on this post, but such is life in my world with two kids.

Our Christmas this year was fabulous. We celebrate with my side of the family the Saturday before Christmas. It is always crazy, especially with 8 grandkids! It is always funny for me to think back to other Christmases and how things have changed in such a short amount of time. Kids sure add a new sense if excitement to Christmas. Santa of course came to visit Meme and Papa's house again this year. Belle was still a bit unsure of him, but at least this time she didn't have a meltdown.

Each year my parents make us work for our Christmas gift. This year it was girls against guys in Minute to Win It games. Unfortunately the guys won, but I proved that I can empty a box of Kleenex in under 20 seconds!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Paul and I decided to spend at home with just out little family of four. We have decided that don't want our children's memories of Christmas to always be of hanging out in the car driving from one place to another. In some ways if feels like we really need to start creating our own family traditions now that there are four of us. I don't know why, but maybe I just feel like adding Evie has made me feel like we are truly our own family unit.

We didn't see much of Paul Christmas Eve. He spent the day at church helping with our four Christmas Eve services. He helped design and create the set of the sanctuary and it was beautiful! The series was called "Illuminate," so being a lighting guy, Paul was in his glory!

Christmas morning I made chocolate croissants. I hope to make this a new family tradition. This was something that Paul ate when he lived in France, so I felt it was fun to make part of our holiday tradition. We opened gifts, which didn't take too long since Belle had 3 gifts and Evie had 1. Paul and I had bought a baby monitor for our gift to each other. We joke about how you know you have kids when your gifts to each other are baby related. We are boring.

Belle got a dollhouse this year, and I think I was more excited than she was. I had more Barbie things as a kid, so this was new to me and I couldn't wait to put it together! It has provided us many hours of entertainment this past week. I can't wait to see Belle and Evie sitting by each other playing in the dollhouse in a couple years!

Our last Christmas party was with the Thompson side. It was a whirlwind day, as we did the trip to Lake Orion and back in one day. In some ways this is easier than packing everyone up overnight and the dog. So much junk goes along with two kids, especially a new baby. We even packed up the swing and the bouncy in the back of the van for the trip since Evie loves them so much! We might be crazy, but I'd rather be prepared!

Time with the Thompson side was loads of fun. Belle loved running around after here cousin, Caden. She is finally at an age where she can actually be a fun playmate for him. Every year we eat raclette for lunch. This is one of my most favorite meals of the year! Imagine melted cheese poured over meats and veggies. It's sooooo good! Paul and I definitely learned that life with two kids is much busier and sitting down for a meal isn't as relaxing, however, being with family is nice because there were always willing arms to hold Evie while we ate.

Our Christmas this year was so much fun, and a great time with family. We often talk about how nice it is that we get along so well with both sides of our families. We like being with our families, which makes this time of year more enjoyable. Watching Belle open gifts this year was much more exciting as she understood it more. She is learning that Christmas has something to do with a baby named Jesus and singing to him "Happy Birthday."

I hope everyone had as great of a Christmas as we did! Now, time for loads if pics to match this LONG post.