Monday, December 31, 2012

Elizabeth-6 months

Elizabeth turned 1/2 a year one week ago and I’m still in denial.


These past few weeks have been busy celebrating Christmas and visiting family and Elizabeth has been quite the trooper. The time is flying by and we’ve been busy soaking in as many moments as we can with our little girl. I’ve been trying to just enjoy each day and not rush (though hard with the holidays) in an attempt to soak up this quickly vanishing babyhood.

She LOVED Christmas. More about that in its own post, but seriously this girl LOVED opening presents:) I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing but it made for a very fun and eventful Holiday.


Everyday is a new adventure with this girl who constantly amazes us with her low-key, easygoing demeanor. We’re finally finding our way back to normal after lots of go-with-the-flow. Settling into a somewhat constant pattern is good for me and it seems, good for Elizabeth as well.

Month 6 has been quite the month for our little one. As of today, her top four teeth are soon to be arriving which just amazes me. Our little one seems ahead of the curve on some things and right on track or behind with others. Amazing how each child is completely different! She also began solids (around 5 1/2 months) and to date her favorite seems to be squash. She loves eating…big surprise and gets very excited when we put her into her high chair. Must take after her momma!

As far as development, she’s sitting up and loves to sit in the bathtub. No more laying back for this one. We’ve also found that we can communicate better…when we ask her to do something like put her head back to wash the shampoo out somehow she seems to know what we are talking about and does it most of the time. Obviously not with everything, but it’s quite amazing…to us! She is also on the verge of crawling and we’ve seen her army crawl a handful of times. Not sure we are ready for a mobile baby!

Our days are filled with bouncing, playing, errand running, sleeping, and lots of talking. Still Elizabeth’s favorite sound is that of her sucking in air but she’s added a few new sounds to her repertoire. The latest one is lip-smacking. It’s the sound you make if you are imitating eating to a baby. It’s really cute and she mimics us after we do it. That has been so much fun!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review “God Gave us Christmas”

In all the anticipation of Christmas, I managed to make sure to find some great books that point to the birth of Jesus for Elizabeth to enjoy in the years to come. Like most families, courtesy of Pinterest of course, we’re starting a tradition of giving Elizabeth a Christmas book and jammies on Christmas Eve. This year she received “Song of the Stars” by Sally Lloyd Jones (same author of our favorite children’s bible) but this book would’ve been a great option as well.

When I chose this book to review through this awesome program (any blogger can do this for free) I was anxious to get it and read the story. Incidentally Elizabeth received it as well from her Grandma so we now have 2 copies. May be good for a giveaway soon:)

This is a great book. As I mentioned before, Santa won’t be visiting our house but that doesn’t mean we won’t talk about him, watch movies about him, and read about him. This book takes both Santa and Jesus and gives justice to each one without spoiling the surprise just in case Santa’s comin’ to your house!

Our favorite polar bears go on an adventure to find Jesus in the everyday because God can be felt, seen, heard, and experienced in everyday life. It’s really a neat way for little kids and adults to remember that God is everywhere. While the book doesn’t explicitly go through the story of Jesus’ birth it does a great job building anticipation for the day of His birth by reminding us all how near Jesus is and how special His birth is.

As we continue to build our library of Christmas books to use throughout advent and the Christmas season, I’m glad I found this one. It will be a great addition to our library and so fun to read as we anticipate the birth of Jesus!

(Disclaimer: I was given this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with the hope, joy, and love only a tiny baby born in Bethlehem can bring!



Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

I’ve mentioned here or there before that we’re not huge on gift giving in our house. The last time we actually exchanged gifts was over 7 years ago before we were married. We ended up giving things that weren’t quite right (we were just dating) and besides, who knew that a wallet was such a personal item! So from that point on we just bought each other a new to-go coffee mug together and called it a day. Well now that Elizabeth is here Alex and I had to brainstorm what we would do from here on out. Obviously we want to give her gifts:) But we wondered what she might think if we didn’t receive anything. So we’re starting out as we hope to go on and it can only get better (we hope!) Obviously the focus is not on the gifts, but we’re envisioning that it will be a fun addition to our Christmas traditions. We’re still not certain if we’ll adapt a 3 or 4 gift tradition, we probably will, but for this year we’re just getting our feet wet and relying on our amazon lists to help us through.

Enough about us, I’m here to bring some ideas to the table for great gifts. As of today almost all the gifts are bought and most are wrapped…feeling quite amazed myself, but it took some early brainstorming to come up with some good things. So without further ado, here are some gift ideas for guys, gals, and babes!

For the Guys:


1. Personalized game / 2. Under Armour Long Underwear / 3. Slippers

4. Smartwool Smartphone Gloves / 5. Flashlight / 6. Personalized mug

7. Portable Speaker / 8. Magazine Subscriptions / 9. Smartwool socks


For the gals:


1. Cold Beverage To-Go Mug / 2. Cookbooks / 3. Personalized Necklace

4. Books / 5. New Slippers / 6. Personalized Address Stamp

7. Xyron Machine / 8. Cute Teacup / 9. Home keeping Handbook


For the Babes:

favorites-4 copy

1. Leopard Rocker / 2. Baby legs / 3. Playskool Little People

4. Skwish / 5. Board books / 6. Personalized Great Day Plate

7. Puzzles / 8. Ring Stacker / 9. Blocks


What are some great gift ideas you’ve come up with?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Much ado about Santa

Dear Elizabeth,

One day you will have questions for your Daddy and I, I am sure of it. There will come a day when you will, in quiet breath, ask why the man in red does not come to our house. And we will have to answer, honestly.

Every year, you will see, that with quiet anticipation we will ready ourselves for the day when gifts are found under the tree. We will pin our hand sewn characters upon the felt tree, reading in earnest the story of Christmas, all while we wait the 24 days until THE day. And along the way there will be carols sung, gifts given, cookies made; all trying to celebrate the most wonderful time of year. But because you are smart, you will notice that there is no big to do about clatter on the roof and a grand entrance through our missing fireplace.

Before you are even that old, you will realize that something is missing. Around you as we wait you will watch movies of a man in a big red suit, sing songs about a reindeer with a bright red nose, and you will read of the train that takes you to the most magical place in hopes that one can hear the twinkle of a bell. People will ask if you’ve been good, if you deserve presents under the tree. They will tell you that he’s watching, to make sure that you’ve been good. Coal would be the consequence, they will whisper, for boys and girls who have been bad.

And I’m sure you will wonder, as I have, why no little boys or girls actually get coal. Because you will remember the times that you have not been good. Even if nobody has noticed. What you will witness around you is what has evolved into the greatest time of year and greatest time of indulgence. And we hope for you it is. But in different ways.

Because this is the greatest time of year.

Thousands of years ago, in a place not so far away, a baby was born. And His life has changed everything. You know of Him of course, and we pray one day you will have Him as your best and closest confidant. And during this time of year, we will celebrate His birth. When you get older, I’m not sure if mangers will decorate lawns, or if the true story of Christmas will be told. But in our house, you will know…how the donkey led the way, with Mary on its back. How a woman with your name, rejoiced over the baby in Mary's tummy, and whose son proclaimed His worth. You will know, there were shepherds and angels and the magi who came with shouts of acclimation to see this tiny baby.

You will know and will have heard that this little baby, well He does know everything. All the good, all the bad, all the sorrow and all the joy. And when the day comes when you ask about the man in red, we will say “there has been much ado about santa but honey, the story started way before him.” And we will tell you that he is just like Dora, or Mickey Mouse, or Caillou. Pretend.

Because that’s the truth. And more than anything momma and daddy want to be honest with you so you know you can be honest with us.

And there will be some, I’m sure, with whom you let this news slip. Who truly believe that the man in red really does keep score. And they might not believe you or may be upset that you spoiled the fun. And when you ask why we’ll tell you again the truth.

Momma and daddy have been changed to the core by the One who was born at Christmastime. He has held our hands as tears flowed, He has rejoiced with us and mourned, He has given and taken, He is our life. And because He asks us to teach you about Himself (Deut. 6:6-9), to tell you of the stories of long ago, to be truthful and honest…we will obey. and though I’m sure we will often fail, we are always going to try to make much of Him. Even when the world thinks otherwise.

So at Christmastime, we will celebrate this amazing birth, that has changed the whole world and we will sing happy birthday to the one whose day it is. And along the way we will sing of the reindeer with the red nose, and watch the elves set up shop up north, and we will read of the clatter on the roof. But most of all we will stand in awe of Jesus, the baby born in the manger, and we will sing of His birth and read the accounts that tell THE story.

And there will be presents under the tree, for you, whether you have been good or bad. There will be presents because at His birth, the magi brought gifts to celebrate the most wonderful birth that ever was. There will be gifts because gifts are a part of celebrating. And more than that, there will be gifts given to those who long for necessities, for those who need, and we want you to rejoice in giving. Gratefulness, we pray, will be on our hearts, generosity will flow from our hands, and love will extend from one another.

And if you get bigger, Elizabeth, and you wonder or you are frustrated that your family was such a downer during the greatest time of year, just celebrating this baby and downplaying the man in red, then we will tell you that we are sorry. That we never meant to disappoint or steal the “fun” of the season. And we will mean it, because your disappointment will be breaking our hearts. But we hope that when you are older, you will, with eager hands and excitement in your heart, revel in giving generously, singing joyfully about the babe in the manger, and with anticipation and thankfulness, open gifts that have been wrapped under the tree.

We hope and pray that one day this babe will change your whole life. And that, Elizabeth, is why we make much ado about Jesus.

love you baby girl,

your momma