Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And Happy Birthday to me! Every few years, my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. I don't find this to be inconvenient because family has time off, there's no school, and we always have lots of good food.

My sweet husband arranged for us to celebrate my birthday yesterday. I met him in town at noon while my in-laws, who are visiting, watched Eveley. It was "Lauren's Day" and we got to do exactly what I wanted to do.

So, we went to lunch here, of course! YUM!

Then we spent the afternoon shopping at my favorite places - TJ Maxx and Marshalls. It was so fun to be able to browse around the store with two free hands and a calm mind. I purchased a few pairs of PJs for my upcoming hospital stay and then we went to another store where I got to pick out my very own....

Yea! (no cracks about the photo, please; had to capture the big day regardless of the fact I am 9 months pregnant and swollen!)

We ended the afternoon with one of these

If you haven't had a chance to try one of Chick-fil-A's peppermint chocolate chip shakes, you are missing out!

What a fun day. I didn't realize how busy and stressed I had been and how much I needed to get out of the house. This was a great afternoon. Thank you to my wonderful husband for a wonderful day! Oh, and did I mention this is the big 3-0! Where did the time go?

The other day, a friend mentioned that every year on her birthday, her mother recounts the details of her birth story. I thought that was a great idea. I did not relate this to my mom, but she sent me an email this morning with the following story:

On November 27, 1978, Dad went to his secret site to guard Nerve Gas, and I got up as usual in our apartment in Pirmasens, West Germany. Later in the day I began to feel a bit funny, so I drove myself to Meunchweiler, to the army hospital to be checked. I don't even remember what they said, but they sent me home. When I pulled into the parking lot, in our little Volkswagon LE, Dad was walking around the corner, heading for the apartment. I remember hurting somewhat and having to walk gingerly across the street. I told him I thought something was up, but I went inside and fixed his supper while he took a shower. Afterwards, we decided to head to Landstuhl, an hour away. I remember hurting on the way, and as we got closer, I was REALLY hurting. I had no idea that I was in transition, in the last stages of labor. I had trouble just getting out of the car and getting inside, and as I approached the door, the nurses knew I was obviously close. While they prepped me, Dad went to the business office to admit me. The nurse left me in the room while she went to call him and tell him to hurry back. I remember calling out to her, and when she came, YOU were crowning. They rushed me across the hall just as dad came running down the hall. I hardly saw the doctor before you came flying out!! No joke! The doctor stood there with his mouth wide open and said that he almost dropped you! That was quick and easy! You were born at 8:28 pm there, which would have been 2:28 here. That was 30 years ago! WOW! Since then, you have been nothing but a blessing. God truly smiled on us when He gave us Elizabeth Lauren, all 5 lbs 13 oz of you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful for a Holiday!

We have been extremely busy this past month. Not only are we trying to get ready for our little arrival - setting up the new bed, getting his room stocked and his dresser filled, and buying itsy bitsy diapers. But we are also getting ready for the holidays!

I love this time of year. I love the smells - cider simmering on the stove, evergreen, pumpkin, bonfires burning outside, goodies baking in the oven!! It makes me feel like a child again.

But, unfortunately, I am an adult and wear many hats - mommy, wife, baker, gift buyer, grocery shopper, meal planner, hostess, janitor, clothes shopper, entertainer, church music coordinator, and attorney. It has been a busy time!

I am still working full time and just finished a 50-page article on the First Amendment that I had been working on for several months. With that out of the way, I turned to my next project -- sewing Christmas stockings for the family. Who do I think I am? Martha? But, I finished them, and they are lovely (from a distance). I will post pictures of them once they are hanging from the mantle. We plan to decorate for Christmas this next weekend. And to tell you the truth, I got much more satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment from the finished stockings than I did from the article. Hmmm...?

But that's not all that's been keeping us busy. Traditionally, if Miss Evie wakes up before Bob leaves for work, he will go get her out of her crib and love on her for a while before heading out the door. One morning last week, he heard her mumbling in her room and went in to get her. There she was sitting on her floor reading some books. Hmmm... So, she now can climb out of her crib.

We were not planning to upset our Sleeping Beauty's routine. As I have mentioned before, she is a FABULOUS sleeper.

But our sweet friends gave us a toddler bed to help Evie transition when it's time. I have set it up in her room so she can get used to it. She likes to sit on it and read books for now. But she still goes "night night" in the baby bed. Works for me!

I am very thankful for many things and will try to post about those in a few days. But I have to say how thankful I am for my little Eveley Joy. She has truly brought Joy into our home. She has shown us that there is room in our hearts for more love than we could imagine. She has a tremendous vocabulary - including words like slingshot and octopus. And she loves her books.

This is a "My Very Own Box" from my mom's business that was an early Christmas present. I am trying to keep our books organized in the playroom. Miss Eveley has other ideas for the box!

Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Grownup Christmas List

I know this song (by Amy Grant) carries with it a mature, adult perspective on one's Christmas list. And of course I wish for no poverty, sickness, starving children, pain or suffering. But I thought it would be fun to actually make a list of the "things" that I would love for Christmas (in case any loved one happens to be reading this...).

I love this diaper bag. I have a similar one for Eveley which is black and white. But this one is designed by Trista of the Bachelorette fame! Awesome!!

I do quite a bit of baking and would love one of these!

Am I the only person on the planet without Tivo? Even my parents have one!

Beautiful granite countertops . . . been asking for these for a while!

Need I say more?

I would love one of these planted in my front yard. I already have the perfect spot picked out!

I really could not handle one of these right now. But soon, we're going to have to get one. Our kids have always LOVED dogs, and these labs are so cute!

We spent last Christmas at the Greenbrier. It was wonderful and very luxurious! In one of their gift shops, they had a large, wooden wall calendar made by an artist. It came with interchangeable dates and blocks and was lovely. I've looked everywhere for something like this but can't find it. It would go perfectly at the "command central" portion of my kitchen. I'm still looking. Any ideas?

Boy, I sure wish my husband and brothers would do a blog post like this! That would make things easier.

I'd love to know what's on your grownup Christmas list!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time to Prepare . . . Again

The day is rapidly approaching. So, it is time to prepare . . . again.

In 2005, we welcomed little Robbie into this world and became a family. We began the crazy journey of learning how to be parents and watching a little person totally depend on us for everything.

We saw him take his first bite of food, take his first step, learn his first word.

Then we began to prepare Robbie to be a big brother and to prepare ourselves to juggle two children.

Robbie's shirt says "Big Brother"

Our journey with Robbie lasted a mere 19 1/2 months and then came to an abrupt stop. Robbie went to his forever Home, and we were left here to pick up the many pieces.

We lived alone in the loud quietness of our house for three months and then we welcomed Eveley Joy into this world and our home in April 2007. And the journey began again.

To all disinterested observers, we were new parents experiencing all of Eveley's milestones for the first time. But, to us, we were reliving the past over again with a different child. I know that sounds odd, but it's really hard to explain. I sang Eveley the same songs, read her the same books, played with the same toys, and taught her the same animal sounds as I just had taught her brother a few months earlier.

We saw Eveley go through all of the same "firsts" - her first food, first steps, and first words. And then we began again to prepare her to be a big sister and to prepare ourselves to juggle two children.

Besides the normal hormones that attend pregnancy and childbirth, I know I will be flooded with emotions and memories of my little Robbie as I bring this little boy home. So, I am preparing our home to handle two children, and I am preparing my heart to handle three. And we will begin the journey again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eye Candy for the Family

Just thought I'd share a few glimpses of Princess Eveley from this past month. She is growing into a sweet little girl. She still can't get enough of outside and has recently discovered she loves to color (or at least she loves crayons). I just love this little monkey!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween, Hmm....

Okay. I know I should be reported to Child Protective Services, but I did not dress Eveley up for Halloween this year. Isn't that terrible???! I hope she will forgive me!

Of course, Robbie was much different. He was the first child and even got a cute "Mommy's Little Pumkin" shirt to sport for a few weeks prior to Halloween.

He was a monkey and loved chewing on his banana!

The second year, he was Elmo, of course. We had a fun church party but all he wanted to do was play with the stroller and eat his apple. What a healthy little eater!

Last year, we had another church party and Eveley was a ballerina.

But this year, we had nothing planned -- no church or friends party. At the last minute, Bob and I decided we were terrible parents for not coming up with something for Eveley's 2nd Halloween. So, I dressed her up in Robbie's Liberty overalls, and we took her to IHOP! (At least I remembered her Halloween bib!) I'm laughing my head off thinking how funny this sounds. It got worse. After sitting at our table for 30 minutes with no one coming to wait on us, we decided to leave. It was nearly 7 which is Eveley's bedtime and she can only color for so long.
So, we put her in the car, went through the drive-thru at Burger King and got her some "chicken" (I think if it comes in the shape of a crown, it is not chicken -- YUK!). Nevertheless, she loved it.

Oh well... Happy Halloween! =)