Wednesday, December 31, 2008

anna's first christmas

Thanks for the cute sweater, Daddy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

mother and child

I was 14 when I sang the Magnificat at York Minster Cathedral. I had recently learned that Mary was about my age when she learned from the angel Gabriel that she had been chosen to be the virgin mother of the Son of God. I couldn't stop thinking about it. What an incredible young woman she must have been, with a soul that magnified and rejoiced in the Lord, who already knew something of His grace, His mercy, and His might. She was a young woman who pondered.

I wanted to be like her. I didn't want (or expect) such a grand mission, but I wanted the Lord to know who I was and know He could call on me by name, and that I would say, "Be it unto me according to thy word." I couldn't stop thinking about it. I felt a connection with her, and wished I could meet her and ask her... so many things.

Now, as a mother, I wonder so much more. Did His face glow when He slept, like my Anna? Where did He take His first steps? Was He a cuddly baby? Did you wonder, as I do, how you will prepare Him? Did you find yourself praying all the time to your Father, to His Father? Was it lonely, and joyful, and trying, and strengthening?


My friend (I hope I can call you that!), Sarah, asked her own question that still has me thinking. Read it here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

sun and snow

Most places I've lived have crazy weather. It seems like every time there are major fluctuations, someone says, "Welcome to (Ohio, Utah, Texas...wherever my current locale is)!" But never in all my 24 long years have I experienced such major temperature differences from day to day as here in Texas. Let me give you our ten day history:

12/4: high 40's
12/5: mid 40's
12/6: 60's
12/7: high 60's
12/8: low 70's
12/9: high 70's (we all wore shorts)
12/10: mid 30's (and SNOW!)
12/11: low 50's
12/12: low 60's
12/13: low 70's
12/14: high 70's
12/15: high 30's


Nonetheless, Anna and I take several walks a day. Here's how we cope:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

a pearly white

Anna got her first tooth on Wednesday. Goodbye gummy grin!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I enjoyed reading everyone else's lists of things they were thankful for. I missed the boat for a Thanksgiving post, but I feel like Christmastime is still a good season for being thankful, so here's my short list:

My wonderful, super, fantastic, coolness, remarkable* husband. He works hard, he plays with Anna, he makes me laugh, he's patient with all my craziness, and he thinks I'm pretty.

My adorable and adoring daughter who loves me better than anyone or anything else in the whole world. I know because her whole body wriggles with glee when I enter the room or smile at her.

My Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My faith sustains me through whatever life brings.

Good books.

Friends who talk with me about things other than motherhood (though we always end up on that topic) and let me come over when their house is dirty.

Energetic walks. Long, quiet showers.

Doing crazy dances to make Anna smile.

Anna's smile.

Learning-- --how to cook, --from reading, --to love more, --to let things go, --to be a better friend, --how to mother.

The internet.



Swimming pools.

My mom.

* Thanks Sara for sharing that fun song and awesome new phrase.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

shaking our tail feathers

I feel like I haven't blogged in a long time. When I look at my blog I realize it's only been about a week since my last post, but I think the last few posts haven't been very substantive. I have lots of pictures and experiences to share, but I don't want to have another huge post of dumped information, so I've decided to use blogger's cool function of choosing the date your blog is published, so I only have to get on my computer and blog once, and you get fresh posts day after day! Pretty darn awesome. So here's post number one.

We had a great Thanksgiving break. Well, with one exception. It started after Sam took the GMAT. He did really well and got about the best score in the range he was expecting. (I'm so proud of him!) He came home and we rehashed the test, and Sam chose a restaurant to celebrate at. We went to Palio's Pizza which was excellent-- just delicious.

That night however, when I got up to feed Anna, I didn't feel so hot, and in the morning, I felt a lot like I did the last time I had food poisoning. We all ended up staying home from church. I traveled back and forth between the bed and the bathroom while Sam took care of Anna and made sure I didn't hit my head every time I passed out. That night, around 11, it hit Sam, and both of us were up till around 3 when we finally could get some sleep. Sam had it worse than I did, but it was over quickly. I didn't eat much of anything for three days. Unfortunately (?) it wasn't food poisoning or the flu (we all got flu shots) and we passed it on to our friends and their twins who passed it on to others. We are still so sorry....

By the big day, however, all of us were back in tip-top shape and on Thanksgiving morning we ran the Katy Turkey Trot 5K. Sam was good enough to take Anna after the first mile. I was glad to finish in less than half an hour, though it was probably the slowest 5K I've ever run. At least I didn't walk! This is us pre-race.

Afterwards they had powerade and fruit as well as breakfast burritos from Berryhill, pizza, and Coldstone ice cream, which I very much enjoyed. Anna was pretty good natured, but got hungry and tired near the end. I think it just motivated Sam to run a little faster.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

dress up

Anna got a new party dress. I found the top for $.99 at The Children's Place and my mom made the adorable skirt after hearing my description of one I liked at Gymboree. I got the tights and ruby red slippers from Walmart. We got her all dressed up and then took her to a wedding reception. I didn't bring a camera, but thankfully Amy snapped a picture. I'm sure there will be more to come once she wears the outfit again :) I love having a little girl!

PS: And I got my hair cut. What do you think?

Monday, December 01, 2008

12 days of christmas

The Lil' Peanut Patch is doing 12 days of Christmas giveaways at their blog. Earlier this year, Anna was featured as the Lil' Peanut of the Week. Go check it out-- and wish me luck!

The Lil' Peanut Patch

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My great-grandmother Onedia made this slip and dress when she was pregnant in the 1920's. The baby she hoped was girl, however, turned out to be a boy, and these were tucked away. She died without having any more children, and my grandfather kept these in a scrapbook until my mom found them a few weeks ago. She sent them to us so that one of Oneida's (great-great-grand...) daughters could finally wear her beautiful handiwork.

And from a slightly more recent era, this is a sweatshirt that I wore when I was a baby. I love the zipper up the back. It was so easy to put on Anna and there wasn't a gap at a closure in the front where cold air could come in. Anna wore the hoodie all day long. I never thought I would put frilly, girly, cutesie (look at those teddy bear's eyes!), or super pink clothes on my kids since I was never a girly girl, but they are just SO adorable!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

baby vs. wild

Over a cool November weekend, we took Anna camping at Stephen F. Austin State Park with our friends the Mercers (follow the link for their account and pictures-- love the penguin suits to stay warm). That made 3 babies and 4 adults-- well, once the men arrived. Alisa and I set up the tent, hammock, and entertained/fed the babies in the afternoon beneath the trees. I'll admit it was a little less leisurely than most other camping trips I've been on, but we fun nonetheless.

Three car seats squeezed into the back seat of the truck

Anna was not too sure about being between two other babies, but she and Maya sure looked cute in their matching onesies. And I can never get enough of Max's smile.

Our fire was a little slow in coming with some damp wood, but it eventually came to life and we enjoyed some quiet time to talk around it while the babies were bundled into their pack and plays. Of course, Sam did have to chase away the fearless raccoons several times during the night as they climbed on the cabin walls, or slipped under our chairs or into the truck bed.

I'm pretty sure Anna didn't actually sleep, but rather lie awake too cold to cry all night. When, at 5:30, she started making some noises and I picked her up to feed her, her hands were freezing and her eyes were WIDE open. Once I fed her and we all played a bit, Sam snuggled her back into his sleeping bag and she fell deeply asleep. Nothing better than snuggling.

Not such a happy morning at first

But it got better

We enjoyed a nice little walk through the woods and along the Brazos river in the early afternoon the next day. Anna got a little sunburned and I felt terrible about it, but otherwise I think the trip was a success, and I have to say I feel a twinge of pride whenever I tell anyone we took three six-month-old babies camping.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

trick or treat...or vote

I know Halloween is long past, but it was such an eventful week, I can't help but blog about it.

A week before Halloween, Sam, Anna, and I went to a pumpkin patch run by our local Methodist church. It was perfect for our needs: free, small, simple, shady, and full of pumpkins and fall decor for documenting Anna's first Halloween. Still, the cars and people were pretty distracting to Anna, so it was all we could do to get her looking in the direction of the camera, let alone smile, but she looks cute nearly all the time, so we still got some good pictures. And they accurately capture her bewilderment at being dressed in a hot, orange, fuzzy thing.

Afterwards, we had to pick some things up at Walmart and Anna had her first experience riding in the shopping cart seat. Since the camera was in my bag, I had to document the occasion.

The day before Halloween was the Halloween party at infant story time at the library. We brought a plate of cupcakes to share and went to sing songs and see all the other adorable costumes on our baby friends. Amber and Alisa have some great pictures and descriptions of the event as well. Anna's friends from church were dressed as twin chickens, twin penguins, a lion, a ladybug, and a cowboy (with homemade chaps no less! check them out). We sang our songs, read stories, and then ate yummy treats. There was so much food that no one ate any of my cupcakes, so I decided to take them to the workers at the early voting location that was my next stop.

why we love story time

Anna with buddies Maya and Max

I'm a huge fan of early voting. It was a beautiful day to drive out to George Bush Park with the windows down. I took Anna, still in costume, and the cupcakes with me. As we walked up to the building, we were approached by a woman and a man handing out brochures for Texas State Senate candidates Chris Bell and Joan Huffman,respectively. The woman said, "Since you're voting for Obama [I had an Obama button on my diaper bag] you're obviously going to vote for Chris Bell," and was about to continue when the man jumped in and said, "Well, hold on now. She's got a plate of cupcakes, and you know that's a Republican thing."

Now, I consider myself an independent, and voted for Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian candidates this election, but I can tell you one thing. The Democrat worker declined my cupcake offer and the Republican accepted. ("I love food almost as much as I love Joan Huffman's commitment to border control.") I'm just sayin' is all.

Between my adorable, pumpkin-clad baby and a plate of cupcakes, I was easily the most popular voter at the polls. I got lots of smiles and thank you's and compliments on my baking/frosting abilities. By the time I left, I decided cupcakes must bring out strong feelings in people especially when the middle aged man who gave me my voting pin number said, knowingly, after a fellow worker informed him I was the one who brought the treats, "Aaaah, you're a cupcake mom."

I have no idea what he meant by that, but I've decided to embrace that as part of my identity: a socially-minded, diaper-changing, travel-loving, baby-wearing, la leche league-attending, ice cream-loving, book-reading, tree-hugging, church-going, independent, stay-at-home cupcake mom.

That night, over a delicious, candle- and jack o' lantern-lit dinner in a pumpkin (inspired by Amy's mom and, I rehashed the days events. Alisa brought a yummy, warm pumpkin ginger soup, and four friends and three babies had a marvelous Halloween. If I had to guess, I'd say a tradition was born.