Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tiny Tux

As I mentioned, my little sis got married this past weekend.  It was a beautiful wedding and everything went perfectly.  I am so glad she married the man she did.  The Lord has been so good to bring good men into the lives of the girls in my family.  Here is handsome E in his tiny tux.

Emerson was as handsome as ever and he did so well for the wedding.  He rode a wagon down the aisle.  You never know how little kids will do in a situation like that, but a few Cheerios did just the trick! I wish I had more pictures of him with his tux, including the jacket, but I forgot my camera at Olive Garden, so I didn't have it with me.  Thankfully we were able to recover it!  So this photo was taken by my father-in-law.  Thanks, Mike!  (He's the paparazzi type that always has his camera aimed and ready to shoot!)

In other news, we found out my older sister is having a baby GIRL!!  This was a shocker because our family is currently full of little boys.  We need some little girls to balance it out.  They had a gender reveal party last night, which was so fun.  They had a giant box filled with the appropriate colored balloons (pink or blue) and then they busted open the top to see them fly out.  Our whole family was wearing blue shirts (our prediction of the gender), except for Caleb and my brother-in-law (the father) who predicted pink.  It seems Caleb is a much better predictor than me.  As soon as we saw the pink balloons, we all just screamed! 

I am super excited, because we are going camping this weekend for Memorial Day.  We are going to Mt. Magazine, which is apparently the most populated area of black bears in Arkansas.  Wish us luck!  I think camping will be really fun this summer, because both the baby boys in the family are old enough to have non-disrupted sleep and they LOVE the outdoors.  I'm sure there will be more pics to come!  Have a good weekend, friends!  See you next week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Three years, folks, is how long I've been married to my amazing husband.  Today is our anniversary.  I don't really know where to begin to express what I love about him.  Sure, he has those good qualities that you notice about him right off.  But Caleb is the type that the longer I know him, the more I realize what a blessing it was for God to let me marry him.  I've always known he was gentle and loving.  The longer I've been with him, the more I've seen his patience and slowness to become angry.  Seeing him as a father has allowed me to see his faithfulness, goodness, and wisdom.

When you first become married, you have those butterflies and that giddiness.  You feel warm fuzzies about getting to live with your best friend and do life with them.  You think it is neat that you can cuddle before you drift off to sleep or that they are the first person you see every morning.  You always have a friend to hang out with when you are at home. 

The longer you are married, the more that giddiness and excitement goes away.  But then you get a chance to experience real love.  The love that you committed to on that wedding day.  You experience a more seasoned love.  I choose to believe that a marriage ages well, like wine.  The longer you are married, the more you know your spouse.  Better than you know anyone else on the planet.  I have mostly liked what I've gotten to know in my husband.  It is by the grace of God that I've ended up with him.  I am so grateful.

Most of you know this by now, but Caleb recently switched jobs.  His prior job could be pretty demanding of his time.  For the first time since getting married, our marriage felt strained and I felt like a single mother at times.  We had one particular month that was the hardest month we'd ever had as a married couple.  Needless to say, God laid on our hearts that we should start searching for another job.  Within two weeks a door opened!  God was so faithful to provide.

After the fact, I realized that this decision revealed so much about Caleb's character and his priorities.  Many men in our culture would not choose family over work.  Caleb was faithful to act on his beliefs, rather than settle for less than the best.  I think he was brave for making that decision.

This past year was the best year yet.  We got to see each other as parents.  We transitioned into the work world and made big decisions together.  I think this past year brought us closer together and strengthened our marriage.  I hope each year in our future does the same.  My love continues to deepen for Caleb.  Happy Anniversary, babe!  Thanks for being my man :)

I look forward to growing old with you...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Emerson's World

Hi friends!  I had a wonderful mother's day... I think being a mommy is the most amazing, rewarding job I could ever do.  I know it will probably be the biggest ministry in my whole life.  I feel very blessed.  I haven't given an Emerson update in awhile, so I thought I would tell you all what is going on in his little world.

-Words: daddy, mama (still only sometimes), dog, ball, duck, car, cracker, book, Bible, papa, cup, bye-bye, bike, bag, bath, wow, whoa, uh-oh, bug, uh-huh (as in yes), clock, truck, block
-Animal sounds: dog, elephant, snake, monkey, duck, lion, sheep, cow, tiger, and sometimes cat.  He is also into making car/plane/train (machinery in general) sounds. 
-He enjoys the new hobby of coloring, which is nice because it is something that requires him to be still.  Good for long car rides and restaurants.
-He also enjoys the new hobby of climbing and doing anything that might possibly result in falling and/or injury.  I still don't know whether I'm supposed to get onto him or just let him do it and learn, chalking it up to him just being a boy! He is ALL BOY.
-He has been obsessed with balls since he was about 5 months, when I brought home a blue, bouncy ball from the store.  Recently, he has been determined to teach himself to dribble the ball.  The other day he dribbled a basketball 7-8 times.  He looked so little, considering the ball was about half his size. 
-He is learning how to eat with a spoon and gets most of the food in his mouth.  It's a work in progress.
-His schedule is getting more flexible the older he gets.  We can leave home with less "stuff".  We can leave home for longer periods of time.  He does well at restaurants.  He can stay up later.  He is a little more flexible with naps.  It feels like a little more freedom. 

Caleb recently compared Emerson's busyness to a Family Circus cartoon.

I thought it was a very accurate observation.

And a few videos for you :)

I am marrying my little sis off this weekend, so you probably won't hear from me for several days.  Wedding festivities begin on Thursday and I am super excited.  You will probably see some picture of little man in a tux here soon though :)  Presh.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Song in the Morning

Let this rich Psalm wash over you and may it be the song of your heart today :)

Psalm 95

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness.
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof,
though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation and said,
"They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways."
Therefore, I swore in my wrath,
"They shall not enter my rest."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Life

I haven't been the best at posting pictures to the ol' blog lately.  So, this post will purely consist of pictures of life as of late.  These piano photos were taken at my in-laws' house.  This piano was made in 1901 and rumor has it, we get the piano when we get a house.  I'm so excited about this :)  Emerson, just practicing his scales. 

Our rose bush is in full bloom these days, so I've been trying to keep some fresh cut flowers in our house.  I gave Emerson a rose and this is immediately what happened.  That's a boy for ya!

He has been a ham lately.  In the picture below, he is using a foam piece (formerly a piece of packaging) to act like an elephant.  He was cracking us up.  After he saw that he got a reaction out of us, he proceeded to do it over and over.  

We've continued to play outside everyday and have enjoyed the cooler weather.  I took this picture to try to capture how dirty Emerson gets when he plays with his sidewalk chalk.  It's hard to tell though.  Basically, it was all over his clothes and face.  He looked like he had lipstick on.

We went to get ice cream tonight as a family.  Mostly because mommy needed to get out of the house.  This was the first time we've gone to get ice cream as a family :)  Emerson definitely loved the outing.  

Emerson keeps me on my toes, for sure.  The older he gets, the more I see his mischievous side.  To be honest, sometimes I miss the innocent baby phase.  So much of this age consists of discipline.  I have to remember that parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.  I am reading the book The Mission of Motherhood right now, which helps encourage me when I feel like all my work is unfruitful.  However, I am so grateful for each day I get to spend with my little boy.  He is one of the biggest joys in my life and he is growing up much faster than I would like. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Makeovers and Salads

Hey folks!  Like the new look?  Thanks to my hubby, this blog got a total makeover :)  At Caleb's new job he is learning how to design websites, so he helped design this new look!  We still have a few edits to make, but his new skills definitely come in handy for me!  I intend to write more on his new job soon.  I'm overdue to update you all on that..  Also, the family photos we had taken were by Alison Herron.  I just wanted to make sure she received credit.  We are so pleased with the pictures and we highly recommend her to any of you! 

But tonight, I have to share with you this a-mazing new recipe we tried last night.  It is totally a do-againer (as we call them in our house).  Have you ever had a salad with warm dressing and toppings?  It might sound a little scary to you, but just try it.  You WILL not regret it, I tell ya.  Caleb and I were inhaling it.  This recipe came from my Country Living magazine.

Spinach Salad with Bacon and Roasted Mushrooms


8 slices bacon, cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch pieces
4 C sliced mushrooms (about 8 oz)
1 red onion, cut into slices
3 T olive oil
2 T lime juice
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
8 C spinach

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle bacon onto 2 baking pans.  Scatter mushrooms and onion over bacon.  Cook for 15-20 min, stirring halfway through.
2.  When the time is almost up, combine olive oil, lime juice, oregano, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds.
3.  Place spinach in a large bowl.  Sprinkle bacon mixture over spinach and drizzle warm dressing over salad.  Toss to combine.

Honestly, this is one of the best salads I've ever had.  And Caleb and I thought it felt heartier and more like a meal than many other salads.  Please, try it :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sweet Spring

Emerson and I have been finding ourselves playing outside early in the cool morning since the warm summer is moving in.  This morning we went out to play right after Caleb left for work.  The grass was still wet and the humidity felt a little sticky.  But we went on a walk down the street into an older part of the neighborhood.  I decided I like older neighborhoods.  There was a yard sale going on and older folks were there.  We often have this sweet, old man who goes on walks in the mornings with his walker.  The smell of honeysuckle has been THICK this week.  And birds sure were chirping this morning.  Older neighborhoods also tend to have large trees.  I like that.  It was a good morning.  I think I almost strolled Emerson to sleep.  He's down for his morning nap now.  I hope we get to live in an older home one day.  We'll see.

This past weekend Caleb and I had an anniversary trip to Kansas City.  The highlights of the trip, in my opinion, were the cozy bed and breakfast, a delectable little chocolate shop, some late night jazz music, and the city market on Saturday morning.  The lowlight was leaving Emerson for the first time overnight.  I think it was a lot harder on me than him.  I'm glad we did it.  But it just didn't feel natural.  It didn't help that this past weekend was when Emerson was officially weaned.  I am not one of those people who feels "free" now that he is weaned.  I may even miss it a tiny bit.  We just had a very good nursing experience and I knew it was so comforting to him and it made me feel like I was able to nurture him and meet his needs.  It is bittersweet for it to end.  I came to the conclusion that God designed mothers to have such a deep love and affection toward her children (which makes it hard to leave them and wean them).  It is good God gave us this affection, because it is our nature to care for them and meet their needs.  If we weren't designed like this then there would be many more neglected babies out there.  God's design is good.

A sneak peak from our family pics.  I am hoping to get a blog makeover with these new pics soon.