Sunday, December 28, 2014

Books 2014 Part 2


The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott (I would recommend, dramatic era read, although slow at parts)
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Toxic by Sara Shepard
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (Read aloud to Sam)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (Read aloud to Sam)
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (very Downton Abby feel to it)
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Read aloud to Sam)
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (Read aloud to Sam)
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (Read aloud to Sam)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore
Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
Organizing You by Shannon Upton (Fun planner tips, I would recommend)
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (if you liked his Cloud Atlas, I think you'd like this one too)
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (read aloud to Sam)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (recommend)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (post apocalyptic, very readable, a little fluffy)
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Heiresses by Sara Shepard
Touching Wonder by John Blase
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

23 books

So 26 from before and these 23 make 49, 3 short of my goal of 52, but I'm still happy with all that I read this year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

She's here :)

Our baby girl, Blake Noelle, was born 4 days early on Tuesday, 11 November. Self admittedly, I had a poor attitude leading up to that day. I thought she was going to be earlier, and when she hadn't come by the 7th, I was convinced she'd be late like her brother, like almost induced late. And if she had, it would have been okay and I should have been grateful, but well, I chose to grumble. I'd like to blame hormones, but I wish I had been a bit more mature. Fortunately, my husband is very patient and I learned a lesson or two myself. God is so good and I'm thankful he's sovereign. 
I woke up to contractions at 1:30AM, my parents came to stay with Sam in the middle of the night and I was in a labor and delivery room by 3:25AM. A few hours later, Blake came at 6:02AM weighing 7lb and 10oz and 20.5 inches. I'm so thankful for our story and for our little girl! 
It was so weird to realize I'm not pregnant, that I can bend again, and we've been pinching ourselves that we have "childREN" and "kidS". She's a good sleeper and eater so far (such a different experience than our first week with Sam) and that really has helped with the transition. Now to refresh on newborn care and re-read some of the great parenting books :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Baby watch

We are on the watch for baby girl now. I just reached 38 weeks, and as she's measuring about a week ahead, I'm definitely hoping that she won't be late. I had a friend at MOPS mention that she loved this unknown time, but I find it stressful. I want to have things ready to go any time, but I'm also a doer and I struggle if I don't have some "project" going on. But I also don't want to stress about not having a project finished, so I try not to start too much. Then I'm not sure how far to look ahead. Do I grocery shop for a few days or just take it day to day? 
I've had a more anxiety this pregnancy in general and find my thoughts and emotions snowballing and I have to ask myself "what's the worst that can happen?" and "what's the rush?" etc, and keep trying to cast those cares to our wonderful Lord. I'm so so thankful how healthy we've been and there's not much longer! 

Until then, we'll be here, taking it day by day :) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Books 2014


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman (recommend)
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (recommend)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos (a re-read)
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale (Weird and creepy, but I kinda liked it)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Every Day by David Levithan (An interesting idea that I think I enjoyed)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun
The House Girl by Tara Conklin (I think I liked it)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (too me a really long time to read, but pretty good)
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight (thriller, different to read as a parent)
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (I saw the movie trailer and decided to read it. Really long read and totally not worth it. Don't recommend)
Grimm's Fairy Tales by Wilheim Grimm and Jacob Grimm (read aloud to Sam)
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen (felt like a very grownup book, I wouldn't necessarily recommend)
The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald (read aloud to Sam)
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (read aloud to Sam, which was an odd choice)
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose (don't recommend)
Dorthy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Fun start to a series, easy to read)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (read aloud to Sam)
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (I didn't like as much as her more young adult books, but still easy to read)
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (kept me hooked to find out what happened)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (good read although a little depressing)
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue (I wouldn't recommend, but I struggled with Room too)

26 books so far. I'd kinda like to get in 52 this year, but we'll see what happens :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bright Sadness

It's sunny and beautiful and we are doing a day trip to Greensboro to celebrate a birthday. During this Lent time, our church is doing a Bright Sadness blog with devotionals and I've seen lots of "things to give up" blogs as well. Back in college, my friend Annie and I used to always give up chocolate or sugar. It was really hard for us, but it was nice to have accountability. This time around, I love the idea of giving up being envious, comparing ourselves to others, being a people pleaser, etc. What good ways to focus on being more like Christ.

Monday, February 3, 2014

One year

We had Sam's first birthday party this past weekend (with family and Bible Study and Life Group friends), and his real birthday is in a few days. It's been both a long and a short year. Part of me feels like it flew by, while another part has seen all the changes he's gone through, and totally believe that he's nearly a toddler. We really intended to track his developments month by month, and while I've written little notes throughout the year, we haven't really gotten anything much on the blog. It's been an amazing, challenging, blessed year, and we've laughed so much. I understand mommy guilt now, appreciate our marriage more and more, and still feel like a child myself sometimes. It's both exciting and scary to realize what a big role I get to be in Sam's life. I've been reading a few parenting books that a good friend recommended and so glad I did. It's really inspired me to remember pointing Sam to Christ, to be a good example, to know that hard times are worth it, and keep giving the glory to God. The future looks bright :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Change needed, again


Today was a bit of a tough day. (And this right here, it's going to be a rant. Take that as fair warning. If you're not feeling it, you can skip the other paragraph, it's more uplifting.) I felt like I just kept missing. Sam's first nap was an hour later than I was expecting (based on how long he had been up and his behavior). After lunch, I knew I needed to leave the house, so Sam and I headed to Target, but we left before I got everything on my list because Sam was crabby, although he normally likes errands. I saw an old roommate and was weird with her. Sam doesn't fall asleep for his second nap until 2 hours later. I spent a lot of time listening to him cry over the monitor, cramming chocolate truffles, pretzels, and other things I found lying around the kitchen (somehow missed the apples) into my mouth. After several trips of lying him back down, trying to read or rock to him, and continuing to try to keep those little hips from turning so he could get on his knees, he finally fell asleep. And I'm left feeling a little empty. I've been blessed to be able stay at home, and I love it, but sometimes it's hard realizing most days are going to look similar. The things I check off (taking care of the dogs, feeding Sam, laundry, keeping parts of the house clean, picking up toys, errands, etc.) are things that will be repeated the next day and the next day. There's not a lot of evidence that I'm doing things, much less whether I'm doing anything well. Sometimes I really struggle to not find my identity here, in being a stay at home mom. Sometimes it's really busy and sometimes it's a little boring and sometimes timing is just off. I meant to do some work on the laptop, but I missed my window and Sam is fixated on pressing the buttons or slamming it open and shut. I was going to blow dry my hair, but Sam's up and he's currently afraid of loud noises, and you just can't hold a baby while you blow dry your hair (if you can, I'm impressed). On a more serious level, I've let my head be busy and noisy. I keep music on, and think about the now and the future a lot. Basically, I've really started sucking at praying and it makes me really sad. There's sometimes where I realize, just pray about it, and I almost don't know how. I don't really know how to explain it. So that's where I'm at. Pity party over, I have an amazing, hard-working, supportive husband who listens to me better than I could have hoped for. I have a beautiful little boy who makes me smile every day. There are these two fluffy dogs who follow us around and trust us. And I want to work hard for my little family. I want to point them to Christ, to be the heart of the family, and bring the peace that can only be from God. I want to be a part of my extended family, our community, and an authentic friend. I desire to get past my funk, this day, and to move upward and onward.

And God's mercies are new every morning. He can transform us by the renewal of our minds. We don't need a new year or a new week to get started. We don't need to detox, we just give it all to him.  Thank the Lord that He will forgive us, that He is waiting and that He is so good.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Books: Final of 2013

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (a happy ending!)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (acceptable ending to a trilogy, but not perfect)
The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
Champion by Marie Lu
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) Still cruder than HPs, but a good read
Winds of Salem by Melissa de la Cruz
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)
Deadly by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars book...)
Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond (I really struggled with the first few chapters, it was really hard to get past the generalizations and bitter diatribes against "today's parenting" and "1960s psychologists", and advice of "What would Grandma do". But after that there was some good advice, about discipline, keeping a long term goal in mind, and keeping marriage first. I would recommend.)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (read aloud to Sam)

53 from before, 10 now, 63 for the year.