Wednesday, March 31, 2010

oh no she didn't....

Yeah, so this is a post. After I totally said I wasn't going to post. I am weird like that. Inconsistent if you like. I got to thinking about my self-imposed blocking of the blogging and I realized something. See, when I get stressed or upset or sad I shut down. From everything. I draw into myself and away from people. A survival skill? A protection from what?

Anyway, so as I thought about this I realized that this time I don't want to shut down or pretend that everything is okay (which I sometimes do) (even though everything really IS okay right now, promise!). Does that sentence even work? Probably not which is why I want a fun grammar and conventions book for my birthday. *Hint, hint* cough, Shawn. I saw one at a Scholastic book fair and probably should have picked it up or at least written down the title so I could find it, but alas I did not. And that is why you get the above sentences.

But the fact is that I am okay. I really, really am. (Besides my lack of comma skills and excessive use of the parentheses) And, we've been having some mighty fun around here lately (even though you couldn't tell that from the shape of my blog) so I wanted to share a few pics. Do enjoy!!!

The girl has it made...seriously her own pony service and cell phone accessibility. How does she get service on the range?!?!

"Please, no photos..."

We spent an hour outside painting with water. It was beautiful. It was memorable. It was a spur of the moment idea that worked brilliantly for us!!!

That is the teddy bear sponge on her head. She was so proud and wanted me to take a picture. She kept saying, 'scheeeee".

Today we went to the mall for a little stroller walking to help baby Silas (Isaac's soon to be baby brother) get here and to let the kiddos play in the play area.

Lauren and Isaac always look like they are getting ready to cause some mischief!

Now I am off to enjoy this gorgeous weather and get some things finalized for our big kitchen remodel to come soon!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

a break

So, this is probably old news since I really haven't posted anything since last Wednesday, but I am feeling like I need a bloggy break. Something has to give, and right now the blog feels right. I don't know how long. At least through this week but I really don't think it will be forever because I hope to post an Easter recap sometime next week. I just wanted to let you know so you didn't think I'd vanished!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

walkin' on sunshine

Hasn't this weather been gorgeous? I am so ready for spring to be here already. It keeps teasing me and making me think I am ready for flip flops and tee shirts. I was telling Shawn the other day that I am definitely a "season" girl. I need the change, the new perspective, the freshness of a new season.

This morning I met up with my friend Cara at a park near my house. She is on SPRING BREAK this week and so we decided to take a little walky-walky with our kiddos. It was a beautiful morning and I really enjoyed catching up. 

Cara is an avid exerciser (is that a word?) and I am...well, not. I was just proud that I kept up with her!!! 

We asked a nice jogger to take our picture. It was too funny because the kids were looking away and she wanted to know if she should take another one. Cara and I both looked at each other and laughed. It would take a million tries before we could get three kids to look at the same camera! Especially when the ducks were so close!!! I still think we got a sweet and very real shot. Aren't her boys the cutest?

It was so nice to get out, get some exercise, and have adult conversation with a good friend. Bring on spring!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This past weekend Shawn and I headed to St. Louis. Lauren stayed with her Meme and Papa Barry and had I don't think she missed us for a second. How could she when her every need (and want) was attended to within milliseconds? I know I've said it before, but that girl is loved! I didn't manage to get any pictures of her with the grandparents before we left but that was probably because I was trying to get out of there before I started with the crying and wailing and lamenting about how my baby is old enough to stay with her grandparents for two whole nights and not miss her mommy one single bit. 

We drove to St. Louis that night and stayed with Shawn's friend from college, Chris and his fiance, Abby. Sweet, sweet girl. Especially to put up with Chris! They live really close to downtown St. Louis in the neatest little apartment. It was built in the 30's and had so much character! It reminded me a lot of our old house with the wood floors and doors that don't shut properly. 

We stayed up late that night watching college basketball, talking, remembering old times (I'd never met Abby but Chris, Shawn, and I have been to many a JM concert together), and playing a game I can't remember the name of right now. 

The next day, Chris and Abby had a b-day party to attend for a couple of hours so Shawn and I headed to the mall. I didn't walk out with a single thing but I can tell you I saw a GREAT many things I wanted at Anthropologie. We're getting ready to re-do our kitchen and I pretty much drooled over their plates and linens and measuring cups and aprons the entire time I was there. 

That evening we went to eat at a St. Louis brewing company called Schlafly. Shawn had bison nachos and I had some kind of goat cheese salad and a turkey sandwich with jalapeno peach preserves. Strange but kind of good. 

After that we headed to THE.CONCERT.I.HAVE.BEEN.WAITING.FOR.SINCE.THE.LAST.CONCERT! I was so excited I could barely stand it!!! Here we are just waiting for the show to begin!

 Michael Franti and Spearhead opened for John and I was sitting there thinking, "Why does this guy's voice sound so familiar when I don't know a single one of these songs..." It was literally driving me crazy until at the very end they sang, "Say Hey". Remember that song? Big hit last summer? Really catchy and kind of reggae? I wish he would have sang that one first. Oh well!

Obviously this isn't the greatest picture but people JOHN came out and I freaked out!!! We were pretty far up in the nosebleeds...but I guess since I've seen him now 5 times Shawn didn't think I needed to be too close!

The concert was so good! One of his best ones in my opinion. Of course with all the drama surrounding him  lately he made a few comments like this one: "Here's a song I have not accepted my own advice on yet. You'll understand why when you hear it," when he introduced "Daughters." At the end of the show he also thanked the crowd for sticking by him and promised that as long as we still listened to his music he would keep writing and playing. 


Yeah, he wore some kind of black tank top. It was a little blousy for my taste, but whatev!

He sang one of my very favorite songs of his, "Why Georgia." I think it must be one of his favorites too because I am pretty sure that every concert I've been to he's played it. It's off of his first cd. 

We had such a great time. I loved the concert, spending time with good friends, and feeling "young" for a little while. I wonder when I'll see him again?!?!

Friday, March 19, 2010

girls just wanna have fun

This past week my mom came to town and we had a fun girls' day at the mall!!! Of course we had to stop at the food court and get an ice cream cone for Little Miss Sunshine!

How do you think she ended up with two ice cream cones? I'll give you one guess. :)

Holding Grammy's hand while finishing her second cone. :)

We had to stop so that Grammy could clean her up a bit. Ice cream is messy!!!

What can I say, the girl loves to shop! Or she just really likes the big mirrors!!!

Mom, we had such a fun day with you! Thanks for coming up and spending your day off with us spoiling us! We love you!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

peace of mind is priceless

I've been working for the last couple of months as some of you know. I am teaching a class on Tuesday and then I observe practicum students in the classrooms on Thursdays. It has been rewarding, challenging, fun, stressful, exciting, and hard. One thing that has been so wonderful is that the people who watch Lauren are absolutely wonderful and I feel completely at ease leaving her. I've realized how important it is for me that the person who watches Lauren loves her dearly. I couldn't leave her if I didn't think they would delight in her like I do. I just couldn't.

On Tuesdays, my friend Kelly watches her. Kelly has a sweet little one named Ryan and Lauren loves to go over there and play with all of his sweet toys!!! I've seen how much Kelly loves Lauren and I feel so comfortable for those hours while I am away. Thanks, Kelly!!!

Seriously, how cute are these kiddos?


On Thursdays either my Papa and Meme or my mother-in-law come to watch her. I won't complain that Lauren gets spoiled rotten because I wouldn't have it any other way. It is so obvious that Lauren is a joy to them and I love that my grandparents don't care to drive the hour and my mother-in-law doesn't care to drive two and a half hours (she stays the night and a couple of days!) just to spend quality one on one time with Lauren. She is such a blessed girl, and so am I!!!

Papa took these pics you think she is loved???

And here is one of when Bev watched her last time. Lauren loves her wagon and wanted Bev to walk her around the whole house all day long! Do you think Bev did? Of course!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the green team

Today was St. Patrick's Day and boy did we celebrate! We waited to do most of our activities until Shawn got home and turned it into a fun family night.

Lauren helped me cook our dinner. How sweet is that smile?

I know this looks gross. But, it was so much fun! We had spinach chicken, garlic & butter noodles (dyed green) and peas. I'm not sure that we will ever make the spinach chicken again, but it made for a fun dinner!!!

Lauren liked the noodles! She also like the peas! That girl has never liked peas, but for some reason tonight she ate them and I was so excited!!!

We put together this shamrock trinity craft I saw here. It was neat for Shawn to see how much Lauren loves to glue things!!!

Next, we colored our leprechaun coloring sheets as a family. This was such a great time and gave us a chance to relax and enjoy each other!!

Can you guess whose is whose?

We also introduced our family Bible verse for this week:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

We listed to our Seeds Family Worship song that goes with this verse and Lauren rocked it out!

I introduced Lauren to a really fun website called Starfall. She really enjoyed the clover game and wanted to play it over and over. I loved how she pointed out the snake, duck, and pig by calling their sounds!!!

Before Lauren went to bed we created a rainbow using colored Twizzlers. I actually thought this would be more of a hit, but she really didn't like them. It still looked cute!

Finally, after Lauren went to bed, Shawn and I enjoyed this yummy green cake. We have Biggest Loser and American Idol to watch!!!

Hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

erin condren i love you

Ding dong.

I wait until whoever is at the door leaves before I sneak around the corner to peek out. (I don't like to answer the door. Is that strange?)

What do I find? Why the sweet baby below I've been waiting on. The timing is impeccable.

I open the package gingerly and boy am I glad I did. Look at the beauty inside:

Enjoy? Why Erin Condren I do believe I will enjoy. Thoroughly if I might add.

Erin, you personalized this for me? A free little gift? How sweet are you?!?

But hold on, I need to take a look at my new baby. Awwww, there she is!

and a close up

Oh yeah, that's a personalized planner. Wait, let me clarify - that is a BEAUTIFUL personalized planner. So what if it is the middle of March?

Is it okay to love an inanimate object so much?

Look at the stickers it came with.!

It came with a few of these adorable personalized gift labels and "date" cards. The cuteness it almost too much for me to bear right now.

Look at that adorable pocket to hold little miscellaneous stuff in. I heart you little pocket.

If that wasn't enough, I got a sweet surprise in the mail yesterday from this AWESOME company. Apparently just for ordering a calendar my name was put in a drawing and I won a bronze medal aka $50 gift card to Wow!!!

If you are on the hunt for a fantastic planner click here. I promise you won't be disappointed. I even called their company today to tell them how much I adored their customer service and quality of their product.

I better planner and I have some important dates to take care of!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

dangerous decorating

Hello, my name is Jen and I have a fear of decorating.

To me, decorating is dangerous. It brings forth all sorts of insecurities I would rather lie and hide and say I don’t have.

I’m working on my insecurity. Well, God and I are working on it. It’s a painful process, but I already feel stronger for it. I’m putting down some of the insecurity I’ve clung to like a baby blanket for far too long. It’s scary, but really good.

To celebrate this I am going to start with something small and easy for my blog friends to handle. I’m going to share my adventures through decorating and I will pray that God clothes me with dignity only He can give so that I don’t worry that you hate it or think I made a bad choice! 

Okay, enough talk – here we go.

I have always wanted a chalkboard in my house…or at least for the past couple of months. We had this awkward and huge shelf on one wall of our dining area and I pretty much hated it. I had no idea what to put up there and it just stuck out and made the dining room feel really small. 

 So, down it went!

Shawn taped off an area that was perfect. I mean seriously perfect. My man is an engineer. Exact is not a far off dream for him. It is reality. Always. 

Then Shawn painted it. Oh, you thought my engineer would let me paint? I am seriously laughing right now. No, I usually get to tape (but not this time as it had to be exact) and do some rolling. He does all the cutting in and specific stuff. Since this was such a small space that needed to be pretty perfect, he did it and I cheered him on!

He made the frame from molding (I think). I told him I wanted it antiqued looking so he used white paint with a glaze over the top. 

I think our wall color and the frame color are a little too close, but I have some ideas for how to fix that!

I plan on buying a vinyl phrase to put above the chalkboard. Something inspiring and uplifting.

Also, I haven’t gotten to write on it yet because it says it takes a week to cure. I’ll post pictures of the final project when we get it all accomplished. 

This week I challenge you to tackle an area of insecurity (if you deal with it). It can be as simple as decorating or as serious as something that you would only share with God.
Go for it!