Saturday, March 27, 2010

Santa Barbara Nachos and Gorillas

On Thursday the boys and I packed up the car and headed north.
Destination...Atascadero, to see my sister and brother-in-law.
On our way, we made a pit stop in beautiful Santa Barbara.
And whenever we have a chance to go to SB,
we have to stop at Little Alex's for

the best grilled chicken nachos EV-ER!! Yum!

Noah also thoroughly enjoyed Little Alex's.

After our tummies were maxed with Mexican food, we headed over to the wonderfully quaint Santa Barbara Zoo. Chris took me there early in our dating, so it was fun to go back and reminisce about our young love while Noah enjoyed his first zoo experience. 

One hightlight from our time there was a great show from this massive gorilla. We watched as he leisurely strolled across the grounds carrying two burlap sacks. Once he found the perfect spot, he then proceeded to fluff each sack like you would a pillowcase and gently lay them on the grass. Our primate friend then plopped down in the ultra-relaxed position seen here. It was quite a comical site!

It was a lovely day filled with lovely family moments.

More on our trip to come...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun with Noah

Here are some fun moments from the last couple months.
I'm so lucky to be this little guy's mom!
The joy he exudes makes every day with him a blessing.

Noah loving that swing.

Playing at the park with his cousins, Charlie and Lucy.
(Lucy off on the big-girl swings)

Noah LOVES his pacifiers!
(affectionately called "foofy" in our house...not sure why)

Warms my heart that my baby loves books.

Hard to believe what a big boy my baby has become.

Noah loves Sid the Science Kid on TV.
Clearly, the live version was not a big hit.

Just one of the boys!
Hanging out with cousins Ezra and Ezekiel.

Happy at Home Depot...what a man!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Changing Dreams

I grew up in a house full of girls—my mom, two sisters, and me. We played dress-up, fought over the bathroom mirror, and got ready for prom. I never imagined myself in a house full of boys. But that's exactly what's about to happen.

Yesterday, we found out that baby #2 is another boy.

I don't want to admit it, but my first reaction to this news was disappointment. I told myself not to get my hopes up, but I was secretly convinced that it was a little girl growing and twirling inside me. I had dreamed of tying pink bows around bouncy pony tails, sipping steamy imaginary tea next to bunny and bear, and teaching my daughter how to make mommy's scrumptious chocolate chip cookies. Fighting back tears, I said goodbye to my dreams.

And then I realized, these were my dreams...

This amazing little person isn't being born just for my joy. He is going to be a wonderful new part of our family. Chris' son and Noah's brother. I started to see glimpses of new dreams. My boys dueling light sabers and building backyard forts. Father-son fishing trips and family mountain hikes. Noah growing up with a constant playmate by his side...two little buddies sharing life's adventures.

Having children is not about fulfilling a parent's dream. It's about welcoming the perfect blessing God has chosen for you. It's about being eager to discover who that child is and how you can come along side to grow them up into the person God created them to be.

Photos like these are helping with my changing dreams.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Noah is fifteen months old today!

Fifteen Things
I Love about My Son
(in no particular order):

  1. His light-up-my-life smile
  2. The way he leans in to give Daddy kisses 
  3. His curiosity and eagerness to explore
  4. The way he smells after a bath
  5. How he runs with pure joy
  6. His ridiculously tiny buns
  7. The way he says "nana" (banana) in the voice of an angel
  8. His dragon growl
  9. How much he loves reading stories with Mommy
  10. The way he makes strangers stop and smile
  11. His gentle spirit
  12. The best giggle I've ever heard
  13. The way he snuggles before bedtime
  14. His kissable cheeks
  15. That he will always be my son and I his mom

 Today's Memorable Moments


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mommy's Favorite Little Man

This picture of Noah was taken nearly four months ago, but it's one of my favorites. Those adorable blue eyes stare at me from the side of my fridge each day and it always puts a smile on my face. So, just for kicks, I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Melting Moments

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go with my dear friend, Esther, to a mini women’s retreat called, “Make Space for God.” This is a portion of my reflection from the first session of the day.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Psalm 131:2

Noah has been weaned for two months. He no longer needs my physical body for his own physical nourishment. He can now drink from his own Sippy cup and feed himself with his little fingers. Even as a tiny toddler, he is exerting his independence, exercising his own will and wants, and testing his boundaries. But though he wants to adventure and explore new things each day and protests when he doesn’t get his way, still he knows he needs mommy and daddy. Still he clings to me, knows I’m where it’s safe and warm and comforting.

Before naptime and bedtime we rock and sing. Noah melts into me completely. My active, energetic, strong, and wiggly little boy is calm, quiet, peaceful, and still, nestled snuggly in my arms. Usually, he’ll tuck in his arms and curl his small hands in the curve of my neck, just to be that much closer to me, that much more enveloped in my comfort and care. I deeply treasure these moments—these moments of my son surrendering fully to my love.

And so it is with what God desires from us, from me. He has given me the ability, the choice to be loud and busy, to push the boundaries he has set for me. Yes, he enjoys it when in the course of my day I stop and smile at him, ask him a question, have a quick conversation, or check in about this or that. But it’s not unless I stop completely and melt into my Father’s loving arms, surrender fully to his care, that I can really know and enjoy this child-like picture of deep faith and communion with God.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grumbling to Gratitude

Thank you for this mountain of dishes
You gave me food to eat

Thank you for this pile of laundry
You gave me clothes to wear

Thank you for this file of papers
You gave me work to do

Thank you for this closet of clothes that no longer fit
You gave me a baby to carry in my womb

Thank you for this furniture covered with dust
You gave me a home to care for

Thank you for this tub of dirty water
You gave me a child to bathe

Thank you for this day full of things to do
You gave me a family to serve and love

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
-Philippians 2:14-15

Lord, help me to turn all my grumblings into gratitude—today, tomorrow, and always. Thank you for every precious blessing you’ve given me. I don’t deserve any of them. Thank you for your perfect provision, your perfect love.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fresh Air, Fun, and Food

It's amazing what 90 minutes outside the house can do for the soul.

As a stay at home mom who works part time from her dining room table, it can be easy to get trapped in all the to-dos and forget about the world outside your 1,200 square foot bubble. Dishes, laundry, diapers, chasing Noah, reading stories, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, posting payments, posting charges, dare to shower, dare to nap, bills and emails, and another day has come and gone. This is how most of my days come and go without a breath of fresh air, save for a quick trip to the trash can to dispose of one of Noah's super stinkies!

Today, I knew I needed something different. Take a chance! Venture out! I heard a voice calling. I remembered something about a music time for babies at this charming little children's book store in the Village, the one we popped into a couple months ago to buy Noah's first Christmas book. (This place is almost as cute as The Shop Around the Corner, if you know what I mean.) I looked up the store online, found the info, and made a plan! I left the dishwasher full of clean dishes and Noah and I were off for a little adventure! We walked (well, mommy walked and Noah lounged in his stroller) the 15 minute trek to the store. Then we joined the circle of five other moms and their tiny tots and were led in a series of songs and activities by a very cute and bubbly young blonde. We clapped our hands, patted our legs, and banged on a drum. Noah was very intrigued. Sadly, the fun only lasted 15 minutes. I have to turn around now and go right back home? We stayed for a bit and Noah tinkered in the little play area--particularly amused by a plastic banana and tiny whisk--and I chatted with a few of the other moms.

I still wasn't ready to go home to the skimpy leftovers from last night's dinner waiting for us. Then I remembered this inexpensive Mexican restaurant I ate at a couple years ago that was only a few doors up the street. So off we went for a mother/son date. We shared beans, rice, and limey guacamole. It wasn't fancy, but it was fun.

We walked back and I was excited to enter my wonderful home again. We were only gone 90 minutes, but it made my whole day.

I can see how this may all sound a little melodramatic, but if you've ever been a stay at home mom, I think you understand. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Growing Moments

I am always baffled by the strange paradox of time. How each day and particular moments can feel so long, like they're never going to end. Yet, when you look back over a span of time it seems like it went by so much faster than you ever anticipated, and somehow the weeks and months have melded together, passing by in a blurry swoosh.

This phenomenon has never been more real to me than now as a mother. I remember holding my son as a newborn, miniature fingers wrapped about my thumb, his whole body easily cradled in one arm. How could he ever be bigger than in this moment? Blink. I'm watching my toddler practice his new climbing skills as he repeatedly tries to conquer the couch like it's his Everest. No more completely dependent tiny blob of joy. Now a little adventurer, already testing his boundaries, exerting his independence, becoming the wonderful person God created him to be.

I'm sure there will be many entries to come about my blessed experience being Noah's mom. It's the greatest joy of my life.

Here are a few of the amazing growing moments we have enjoyed together so far.

2 weeks old: Noah's first walk

3 months old: Trying to hold up that heavy head

6 months old: Learning to love carrots

9 months old: Cuddling with his blanket made by Aunt Mary

1 year old: Chocolate cake. Need I say more?