Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Rainy Day Love

I'll be honest, there's nothing i love more than a rainy day when I have nothing to do. Well technically I guess I have WORK to do, but whatever. And this rainy day feels almost like a dream come true because Jayci has been asleep in her crib for an hour and a half (what? seriously?!) and the dogs are both snoring too. Now if only I didn't have all that pesky work to do, then I could take a nap too and today would basically be like heaven right here in my little house.

This is short today because, like I may have mentioned, I have WORK to do. But just thought the internet should know that I am like super-mom, because Jayci is now napping for hours at a time IN HER CRIB. Anyone who needs parenting advice is welcome to email me anytime.

Oh I kid. Because if there's anything I've learned in my 5 months as a mom, it's that babies really do go through these little things called "phases." Just when I think I've got Jayci all figured out, she throws me a curveball and I swing and miss big time. I reminded myself this morning of some important truths about parenting and grace learned from much wiser friends. Because another thing I need to work on as a parent is not panicking when Jayci goes through a difficult phase (remember the last two months Becca? When she flat-out refused to sleep?). I have somewhat of a short-term memory when it comes to being a parent, wife, etc. And remembering God's faithfulness through the hard times is something I need to work on for the easier times, lest I start fooling myself into thinking that I'm the one doing something right. Because if ever I start thinking I have everything under control, I am usually quickly reminded that "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

I leave you with a picture of sweet Jayci from earlier this week (when the sun was shining). I tried taking a picture without the flash (which means my camera cannot be on AUTO . . . uh oh!) and here's what I ended up with.

*You can see more flash-less pictures at You Capture. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sidewalk Sunday School

Yesterday was our first Sidewalk Sunday School of the year! We take a little break during the winter since, you know, it's a little cold to be outside. All day I was just so excited to see my kiddos and do our program. Adding to the excitement was the fact that a sweet friend was visiting from Mississippi with her high school youth group (which she pastors). Stephanie is actually someone I interned with at Focus on the Family over 3 years ago. The only way we have kept in touch is thanks to this fantastic thing called the internet (maybe you've heard of it?!) It turns out, she reads my blog and looks at my pictures on Facebook (lest you think she's stalking me, I do the same to her so it's all gravy). Anyways, apparently she was moved by the work we are doing in the inner-city and felt led to do something too. So she brought her youth group here for a missions trip! It was a double treat for me to do Metro Kidz yesterday and see my kiddos mid-week, and also to see my friend's kids being transformed by sharing the love of Christ with MY kiddos.

I am always humbled when Christ uses our story like this. Except sometimes when it makes my head swell up with pride, but I try to avoid that. The truth is that when we serve these kids, we are blessed beyond measure. The way that God has transformed our hearts and shaped them perfectly to work in inner-city ministry has been nothing short of miraculous. All it took was just a few or fifty nudges in the right direction by the Holy Spirit.
Here's a pic of me and steph with the kiddos yesterday. I'm not sure why I feel the need to shorten everything right now, but whatev. *Please also note that I am apparently using my peripheral vision to look at the camera. Because why look straight at the camera and smile like a normal person?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Because I am Nearly Giddy with Excitement

I couldn't even wait another minute to post about this.

As I mentioned earlier today, Jayci is almost 6 months old. We celebrated this facty yesterday with a photo shoot with two dear (and mega-talented) friends (Kate and Matt of Altmix Photography). Because they are amazing, they already posted some of our pictures on their blog and put up a slideshow of our shoot.

I love every single picture they took (well besides a few where my double chin is making a nice appearance) and LOVE how non-traditional their pictures are. (Have I mentioned I "LOVE" them!? I'm almost as bad as Jason and all the "amazing" last night)

Go look at how cute we are. Just kidding, but seriously.

I'm Just So Proud

Jayci just had squash for the first time. And she pounded it y'all. Lately, I can hardly feed her fast enough. Or enough. Those little baby food jars are gone in like 30 seconds flat. Can I just tell you how proud I am that she has clearly inherited my love for eating?

Before you know it, she will be sharing my love for all the finer things in life. Like, you know, diet coke, Chick-fil-a, Mexican food, and cheese.

This is completely unrelated and I should work on my transitions, but whatever. The theme for this week's I Heart Faces contest is Black and White. This is a quick shot of Jayci when she was 4 months old . . . Seriously, I am nearly teary thinking about how fast it's going - she's almost 6 months?! How did that even happen?

Anyways, here she is - go check out more black and white pictures over at I heart Faces. Lots of talent over there. No seriously, I'm talking real talent not "I'll use my fancy camera on auto and pretend to take good pictures." Not saying I do that or anything.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Update

And with a title as thrilling as that, who wouldn't want to read this post?

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that I went to Barnes & Noble with my hubby on Friday night. As a side note, I cannot imagine who wouldn't want to follow me on Twitter - most of my tweets are about food, diet coke, and baby-related issues like sleeping (or not sleeping) and poop. So basically, terribly exciting. Or boring. Whatever.

Barnes and Noble is fairly close to what I would consider heaven. Just throw in some rowdy inner-city kids and I'd be willing to spend the rest of my life there at least. And I may or may not have done a little bit of a happy dance right there in the "Religious Fiction" section when I realized that one of my very favorite authors in the whole world had a brand new book. Who is this author you ask? Her name is Lisa Sampson. And people, if you like Jesus and fiction at all then you need to run (I suppose you could walk if you are partial to not-exercising like I am) and get one or all of her books. She is edgy, fascinating, and I flat-out love her. Just don't tell her because she might be a little panicked by my level of adoration.

Don't take my word for how great she is though - read this (and take your time, let it sink in):
"I thought perhaps that might be too hard for God. I confess, sometimes I still think some things are too hard for God. I mean, deep down I think that. But thankfully there's an even deeper down. Unfortunately, crawling down into that well hurts like the devil because we know God can do something and yet doesn't, and we don't have many choices after that realization, and none of them are one hundred percent easy breezy." (from The Passion of Mary Margaret)

Amen and Amen. I mean, I can't help but admire (and maybe envy just a little) authors who can take something so ephemeral and yet deeply TRUE and crystallize it in words. It's harder than I make it look here on this bloggy (ha kidding).

But seriously, read her stuff and visit her blog. She rocks. And I believe so much in what she writes and what she does for Jesus and justice that I might even lend you one of her books if you ask nicely. I especially recommend, you know, ALL of them.

Back to Barnes and Noble. It was great fun, but it turns out that it's quiet in there, much like a library. And while Adam and I were sitting there with Jayci grinning away at us, she started tooting. Loudly. Adam and I couldn't stop giggling. Because we are mature like that.

So that was Friday night, and then Saturday and Sunday we hung out with our kiddos downtown and went to church, ate Mexican food and Chick-fil-a (which may have been a little over-ambitious as my first meals after the flu). So basically, it could not have been a better weekend. Well unless I won the lottery or ate banana cream cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

Right now I am sitting here eating a very large bowl of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with whipped cream on top. While I'm searching the internet for a bathing suit for my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico.

And I will try and have a less rambling, nonsensical post next time. But I'm not making any promises.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Because the Cat-ball? It is Hysterical

Lest you think there is no laughter here these days in the Casa de Stanley - i am here to set the record straight. In fact, I dare you not to smile at this. And seriously you better watch it because I am completely illiterate with all things video-related and it took me approximately 6 hours to get this up here.

So enjoy this little video of my sweet Jayci laughing hysterically at Charli (the "special" dog) fetching what we affectionately refer to as her "cat-ball." See I accidentally bought some cat toys instead of doggie toys, but Charli? She has adopted this ball as her favorite toy of all time. Maverick (our slightly smarter dog) will NOT play with it, because CLEARLY it is for cats and not dogs.

Because the Cat-ball, it is Funny from Becca Stanley on Vimeo.

Please ignore my manly laugh throughout - I have the flu people.

And I'm not sure why Adam thinks that in 30 years Jayci will be fetching things for us, but it sounds delightful.

Perhaps the best part of this video? Everytime I play it, Charli frantically runs around trying to find her cat-ball.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can I Just be Honest for a Minute?

If you ask me how I'm doing today, I cannot tell you "fine." Fine is how I usually answer regardless of how I'm actually feeling. Not because I don't want to be real, but because I'm afraid that no one likes a complainer. Sometimes if I'm feeling cheeky or brave, I might say "oh I'm ok." But the truth is that today? I don't feel even ok. My oma passed away on Monday, and I was supposed to drive with my mom and sisters to Michigan on Tuesday for the funeral. But I started feeling a little nauseous while packing Mon night, and figured it was just because I had eaten four slices of pizza and 3 (oh ok 5) chocolate cookies. I dont eat my feelings or anything. So I decided to hit the hay and wake up early to pack before we left.

However, I was unable to sleep due to all the aching muscles and shivering. Oh and vomiting. Lots of vomiting, even once the stomach was empty. So after maybe 20 minutes of sleep all night, I woke up feeling just as crappy as the night before and knew I wouldn't be able to spend 13 hours in the car driving to Michigan. I was, understandably, bummed about it. As much as I dreaded going to a funeral, I felt like it was an important step for me in getting closure, especially since my grandfather (on the other side of the fam) passed away just a few months ago and I was unable to attend his funeral either.

I spent the next two days in bed. And as of an hour ago, I still haven't kept any food down. On the bright side, maybe I'll finally lose some of that baby weight that's stubbornly hanging around. Luckily, my sweet husband watched Jayci the first day and then my dear friend Courtney took her for the whole day today. I feel awful for so many reasons right now, and one of them is that I feel like a terrible mom because I enjoyed being kid-free. I know that this does not make me a horrible mom, and that my emotions CANNOT be relied on during my best days, let alone on days when I'm sick and mourning the loss of my grandmother.

I don't have anything profound, or even uplifting to share. I just wanted to be real with y'all and tell you just how crappy things are right now. Any prayers you have would be much appreciated! :-)

As a side note, I cannot thank-you enough for all your encouragement and prayers on my last post. It helped more than you can know!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Sense of Wonder

My oma went to be with Jesus today.

I feel heavy-hearted, but also grateful that she knew her Savior and is now seeing Him face to face. And grateful that my sweet little Jayci got to meet her a few months ago.
And grateful that she is dancing with the angels, without any of the pain she has been battling for so long.

"You're dancing with the angels
Walking in new life
You're dancing with the angels
Heaven fills your eyes
Now that you're dancing with the angels" (Monk and Neagle)

This week's theme for I Heart Faces is "Wonder" and I wanted to share this picture today.

Where I Would Be if I Wasn't Where I Am.

A year ago today I was in Europe on a business trip. Granted, I had to run to the bathroom every hour or so to throw up from "morning sickness" (which lasted all. day. long.) Nevertheless, I was in EUROPE for a business trip. For many people, that would be what we call "living the dream:" I was just out of college, making good money, traveling the world, flying first class. See the picture of me right there? Yup, that's first class all right: seats that lay all the way flat, hot towels to wipe your brow, large-screen TVs that play any movie you could imagine on demand, gourmet meals, large bathrooms (well by air-plane standards) complete with vases with orchids (seriously). I flew to such exotic locales like Thailand, India, Germany, Holland, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

But something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it but I could certainly feel it deep inside. Stirrings that maybe all this jet-setting and money-making wasn't for me, wasn't what God had planned.

So I quit. Well, I still work part-time from home on the website, but I don't travel. And some days? I barely make it off the couch. Sometimes I don't shower for a few days. Sometimes I get hit in the face or rejected by my kiddos downtown. Sometimes I can't get Jayci to fall asleep to save my life.

But you know what? I wouldn't trade what I'm doing now for anything. Not even traveling to Europe and Asia on exotic and exciting trips. . . .

Nope. I wouldn't trade this:

or this:

for anything!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Circus

On our very first Valentine's Day together as boyfriend and girlfriend(in high school), my husband and I went to the circus. It was my first visit and I don't remember much except enjoying the cotton candy and feeling a little sorry for the animals because they couldn't run free in the wild. Although, to be honest, I was glad that the tigers weren't running free.

Anyhow, yesterday my friend Courtney (who has two boys, aged one and two and a half) happened to get 16 free box seat tickets to the circus. We got the tickets very last minute, but we were NOT going to let them go to waste. So we packed (literally packed) all three car seats in the backseat and left for Phillips Arena just as the circus was starting, figuring we would still catch at least the last hour or so.

We knew we were off to a great start when Jayci started sobbing and didn't stop until we got there. Clearly Holden enjoyed her crying as much as I do. It's a delight I tell you, a delight.

We parked in the Gold lot, because Gold is good right? And can I just ask why they would name something "Gold" that was, in fact, approximately 3 miles away from the Will Call booth? I'd say that's more like bronze. We decided against using the stroller in case we weren't allowed to bring it in. And I'll tell you what, Body Pump has nothing on carrying a 15lb baby and diaper bag for 3 miles in the hot sun, wearing a North Face fleece jacket. Because apparently I'm not all that good at dressing weather-appropriately.

Finally we got to our box suite, which was just lovely. Unfortunately, they did not construct said boxes to contain a lively 2 year old. Before we knew it Holden was 5 boxes down and running strong. Luckily, Courtney was able to corral him so we could enjoy the tigers, elephants and ponies. Apparently there were also acrobats, but we couldn't see them from our fancy box seats.

Oh and did I mention that our friend Emily also met us there with her one year old -- and the 2 one-year olds? They cried. The whole time. And Holden kept trying to escape. So basically Jayci was the only one enjoying the show, although rumor has it that she may have just been fascinated by all the flashing lights.

After watching the second half of the circus, we managed to hike all 5 miles back (oh did I say 3 miles earlier? It felt more like 5). And on the way home we consoled ourselves with diet coke and Chick-fil-a.

And we learned a valuable lesson. Don't go to the circus with 4 children under the age of 3. On the plus side, things could have been much worse: we could have been those guys who had to run out behind the elephants and scoop up their poop.

*Note: It actually wasn't as bad as it sounds in the re-telling. We had fun :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fashion Friday: Puerto Rico Baby

So good news: My parents have invited me to Puerto Rico with them for "Spring Break '09 baby" haha. No but seriously, in less than a month, I will be sitting here, enjoying the sunshine and drinking diet coke . . . which, basically sounds like heaven. Probably the only reason I'm invited is because they want to see their granddaughter, but I'll try not to look a gift horse in the mouth (whatever that means).

As it turns out, I wore maternity clothes for the entire summer last year And those size 6 shorts and bikini I wore the summer before that? Yeah, they don't so much fit anymore. And lets be honest, they probably never will.

So that means I need to get some new attire for Spring Break '09 - So here's a few things I love and would totally buy if, you know, we had money.

First I need a nice one-piece or tankini bathing suit. I have discovered that one pieces actually work best for me because, the muffin top caused by the bottoms on a tankini? Lets just say it's not pretty. I love this one and this one, and possibly this one (although I'm not positive about the bottom ruffle - it might only add volume where the addition of volume is completely unnecessary).

I also (hypothetically) would need a cute light-weight dress for evening dinners since my current dinner attire of sweatpants and one of Adam's t-shirts might embarrass my more fashionable sisters.

I stand firmly by the belief that JCrew has the best shorts around.

For accessories, I will clearly need a lightweight scarf. And I also think I would definitely need these sunglasses. Ok I'm kidding, but seriously - someone please stop the 80s from coming back. I can't stand it.

Here's a few cute things I would love to see my little punkin in. And lets be honest, she is way easier to shop for than I am since she doesn't have to worry about things like, oh I don't know, cellulite?

Oh and she probably needs a cute sunhat or two to protect her sweet little complexion.

What do y'all think? Anything else I just HAVE to have for me or Jayci before we take off for Puerto Rico?

And be sure to visit Big Mama's blog for more Fashion Friday advice.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When the Snow is Falling . . .

Needless to say, it has not snowing here right now. It's actually BEAUTIFUL and warm outside - I love it! I took Jayci for a 45 minute walk yesterday because it was so pretty out. Well it was pretty, but because she fell asleep and I just kept walking until she woke up. Lets be honest, I'll take naps however I can get them with this little one!

But one of my favorite times when we lived in Canada were those days when the giant snowflakes were falling quietly; softly and gently blanketing the world in white silence. I remember how quiet it got most of all: oh how I miss that beautiful peacefulness. But that's not what I'm talking about today - It was what I did the NEXT day after all that snow fell. Remember now: when I lived in Canada, I was in elementary school (and did not have, exactly, what they would call sparkling social skills so school = not so fun for me). Anyways, I would wake up that next morning, and leave my jammies on while we flipped channels on our TV, looking for the much-anticipated 'school closing announcement' (And by flipped channels I mean turned the giant knob to find a channel that displayed something other than static - we've always been a little behind the times on the whole technology thing).

I remember sitting in the window seat, surrounded by swirling snow, praying fervently: "please God, please please please let school be canceled. If you give me a snow day, I'll do anything - I'll pray more and even maybe be nicer to my sisters."

And when Kilbride Public School failed to show up on the list of closed schools? Well, naturally, I got angry. Really angry. Frustrated that God thought so little of my pleas, wondering if He was even listening at all (I am not, ahem, the most rational person all the time - it was just a SNOW DAY for crying out loud!)

But yesterday I realized that most of my prayers these days sound a lot like those early morning prayers from so long ago. Except now in the early mornings, I am begging God to "Please let Jayci fall asleep, she needs to sleep Lord, and I need to sleep too." Then I will gingerly lay her down (don't wake it or anger it!) in her crib, only to watch her eyes pop open and the crying ensue.

Unfortunately, my reaction has felt much the same as it did when there was no snow day. Anger, frustration and borderline despondency. Yes, I am tired, but that is simply no excuse. By now, I know my heavenly Father much better than I did back then. I KNOW that He loves me and knows what is best for me. So maybe He has something else for me? Plus, what kind of "relationship" is it if all I do is beg him for a little sleep every now and then?

I was reminded by my sweet friend Megan that maybe God wants to use my hours of sitting in a quiet room during the night and early morning for something bigger. So I've decided to spend more time talking to Him and memorizing scripture, and enjoy a little bit of special "Me, Jayci, and Jesus time." Of course, I can't promise I will always be alert enough to remember to be thankful for the time God's given me, and I can't promise that I won't be angry that I only got a few hours of sleep and NO nap. And, heaven knows, I can't promise that I won't be uttering a few more "PLEASE let her sleep" prayers. But I want to remember what a blessing this time with my sweet girl is. After all, it won't be long before she doesn't need me to feed her in the middle of the night anymore, and then I will have to find another time in my busy day to spend time both with my sweet girl and with my sweet Savior.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who doesn't love sweet potatoes?

Today was a momentous day in the Stanley household. Jayci had her first vegetables!

She would like to tell you about her experience:

Well, it all started off gweat. Mommy put me in my gween chair, which i WOVE because i get me some yummy wice ceweal usually. I even got to wear my sassy pink bib. I like it wen mommy keeps me stywish.

But den mommy twied to give me some owange stuff. "Now mommy," I says, "Wice ceweal isn't usually owange but I am going to twust you neways."

So den I took a weally big bite, Because I weally like food. Mommy says dat I'm just wike her and daddy and dat's why i wove to eat.

But dis owange stuff? it did NOT taste good. Not even a wittle bit. I felt VEWY supwised by it, and a wittle bit upset by it too.

I qwickly twied to spit it all out. And den I coughed and gagged for good measwure. I have a fwair for da dwamatic you know. Den I couldn't help but shudder at how gwoss it was, pwus I wanted mom to make swure not to give me ANY mowr.

But den, for weasons I don't even undewstand, I kept eating and eating and wepeating dis compwicated pwocess wif each bite: swallow, close one eye, spit out, cough, gag, shudder. . . It was awlfull. . . hopefully tomowwow mommy will give me something mowe yummy wike carwots or sumptin.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Thought Someone had Ransacked Our House

So when I walked back into our house this morning after running out to playgroup, I thought someone had ransacked our house. Then I realized that, in fact, it was only Adam and I being our messy selves. My mother-in-law would be appalled if she saw the level of mess our house is in right now. Actually, lets be honest, pretty much anyone would be appalled.

I actually have SO much else I should be doing (ahem - cleaning, working etc) but thought I'd pop in with a quick "happy Monday!"

And I would also like to say that Jayci is SLEEPING IN HER CRIB as we speak. Hallelujah and Praise Jesus.

Also, I thought I'd enter a little picture of our little punkin for the 'silly' category this week. Of course, I'm not sure how "silly" this picture really is -- but it cracks me up, so I guess that counts? Anyways, enjoy and check out the I heart faces blog for more fun pictures.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Laying my Burdens Down

Last night at church, we were invited to take communion and lay down OUR burdens and pick up HIS yoke instead. The thing is, we take communion every week. I KNOW that Christ offers to take our burdens and to carry our loads. But I forget. My memory is so short and my emotions are so hay-wire. But this week, for the first time in a long time, I really DID lay those burdens down at the foot of the cross.

And the Lord reminded me in that sweet time we spent together of something really important: He is still on the throne.

When I am stressed and overwhelmed with trying to get Jayci to sleep for naps and bedtime: He is still on the throne.

When my house is a mess, and the dogs leave footprints all over the floors and across the couches: He is still on the throne.

When I am barely functioning on 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and can barely talk through my hoarse throat and cough: He is still on the throne.

When we don't know how we're going to raise money to live on support in difficult economic times: He is still on the throne.

When the media is shouting about how awful everything is and doom and gloom and more doom and greater gloom: He is still on the throne.

When I can't love or trust myself and I can't see past my appearance or lack-thereof: He is still on the throne.

Even when our kiddos downtown don't get enough to eat every day, when they're abused and neglected: He is still on the throne.

My heart rests secure in the knowledge that despite the troubles we WILL face in this world, Christ has overcome and reigns victorious.

Now if I can just remember to LEAVE those burdens at the foot of the cross rather than picking them right back up like I usually do . . .

Thursday, February 5, 2009

And my dog might be slightly mentally handicapped

First of all, I would like to say that it is freezing outside. This morning, in the car, I could see my breath. And I thought to myself that I wish I could park my car in the garage. But I can't park in the garage because the dogs hang out in the garage. And it ends up being much more work to get the car out, get Jayci in the car, close the garage, get the dogs into the garage etc. So the dogs get the garage, and I freeze my butt off on the way to aerobics. Which is good, now that I think about it, because getting rid of my butt is the reason I go to aerobics in the first place.

So as a result of all the cold, this morning I was thinking about Charli. Having her as our pet has been an adventure since we got her as just a wee little pup. She was a fireball from the start, and things only got worse when she got sick part way through her obedience training. She has seriously been sick since then -- the vets charged us approximately $4000 to tell us they have no idea what's wrong. However, when we give her prednisone, her symptoms (which include sniffles, swollen heads, and one of her eye-balls nearly popping out) seem to go away. And lately, praise Jesus, she does fine even without her meds. Although I am hesitant to pronounce her "healed" for fear that the vet may charge us 5000 more dollars for working this miracle.

Alas, although Charli is now symptom free, she has never quite been the same. We are fairly certain that whatever she had may have done some permanent damage to her brain. This, however, is just a guess based on several pieces of evidence:

1-When she wants to come inside from outside, she flings her entire body into the sliding glass door. Now, I don't mean that she jumps up on the door like a normal dog, I mean she LITERALLY flings her body into the door without putting her paws up first. She will do this over and over until we let her in.

2-If you throw something for her to "fetch," she will stare up into the sky until you show her EXACTLY where you threw it. At which point, she will saunter over and pick it up - that is if she makes it without being distracted by another toy.

3- If Maverick (our other dog) barks because the doorbell rings or a dog walks by, she runs around in circles barking, despite the fact that she clearly has no clue WHY they are barking.

4- When her toys roll under the couch, armoire or other furniture, she HOWLS with her head under the furniture, over and over again.

She is also probably the most annoying creature on the face of the planet. Several times this week alone, I have considered taking her into the woods and leaving her so she can't find her way back home. Luckily, I wouldn't have to take her far. I bet if I left her in the woods directly behind our house she would never find her way back.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pillow Talk

Adam and I dated for a really long time before we got engaged and married. Add to that the fact that we started dating in high school, were each other's first loves, and had waited patiently for marriage before sleeping together or even kissing; and we felt like if there was anyone who didn't need pre-marital counseling, it was us.

We, nevertheless, faithfully attended our sessions. I even feel like we learned a thing or two about ourselves, about each other, and about the Lord's design for marriage. We were also super-mature and giggled or snickered everytime our counselor mentioned any words referring to sex or, you know, our parts (ahem).

But there was one suggestion that our counselor made that we took to heart and continue to practice on a daily basis, and that is "pillow talk." He explained that it's important for couples to find time to talk to each other about your lives, to connect on a heart level and be intentional about it rather than simply co-existing and living under the same roof (something which is surprisingly easy to do). He mentioned that one way to ensure you do this is to find a specific time to talk and connect on a daily basis. We picked that sweet time before sleep when we're both lying in bed. We call it pillow talk, and we ALWAYS pray together, and then also try to talk about anything else that might be on our hearts or minds.

Lets be honest, this doesn't happen every single day because, well, we have a 4 month old baby who hates to sleep and sometimes we're just too daggum tired. Other times, Adam prays that thing like highchairs will be "useful" and I know he's fallen asleep mid-prayer. Other days we fight, other times we don't go to sleep at the same time . . . but for the most part, we have our pillow talk every night and I really do think it makes a huge difference in keeping our marriage healthy and our hearts connected.

So that's my tip for you today -- find out more "Works for Me Wednesday" tips at Shannon's blog. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

How Long Can I Use the Excuse that I Just Had a Baby?

I would like to start off by saying that this is my 100th post. Wohoo!

So I just realized (even though it is now 3pm) that Jayci and I are wearing nearly identical shirts. This is disconcerting for 2 reasons.
1 - I own a shirt that matches my four month old daughter's
2 - Before you know it we are going to be that family that wears full on matching outfits to church. And I'm going to sew them. Once, you know, I learn how to sew more than semi-straight lines.

So this weekend was busy (what else is new?) but fantastic. We started off with a big milestone: Jayci's first sleepover at her grandparents house. Apparently she actually slept, which I find hard to believe since she is clearly training her body to exist on just minutes of sleep every day.

It was a nice break for Adam and I, we started off by going out for dinner at Sugo in Roswell (for which we had a gift certificate courtesy of our award-winning white chili). I tell you what, it was some of the best service and most delicious food I have ever tasted. And then, because we are wild and crazy, we went over to my parent's house (they were out of town -- party!) and had my sister make us some delicious coconut brownies (I mean seriously good). We watched "The Express" (the Ernie Davis story), which I loved because, as I may have mentioned, I am a sucker for inspirational sports movies. And then we went home and went to sleep. For 8 hours straight. Praise Jesus.

Saturday we went downtown for visitation, went to church for some sweet worship and then Adam had to be a judge for his school's "What-a-Man" competition. It turns out this is basically a male beauty pageant involving pick-up-lines, dance moves, and some seriously hilarious high schoolers. I was laughing so hard I may have scared Jayci.

Sunday was, of course, Metro Kidz. And then we took a bunch of our kiddos to Moe's for lunch. They love to yell "Welcome to Moe's" whenever they see us now. And then we watched the Super-bowl at a friends house while Jayci stayed awake really late in amazing feats of strength. I seriously was not kidding when I said she is training herself not to need any sleep. None!

Unfortunately, all the excitement made it impossible for Adam and I to stay awake and watch The Office. Hallelujah for modern technology (aka DVR). Oh and I do have somewhat of a dilemma tonight because our DVR does not allow us to record more than 2 shows at once (and you have to watch one of the 2 shows you record)And since House, Chuck and the Bachelor are all on tonight, I'm a little conflicted and may have a nervous breakdown trying to decide what to do.

In other news, it is now 3:45pm and Jayci STILL has not taken a nap today. And yes, this insightful post took me 45 minutes to write. In my defense, it has all been typed with one hand.

Oh and I think her hair may be starting to calm down. . . . or not.


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