Thursday, February 11, 2016

Small Town Home Town

When I was 4 years old, my family moved to a very small town in SC.  It was my dad's home town so it was like going "home" for him.  And that's where we lived for the rest of my childhood.  In fact, my parents still live there now.

In full disclosure, it's not like we lived in a booming metropolis before the move, and I was also 4 so I remember very little about where we lived before, but still.  This small town of population 2,000ish and 2 red lights became the place I talk about when I tell people where I came from, and it made me who I am today.

At daycare and kindergarten, I met four friends and we struck up a friendship that lasts even today.  Some of our moms called us the "Fab Five".  One of the benefits of a small town is that you go all the way through school together with the same group of people, from kindergarten all the way to high school.  Our town didn't have multiple elementary schools, that funneled into different middle schools and then other high schools.  We had 1 of each. So we knew everyone. I graduated with about 90 people and so I knew every single person who walked the stage with me.

On Friday, I got to go back home and have dinner with 3 of those friends that I grew up with.  The 4th lives in Mississippi, so we are giving her a pass since it would have been a bit of a long drive for dinner in SC. :)

Regardless, I am so thankful for these friendships. Friendships that have gone through sleepovers and giggles, dance and gymnastics, learning to drive, Friday night football games, figuring out how to wear makeup, proms, first boyfriends, many different hairstyles, different colleges, weddings, first jobs and then job changes, and kids.

Kindergarten to 2016... looking forward to many more years of friendship with these girls ladies!  Hard to believe that we're all grown ups now. :)

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Karsten - 15 Months

Since we're just 1 day away from Karsten being 16 months, I figure it's now or never on sharing this 15-month post that I started weeks ago.  Such is life these days...

Another milestone. They just keep on coming.

Karsten turned 15 month back on January 6th but her 15 month doctor's appointment wasn't until quite a bit later.  As of this past Friday, Karsten was:

32ish inches tall (90%)
22 lbs 10 oz (65%)

This picture was taken at her doctors appointment. Before the shots, obviously.

She is wearing Size 4 diapers and can wear 18 month clothes or 24 month clothes.  We didn't have a ton of 24 months clothes from Kate (because she grew so fast), so Karsten is actually wearing a lot of 2T things, even though they are a bit big.  The joys of hand-me-downs. :)

In the past 3 months, I can't even believe how much she has grown.  She still seems so petite and little to me, but she is talking up a storm and is into everything.  She repeats just about anything we say.  We are constantly hearing "Hey Dada!" or "Hey Mama".  She can say Kate (pronounced Date), Max, Cooper (pronounced Pooper), Bye, Night-Night, Up, Down, Eat, Bottle, Bite, Baby, Dog, Puppy, Okie-Dokie, okay, alright, Barbie, Bunny, and so SO much more.  She will at least attempt to repeat just about anything you say.

Kate has affectionately started calling Karsten "Miss Tornado" and to be honest, that is pretty darn accurate!  She is Non. Stop. Motion.  One of her favorite past times includes running as fast as she can across the living room and straight into the couch.

She can point to (and say) the following places on her body:
  • Eye
  • Ear
  • Hair
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Chin
  • Toes
  • Belly Button
  • Elbow
  • Teeth
  • Knees
She will tell you that a cow says MOOO, a sheep says BAAAA, a cat says MEOW, an owl says WHOOOO, a pig says OINK, a monkey says OOHH OHHH, and a dog says ARRFFFF.  She will also "act" like a dog, which includes crawling around with her tongue hanging out of her mouth, and sporadically stopping to say "ARRFF."

She is still my super-sensitive little girl.  A simple "no" will cause her to stick that bottom lip out and burst into tears.

She is very attached to her bunny - a JellyCat bunny that Kate got for her first Easter. Kate was never really attached to stuffed animals (with the exception of a small tiger), but Karsten most definitely is. She carries this thing all over our house, and if it is missing at bedtime, we send out a search party.

She knows how to turn lights on and off, and recently has realized that she is tall enough to turn door knobs.  Please pray for us. 

She has 11 teeth - 6 on the top and 5 on the bottom.  This includes all 4 of her one year molars and let me just tell you, our whole family is rejoicing that they are all the way in.  She got those 4 molars and 3 other teeth all at one time.  It was rough. 

Karsten is still SUCH a Mama's girl.  When Mama is around, she wants to be held.  And just being in my lap is not good enough. She wants me to be standing and holding her.  So she runs up to me, holds her hand up, and repeats "Up! Up!" until she gets what she wants.

She's doing so well with cups, but I still give her a bottle at bedtime. To be honest, I think this might be just as much something that I want as it is something that she wants.  Putting up all of the bottles is gonna be tough for us both! 

And THAT is Karsten at 15 months.  I wish I could bottle this all up and remember it always.  This girl is such a blessing and we thank God for her daily.  She has the sweetest, most sensitive personality and I can't wait to watch her grow up.  Except, I can wait. I hope it doesn't fly by too fast!

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Snow Day Dos and Tres!

I keep meaning to post these pictures, and then just forget!  Last Friday, we got a TON of snow. And then it started to sleet and we got some freezing rain.  We all figured that the snow would turn to ice and we'd just have a big mess.

But that's not what happened! It snowed some MORE.  All together, we think we got more than 7 inches at our house, which is c-ra-zy!!  Because the freezing rain and sleet packed down the first round of snow, we ended up with about 6ish inches to actually go play in.  And play we did.  Get ready for a picture overload from our Saturday and Sunday fun!

Karsten loved the snow so much, she cried when it was time to come in!  She would go back to the door and try to put on Kate's boots, or my shoes, so she could go back outside.  I think snow baby is a pretty accurate term for this one!

Kevin and Kate had a pretty legit snowball fight going on.  Somehow I avoided the action. :) 

Karsten even got in on some of the fun.  She especially loved sledding. You can see from the pictures below that Kate pretty much hated sledding. 

And to answer everyones questions - yes, those are grocery bags on her shoes and yes we did it on purpose. Kate had snow boots but all Karsten had were little (brand new) stride rite shoes. I didn't want them messed up and I wanted her feet to stay dry, so we improvised!

We had a blast.  And the best part was, the snow was JUST about melted enough for me to make it in to work on Monday.  Weekend snows are the best!  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Best is Better Than Good

A few weeks ago I was driving down the road and heard a new song by Johnny Diaz.  I instantly loved it because of the sound, but also because the lyrics seemed to fit so perfectly into where my life is right now.  Here are the lyrics to his new song, Breathe:

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Want to make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
So let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe

Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

How perfect is that? When I first heard the song, I thought "busy, busy, busy"... yep! That's me! And I know that's true for a whole lot of you out there too.  For me personally, I get so caught up in getting things done and checking things off of my list, that I forget to just BREATHE and slow down, and thank God for what He has done for me.  

But you know, the more I heard this song, the more one other section of the song spoke to me.  I didn't catch it the first time I heard the song, and maybe not even the second time, but by the third time I found myself focusing on this:

"Lay down what's good and find what's best"

Did you catch that?  Man.  That is so me too.  Lay down what's GOOD and find what's BEST.  And you know what's best?  Jesus.  That's it.  There's nothing better. 

I know some of you out there are just like me.  There's so much GOOD in all of our lives getting in the way of what's BEST.  

There's the mom who is so caught up in her kids activities, and shuttling them from one place to another, that she's too busy to even talk to God at all throughout the day.  Is loving your kids bad? No way! But Jesus is always best.

There's the family that goes on vacation every other week (must be nice!) but they're out of town so often as a family that they aren't really connected and part of a church family.  Is family time bad? No way!  But Jesus is always best. 

There's the employee that gets up at 4:30, rushes to get to work in the morning, comes home exhausted and falls into bed, too tired to take a few minutes to read God's word.  Is a job a bad thing? No way! But Jesus is always best. 

There's the volunteer that is involved in every non-profit organization and cause that exists, has been involved in church his whole life and has a lot of knowledge to share with others, but is too busy to commit to teaching a small group or Sunday school class.  Are charitable organizations bad? No way! But Jesus is always best. 

So what's getting in the way of what's best for you?  It might not be something bad!  In fact, it might be something GOOD that's getting in the way of what's best.  What's keeping you from serving, following, and obeying Jesus?  What's keeping you from spending time with the one who created us all?  Whatever it is, lay it down.  Focus on what's best.  Focus on Jesus, and all of the rest will work out on its own. 

Like the song says, I might be going ninety miles an hour, but I'm going to do my best to just breathe, and focus on what's best.   I promise you, best is always better than good. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

It's a'Snowing!

So here in good ole SC, we just don't get a whole lot of snow.  And when the weather people call for snow, they generally hype it up like it is going to be a blizzard that takes down the state, but all that happens is that we MAYBE see a few flakes.  So earlier this week, when the weather people started predicting snow near the end of the week, I pretty much ignored it.

And then it started snowing on Wednesday, and I thought "well this should be over quickly".  And it was.  It snowed pretty heavily but as soon as the flakes hit the ground, they melted.  I figured it was over, but the weather people said "No, no. There's more coming Thursday night."

Well Thursday we went to bed, and when we woke up today (Friday morning), it was WHITE.  Snow day 2016 was officially on.

We didn't get anymore snow, but all day we either had freezing rain or sleet, which made playing in the snow a little difficult.  Of course, we still made time, because Kate literally changed into THIS outfit as soon as she woke up.  And she would not take her jacket off until she got to go out into the snow.

The boys loved the snow too.  Cooper would jump for snowballs from Kevin.

 We got in Snow Round 2 a little bit later in the day.

So tonight we are really just praying that all of that freezing rain doesn't affect us too much, and these trees stay standing so we can keep our power!  Other than that, Snow Day 2016 was a success. 

(PS - Those aren't our car's tire tracks.  We have not gone ANYWHERE and we don't have plans to leave our house tomorrow either.)


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