Sunday, November 30, 2008

How do you know when it's been too long?

It's been too long when you have to RESET your password because you can't remember it anymore. I'm not very good about commenting on other people's blogs and that's because I don't typically sign in. I just jump on, read a bit, and then move to something else. Well it caught up with me tonight because I couldn't remember my password for the life of me! Sad thing is I don't think it's just because it's been a while. I think it's because I have so few brain cells left! My brain is mush. My friends could tell you that and I know my husband would agree. So what do I attribute that to? Is 32 really that old??

Well now that I'm on here, I want to share a few thoughts. My devotional today was perfect and I just praise God for showing me exactly what I needed to see and hear. The scripture was from Philippians 4:6-7. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I love that last part, the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension. I know it's no secret to those reading this that I'm heading back to teaching in 5 short weeks. And let me just tell you, the nights are getting very hard. It seems like I can handle it during the day but at night, the tears flow more freely. My throat tightens up, my heart starts pounding, and I just cry. Does that mean I'm not thankful for what is? Of course not, and quite the contrary actually. I've been more thankful this past year than ever before. I'm blissfully aware of the many blessings in my life. And I thank God multiple times each day. So is it wrong that I want more? How could it be wrong to want more time at home with my precious baby? I think the problem is that God is aware that I'm finding myself a tiny bit bitter. Yes, I'm admitting it. Another part of my devotional says, "When tension and anxiety rise up, put them down by naming all the ways God has blessed you and thanking Him. Get your eyes off what you don't have and commit to an attitude of gratitude." So I'm going to refocus my attitude and work hard to stay grateful at all times. Not just most of the time, which I feel like I am. At ALL times. I'm sure I'll slip up as we all do. But this is where you come in. Feel free to help hold me accountable. That's what friends are for, right?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life on Loan

Since this was also Addison's birthday weekend, Jordan was in town and able to serve with us. What a joy that was!

Here's our Life Group with all of our materials ready to go out and make a difference!

Our church, Northview Christian Life, recently finished a 6-week spiritual campaign. We all read the book, Living a Life on Loan, heard weekly messages about the book, and then culminated our study with a service project. The premise is that our lives are not our own. We shouldn't be caught up in material possessions but be externally focused and aware of how our lives can intersect with others and show God's grace and love. We got connected in a Life Group again and that was so wonderful! I love the people we have met and I'm really grateful that we're going to continue together. Good Neighbor Weekend was when all services were suspended so over 2,200 members of the congregation could go out and serve in some capacity. Our group went to Brookside Community Church, Northview's urban church. We toured the facility, met some of the people, and then helped clean up the streets surrounding the area. It was a very meaningful experience and I look forward to more serving opportunities with our group. I'm so grateful to be part of a church that really "gets it". The church is not a place to judge or be hypocritical, but a place to love God and love others. We rub shoulders each day with non-believers and we need to be able to serve as Christ's ambassador in those situations. Church is much more about what we do each and every day than what happens for an hour or two during weekend service. I believe my eyes are more open to these opportunities because of Northview and I pray that I can see others as Jesus sees them and also love them as He would.

Addison's Birthday by Jordan - the budding photographer!

Jordan is quite the little photographer! She loves taking pictures and does a great job. These are some of my favorites.

Obviously someone else took this one but it was on Jordan's camera. We were very glad Aunt April could make it in from Denver for the big weekend. We don't get to see her near enough. She's so good with kiddos and I know Addison will come to adore her just as Jordan does.
I absolutely LOVE this picture. I thought Jordan was very smart to take a picture from Addison's point of view. Love it!
A side view after Addison's finger was raked through the cake.
Just slowly taking it all in...
Another great pic of the smash cake.

Gift-opening time!

We didn't open the gifts at the park but Jordan was dying to tear into them as soon as we got home! I thought Addison was going to take a short nap after her big day of excitement but she had other plans. She was so excited to look around and see all the bags, packages, and most of all, the balloons! Jordan loved reading the cards out loud and then opening the gifts. It was so special to have our family around as we watched this unfold. Addison just rolled around on the floor and was her usual hilarious self.

She loves the buttons on this ride-on toy from Janet and David.

Isn't this such a sweet picture of Jordan and Addison? We were so glad that Jordan was here with us for this special day!

Addison's First Birthday Party!

We celebrated Addison's birthday at Forest Park on Saturday, October 18th. I had been worried about the weather for months but it ended up being a glorious fall day. Thank goodness there was no rain and we had so many friends and family who were there to celebrate with us. We kept it simple with hot dogs and had pumpkin cupcakes for dessert. It was a bittersweet day because while I'm so proud of how much she's grown and all she can do these days, I still can't believe she's a year old. I'm definitely getting the baby bug again. Shhhhh!! Don't tell Jeff!

Addison enjoyed her smash cake but didn't go crazy in it the way I was hoping. She was more tentative. Maybe she won't be a sugar addict like her mommy! :)

There were lots of gifts on hand and we're so grateful for everyone's generosity.
Adam, Mia, and Morgan at the craft table. I took pictures of the families and then they made a cute fall frame for it.
I think the cupcake-cake turned out fabulous!
Daddy busy at the grill.
I love this pic Vicki took! You see the three daddies carrying their kiddos toward the shelter. That Vicki is so darn talented!!
A shot of some of the guests
Addison with her Grandma and Grandpa Mann.
Addison with mommy and Mimi.
A family picture Vicki took before the party started.
This is Addison's boyfriend, Aiden. She is six days older and they are so cute together.
A nice shot of the smash cake.
Some of the StrollerFit moms at the craft table with their kiddos. Such a joy to know these girls!

Zoo Boo Fun

October 16th was Addison's birthday and Jeff took the day off. Addison and I had both been a little under the weather that week and it was wonderful to get out of the house. This was the first day of the Zoo Boo and my mom had been kind enough to get us a family membership as Addison's birthday gift. It was a cool, pretty day and Addison was sporting her cat costume in honor of the special day at the Zoo. One of the highlights was the smashing pumpkin elephant show. A few of the elephants did step on the pumpkins and smash them but the one we were watching just ate the thing whole! It was pretty amazing. We had a wonderful day and I can't believe my baby is one.

Addison's big-girl carseat

I can't believe the time has arrived to move Addison out of her infant carseat. I know many friends have already made the big switch but since Addison has been on the small side, we were able to hold out. Her new seat arrived on her birthday and we decided we'd waited long enough. We had been to the doctor the week before and Addison weighed 19 lbs 14 oz so we thought surely she had made it to that 20 lb requirement now. She loved the seat as you can tell in the pictures! By the way, anyone know how to rotate pictures???