Friday, January 30, 2015

A tiny tidbit

On the Friday mornings Nate gets paid, I roll myself out of bed extra early in the morning to grocery shop all by myself. As I drove from HEB to Walmart this morning, I passed one of the large daycares, and saw a man walking in carrying a little girl about Lucy's age and holding the hand of a little boy about Milo's age. I immediately started crying and had to thank God that I get to stay home with these little people. I may have horrendous, frustrating days here and there, but I still love being able to take care of them and teach them and watch them grow. I haven't missed out on any of their big moments, and I've enjoyed all their little ones, too. I'm incredibly lucky, especially because I absolutely adore doing something that I never even knew I wanted to.

That's all I've got today. Have a great weekend!

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just when you thought you'd seen all of our family photos...

Are you tired of my accosting you with family photos yet? I just finished another batch of editing, and let's be honest. Who am I going to show? Besides Nate, of course, and he's easily impressed. So, here you go. A few more pictures of these beautiful little people.

Those gorgeous eyes. Those pigtails. Those perfectly kissable cheeks. I'm smitten with this little lady.
Oh hey, Nate, the Gap called and they want their child model back...
Oh, hey there, giant bosom. Leftovers from nursing. A lot of people go down in size... I stayed UP. But look at my handsome husband!
This is an art photo type crop because I rightly referred to the original full version of this photo as "Pearbottom Downtown."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Closet purge

I did a big old closet purge today. Maybe a rainy day isn't the right time to completely deconstruct one's closet, but I was desperately trying to not be productive on things I'm actually committed to doing (you know, like cleaning, cooking, or making the orphan costumes I need to finish by next Monday). My little people went down for naps and I headed to my room.

I'll be honest. I only meant to sit down and paint my toenails. But then I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and the situation was pretty dire. Unplucked eyebrows, frizzy halo of hair, mismatched clothes that I don't even like. All of a sudden I had this weird revelation. Just because I stay at home with my little people and spend 99.4% of my time doing things for other people doesn't mean I have to look like I never see the light of day outside this home. And why do I spend my time wearing horrid ugly outfits and saving my cute clothes for all the places that I'm not even going?

Thus the closet purge.

I stripped down and tried on every single thing I haven't worn in the last six months. Most of it didn't even fit (don't get me started), which meant it went in the discard pile. Then I looked at the things I had in my closet that I don't even like (for whatever reason) and chunked those in the pile. I also pulled out a few maternity stragglers (how were they hiding in there for this long?). I also pulled out things that just don't look right on me, no matter how cute, and added those to the literal mountain that had developed on the closet floor (it was really handy for getting an eye-level view of my top rack so I may just leave it there).

Now it gets really crazy. I organized all the sleeveless shirts together (in color order, or course). Then all the short-sleeved, then all the long-sleeved, and then the cardigans. My now sadly small selection of pants moved down next to the blazers, and I even left a space for cute outfits that I have already put together for wearing. Yep. It's insane. And I'm pleased. Because I'd rather be wearing the same small selection of clothes (and let's just be real - I still have way more clothes than most people) that make me feel good about myself than ill-fitting clothes, or, even worse, pajamas and sweats. Oh yes, friends, it has gotten that bad.

So there you go. I had myself a little intervention. With myself. Because that makes perfect sense. And now I'm happily dressed in a cuddly tunic sweater and a pair of cute, appropriate for public wearing leggings about to drink myself a big fat latte. That's how today went down.

Now, who's ready for a garage sale?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MORE family photos

Well, here you go. A few more photos, but these ones of my little people. Oh! And Nate. Let's not forget about my handsome and wonderful husband. Enjoy!

To start, I couldn't decide which of these was my favorite. Thoughts?
Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
I think there might have been a bug. They're easily entertained.
I know the coloring on this one is different, but I just had to play with it a bit since it was such a fun shot.
Milo and Lucy are delighted with each other.

Now that is one handsome man.
Seriously? Could this be any cuter?
Artsy shot. I'm in love.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Downtown Family Photos

Okay, just a few more. But stop twisting my arm, I'm serious.

And speaking of cuties... These three are top of the list.

Happy family. Seriously. We were having fun.
This little girl loves her daddy...
Kind of like this little man loves his mommy.

Awwww. My little people and I. Photos like this don't happen very often.
Lucy is excited. Need I say more?

Sneak a peek

We broke out the tripod and the remote this weekend and did a few family photos. Want a little sneak peek? You might not be able to handle all this cuteness...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Two perfect children and one genius

If you've read my blog much, you know that my friend Delaney does all of our family pictures, and she is pretty much a genius. Want to see a few four-year pictures she did of the handsomest little boy I've ever seen?

I feel like this picture describes Milo perfectly - he is always on the go.

He's charming.

He's completely lovable.

Did I mention he's always on the go? And usually smiling?
And just for good measure, have a gander at the most beautiful baby girl of all times.

This little punkin loves an accessory, much like her brother. She was wearing my gloves here.

Also charming, don't you think?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Esther by Angela Hunt

I recently started reviewing books for Bethany House Publishers, and one of the first books I received was Esther by Angela Hunt. I’m not going to lie – when I saw the cover art, I was a little concerned that I had somehow ended up with a Biblical historical romance novel (does such a thing even exist?). But I was pleasantly surprised when I actually sat down to read it.

See what I mean? The photo is a bit much, but don't be afraid...
Growing up in the church, I never considered the true weight of what Hadassah (Esther) was called to do, nor did I consider the scandal that it involved for a truly devout Jewish woman (or, let’s be honest, any woman). The author gave me a look into the thoughts and emotions of Hadassah, but also developed her husband the king further, so I was able to see that kings of that day were truly ruled by their own laws, often with dire consequences.

The story plays out with a trade between two narrators, Hadassah and a eunuch who serves the king named Harbonah. I enjoyed the development of both characters, but actually ended up more vested in Harbonah by the end. I guess I’m a sucker for a supporting character, and I liked the way the author used him to develop the king’s character as well, following him throughout his daily activities and even all the way to Greece on a war campaign.

I’m not sure if the author did additional research on Hadassah from other sources or just painted her through her own eyes, but I found her portrayal of Hadassah as a girl more interested in the Persian culture and less in her own faith thought-provoking. She definitely undergoes a change throughout the novel, which is the mark of good character development. I also enjoyed the relationship the author established between Hadassah and Mordecai’s wife Miriam, although I’m again unsure whether that was real or fictional.

Whether you grew up in the church or just want an interesting historical read, I think you’ll find this book worth your time. The author took certain liberties to fill in the story, but she certainly didn’t change the facts, which I appreciate. She created likable, yet flawed, characters and spent plenty of time developing the back story before she got right to the point. I’ll leave you with a quote that sums it up.

By wearing torn burlap and ashes, my cousin had reminded me that we Jews were not like the rest of the world. We walked in it, traded in it, communicated in it, and did acts of kindness for it. To the casual observer, we might have looked like ordinary people, but we were not. About that, at least, Haman was right.

We were children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and we served an invisible God, who remained close to us no matter where we lived. But our hearts did not – should not – belong to this world.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cookie adventure

I've been itching to try a recipe for a while - my aunt's homemade gingerbread cookie recipe. Every year she'd bring homemade and beautifully iced cookies to our extended family Christmas, individually wrapped for each of her nieces and nephews. I treasured these cookies because they were so amazing, and I've been feeling so nostalgic for them. She sent me her recipe and Mom, the kids and I got to work.

It was fun! And messy. And my little people consumed almost as much dough as we rolled out, but that's always the best part of baking, right?

Ready for cookie-cutting.

Lucy wasn't quite sure what to think, but she did have her eyes on the cookie dough...


Lucy would certainly do ANYTHING Nana would help her with. She wakes up asking for Nana every morning.

Imagine me, with doughy hands, saying things like, "Act natural! Like you just love cookies!"

Still trying...

At this point I just gave up because they're all just so cute anyway.

Finished product - gingerbread dinosaurs and boats and airplanes and cars with cream cheese frosting and a generous helping of sprinkles. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings have become really sweet to me. I used to feel irritated about getting up early with my little people, but they are such a treat that I can't help smiling. Every morning, after both of them are awake, we snuggle up in the recliner with juice (and coffee for me) and a few books. Today Lucy and Milo were extra chilly, so we brought blankets as well.

Anyway, Sundays are special because after book time I pack these little people up in their pjs and take them to get donuts (because I try not to be a crazy health-food pusher all the time). One of my former students works the drive-through, and we look forward to seeing her every week. I'd like to think the feeling is mutual.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First post of 2015

I have yet to write the year 2015, so when I went to add this picture to my blog today, the date surprised me. That's right, people, 2014 is a thing of the past and here we are in 2015! I'm not joking when I say I distinctly remember the anxiety that came along with New Year's Eve / Y2K many many years ago... This year, I slept in the new year and wasn't even a little upset about it. Maybe it's a sign of much sleep in the year to come? Fingers crossed...

That said, here's Lucy Lu!