halloween, elephants, and giraffes

Ohhhh...I'm just so excited for today! Today is Halloween, of course, and we are having our second annual Halloween party. Actually, it is just basically family coming over but I get to make my very special Pumpkin Chili and display my new table runner I made:) And...I get to dress up my boy as one of his favorite animals, a giraffe! Parker LOVES his costume and hugs and kisses it whenever we let him. I wonder if he'll like having it on? We're going Trick or Treating at a retirement home this morning and then we'll come home and get ready for our party.

Speaking of Halloween and the sometimes scary things that go along with it, Parker is suddenly afraid of everything! He's always been afraid of elephants. Elephants...even elephant's in books or Baby Einstein or the sound of elephants on his Raffi CD. But here is the strange part...this is Parker's favorite book:

I mean favorite. Favorite as in we read it maybe ten times a day....and it isn't a short little board book. Parker is waaaaay over those little kid reads:) This was one of my favorite books as a kid so it is actually pretty fun to read. And maybe it will help get Parker over his fear of these scary creatures.

Oh, and be prepared for plenty of pictures of my giraffe in the following days...I just might go overboard:)


The Half Birthday!

I realized that I missed an important post...Parker's 1/2 birthday:) I have been finding that the second year of life is going even faster than his first. Oh no! Here is my boy in pictures: First 3 pics are from the day after birth (middle one with Auntie Vicky) and 7 weeks. Second 3 are from 5 and 6 months and the third set is current, of course!

I just wanted to edit this to add that I don't even remember Parker looking like this first picture. Aaaahhhh...he is so beautiful and I regret missing this very brief stage:) It isn't because I have just forgotten that they can look this small but I seriously don't have any recollection of his second day! I was seriously loopy and was still repeating my sentences over and over. I think I had a strong reaction to one of the drugs. Good think we have tons of pictures...as you can see!!

I was on a little outing yesterday by myself and I went into Barnes and Noble and drank a decaf latte. I picked up a little book about mothers and sons and I remembered again why I love being my son's mama. One of the quotes said something like this...

*As a baby, your son will always be searching for
your face. This will never change.*

I love this because I fi
nd it to be so true. While little boys are born to be little independent adventurers with all of their car sounds and filthy faces, Parker is always looking for my face for reassurance. I am so blessed.

~I must add that I now feel more excited to have a daughter someday...whether it be in a little over 3 months or down the road. Right now, I'm just enjoying my role as Parker's mama:)


Regrets anyone? No perfection here...

I have to admit that I really like watching and reading celebrity interviews... and I know that I'm not the only one:) It seems like we are often surprised at how human these famous people seem after hearing an interview with them. However, does it ever occur to you that most of them, when asked if they have any regrets about their past decisions, often say they wouldn't change a thing because all of their mistakes have made them who they are today (or something similar)? Sure, I believe that some of them like their lives and like who they have become but is there anything wrong with admitting mistakes? Is there anything wrong with having regrets in your life?

Like I said the other day, I'm really happy with where I am in my life right now. I do think that many of my decisions have made me who I am. But I will say that I certainly have regrets and have made a lot of mistakes. I'm human and I am just plain mean, dumb and sinful sometimes. My biggest regret is that as a result of my mistakes and bad decisions, I have hurt people--even those that I love the most. I have hurt people with my words and even more so by what I haven't said...the looks I've given...the judgements I've made. I regret all of these things. I don't want my bad decisions to be dirty little secrets that I brush under the rug because I think this can hurt others even more. I want to live a life of transparency and I admit that I'm not perfect...far from it.

This little rant of mine is not intended to be a blanket apology to all of those that I've hurt in my life; it is just one of my attempts at living my life honestly--like a hardwood floor:) And thank God for His forgiveness...


Happy to be...

moving forward, living my life today, in the moment...

...These are all things that I'm feeling lately. I feel like I've just recently started moving forward in life again. I'm experiencing my life again instead of watching it happen to me. I haven't really sorted out why I have felt so restless in past months and years and I've tried so hard not to desire to be in the past or in the future, but I just haven't been successful. *I was thinking the other day about how I haven't even cheated this year and listened to Christmas music yet. Sorta sounds silly but I think that it is telling. I don't want it to be Christmas time yet because I am enjoying the season we're in so much. In the same way, I don't wish that it was still summer. *I'm not wishing that Parker was a little younger or a little older--I love his age and I just wish I could freeze time. *I don't even wish that this little baby was here yet. I'm certainly looking forward to meeting the little one, but I'm really enjoying getting to know him/her right now. It is a special type of intimacy that mother's get to share with their unborn babies. I'm so thankful that I'm over the toughest part of pregnancy. Now I get to enjoy the wonderful, maternal feeling of carrying life while not carrying around a ton of weight. *I'm also excited again to be meeting new friends and cultivating relationships while just a few months ago, I didn't quite feel ready. *I'm really loving my home. I liked it before but now I feel like I can make it mine. I even took a picture of our garage and the leaves around it! I even love our garage:)

There are so many more things that I could list that I am feeling good about....and maybe I will later.

Here are a few pictures of the everyday life that I'm so happy about right now. Parker and I took another trip up north with MOM'S club for a hay ride, pumpkins, doughnuts, and apples. I think it was more fun for Parker than mom...it was so much work for me because I had to carry two children much of the time:) There is another picture of Parker at our park smiling because he was so proud of himself for going down the big slide. And the other picture is of our park that we live right by. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.


What a little pumpkin...

Last week we went up north again to enjoy some fall fun. It is hard to imagine that this is the same place that we picked berries just over a month ago. The seasons have certainly changed! Now there are pumpkins and gourds all over the place! Parker had fun riding in the big wagon and we only told him to sit down on his bottom 10 or 15 times! We enjoyed the trip with my mom and my grandma...how special is that?! After going through a little maze and picking out pumpkins, we went to another farm to eat some yummy fall treats--including some pumpkin ice cream. I like pumpkin anything and I wait all year for the the flavor to come back into season. Today, some friends brought us pumpkin doughnuts...yum! Maybe this is not such a good time of the year to be pregnant...this baby may be huge because I'm enjoying so many treats:)


Growing Girth: Installment #3--almost 22 weeks!

It has been a while since I posted a picture of my growing girth. I feel like I've recently fallen off the wagon in the growth department. I never thought that I'd say this but sometimes I wish I had a more obvious pregnant belly--at least one that is more like the other bellies at this point in pregnancy. I just want the special treatment:) Today, I had one woman I know tell me that she was relieved that I was talking about the pregnancy because she thought I miscarried. And another woman at the dentist asked if something was wrong with the baby! Nope, just a well shaped uterus:) Anyway, I'll count my blessings now, because in a few months I will be wishing for this belly back! Sorry the picture is blurry...I took it of myself in the mirror!

p.s. you can see the changes from last time here...


Praying Parker

It has been so fun having Joel home with us this past month or so. Parker has become quite a Daddy's boy--which I think is just great because next month, I'll be the favorite! Parker has also become quite spiritual lately:) In all seriousness, I believe children have a unique relationship with our creator and are able to recognize God in all sorts of ways that adults have lost since childhood. As parents, we have this special opportunity to relive that wonder with our children--if we allow it. It has been interesting to see Parker try to imitate some of our daily practices.

  • Praying- Parker likes to get us to pray with him all the time. We hold hands and bow our heads and after many, many prayers, we have to start to be creative and thank God for Parker's teeth or something like that because it seems like we've prayed for everything else (I know...totally not possible)! Parker peeks all the time but he tries really hard to focus on the prayer! He likes to say, "amen".
  • Reading the bible- Parker will often drag Joel's bible over and ask over and over to be read to. Joel does and it makes me so proud. Even though Joel tells me that it is because Parker really wants the pen that is inside the bible, I choose to believe that Parker wants to hear the bible stories.
  • Musical praise- We keep Parker with us during the first part of the church service so he can be a part of worshipping God through music. Parker gets into a sort of trance when the music starts and just doesn't snap out of it! He waves his hands in the air like a mad-man and plays air drum like none other. The head-bop is also something else. I love how free he feels to express himself...t is such a great reminder for me!


Our beloved Lazy Bones

I have been wanting to write for such a long time now, but I haven't found the right time. Joel has been home with Parker and me and for some reason, I have a harder time finding time to get online. Those boys keep me busy. I have a few things to write about but only enough time for one subject. Later I will tell you about Parker being smacked by a bully and my Mama Bear claws coming out and about our new small group at church. But now...I'm going to tell you about our newest baby and his or her new nickname: Lazy Bones.

We had our ultrasound yesterday and got to see for the very first time our beloved Lazy Bones. I know I've said this before, but Parker was such an excited little boy even before he was born. The kid never stopped moving around when we saw him on ultrasound. I thought we had a monkey in my tummy and, as it turned out, we did:) This baby never really changed positions during the 20-25 minutes that the probe was on my tummy. He or she is head down, as low as possible, and the head was cocked to one side. The tech was trying to get it to move around but the most we got out of the baby was a little toe wiggle or finger in the mouth. And these are actually movements that I felt... so it is clear that the baby never moves more than this! Since the baby didn't turn, we really didn't get a good idea of what the babe looks like. We got a few shots of the face straight on but those tend to look like scary Halloween faces. We did get a few profile shots but they weren't really clear. Our only conclusion was that the baby looks a bit like Parker--and we think that is a really good thing.

In reality, the fact that we didn't get to see what the baby looks like doesn't matter and actually makes me more excited for the birth. We did find out that baby is healthy and strong and measuring right on track. What wonderful news! And the fact that the baby is lazy doesn't bother me a bit because...well, you could just as well say that about me:)


Go Cougs...but please don't take me in the water!

Parker had his first swimming lesson yesterday and, as you can see from his face in this picture, he enjoyed it quite a lot! He was the only kid in the class that was upset but I attribute that to his little fall into the lake this summer:) It actually got better as the lesson went on and I think he might have smiled a couple of times. I'm just glad that he was with Daddy and not me--he might have persuaded me to take him out of the pool!
The day got much better, though, and Parker experienced his very first Cougar football game. We traveled to see Kelsey and joined her to watch her beloved Cougs. It was so fun! It was a close game and very intense. Parker learned how to root for the team and really joined in on the action. He ate the majority of our bag of kettle corn...see the above picture of Parker and Kels! Gotta give up good nutrition when you're at a game!

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