Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday

I know this was a sore subject for a lot of people this year with how early the stores opened.  I do feel bad for the people who had to work on Thanksgiving and I do miss it all happening on Friday.  But Grey Thursday/Black Friday shopping was actually my family's version of Thanksgiving this year and we had a great time together!

Hunter, AJ, and I headed over to his mom's house that morning for what was supposed to be Thanksgiving breakfast.  His brothers were both with their girls' families so it was just us and Hunter's grandparents--we wanted it to be easy.  But since AJ decided to scream and beg to go to bed at 7:45 the night before (causing her to wake up at 10 once her "nap" was over...and stay awake until 1:30)...I wasn't diggin' getting up so much when my alarm went off.  So we were a little late and ended up chowing down on some gumbo and potato salad...  what a bummer :P

She found Gramps's riding hat and Uncle Ricky's hat (my mother-in-law's brother who was killed in a car wreck when he was a teenager).  Special memories on a special girl! 

The sweetest moment of the day was the prayer...  We all circled up in the kitchen to say it before we fixed out plates.  However, AJ is used to saying it once we're all sitting down at the table--so once every one had their food and sat down, she insisted that we say the prayer!  So we grabbed hands and talked to our Jesus again, extra thankful for this munchkin that time.  She was so proud--so much so that she pretty much prayed on her own after every bite!  She even grabbed her little Mickey's hands and covered up his eyes to make him pray with her.  It was absolutely precious and made her daddy and me so very proud. 

That afternoon we headed over to Hunter's dad's house for a late lunch; my parents were able to come eat with us there too.  We got to visit and AJ got to play with her cousins, so she was all kinds of exited.

When the time came, my sister came and met us and we headed into town with my parents (sans AJ) for some shopping!  This was dad's first year to go and we were so surprised he wanted to come.  His rules were that he couldn't be a grouch and mom also told him he couldn't question any purchases...Well when we got out and going, he giggled along to those rules as he explained they applied to her too and we were going to be stopping by Dick's Sporting Goods and Sears!  Too funny

He was a trooper with us through an insane crowd and disorganized staff at Old Navy (we seriously almost got trampled...) and another long line at Target--of course he got himself something at both stores too, so all was well :)  He also found a cozy spot to wait at Target and was praised as a genius by every man that passed by!

I was so tempted to get this little Who Dat Mouse for my tot!  

We finished up our outing at the mall and grabbed a bite to eat at Chick-Fil-A.  We stood in line but their lights were out and they couldn't open just yet--something with their system wasn't working at the moment.  But we decided that we had been waiting in lines all night already, so why not give them a few more minutes before bailing.  And boy did it payoff!  Not only did they open less than 10 minutes later, but they came through the line and gave coupons for a free shake to everyone who had waited in line!  Which if you know me at all--this was going to be the end of my night anyway, and now it was free!  Score!

We got home around 2:30 that morning, but since Academy didn't open until 5 (Kudos to them!), we all met back in town that afternoon for that trip and some lunch.

So as much as I hate that other people had to give up family time to work that night, I also love the time I was able to spend with my family.  And we got some treasures in the process!

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

love, angie

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bonus Cuteness

We've been working for the past few weeks on what the camel says.

Because daddy's favorite commercial is this:

And a few weeks ago, we went to the circus and got to see this:

She would repeat it after me, but today it was mastered without me having to say anything.  And the tone got deeper and accented.   Huh-larry-us!

What does the camel say?  Huuump Da-AY!

love, angie

Can I just take a minute?

Because I need to show/tell you how stinkin' cute my kid is!

This little girl loves Uncle Si.  She begs to wear her shirt all the time and shouts his name out any time she sees anything from Duck Dynasty.

So tonight at Walmart, we found this little treasure and had to try it on her.  Oh. My. My.  We all three giggled so hard!

Not to mention that when you ask, "What does Uncle Si say?" she responds back, "Hey, Jack!"

That's all of your time I'll take...but holy moly she's cute, and in my opinion, so worth your minutes!

love, angie

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday!

Today I am thankful:

--for our congregation hosting an area wide church service held this Tuesday night in place of Wednesday services in the community for the holiday.  It was a wonderful time together and such a blessing to visit with special people and friends we haven't seen in a while!

--for life.  Sometimes situations serve as a wake up call, and I have been reminded I need to wake back up to how precious life itself is.  And to make the most of every second!

--for Lysa Terkeurst and her book, Unglued, and for my dear Dajuanna coming to me with the idea for a ladies' day based off of it.  That book and study time changed my heart and I am daily trying to increase my walking in grace, gratefulness, and gratitude... {and that we were asked to lead the same ladies' day at another congregation!}

--that our Thanksgiving will be pretty calm and fairly low key, but spent with all kinds of family and eating all kinds of yummies.  How can we not be thankful for that?

--for my precious and priceless gifts, Hunter and Arabella.  These two hold my heart and make this life ride SO much fun and refocus me during the un-fun times.

~Happy Thanksgiving from my little family to yours~
take time to be grateful today...and every day
love, angie

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a birthday wish

We all have {or at least I hope for each of you} that one friend that just gets us.  The one we can be completely honest with, tell all of the embarrassing and nasty secrets and realities, let them see us at our worst.  The one we can giggle with all-night-long, speak without talking, and pick up right where we left off no matter how long it's been...

Well, my person is named Rachel.  And I adore her.  And today happens to be her birthday--whoop!

This lady right here {and her boys} is family that I got to choose.  She is one of the toughest cookies on the block who tells it like it is and does what she has to to get the job done.  She's hilarious, honest, and pretty much the most adorable and beautiful person I know.  And as if all that wasn't great enough, she's a Jesus girl, and that really trumps anything else on any list.  We just fit.

Here she is at her toughest, loving on her beautiful second son who has had the deck stacked against him for a long time and he just keeps fighting right through it all.  He's a warrior!  The strength and faith, peace and resolve that she has lived during these past five weeks fighting for her little boy leaves me speechless...

So here's to you, dearest friend!  I hope this birthday brings you a great appreciation of the life you have led--you're pretty incredible.  I hope you get pampered and spoiled and reminded of how loved you are.  I hope you have the chance to relax and rest.  I hope it is simply marvelous!  Happiest of happies--happy birthday!

xoxo, angie

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I'm going to focus on one thing in particular today because my heart settled in on this little tie bit last night as my husband drifted off to dreamland...and I laid there wide awake.

I am so thankful to have my boy back home.  Between all of the traveling we've both been doing, all of the traveling he's been doing for work, and the 8 day hunting trip he just went on, we haven't spent much time at home together lately.  So for us all three to be home this whole week has been so very, very nice.

I am not a snuggler when I sleep.  I want my space, I want to be curled up in my covers, I want to bend and twist and turn comfortably, I don't want to be touched.  This is much to my boy's dismay as he usually tries to sneak a hand or a foot over to my side...  Negative.  I'm reminded of Ross's "hug and roll" technique on Friends...except I'm the roller.  This girl needs her space to dream!

But this week, I have noticed my feet drifting over to touch my sweet boy's legs.   After sleeping in that big old bed alone more nights these past few months than I prefer to count, his presence is so comforting.  {although you can bet your biscuits that I curl right on back over to my side before I actually fall asleep...}

This is all a long, possibly too detailed way for me to express how thankful I am to have my husband home.  Even the smallest moments together make me realize how lonely I had been for him.  We've giggled and played with our sweet little petunia a lot this week.  And it has been grand.

So enjoy the time you have with your spouse or your significant other or you kids or whomever your love(s) may be...  Even give them a little extra snuggle every once in a while :)  Because you'll miss it so bad when you can't...

love, angie

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

a come to Jesus meeting...

We've all heard that phrase.  And to some kids, the threat of one of those is enough to snap them back into shape.

I just had to have one with my two year old.  What fun.

She was already up a little later than usual (we're night owls, she and I), and we are working on learning to help clean up our messes.  So before she went to bed, I wanted her to put all of her tea party accessories back into their giant tea pot storage container.  I was working on picking up the rest of her mess, and for her, this was a manageable and understandable task--that she has performed a few times before when asked.

But these past two days, a little rebellious spirit has decided to reside in my sweet angel--and in the name of Jesus he needs to leave!  She's begun throwing things, pushing and squawking when she doesn't get her way, and the be all to end all that resulted in our little throw down tonight, telling mama no...

She thought that was a good idea.  It wasn't.

So when I asked her to please put the toys back into her teapot (notice the please in there--and might I add the tone was pleasant as well)...and she replied with "no!", my nerves got a little frazzled.  I then repeated the request to which she again replied "No!" and tried to crawl back on the couch.  Frazzled was being maxed.

I pulled her tiny body back down to the floor, gave it spanking #1, and repeated the request with a little less of a pleasant tone.  Still received a "no!"  OH. MY. LANTA.  Spanking #2 (and possibly #3, can't really remember). I continued to pick up some things that went in her room and let her know that if she hadn't started picking up by the time I got back, she would be spanked again and would have to stand in the corner.

I'll give you a second to guess what happened next.  That's right!  My perfectly well-behaved child had not only begun to pick up her toys, but she had finished by the time I walked back in and had also started picking up her other toys!    Yeah, no.

So after more spats and spankings than I counted (I don't beat her, but she does need to be reminded of who holds authority) and two trips to the corner, my snotty nosed, puffy eyed, slobbery mess of a daughter still refused to pick up her toys.  Since she really needed to go to bed and I was really ready for her to go to bed--but still refusing to let her win--I sat on the floor with her and grabbed her hand, forcing it to pick up all of her tea party pieces.

And then she went straight to bed.

I was so tempted to just cover her up, kiss her head, and walk right out.  But my little baby who was still having the "stop crying, catch your breaths" whimpered "Jees luh me, Jees luh me..."  And my frazzled retreated a little bit.

Because in the literal minute it took me to get her tucked in, sung over, kissed and loved, my mind and heart were racing with so many thoughts:  she is your gift, treasure her; she needs to know you love her, be tender; she craves your grace, offer it; she won't be this little long...savor it.

I've been studying gratitude and grace in preparation for a Ladies' Day a friend and I are putting together.  And it has been intense on my heart.  And in these moments tonight, I remembered that I don't have to completely lose my mind every time my kid rebels or questions or hurts me.  I remembered to be grateful for this beautiful gift of motherhood, especially as my heart was turned to remember the many women whose hearts long for nothing more.  I remembered to take time to reflect and give myself the opportunity to offer grace.

And the Lord knows I need those reminders because these little meetings with my daughter are just only beginning, I know.  I'm also trying to remind myself that strong-willedness and independence will be characteristics that I am so proud and so grateful for her to have...when she's older... :P

So I'm gonna take some deep breaths, settle in with a little glass of vino, and let my heart cherish my baby.  Because she won't be this little long...  And she is learning how to handle difficult situations and conflict by how I handle difficult situations in conflict.  What a gracious burden.

be patient with your littles, and reflect the love of Jesus

love, angie

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I haven't done one of these in so long!  Sadly, this year has been one of our craziest as far as traveling and what blog even got to the point where all I was writing were "Thankful Thursday" posts (which isn't a bad thing...if I'm going to only write about one thing, I think thankfulness is a pretty swell option).  However, eventually those even waned away.  So here's to hoping I can get back on track with my gratitude!

Today I'm thankful:

--for my sweet and dear friend, Dajuanna, and our opportunities to teach together.  We, along with my husband, are starting a class with our youth group next week covering the Not a Fan study (it is going to be pretty incredible).  We're also planning a ladies' day that focuses on, what do you know, gratitude :)  We'll be using Lysa Terkeurt's book Unglued as inspiration, and it too is going to be great.  Studying and preparing with this sweet lady are something I treasure and truly enjoy.  I am so thankful that my God led our hearts together.  I'm also specifically thankful for our ladies' day on gratitude...I need that reroute of my thoughts pretty badly these days.

--for sweet little Maddox (my best friend's baby who was born a week ago and has been in the NICU with complications since).  He is a little warrior and making progress every day!  And through his life and his struggle and his story, so many, including myself, are learning and remembering to lean completely into the loving arms of our Jesus.  And I am SO thankful for the progress he is making!  He's a miracle.

--that I get to go see sweet little Maddox's parents and big brother next week and hug their necks!  It has been difficult to have to love them from a distance, and I'm so ready to see them!  Their friendship is a treasured gift.

Kickin' it old school in this picture. But it was a great day...and we've loved them for a long time.
--that we've had a few cooler days sneak their way in recently.  It's coming...oh, it's coming.

--for everyone who came and helped celebrate sweet Bella's 2nd birthday!  Her party was a lot of fun and we are so thankful for all our friends and family who love our sweet girl (I'll have a post about her party sometime next week!).

--that even though my sweet girl won't get to trick or treat this year (and thankfully she's not old enough to know what she's missing!), we are getting some incredible amounts of rain that our earth could definitely use.  And also, that since we knew it was going to rain, she was able to wear her little costume to Bible class last night with her friends.  And finally, since Hunter was out of town for Halloween anyway, he won't have to feel guilty about missing her trick or treating.  So really it's all working out.

I mean, seriously?!  Cutest clown EVER.
--that Christmas is starting to be in the air!  Christmas albums are releasing, decorations are flooding the stores, shopping has begun, and the cheer is starting to spread.  This is my absolute favorite time of year (really September through New Year's...but with a heavy focus on December!).  I love the weather, I love the soft lights of my tree and garland, I love keeping up with friends through Christmas cards, I love driving through a sparkly and lit-up town and neighborhood, I love the music, I love the smiles that can't help but be on most people's faces...and although there's no way to prove its accuracy or whatever other issues you have with celebrating Christmas--there's no reason not to be excited with how many people are thinking about our Savior and celebrating his life.  I love that.

--that we settled on a theme for our youth rally this year and plans are definitely in the works!  I'm also extremely thankful to have more time to plan it this year!

--for life.

be grateful, give thanks.
love, angie

a few words.

Every now and then, I'll get the hankering to go through one of my Pinterest boards and remind myself of the ingenious ideas and such I've found there.  Well tonight, I was craving words...

Witty words, wise words...ones that inspire me, calm me, make me giggle, stir my inside...

So I pulled a few (or maybe several) that struck me tonight.  Enjoy!

As I mentioned yesterday, these past few weeks have posed a struggle in my spirit.  These beautiful expressions remind my heart to simple be still...

Can I just be the first to say (ok, I know I'm no where near the first to say this)...
Adulthood sometimes sucks.  Just flat out isn't fun.  Oh at times what I would give to go back to the simple days when other people took care of me and my biggest responsibility was learning my multiplication facts.

Speaking of growing up--it also added worry.  And as the ecard so perfectly states--most of the time that worry and the resulted stress is completely unwarranted and a waste of my imagination.

 So that's why I turn to you, blogland.  Because writing is my outlet, and because when I feel no one understands or will listen, you do.  Even if I have no readers, I have expression.  And it allows me to put identity on my thoughts.  Writing does this girl's heart good!

what words are speaking to you these days?  Share them with me.   This was only the tip of the iceberg.  Visit my  Pinterest board for a fuller glimpse at my love of words; especially ones of wisdom and wit...

love, angie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

in the quiet...

One of my favorite parts of the day is the very end of it.  When I get the living room and kitchen picked up and cleaned up, I get Arabella tucked in and snoozing soundly (and sometimes Hunter is too), and I get to sit down on my the quiet...

I don't usually keep my house quiet because I don't enjoy it.  The TV or some sort of music is always playing.  But for those few seconds when my day is closing, the quiet is beautiful.

Tonight I'm using it to meditate on a few things.  Our absolute best and dearest friends had their second sweet boy last week.  However, he has faced many complications since coming into this world and is having to fight for his life.  In turn, our sweet friends' world has been completely changed--it always is when you welcome a new life, but this is completely different.  Their days and nights both now consist of constant trips back and forth between the hospital with son #2 and home with son #1; reading and researching information about what the doctors are telling them; praying with every ounce of their being for their tiny son to come out on the other side completely healthy...their routine, their priorities, their lives are completely different.

Their names haven't left my heart or my lips these past few days.  I'm reminded of the scripture that discusses the Holy Spirit's intervention for us through prayer when we can no longer find words for our emotions.  I've been in that place this week.

However, they are handling this situation with so much dignity, so much grace, and so much faith.  They are all fighters, trudging through this crazy world relying solely on the hope that our Jesus provides.

As my heart turns over them tonight, my personal struggles seem minute.  These past few weeks have been hard for me--not because of anything I can specifically point out, but for the state my spirit has found itself.  And now my perspective is coming back into focus.  You are always aware of the fact that someone (many someones actually) out there has it worse than you do.  But when the struggle comes this close, but is still so distant (both physically and metaphorically...I will never know the battles and struggles they are facing even if the Lord chooses to write a similar story for me)...when the struggle hits you hard but not are forced to remember how good you've got it.

So although my spirit still struggles to find its peace, I'm able to search for hope.  Because my heart is focusing so much on my sweet friends and their precious baby, my defeat and my failures are losing the priority that Satan has allowed them to have in me these past weeks.

Tonight in the quiet, I rest in my blessings--in my beautiful and healthy angel sleeping gently in the next room; in my hard-working and nurturing husband who helps keep me going; in my Jesus, whose name alone holds power beyond our reasoning and whose grace catches us softly when we think we've hit the bottom.

I sit and I offer thanksgiving...for friends, for Miracle Maddox, and for hope...

love, angie

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dear Arabella,

It seems like last week that I sat down to write your one year letter.  Even moreso, it feels like last month that I was sitting down to tell your birth story.  But realistically, here I sit writing you a letter for your second birthday.

My beautiful Arabella--you are TWO years old today!  They say time flies when you're having fun;  and in your case, I completely agree.  Time is flying can only be because we are having a blast!

You are so full of personality.  You keep me and your daddy giggling all the time.  Those good kind of giggles that make you just happy all the way through--you do that for us.  You're also so intelligent.  Your memory is amazing and your ability to understand what we're asking--and then communicate back to us--is just, wow.

You're pretty much the coolest kid alive.  Ever.  Hands down.  And the most beautiful.

This past year has really been SO much fun!  Getting to watch you grow and learn and figure things out has been so neat.  You change daily (sometimes hourly...) and are constantly surprising us with something new you've picked up on.

Things you are loving right now:

--Mickey Mouse!  Holy moly you love that theatrical rodent and all of his clubhouse friends.  You will sit and watch the show for hours...  But he makes you smile and he doesn't get on my nerves, so all is well :)

--helping your daddy with anything.  Whether it's sitting on his work bench and helping him load ammo, crawling around on the ground and grease to help him work on the cars, or catching slimy fish on the boat.  If he's outside, you better be out there with him!

--Conner the big, brown, Belgian horse.  You met him at the Dixie Stampede when we went up with Aunt Chelle and fell in love!  Now, every horse you see or hear or imagine is Conner :)

--to limbo!  I have got to catch you on video doing this.  Ever since a birthday party last month where they did the limbo, you walk around the house with your back arched as far you can and still walk, saying "I imbo, I imbo" the whole time.  It is absolutely hilarious!

--Your big girl bed!  We made the switch to a toddler bed a few weeks ago, and you absolutely love it!  You still love your sleep (that's my girl) and average 12-13 hours a night.  Usually, if you wake up before noon, you'll still take a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon too.  Bed time has become so enjoyable (not that it was really that bad before).  And you're so good that you won't get out of your bed at all until someone comes in there to tell you you're allowed to.

--The moon and stars and airplanes.  One thing you and daddy love to do each night is walk outside together and find all of these up in the sky.  You have such a good eye for those airplanes!  And you get so excited when you find them...and the moon...and the stars...  (daddy even writes to make sure I bring you out to find the moon when he's out of town and can't take you.  it's a pretty special moment with you for him.)

--"Jesus Loves Me".  This has become our "one and only, nothing else will do" bedtime song.  You beg and whimper for it even as you're drifting off to dreamland.  And several times, if you wake in the middle of the night, I hear you begging for "Jees luh me" over the monitor.  You've also started singing parts of it; hearing your tiny voice sing about Jesus and his love is simply beautiful.

--animals!  Last month you were able to go to two different zoos and aquariums (Houston and KC) and the petting zoo at Aunt Chelle's.  I loved getting to see your little face when you found each animal; hearing you talk to them and make their sounds at them; watch your wonderment at getting to touch starfish and stingray, goats and cows.

--you still love music.  Anytime I need you to sleep in the car and you're fighting it, I can simply play our Selah CD and within 1-2 songs, you've usually drifted off (this is the music you slept with as a baby).  You also love to dance and sing, and have started repeating song lyrics and tunes we sing (from Itsy Bitsy Spider, If You're Happy and You Know It, This Little Light of Mine, and Old MacDonald to some of the radio songs that mama listens to in the car and sings all around the house...)

--giving knuckles!  If anyone asks for knuckles, you make your way around the whole group until everyone has fist bumped with you...sometimes you even make them do both hands!  Also, if anyone around you gives someone else knuckles, you definitely find it necessary to get in on that action.

--Uncle Si and Duck Dynasty, haha!  I got you a little shirt to sleep in that has a picture of Si and one of his quotes on it.  You loooove that shirt and if you see it, you want to wear it.  You also get so excited when you see any of the Robertsons on TV--you call them all Uncle Si.  Probably one of the funniest things you've done involved Uncle Si...  We pulling out of a parking lot when you pointed to a couple a ways off getting out of their car, and said, "Ook!  Who's at?"  We were confused because they looked nothing like any of "your people".  It was a middle aged couple, but the man had a long gray ponytail.  When we asked what you were talking about, you pointed back to the same couple and said, "Ook!  It's Uncle Si!"  We still get a good giggle about that one :)

Things I want to remember:

--your giggle.  Aunt Chelle, Aunt Mel, and I all three make this weird little noise when we're trying to stifle a laugh...and you do it too :)  It doesn't matter what kind of day I'm having or what kind of mood I'm in, your laugh melts me.  I never want to forget what it sounds like from year to year.

--the crinkle in your nose.  When you smile or think or are just being silly, you scrunch your little nose up.  And I just think it is the most adorable thing ever.

--the sound of your sweet voice saying "I luh you", especially when you say it first (without us telling you we love you first).

--how squeaky and high pitched your little voice is, especially when you get excited :)

--how when we sit down to eat, you initiate the prayer.  If daddy and I start eating before we say it, you stretch both of your little hands out to grab ours and insist, "Pray!"  Then you bow your head and squinch your little eyes closed until we say Amen...then of course you join in on saying that loud and clear!

--your kisses.  That sweet little pucker of a normal kiss; the silly wiggle of an eskimo kiss; and the precious flutter of a butterfly kiss (always both eyes...)

--you don't just tell people bye anymore...  You've added "later!" to it, along with their name.  You usually won't say it until they're actually leaving you, but you definitely know when someone or something is going bye.   Also, you tell everything bye!  The moon when we have to go inside, the animals at the zoo when we leave their cage, your toys, the house...everything!

--Every. Little. Thing.

My mind is blown when I try to wrap my head around the fact that you're two.  My baby is gone and you have evolved into a full fledged big kid.  You are so much fun!  You are also one of the sweetest little things to ever exist--you show care and concern when you know something is wrong, you use your manners constantly, you share willingly, and you give the absolute best hugs and kisses.  Mama and Daddy have definitely reached the point where it's hard to remember what life was like before it centered around you--and we don't want to imagine what it would ever be like again without you. You, Arabella, are my most treasured gift, and I promise that I will always love you more than you will ever know.  Stay curious and full of life!  You are so precious...and you have changed us for the better.

Happy birthday, sweet girl!  You're my favorite.
love, mama