Monday, January 23, 2012

Coffee Date Monday: Sledding (with video!)

In college my friends and I had a love for york peppermint patties.

One would get a huge thing of them for Christmas and return after break with the large tub of patties. We would get ridiculously excited about them. They would be stored in our fridge and we would ration them to make the simply delicious treats last as long as we could. Cries rang out the day they were gone.

Had a bad dad? Try a peppermint patty.

Had a good day? Try a peppermint patty.

Went grocery shopping? A trip that meant a peppermint patty in the check out line.

Andrew knows that a simple way to make my day is to give me a peppermint patty. Ever since college, I think of my friends and our friendship every time I have a peppermint patty.

I have always been so thankful for our friendship. God put us together for great reasons. I always thought it was because we got a taste of true friendship and love from each other. However, the older we're getting I'm seeing that even back in college God had a purpose for all of us being friends. We've gone through the same things at the same times. Within a year we all got married. Within a year we all had babies. Moving, ministry ups and downs. Even though we are far apart it still seems like we're going through life together. Our email threads are long and continuous. There isn't a week that goes by that we're not in communication with one another. And I'm thankful. Because they know what I'm going through. I know what they're going through. A piece of heaven on earth is when we get the rare privilege of all being together.

Ok, back to the point. I was so excited I was when I spotted this at WalMart yesterday.

The taste: So good.

But even better is the feeling that my friends are with me when I sip my coffee. Amanda as close to me as she can get. Allison sitting back with her legs crossed and twirling her hair. Erin sitting with her legs up under her and smiling. Liz sitting criss crossed on the floor.

Not a bad way to start off my coffee date monday, right?
Some yummy creamer and a great feeling to go with it.


Today is crunch time. Tomorrow Cooper and I are flying to FL for a week. That means today is laundry, packing, cleaning, and grocery shopping to make sure my love has some good food to eat while I'm not here.

I'm excited to see everyone. Excited to see the sunset.

Andrew was gone last week. To which Cooper and I pretty much just had a week of lounging and fun. When Andrew is gone I don't have to make big meals every night. I don't have to put on my make up. I can lounge and play all day. So we did. I managed to start and finish all three books in the hunger games trilogy. I managed to play hard with Cooper. I also managed to ignore my housework list. My biggest accomplishment was cleaning the fridge.

We had a big snow storm Friday night. Which meant Saturday Cooper and I could play in it. So we did. He loves the snow more and more. There was more of it this time, which meant more things for him to experience. We tried to make a snowman, but every time I put another ball on top of the first one, Cooper knocked it off. And then giggled like crazy. So I kept doing it just to hear his laughter. He loved walking in it because it was deep.

Andrew got home Saturday night and after church on Sunday we bought a sled. After Cooper's nap the two of them took off to play outside.
They were gone for about an hour total. At some point I got a call to come to them with a camera. When I arrived at the scene, this is what I saw. Cooper sledding by himself. He's that little black dot on the left.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Heartful thoughts & Friday Photo Dump

I have sat down several times this week to write this post, and I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I just keep mulling over my thoughts, the things that have been pressed upon my heart, the scripture that brings me to my knees, and the proper words can't seem to find their way onto this post. So, today I'm sitting down again, committed to putting this down on paper. Hoping it will be of some encouragement to you.

As stated in my new years post with a long list of my goals, I have not been very excited about this coming year. I feel like God has been preparing my heart for some tough things this year. I don't yet know what those things are, but i just sense it coming. I decided to look for the smallest blessings in every day life, thinking that the realization of those blessings will help me when I go through my struggles. Help me remember I'm blessed despite circumstances in my life.

Last Thursday night, I gathered together with a wonderful group of women. Women that I feel so honored to be living life with. Women that I admire after just a few months time. They are real. They are honest about their faith. They are encouraging. They pray. They're genuine. I feel like a sponge when I'm around them. Soaking up any and all information I can about their parenting, their marriages, their friendships, their outlooks, their walks with God. A devotion was shared about how 2012 will bring troubles. I heard that mentioned in the first few minutes, and my ears and heart opened wide to the rest because I knew this is God's message for me. God had been laying it on my heart: 2012 will bring troubles, pain, hardship. So, obviously I needed to hear this. And hear it I did.

After Thursday night I prayed, meditated on some scripture, and just thought about what was shared. Sunday morning came and another messaged was dropped onto my lap that caused me more sponge-like action in my heart and mind. It wasn't just in the sermon's message, but a message that came in the worship, in my prayer, in my heart. As I walked out of church on Sunday, I knew I needed to share this on my blog. I knew I needed to spread the word. It's taken 6 days of thoughts and prayer to finally sit down and do it.

"Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think"
Romans 12:12b

I am listing the scriptures that spoke to me - yelled at me - changed my heart and thinking, and then going into my thoughts on that scripture. I hope you can open your heart and mind to God's word as well.

"Don't be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you."
1 Peter 4:12

It hit me that every year has troubles. Last year had troubles. So did the year before that. And it's guaranteed that there will be this year, too. And I should not be shocked! I should be expectant of them. So many times when something happens, I spend quite a while asking the "why" of it all. I spend a few weeks in shock. Last year I spent about half of the months in shock. Enough of me doing that! I and going to try and not ask the why of my troubles anymore. Simply expect that troubles will come, and accept them when they do. Because...

"These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold."
1 Peter 1:7a

Purity of faith. Think about that for a second. I have always had a hard time being around some Christians because I don't feel that their faith is genuine. I feel like they are fake. The "everything is great" and "I'm such a good person" attitudes kind of rub me the wrong way. Maybe the rub me wrong because at one point in my walk with Christ I thought those things. My thinking is now different. Not everything is great. And I'm no as great as I think I am, or as great as you think I am. I don't have to hide it anymore. I can be who I am, because of whose I am. God loves me. He accepts me. And my faith - my genuine, no hiding, i'm not perfect, watch me go through these troubles - faith is worth more than gold. It will allow me to see streets of gold.

"And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all."
Acts 4:33

I so want this to be evident. I want others to see God's grace powerfully working in me. When Andrew talks about me to others I want him to say, "God's grace is powerfully at work in my wife's life". I want Cooper to say, "God's grace is powerfully at work in my mom's life." I want you to say "God's grace is powerfully at work in my friend's/daughter's/sister's life."

"Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us".
2 Tim. 3:17
The only way I can do these things: allow God to change my mind, expect and accept troubles, have purity of faith, and to allow God's grace to work in me is by spending time in God's word. Simply put. Enough said on that point.

"Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living!"
2 Peter 3:11

That's right - one day my body will fail. One day the bodies of those I love will fail. One day our finances may fail, or our home and car may fail. But when all else fails, God's light shines. He is the main character of my story. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about God. His amazing love. His amazing grace.

I want to be ready for troubles. I want to allow God to move in and through me in awesome ways during the good and the bad times. I want to have a faith that is witnessed by others and is seen as pure and genuine. I want God to be the main character of my story. And in order to do these things I have to consciously grow. I have to intentionally grow spiritually.

My prayer and hope is that you can commit to growing, too.

Here are this week's pics from my phone.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Coffee Date Monday: Hunger Games

No time to chit-chat today.

I have neglected everything today (eating, hygiene, housework, cooking) with the exception of some play time with Cooper for The Hunger Games. I told Andrew earlier that I started reading it today, and that it was really good. This translates to me being absent for a day or two until I finish the book.

I scraped myself away to get a shower and get dressed before he comes home from work. Hoping I can be a fast cleaner and pick up some things so he doesn't come home to a house that's been hit by a tornado...aka toddler with a mom preoccupied by a book.

Sad thing about this: this book is the first of three.

I'll have to take some breaks in-between books.

I promise I'll write more later this week. After I've finished this book. And maybe the others.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coop's First Snow Play

It has snowed a few times this winter, but not enough to validate play. I knew that once I took Cooper in the snow, he would want to go all the time, so I was holding out until a big enough snow came.Well, Thursday night it started snowing.And on Friday we were left with enough to go play in. I was really excited about it. I was greatly disappointed. Cooper's first time playing in the snow was a nightmare.

After he woke up from his nap, I pumped him up about it, and proceeded to put on all his snow gear. By the time I got it all on, he was not happy. He had trouble walking in his boots and hated layer after layer. There were tears before we even made it outside.

Once outside, he cheered up for about 30 seconds.

But then he fell.

...And it all fell apart...

Just imagine this face with cries of bloody murder.

I was determined to make it an enjoyable experience. So, I tried to cheer him up.

We got the sled out.

Didn't work.

We rolled around in his buggy.

Didn't work.

I finally gave up and we came back in. He cried for a good 5-10 minutes after we came in. He sat cuddled under a blanket in my arms, without moving, for about 15 minutes. He was happy to be inside. I was sad that my child's first snow play was a disaster.

I pondered our event and came to the conclusion that there were several things that went wrong.

1) It was still snowing which brought about very strong winds. It was a bitter cold wind, and he had a hard time catching his breath when the wind was blowing on his face. He screamed hardest when we were facing the wind.

2) Because we had such troubles getting ready, I ditched his gloves. They were the last item I had to put on him. The only ones I could find were the ones that are waterproof, and had no finger slots. He hates this kind because he can't grab anything. As I was putting them on, he kept crying, I was sweating from my 20 layers of clothing, and I decided the gloves weren't worth it. I was wrong. Gloves are worth it. When he fell, his hands were in the snow, and then cold, and then they just hurt.

Bad mom award goes

Saturday we tried again.

This time I had Andrew with me. Cooper was actually agreeing to it. The snow was no longer falling. The wind was no longer howling. I had more things working with me this time.

We geared up, with gloves! He was excited to go out.

This time the snow was a hit! He loved it! Success!

We walked, played, threw snow, tried to make snow angels, and played on the sleigh.

We had a great family time together.

Love the memories this cold weather is creating for us.

PS...Please ignore my ugly green pants that don't match.
I only have a snow coat. No cute snow pants.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Photo Dump

My week went from sunshine to snow.

I had a sick boy on my hands.

Cooper and I made snowflakes that we hung at the window.

I came in the kitchen to see that Cooper had opened the fridge, and was eating the icing on a cake.

I also walked in to see marker all over the kitchen walls.

Have a great weekend!