Friday, February 26, 2010

This is Nuts.

So, some of you know that J is in a Christian band along with Ryan, Renee, and Kelsey. Well technically, I'm "in the band" too, but I'm not one of the singers {I handle merch and help with advertising and booking} but that is SO not relevant to the point of this post.

There's this little town in Southern Oregon called Talent {and just for the record, if you're a crazy stalker, we don't live there}. This weekend, America's Got Talent is holding open auditions in Portland. But they're holding closed auditions in Talent tomorrow, which I'm sure is part of a segment called something like "Does Talent have talent?".

Y'all see where this is going, right?! 

The band was one of 50 acts invited to come to the closed auditions and show their stuff.

Tomorrow. At 1:45pm. Seriously....crazy.

I almost didn't post this because I didn't want to "jinx" things. But then I decided that by posting this, I can enlist prayers from y'all. Not prayers that they'll advance on to the next round, but prayers that God's Will {whatever that may be} be done in this!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

C'mon Get Happy


So, I've been tagged/awarded this award by several different bloggers lately. I apologize in advance if you tagged me and I don't list that you tagged me (can I pull the new mom card on this one?)...I know there are more that I'm not remembering. But, I know that I've been tagged by Lisa at Little to Big, Krystie at One Fabulous Day, and Amy at The Mistress of Oxford

Anyway, the point of the award is to list 10 things that make me happy. Like Lisa, I'm taking things literally, and listing things, rather than people/emotions. 

1. My Canon Rebel XS- For me, taking pictures has always been extremely relaxing. I love capturing those little moments that make you look back and smile. I love that my sweet husband supports this love, and the investment that a dslr camera was. I love that there's always so much to learn about my camera and photography in general.

2. The Ocean- I am a total water girl. Lakes, rivers, pools, you name it. If I could be on the water every day during the summer, I would. That said, my favorite body of water is the ocean. There's just something so calming about standing at the edge of the water and letting the waves wash over your feet. And then as the tide recedes, it almost feels like you're flying, even though your feet are actually sinking deeper and deeper in the sand. Again, it's so relaxing to me. And I haven't been in FAR too long. 

3. Purple Irises- Of all flowers, purple irises hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of my mom's mom, who has since passed away. Plus, I think they're absolutely beautiful. Give me purple irises over roses any day. 

4. Lemon Meringue Pie- My mom makes a lemon meringue pie unlike any other I've ever tasted. The meringue has marshmallow fluff in it, and it is delicious. I used to request it instead of cake every year for my birthday....but I haven't had it in a really long time. I'm always tempted to make it, except that Justin doesn't like lemon meringue, and I would totally eat the whole pie by myself. 

5. Used book stores- I could literally spend an entire day wandering around the used book store, running my fingers over the bindings of the books, pulling random books off the shelf to read the first page or two. In the used book store, I get lost in my own thoughts. 

6.Getting the heart pumping- It's only been recently that I've really realized how happy I am when I'm able to be active. I really used to hate exercising and saw it as a chore that had to be done. Sometimes I still struggle with actually getting my butt off the couch to get moving, but now I can at least recognize how much better I feel when I do get up and get going. 

7. Bones- Justin and I *LOVE* the tv show Bones. Its smart, funny, and sometimes pretty hot. J and I love to curl up on the couch on Thursday nights and watch it together. Well, now sometimes it's Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon...gotta love the DVR. And I also can't wait for the rumored awesomeness that is the 100th episode. 

8. Tall Length Jeans- Oh, how I love a 36 inch inseam. Seriously, I get giddy. That said, I *hate* the fact that I always have to buy them online and consequently pay shipping. It's hard enough to pants shop as a tall girl--cut us a break! 

9. Wakeboarding- It should come as no surprise that another water-related activity shows up on my list. I love wakeboarding. I'm not all that good at it, but it is just so fun. Hopefully I'll actually get to do it this summer! 

10. Fearless by Max Lucado- Such an encouraging book. I love how Max Lucado blends the Word with great (and funny!) stories about real life.

And now, to tag some others....

Laura at The Luckiest
Mrs. Messi at Mrs. Messi's Musings
Lindsay at The Ward Family

Executive Decision


A lot of you said you'd be interested in doing the 12 Weeks to Better Photography tutorials, and I'm really excited about it! This is a great opportunity to learn, encourage each other, and give constructive criticism. I know that at least some of the tutorials talk about using a point and shoot camera, so I don't think it's necessary to have a DSLR to participate. I'm not sure if every challenge can be done without a DSLR, but I know that at least some of them can be done without one. 

Here's the deal....

1. Let's make Tuesday the designated day to share our progress on the assignments. We'll start this next Tuesday March 2nd with our pictures from the first lesson, which can be found here.

2. Each Tuesday, I'll give a brief summary of the tutorial, and share my pictures. Then I'll add a McLinky to the bottom of each post. Post your picture assignments on your blog, and then add the url to that post (not your blog in general) to the McLinky. Feel free to steal the "12 Weeks" badge above for your posts.

3. Please also take the time to visit the blogs of others who have participated, and leave comments, pointers, constructive criticism, etc.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

6 Weeks Post-Partum

So. Six weeks postpartum looks and feels a lot like four weeks postpartum. To be honest, I haven't really lost any more weight. Maybe a pound or two depending on when I weigh myself. I feel really lumpy. I can definitely see the extra remaining weight in my hips and belly.

In terms of other postpartum stuff, the lochia has finally stopped...thank the lord! That stuff is just nasty. Blech. That said, I'm gonna be honest that pooping still hurts most of the time...and by 'hurts', I mean REALLY hurts. Like giving birth hurts (and I am not exaggerating here). Apparently, this can be normal depending on the degree of tear and what not. Also, I have developed hemorrhoids. I didn't have them at ALL during the whole pregnancy...but I have them now. Awesome. 

As far as breastfeeding goes, it's getting much easier as time goes on. I have a nursing cover (I just bought one from Target), which makes it easier and less stressful for me to nurse in public. That said, I'm still not always comfortable nursing in public...say in the middle of church....because Lizzy screams bloody murder while we're switching sides. If it doesn't happen instantaneously, she's not happy and has a cow. She also HATES to be burped, and usually screams bloody murder during that as well. So, I often try to pump enough that J can feed her at least once over the weekend. It's usually at church. Every once in awhile, my nipples will start to hurt again, but I think that's mostly because I get lazy about enforcing a good latch. When I do, they usually start to feel much better. 

I just got the okay to exercise on Monday, and I since worked out Monday and Tuesday. I mentioned yesterday that I wasn't sore after working out on Monday...but by last night, I was definitely feeling it in my quads. I used to have a hard time motivating myself to work out, but posting these pictures is actually a great motivator! In fact, even though today is supposed to be my "day off", I actually want to do something active. I feel better about myself when I do. I also finally broke down and bought a pair of clearance jeans from Old Navy (online, to get the talls). Maybe they'll hold in my belly better than the elastic panel on the maternity jeans? 

Speaking of holding in one's belly....I used to wonder why most moms I knew wore their pants (even pajamas or sweats) fairly high. Even ones that used to be the queens of low rise pants seemed to wear their pants much higher after having a baby. Now I know. Higher pants = Belly Held In = Less Lumpy.

12 Weeks to Better Photography

I found this great photography tutorial online called "12 Weeks to Better Photography". I've found that I know to do a lot of this, but I'm not always great about articulating WHY I'm doing it. This is a great refresher of the basics.

You can find the first tutorial here.  To see the rest of the lessons, just change the last part of the url that says "weekone" to "weektwo" or whichever week you'd like to look at. Today, I wanted to show you my shots from Week Two, which deals with ISO and Shutter Speed.

Shutter speed is exactly what it sounds--how quickly the shutter of your camera opens and closes to capture the picture. If the shutter is open for a long amount of time, if there's any movement in the picture, it will be blurry (see the left hand picture). If the shutter is open for a shorter amount of time, it will freeze any action in the picture (see the right hand picture). The trade off here is of course that if the shutter is open for a shorter amount of time, less light gets in, which is why the picture on the right is darker than the picture on the left (which could have been fixed if I were shooting in manual, but I wanted you to see the change in brightness).

Now, you can leave your shutter open for much longer than 1/80 of a second. In fact, my camera allows me to leave the shutter open for a full 30 seconds. However, if you drop below about 1/60 sec. while holding your camera, you run the risk of the entire picture being blurry, rather than just the movement. This is where tripods come in (I don't have one though so I can't demonstrate). Also, because the shutter is left open so long, you run the risk of overexposing the picture, or letting too much light in. There are ways around this, but that's another matter for another day.

If you have a DSLR and want to control the shutter speed but let the camera figure out the rest of the settings for you, you'll want to turn the knob on your camera to "TV" (some cameras have an "S" instead). Give it a try!

PS- Would anybody be interested in doing the full 12 weeks and posting the pictures once a week? I could host it and set up a McLinky to link to your blogs if anyone is interested...which day would be best?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some Snippets

-I had my six week postpartum appointment yesterday. It was super fast, and didn't even involve an exam. Basically, it involved me getting a prescription for birth control. I'm trying out the Mini Pill. I was on the pill for years prior to becoming pregnant, and I think that I was late taking a pill twice. Here's hoping it doesn't turn me into a psycho crazy person. If you've had babies, what did you do for birth control after?

-I was also given the green light to work out, which I did yesterday. I didn't feel like I should jump right into the 30 Day Shred, so I did the Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD yesterday. It felt good, but I'm not super sore today...and I like to be sore. I know I'm working out hard then! I may try 30 Day Shred today. We'll see. For now, I'm stuck with if you have a favorite, I'd love to hear about it!

-Lizzy is going through her 6 week growth spurt, which means that she's been exceptionally fussy lately. Sometimes she's just inconsolable--she's fed, changed, burped, being held, and still just cries. You know that song we used to sing when we were younger, "Sally and Bob sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G..."? Well, I have made up my own lyrics that I sing to Lizzy when she's a fussy butt. It goes like this:

Little Miss Lizzy sitting in a tree 
First comes a whimper
Then comes a cry
Then comes a scream with tears in her eyes

She's such a sweetie, and I always wish that I knew what to do for her when she gets fussy like this! I just keep telling myself that these growth spurts only last a few days and then we'll be back to normal.

-Can I request some prayers? My family is going through a pretty rough time with one of my siblings. I know that's pretty vague, but prayers for reconciliation would be really helpful.

-I'm still waiting for the band's taxes to come back so that I can do ours. I just want to get them done and out of the way! Plus, I'd really like our refund please and thanks.

Look Alike

Whenever I post pictures of Lizzy, I'm always kind of surprised how many people say, 'she looks just like you!', because I actually don't think she looks that much like me in terms of her facial features...I think she looks a lot like Justin, especially when he was a baby. Here's one example--J is on the left and Lizzy is on the right.

Here's a couple others of Justin as a newborn that remind me a lot of Lizzy: 


What do you guys think? See any resemblance? 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Weekend Photos Part 2

So, y'all already saw pictures of Payton's birthday party on Saturday (ps- check out her momma's blog here). On Sunday, we headed over to my parents' house to celebrate my dad's birthday a day early. Happy birthday dad!

Here's some photos that I snapped from Sunday. The lighting wasn't great in the restaurant, so there's a lot of noise going on since I was shooting with the Nifty Fifty lens, but I still like 'em!

The birthday "boy"

My brother with Lizzy


Lizzy and my mom


J and I. So not loving how chubby my face still looks, but what can you do? 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday Weekend Photos

Nope, it's not my birthday. But over the weekend, we celebrated both my oldest niece's birthday, and my dad's birthday. Such a great weekend filled with family and fun...and a great opportunity for me to take pictures :) I LOVE taking pictures...such a relaxing thing for me. Here's a few from Payton's birthday:

Payton is such a big girl compared to my little bitty one!
Payton 5th

So is my nephew Logan...
Payton 5th (2)

Payton 5th (4)

Justin's Dad making faces at our Lizard
Payton 5th (8)

Payton 5th (11)

Payton 5th (21)

Justin and Ryan playing Redneck Horseshoes
Payton 5th (18)

Payton 5th (20)

Pictures from my dad's birthday celebration to come...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Life Fail.

Friday was not the best day for me. It was one of those days where everything felt like it just kept going wrong. Here are a few of the things:

-Lizzy has recently learned how to fight sleep, which she did ALL DAY today. And she'd be so tired that she'd be screaming her head off, but I could not get her to stay asleep for the life of me! She'd finally konk out, and then wake up about a minute later. It was awesome. 

-We cannot refinance, because our loan is not owned by Freddie or Fannie, and the value of our home has dropped about $30,000, which means that we owe more than the home is worth. Awesome. We would qualify for a modification, but it would only decrease our monthly payment by $50/ month....which just doesn't seem worth the battle with B of A. I've already spent about 24 hours on the phone with B of A, and we've accomplished nothing. It's just not worth the time.

-After that, J and I stopped to grab a quick dinner. I ordered my usual, and wolfed it down. It wasn't until I was in the car on the way home that I realized that I had ordered and drank a soda with dinner. Not even a week in, and I (unintentionally) failed at my Lent commitment to give up soda.

-And lastly, we got the bill for the anesthesiologist from Lizzy's delivery. Yeah, any guesses at the cost? Over $1,000 freaking dollars, and that's AFTER insurance paid their portion. Again, that's just for the anesthesiologist. And there is apparently a 9% APR on the bill--I didn't know that was even legal. That is almost enough to make me pause and consider going natural on the next one. And then I remember the pain, and think that although this is freaking highway robbery, it's probably worth it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Sweetest Thing (And More)

Justin is not always the most romantic person in the world, but every once in awhile, he'll do something that will just melt my heart. Here's the most recent thing (I think you can click on the picture for full size):


Also, I've already blogged about the quilt that my mom made for Lizzy. But Justin's mom also made one for Lizzy that we just got last Sunday. It's also amazing:


And just because I can:






-On Wednesday, I finally got to go to the Mom's Group. I loved it. There's such an awesome and diverse group of women, ranging from 20's to 50's. Some have had kid, some have adopted kids, some are foster parents. It's just an awesome thing. On Wednesday, they had a speaker from the library come--they're trying to re-start a program for infants and "wobblers" at the library. All our local libraries closed two years ago when the county stopped funding them, and since they've re-opened, all the programs haven't started back up. I hope that this one re-starts. I'd love to line up some things to do with Lizzy that don't cost an arm and a leg.

-I was also shocked to learn that there's actually a pool in our town. I don't know that I've mentioned that I live in a little itty bitty town. Like, there's not even a Starbucks small. Anyway, I didn't know that there was an indoor pool that offers infant swim classes at a pretty reasonable ($28/ month) price. They're in the evenings, which means that J and I could both potentially go. We have to wait until she's a little older--I think 4 or 6 months. I'm excited though. I love the water and would like to get her comfortable around it as early as possible.

-Today we're meeting with someone about possibly refinancing our mortgage. We had previously been working with B of A (who our mortgage was through) on a mortgage modification. I guess we qualified under the Making Home Affordable program. But, for the past six months they've been supposed to be sending us paperwork that hasn't ever arrived. Every time I call, it's "in the mail". Sure. So, we decided that it was time to go see someone in person (you have to do a modification over the phone apparently). I'm hopeful that we'll be able to refinance, but with how much housing has depreciated, I'm suspecting we won't be able to. But it's worth a shot, right?

-Also, I mentioned previously that Lizzy slept through the night. Well, that isn't something that she does with any regularity. For the most part, she still wakes up at least twice to eat. But occasionally, she won't. And I really battle with whether or not to wake her. On one hand, the pediatrician told us that we're supposed to wake her at least every 5 hours to feed at night. On the other hand, I know that babies aren't going to starve themselves, and plenty of women let them sleep through the night with no problem. I'm just a by-the-rules girl, and I have a hard time not following them! I still feel a little guilty for not waking her up sooner last night--she ate at about 8:30pm, and then was OUT until 4am. She didn't even wake up because she lost her pacifier! But yeah, I kind of feel like a bad mom for letting her go almost 8 hours without eating.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's better than bacon?

I think I've mentioned before that Justin loves bacon. Like, seriously loves bacon. I can't tell you how many times I've made something for dinner, and he'll say, "This is good, but do you know what would make it better? Bacon."

Justin and my dad discovered Jim Gaffigan awhile ago, who does a whole bit on bacon, and since then, the bacon obsession has increased exponentially.

Justin also recently discovered CafePress, and today the following arrived in the mail--bacon garb for himself, Lizzy, and Jaxon (Kaitlin and Jesse's son who is due this summer). Also included in the picture is a bacon wallet, courtesy of my dad. Yes, you read that correctly. A bacon wallet. I didn't even know such a thing existed!

Now I'm trying to decide which t-shirt to order college, my nickname was "Giraffe" because I am tall and exceptionally clumsy. There are a TON of witty giraffe t-shirts that I've almost ordered. My favorite is this one that Lisa found, but it's out of print. Sad day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Give It Up

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is typically observed by Catholic churches, and by some Protestant churches. It marks the 40 days prior to Easter, and is in observance of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert while being tempted. Being that the Lutheran church is probably one of the closest denominations to the Catholic church, it's definitely something that we grew up observing in the Lutheran church. It's also one of my 101 in 1001 goals to give something up for Lent this year.

Not all Lutherans give something up for Lent (J doesn't), but I have for some time. Last year, I gave up chocolate (minus hot chocolate, which was admittedly a bit of a cop out). This year, I'm giving up soda. Oh, my beloved Coca-Cola/Diet-Cherry Pepsi/Doctor Pepper. I've been indulging in you far more often than I'd like. And lately, I find myself feeling like I "need" you. It's time for some space. I would say "It's not you, it's me", but that's just not true--it's you AND me. And we need a break.

I haven't quite decided what qualifies as "soda"--carbonation? Caffeine? Does lemonade from the soda fountain count? Does 7-up? Seltzer water? I'm still working on that. Any feedback?


People often ask why I choose to give something up for Lent when it isn't a requirement of our faith. This blog sums it up fantastically.

Do you observe Lent? And if so, are you giving anything up?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Snippets

- We had a busy weekend this past weekend. My aunt and uncle were visiting from Portland, and so we popped over to my parents house on Friday and Saturday (I'm also there right now). It was fun to introduce Lizzy to them, and to spend time talking, laughing, eating, and playing Smartass (our favorite board game).

-Lizzy also saw her first movie, The Lightning Thief. I was worried how she'd do in the theater, but she slept the whole time.

-She also slept through the night last night! However, I probably slept worse than ever because I kept waking up wondering why she hadn't cried and if she was still breathing. But she was just fine every time that I got up to check on her. Obviously!

-Justin gave me a "boquet" of chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine's Day. They are delicious.

-I finished reading "The Weight of Water" by Anita Shreve. It took me quite awhile, but it was good. Again, I kind of felt like the book spent so much time building up to the climax, and so little time resolving it. But I still enjoyed her writing style enough to pick up two mroe of her books from the used book store--how could I resist when they were on the $1 shelf?!

-I'm trying to decide whether or not to do a garden this year. I had a mini container garden last year, but I didn't really enjoy it. Probably because it was just one more thing to do once I got home from work. I'm thinking about doing a real in-ground garden this year...there's something so satisfying about having fresh produce, and I also want us to get in the habit of eating more whole foods from scratch. If you garden, what do you plant?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Photo of the Day

I've mentioned before that Lizzy really likes music. 
I'll turn it on, and she just goes to town kicking and moving her arms. 
She definitely has her preferences,
She calms right down to Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World". 
But she also likes The Foo Fighters and Barenaked Ladies, 
Which I'm appalled to learn are now considered "classic rock". 
A few mornings ago, we were listening to some "classic rock"
and I snapped this shot (with my beloved Nifty Fifty lens). 

I love this picture.
Somehow, I can picture this very expression, 
When she's in high school, and dancing to her favorites. 
But most of all, she just looks so happy. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shop With Me--Old Navy

First of all, I really don't understand this:
Really? Really?! I thought the "Rompers For Adults" trend finally ended two years ago? 

These are even more outrageous: 


Sometimes I just don't understand what's in style these days. {PS-That statement cracks me up because I vividly remember my dad saying that when I was in middle school and wanted to buy some Converses).

On to what I like--where were these last summer while I was pregnant? Though, they may come in handy this summer as well with the nursing business. 

I'm still tempted (again) to order these Gauchos from you since they actually come in Talls. Does anyone have them? Do you like them? 


If you had a $50 Gift Card from Old Navy, what would you buy? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Normal Day...

 Awhile back, Lisa (my college roommate extraordinaire) sent me some love all the way from Norway. She said that maybe the card could be incorporated into the nursery, and eventually, it will be. However, since we still don't use the nursery a ton, the card does me more good placed smack on the middle of my fridge door. Such a good reminder--thanks Lisa! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do You Know Your Colors?

Click Here to take the FM 100 Hue Test to see how well your eyes perceive color. The lower your score, the better you did.

I thought this was really interesting! My score was 7. How did you do?


-I went to buy fabric to make another DIY baby wrap yesterday. I wanted some basic cotton jersery--you know, t-shirt material. It was freaking $8 a yard. No thank you. At that price, I might as well just buy the pre-made wrap.

-I also tried on some jeans, because as I mentioned, nothing seems to fit correctly right now. I also didn't mention that I only had one pair of maternity jeans, and since I wore them all the time, they are a little worse for the wear. Anyway, it was entirely depressing, and I found nothing. Also, I had a heck of a time finding anything over a size 10 in longs. They didn't even have slots for them on the shelves. What, is everyone who is higher than a size 10 short?

-Yesterday, I started reading to Lizzy from The Message bible. I hadn't ever read Genesis in that version, and I found it to be REALLY weird. And kind of inaccurate.

-We need to look into refinancing our house. But the whole process is overwhelming to me. Could we even do it without paying closing costs up front?

-I'm noticing a funny change in dynamic since I started staying home. Before, when we were both working, we'd come home and both be exhausted and not want to go anywhere. Now, I'm rearing to get out of the house--especially for some adult interaction. But Justin is still exhausted and just wants to kick it in front of the TV. I totally understand both points of view...hopefully we'll fall into a better routine here soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Month Postpartum

After lots of debate, I've decided to write about what it's been like for me after giving birth. I haven;t written much about thus because this isn't something that I really WANT to write about (or show pictures of), to be honest, but I feel like it does a disservice to those reading about the pregnancy to not talk about what things are like afterwords. Please be advised that these posts may contain talk of boobs, cervix, uteruses, blood, etc. While it isn't my intent to be graphic, it IS my intent to be honest, which means that sometimes this *might* be graphic. There you have it.

one month postpartum

Yes, those are all stretch marks. UGH. No, I didn't have them all prior to labor and delivery. See folks, there are both pluses and minuses to having a really fast labor and delivery. I'm having a hard time with the stretch marks.

For those following along at home, I gained just about 40 pounds during pregnancy. Two weeks after delivery, I had lost 22 pounds...and the weight loss has pretty much stayed there. It has NOT "melted off" with breastfeeding. I'm trying to stay positive about the fact that I will continue to lose once I'm able to start working out again. Still, my hips seem considerably wider, and I don't know how much of that I'll be able to change. This is also hard because none of my pre-pregnancy pants fit in the hips, but my maternity pants don't fit in other ways. The only pants that fit right now are yoga pants.

I'm happy to report that my tears (I had two--front to back) are finally starting to feel much better. They still itch or sting every once in awhile, but overall, I'm no longer in constant pain, which is good. Going to the bathroom still hurts though.

Breastfeeding is also going much better. There isn't much pain anymore, which is awesome. I've also figured out the pump, and J has successfully given her a bottle, which is good news in terms of me being able to go somewhere (like to get a haircut) for a few hours at a time. The only problem is that I think I have an overactive let-down--Lizzy will sometimes pull off choking, and milk sprays all over both of us. That, coupled with the lochia, makes me feel like I stink all the time. Still, it's sometimes hard to motivate myself to take a shower, because if she's not feeding, I'd rather be eating myself or sleeping (and just for the record, most of my blog commenting happens via cell phone while she's nursing).

That's all I can think of right now...any postpartum questions?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Letter to Lizzy- One Month

Lizzy Girl,

On Sunday February 7th, 2010, you turned one month old! It was a great day overall--first, my favorite football team (The Saints) won the Superbowl. Second, your Dad and I watched in amazement as you rolled over! I don't think that you rolled over on purpose, and I'm not sure that you would even know how to try to do it again, but it was a pretty incredible to watch. I can't believe how much you're growing and doing already!

You still sleep most of the day at this point, but if you aren't sleeping or eating, you're moving like crazy. In the mornings, I'll turn on The Foo Fighters, Oasis, or Audioslave, and you'll kick your legs and wave your arms like crazy. Sometimes, you'll even yell at the top of your lungs. You're not in pain, you're actually quite happy. I like to think that you're just rocking out to the good music already.



You're also doing a great job lifting up your head and supporting your neck. We're both proud of how strong you are already, and how often you want to try, even though it's hard work. I bet you'll be up and crawling sooner than I can imagine (though hopefully not as soon as your mom), and you have lots of cousins who just can't wait to have you running around with them!



You're also still wearing newborn clothes for the most part. Some of them are now almost too small, while others (like your "Ta-Da!" onesie) are still a little big. Welcome to the world of women's sizing Lizzy girl.


Last week, I ate something that didn't agree with you or me, and we both spent most of the day either in bed, or throwing up. Your stomach hurt just as bad as mine did, and you cried so hard. Only this time when you cried, you had real tears. It broke my heart, and all I could do was hold you and cry right along with you. I always used to hear other moms talk about how when their babies were sick, they would gladly take the sickness and pain if they could. I used to think, "Yeah, that's a nice thing to say..." but I wasn't prepared for how much I would mean that with all my heart until I became a mom. I thought that I understood just how deep the love a mom has for her child is, but really, I had no idea. All that I can say that could even come close is that you're loved beyond measure. Not just by me, but by your Dad, and the rest of your family as well. I try to tell you every single day how much we love you, and how there is nothing at all that could ever make us love you any less. I hope you grow up knowing that with all your heart.


Love forever and for always,


Friday, February 5, 2010

Enjoy the Humor of the Situation....

Bonus points for anyone who can tell me where the title of this post comes from!

Anyway, I'm excited that I can now add this button to the blog:

The DIY Show Off

Our Nursery was featured on Roeshel's DIY Show Off blog today! Seriously?! I know that I've said it before, but I was just NOT a crafty person or talented in decorating prior to being the fact that not only did the nursery turn out how I thought (thanks to lots of help from Renee and Justin), but that other people actually like it  [they like me, they really like me!], still kind of boggles my mind.

Anyway, here's the funny part of the whole deal--we rushed and rushed to get the nursery finished before Lizzy arrived....but since she was born, I think she's spent all of a half hour in the nursery, lol! I will say that on the few occasions when I've laid her in the crib, she's quieted right down and just looks at everything. Maybe she likes the contrast between the white crib and the blue walls?

So yeah, Lizzy hasn't used the nursery, and it's become a holding tank for all the gear that we've been given since she was born....I really need to find a way to organize it all!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Photography How-To: Aperture

The secret to taking good pictures straight out of the camera? Knowing about your Aperture. I was going to write a whole post about the Aperture today, but I was pleasantly surprised that Pioneer Woman and I were on the same wavelength today, and she did the dirty work for me. I'm sure she was totally thinking "How could I save Meredith some time today? I know! I'll write a blog post about Aperture!"

Ha. As if The Pioneer Woman even knows who I am. I wish!

Anyway, if you have any interest in photography AT ALL, I'd highly recommend checking out her post-- What The Heck Is An Aperture

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wedded Wednesday- Good Heart

Wedded Wednesday is a collaboration
of married bloggers sharing their inspirations,
anecdotes, struggles and thoughts regarding
the amazing union of two separate people, as one.
See more Wedded Wednesday bloggers at Marital-Bless

One of the most recognized Bible verses is probably 1 Corinthians 13--you know, the "love is patient, love is kind" verse that is read at almost every wedding ceremony you've ever been to. But I want to talk about a different part of that verse today:
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I have a friend and former co-worker Emily, and she and I used to talk about our faith and marriage sometimes. She was (and is) a fantastic source of encouragement, and I still remember one particular conversation that she and I had about marriage. I think Justin and I were having some silly argument, and I was explaining to her why I was mad at him (which I think was that he promised he'd drop off the check for our car payment, had forgotten, and we ended up with a late fee). She responded that she could understand my frustration, but that it was important to remember that Justin came to the situation with a good heart. And it just clicked for me--Emily was totally right. Justin had come to the situation with a good heart. He was trying to take something off my plate. His intent was loving and helpful. Yes, he forgot and didn't follow through, but it wasn't his intent to not pay the car payment on time. And as someone who loves him, my response should have been one of forgiveness and grace, not anger, because again, he had come to the situation with a good heart
After that day, Justin and I talked a lot about remembering that we each come to almost every situation with a good heart. Very rarely, if ever, does either of us come to a situation intentionally trying to upset the other. And once we both talked about remembering each others' good hearts and good intents, I've noticed that we argue much less often. But sometimes, I still have to stop and remember the good-hearted approach. In fact, I did just this morning...

Right after Lizzy was born, I was invited to a Mom's group. I was super, super excited to go to the group, and had been looking forward to it for weeks. The group only meets every couple of weeks, and the next meeting was scheduled for today from 9am-11am. I was in the middle of getting Lizzy and I ready to go this morning, when I got a text from Justin. "I have your car key. I'll try to drop it off later today." 

We only have one car key for the car that I drive. Justin had it. He was on a call and couldn't bring it to me. The mom's group started in 30 minutes. I was stuck. And I was MAD. I saw my cell phone flash that Justin was calling, and I had to take a few deep breaths to keep myself from yelling at Justin. And as I tried to remain calm as I answered the phone, Justin immediately apologized. And as much as I still kind of wanted to yell and scream, I realized that again, he had come into the situation with a good heart--he had my car keys because they also had the mail key on them and he had gotten the mail for me yesterday. He hadn't thought, 'Oh, I don't want Meredith to go to the Mom's Group, I'll take her car key so she can't go.' He had a good heart, and so my response shouldn't be one of anger. I shouldn't hold this mistake over his head the rest of the week. I need to consciously choose to be slow to anger in this situation, because of Justin's good heart. 

So I guess that I want to encourage you all this week to remember that most of the time, your spouse comes to the table with a good heart. And knowing that, would your response to your spouse change in a frustrating situation?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things and Pics

Or, even more snippets and pictures. It's cracking me up that all my posts lately are basically "snippets and photos"--I guess it's pretty indicative of my life the last few weeks, which sometimes feels like a wonderful, crazy, fragmented blur.

-I tried a new drink on Friday night (Dark & Stormy--Dark rum, Ginger Ale, and Lime), which helped me make some progress on number 86 of my 101 in 1001 list. Woo!  Also, I very much liked the drink...though dark rum and I don't always get along so well.

-I took Lizzy to the doctor yesterday for her two week check up. She has surpassed her birth weight by 5 ounces! Woop woop! Still, she's only in the 10th percentile for height and weight. The doctor said that I still have to wake her up to feed at least every 5 hours at night, and every 3-4 hours during the day. I thought feeding was supposed to be baby directed? For you moms reading, did you wake up your little ones to feed, or did you let them wake themselves up when they were hungry?

-Justin and I watched The Hangover over the weekend...definitely a pretty crude movie, but also SO FUNNY if you're in the mood for that sort of movie.

-Sunday night, Justin and I got to go to bed at the same time. I think this is the first time this has happened since Lizzy was born. And it was just so stinking nice to be able to lay next to my husband while I was sleeping! It totally made me all swoon-y.

-I am ready for some sunshine. I am freaking freezing all the dang time! However, it hasn't even snowed this year, which means that winter will probably take forever, and it will snow in March. But not until I *think* we're in the clear and bust out my flip flops. Who am I kidding...I never actually put them away!

-I realized while reading Kristal's birth story that I never actually posted Lizzy's full birth story. I posted an abridged version of one, but I'm trying to decide whether or not to post one with all the nitty gritty details. I might, if only for my own records.




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