Saturday, January 28, 2012

What I wish I could tell...

There is a video going around titled "What I wish I could tell the 16 year old me". In it, several people talk about what they wish they could tell themselves at 16 and it ends specifically with cancer awareness. I have been thinking a lot about what I wish I could tell the 16 year old version of myself lately...

Relax. In some areas of your life you are stressing too much about doing it all and making sure that you are perfect. You may not be "perfect", but you are pretty darn good. You are healthy, you are brilliant, and you are a good person. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself from time to time. The only people that matter think highly of you so take a few risks and be a teenager. When you go to! When you meet new people, smile and initiate conversation. Yes, I know you are friendly and cordial, but take the first step and show some initiative!!! Ask to go out with friends sometimes too!

Work harder! I know this seems counterintuitive considering I just told you to relax, but above was about letting your hair down once in awhile. Working harder is about two specific areas-the classes you should probably be studying for and basketball. School comes really easy to you and that is great, but you are going to take AP Anatomy your senior year and while you breeze by with a B, you need to learn to study. Take this opportunity in high school to learn how to apply yourself in a class you don't really care all that much about. It will serve you well when you have to learn new things in college. As far as basketball goes, you are doing a great job on moves and actually playing. Push yourself in strength training and conditioning, I promise that you won't die! Your senior year you are going to want to quit...listen to your mom when she tells you no...she is right and it is good that you finish out the season. You WILL miss playing basketball one day!

It is ok that you never seem to catch the eye of any of the boys you like. It is even more ok that you won't be able to go to prom with either of the guys you want to take you. Very soon you will meet the man that changes your life. In fact, when you go to A & M, run as quickly as you can to meet him at your work so that your lives together can start sooner! He is so worth it. Your marriage has been a brilliant balance of tough times, hard work, and enjoyable and amazing memories. You both challenge each other and work side by side to make your relationship work. And he has made you happy beyond anything you could have ever imagined you deserved in raising your girls together. Sure, it would have been nice to "date" some of those high school boys, but your life is no less rich because it didn't happen. And since you don't end up with them anyways, don't stress about prom. Have a good time with your friends because that is what prom is supposed to be.

You will achieve you goal of being a high school history teacher. Yay for you! I hesitate to tell you that it might not be what you want when you get there. It has been great and rewarding, but really, really hard too. You are a really good teacher, but there are other jobs pulling at your heart later in life. I say, still go for it! I tell you this because I want you to know that it is ok if you don't have it all figured out right now. Coming from the 27 year old version of yourself, you still won't have it all figured out!!!

Keep being passionate! The issues you care about in high school are the same issues you will care about later in life. The interests you have in high school are the same interests too! You throw yourself so completely into things you care about and that is a good thing. People will even start looking to you for information about the things they know you care about and that is a really good feeling! You are smart at 16 and will be able to communicate that even better as you get older.

You are doing a great job with maintaining and putting yourself out their in friend and family relationships. Sometimes it doesn't seem like it is worth the effort, but it is. Keep working to build bridges with those you love, people will cross the bridges in time. Treasure the times spent at home on Saturday nights with your family, enjoy going to football games with friends, and delight in the time with classmates, teammates, and teachers at school. Some of these relationships will serve you well later in life.

Overall, 16 year old self, you are amazing. I am so glad to know where you are going because 27 is a pretty amazing place to be. Your life sort of turns out the way you want and sort of doesn't. But you are pretty blessed and you deserve good things!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keegan at 11 months


Today you are 11 months. I am stunned that you will be a year in just a month. Your little face is such a core part of our little family that it is hard to remember a time you weren't with us, but at the same time, it feels like just yesterday you were kicking away happily in my belly.

This month has marked some big changes for you. You have advanced a lot on moving and scootching around the furniture, you hate sitting down for too long and would rather be standing with the assistance of anything. You are really close to standing up on your own and will let go and stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time (started that last week). You crawl like a little speed demon around the house and try desperately to keep up with MacKenzie who prefers to run away screaming "Nee-nan's coming, Nee-nan's coming". You also like to bounce and sway to music if it is on the radio, a toy, or t.v.. You are still hesitant to walk too much when we hold your little hands, but I don't know that it will be that much longer before you are pushing off on your own. You have also learned to throw your hands in the air and say "Aaaaaa" whenever we tell you to say Yay! You will sometimes clap when we say "clap, clap" and you will shake your head no when we tell you no. Mommy has even caught you shaking your head "no" when you know you are about to do something wrong! You have started signing a bit more by asking for milk, more, and it seems like you will sign yes and book. You also will wave Hello and Goodbye. You will verbalize Mama, Dada, and buh for book and will "pant" when we ask you what a doggy says (just like we taught MacKenzie to do). All of these are such fun new discoveries for you and for us.

You love to sit and read books and have started bringing them to us when you can find one small enough to drag along with your crawling. You especially love the "touch and feel" books and will touch pages that aren't touch and feel anyways to see if there are any textures. You like to play with balls and stuffed animals and anything that anyone older is playing with. You also love to be tickled and will crawl away from us shrieking, then collapse onto the floor while looking back at us like "Ok, it is time for you to tickle me now". You love to interact with all of us in different ways and Daddy and I think it is very cute that you love your big sissy so much. You love to give her kisses at night after prayer time.

You sleep a ton and are still taking two long naps (and sometimes a short evening "siesta") and sleeping 12 hours at night. Your sister frequently wakes you up in the morning by throwing all of the stuffed animals and sometimes books into your crib with you. You don't seem to mind too much as long as we come get you in a timely manner to feed you. You eat really well, but we have discovered that there are some odd foods you don't like. Specifically, you do not like bananas or raisins. I cannot blame you, but it is strange for a child not to like bananas. You are also very particular about what you DO like and if you see something that Mommy, Daddy, or MacKenzie are eating that you don't have you will shake with frustration and sqwawk until you do get some to eat. You eat like a pig and are taking three meals and 4-5 nursing sessions or bottles. Right now you still just have your bottom teeth, but you have been working on cutting the top two for quite some time now.

Keegan you are so charming and cute that we cannot help but squeeze you everytime we get the chance. We love you so much and cannot wait to see where this month takes us. Raising you is truly a joy to us.

All of our love,
Mommy and Daddy

Here are a few pictures, I will post more soon!

You really liked corn on the cob at Spring Creek BBQ

Your very first sprout!

Look at those eating skills!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Resolutions

I will still gladly take input from resolution keepers out there, but after much mulling, I think that I place too much pressure on myself by looking at year long goals. There isn't enough room for change, evaluation, and reflection in a year. It is too easy to put off until next week, next month, or next season. So we are going to try the whole monthly resolution. Knowing me it will probably not get past this post, but who knows...maybe that is the wrong attitude to have anyways. I should be more resolute with my resolutions. I WILL reflect on this at the end of the month! I WILL have accomplished these goals! I do think while I am trying to make this into easier to check off chunks that it is important to have overall goals in mind. But these feed well into the goals we all make all the time...get healthier, spend time more efficiently, be the best version of yourself...

First- Workout 30 minutes 3 times a week. This is as specific as it gets. It doesn't matter if it is at the gym, at school, walking with the girls, or doing a workout dvd.

Second- Limit myself on soda/extra drinks. I would like this to be two sodas or iced teas a week and limiting myself to Starbucks for testing days (a World History team tradition) and if I have a coffee date with a friend (hopefully I will be too busy for too many coffee dates). I will allow myself herbal tea and decaf coffee from home and address that if need be next month.

Third- Floss every other day. I am horrible about flossing, but I always feel better when I do floss consistently.

Fourth- Utilize time at work better. When I get to work early or during my off period I have a tendency to goof around. Obviously I am completely focused when the students are in the classroom, but I need to do better about the 30 minutes here and there that I have. Mainly, I need to stay off blogs and facebook during those off times.

Fifth- Clean house for 30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday nights and either on Saturday or Sunday. Matt and I are both trying to get better about this. I want to really be productive in the times that he is at school after the girls go to sleep. I figure if I do this then I can really get into a habit by the time summer comes around. Plus, if I only focus on 30 minutes and set a timer then I will still have at least an hour to relax or grade before going to bed early!

Sixth- Try three new recipes. One for quinoa salad, one for lentils, and one freebie. This seems manageable and potentially healthy!

Seventh- Read your daily devotional for The Love Dare. As mentioned previously I would like to see this through the year.

All support and accountability will be welcome!

Christmas 2011

We had a very, very good Christmas. We are so thankful for the holiday season as a reminder to spend time with family and friends, show others how much you care, and to remember to recognize the birth of Jesus and His impact on the world. We had several different Christmas celebrations and are so thankful that our families are able to work to find different times to celebrate together.

The weekend before Christmas we celebrated with Matt's side of the family. We enjoyed the time away in College Station and loved cooking and spending time together. Matt's sister and brother-in-law gave us a very good present in that they are expecting their own little wee one in August. We are very excited for them and cannot wait to see our little niece or nephew. In the mean time, we hope the little one continues to grow and that the parents-to-be are enjoying this special time together. After all, they are parents with a very low maintainance and transportable baby!

Christmas Eve we went to our Church's candlelight service. We enjoyed the special time with our Church family and were particularily thankful for the quiet time singing and listening to a good message. After we went to my Mom's house to celebrate with her family and enjoyed getting to visit with my grandmother, great Aunt, and my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. Auntie J was there of course and we all had a good time eating and conversing.

Christmas morning we had to wake the girls up (third year in a row for MacKenzie) in order to have our special breakfast and presents. We had waffles, fruit, and sausage and relaxed through breakfast. After, Keegan was too tired to stay awake so she fell asleep and we got to spend time with MacKenzie. MacKenzie wanted to read books and snuggle with Daddy more than open presents so we were glad to let her do so. It took us several hours to open three presents and a stocking for her and we were more than happy to oblige the special time with her. Hopefully we can keep focusing on that family time. Keegan ended up sleeping through the afternoon so she got to open her presents the next day.

Christmas afternoon was spent at my Dad's house with our family there. We enjoyed a tasty feast with lots of snacks and traditional food and opened presents while visiting there too. All in all, a good time was had by all and we enjoyed sharing our blessings with others.

We are so grateful for all of our gifts and hope that we can remember our blessings throughout the year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Last years resolutions

To be honest I didn't do so hot. I wasn't on track this summer to complete this list or the my foodie list and we all know that there was no way I was going to get it done after I went back to work. Big Kudos for us in getting Matt into a MBA program and for making his job work for him a little better. We are also still working on organizing and rearranging finances.

I wonder if it is worth it to continue making lists of resolutions. I like it and don't mind putting it out there, I just feel frustrated by my unaccomplished lists. Maybe I am not specific enough or maybe a year long goal is too much...maybe I should look at monthly goals. I will have to mull over this and get back to you. Any ideas from resolution accomplishers out there?

One thing Matt and I are working on this year is The Love Dare. We are on Day three and I really like that it is a short little chunk each day that helps you refocus on your relationship each day. Thank you to my sister for letting us borrow the book.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mac Update


I didn't think you would need a monthly post on your birth day anymore, but I hope that I can periodically remember to update you on all of the going-ons in your life. We have said it time and time again, but it shocks us now how much of a little girl you are now. You are without a doubt no longer a baby...but we forget that sometimes. You have developed so much over the past few months and are capable of so much!

You are so silly and love to laugh and make us laugh. A lot of people don't get to see that side of you because you can be cautious around other people sometimes and will get very serious around strangers. We are always laughing at things you are doing though. Today you grabbed books for Daddy to read and you said "It's a big, heavy book" as you were lifting them up. It was amusing to see you use such grownup descriptions of your books. Last night we were at the Medlin's house and you were holding Henry's balloon and said "Kenzie holding Henry's's nice!" We love the huge sentences coming out of our little two year old. Your mind works so quickly and you are often putting together full sentences with descriptors and context. We have also started to notice that you will make assumptions about the pictures in books or things you see in real life. For example you will claim something is "hiding" if you do not see it in a picture. We cannot help but laugh at some of the times you have an accident because of your reaction. This is, of course, when you aren't seriously hurt. If you stub your toe or hit your hand you will say "oh-ho-ho-ho" or "ooo-who-who-who" and we aren't sure where you got that from. The other day at dinner you spilled your milk and said "What happened, what happened?" in the most pitiful voice that we had to stifle our laughter. You also repeat a lot of our phrases and words so it is fun to watch what you pick up on for us.

You are a breakfast girl lately and love pancakes, eggs, oatmeal, and peanut butter sandwiches. You have been less hungry for snacks, lunch, or dinner, but will usually take at least a bit of food at each meal and you have been snacking on bananas, oranges, or apples with much enthusiasm so we cannot be at all disappointed in that. You also like to snack on Chex or any kind of cereal. You drink like a fish and will gulp down watered down juice or tea or even plain ice water whenever you can. You will drink some from a regular cup, but only at mealtime and only with a little in the cup. You use your fork and knife most of the time. One of your funny eating habits involves deconstructing your peanut butter sandwiches so that you eat out all of the peanut butter then eat the bread. We also work hard to make sure you stay at the table until everyone is done eating then you ask Daddy if you can play. If we ask you what you want for dinner it is usually chicken nuggets, hamburger, or pizza, of course Roni and cheese is your old fallback.

You run everywhere you can and are hopping and jumping all over the place. You like to march and stomp and will dance only when you are sure nobody is watching. You also like to bounce incessantly on your play horse. You love to play with puzzles and to build and knockdown towers. For Christmas you got a little play castle and you thoroughly enjoy that. Recently you began "cooking" pretend food for use to play eat. Of course your favorite is still to read books. You will still sit for hours reading different books. Your favorites right now are a Curious George book, several paperback Sesame Street Books, and your Highlights magazine. You will sleep with stuffed animals, but we rotate through so you aren't too attached to any one. You especially like a black and brown puppy, your gorilla named George, a stuffed T-Rex, and a Tigger.

You and Keegan are very much turning into friends and you will actually play together some these days. You love to make each other laugh and while you do get frustrated with her sometimes, I know you are enjoying having her in your life too. You are also doing really well at remembering your friends and family and linking different people together. You are associating the correct people with events. This month we visited Nana at her assisted living home for their Christmas party. There you saw Santa and a horse. Later the next week we were taking you to see Santa and get pictures at Chick Fil A so we asked if you wanted to go see Santa. You said yes and then asked "Nana's house?" to which we were shocked that you remembered that, then you asked "See horse?". We never knew our little girl could remember so much. On that note you now think Santa lives at "Chicky-Ray-Ray" which is what you call Chick Fil A!

We love you so much little girl. We genuinely enjoy spending time with you and rarely do we want to leave you with a babysitter to be away from you. We take you almost everywhere we go and love running around town with you and Keegan. Our hearts literally want to burst with pride and love for you. We hope you feel the love now and hope whenever you read these you will feel that love for you!!!


Being Silly

You generally have messy hair like this

Making funny faces

"Kenzie sit in box"