Thursday, May 31, 2007

Are muffins an aphrodisiac?

On Wednesday morning, Lily and I braved the bad weather and ventured over to Reid and Audrey's house for a playdate. Being the hostess that Ms. Lauren is, she had some warm muffins for us to indulge in. Lily didn't seemed too interested until she saw Reid enjoying a mouthful of apple cinnamon goodness. So, we sat Lily and Reid and big sister Audrey in the playroom at their own little table. It was practically a tea party (but I won't call it that since Reid's Daddy doesn't allow him to partake in such feminine gatherings.)

About half way through his muffin, I guess Reid decided there was something he needed to give Lily. He squirmed free from his little chair...

approached Lily's side of the table...

and planted a big one right on her lips!

Lily sat in awe; speechless. It took her several moments to recover.

Reid, your Daddy would be proud. And Lauren, what did you put in those muffins? =)

14 months old

laughing with Daddy

precious little angel

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fun in the Sun

Evan and Lily enjoying the pool

Lily's butterfly suit (I love it!)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Second Honeymoon

I guess I can call it our second honeymoon. Josh seemed to think that the second honeymoon comes after 25 years of marriage or something. But I say, Carpe Diem. We've got to have our second honeymoon while we're both around to enjoy it. (Technically, it was an early celebration of our four year anniversary-June 6th.)

Last week, Josh and I escaped to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I was extremely excited to go, especially since life has been pretty busy lately. This was going to be my first time away from Lily longer than overnight. So, I was a little nervous to leave her. But I simply put my anxiety to good use and typed up "The Lily Handbook": a 3 page manual on Lily's life for the grandparents to reference while we were gone. How's that for not being a Type A? (Even Josh was impressed.)

We headed to the airport early Monday morning, and within 30 minutes from leaving our house we were dropped off, checked in, and through security. Let the waiting begin. We explored the new international terminal of DFW (very nice by the way) and enjoyed some bagels and coffee at Einstein's. I could tell we were in for a GREAT trip when our conversation turned to a discussion on the Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson. I just love the wealth of knowledge my husband is...anyways, as we were waiting to board, a voice came over the intercom and invited all of us to welcome home some soldiers who were returning from Iraq. Minutes later, the whole terminal erupted in applause. People all around us were standing, cheering, whistling, clapping, as probably 300 soldiers walked by. It was quite a moving experience. Josh and I both teared up. Just to think of these men and women leaving their families to go serve their country. That takes some kind of courage. It really made me proud to be an American. I felt a real sense of patriotism and unity in that moment with total strangers.

We arrived in Cancun at about 12pm. As we were waiting for our shuttle to the resort, we met another couple on their honeymoon: Travis and Cathy from Minnesota. When Josh mentioned that he was a pastor, they said they were believers and actually go to Piper's church in Bethelehem. They were both fairly new Christians so it was exciting to hear how God is working in their lives. It's so cool to meet believers from other cities or countries. You really feel an instant bond without even really knowing them.
(forgot to take a picture with them)

The rest of the afternoon, we just explored the resort. Our room was amazing! They renovated fairly recently and I loved the decorating. Very sleek, modern, sophisticated, but simple. Perfect for the beach. Every room had a jacuzzi hot tub next to the bed overlooking the ocean and pool!

Our main objective for the trip was rest. So, we decided just to play everything by ear. No set time to be anywhere. Tuesday through Thursday looked like this: wake up about 9, eat breakfast, workout, eat lunch, lay out all afternoon, read in hot tub, shower, eat dinner. Two nights we walked into the town after dinner. Friday morning we headed back to Dallas and were happily reunited with our sweet Lily.
Here's some more pictures from the trip:

Breakfast on our balcony

Josh beating the Spaniard in the International Ping Pong Tournament Championship. Congrats, Josh on being the International Ping Pong Champion!

(Maury, this one's for you!)

Josh and Leo, the Activities Planner, after Josh won Mexican Lottery (We still found time to compete on this trip).

All in all, it was just what we needed. We really did get to rest and relax. I actually finished a book and got over half way done with another one. (Can't remember the last time that happened) The one I started on the trip was called "Death By Suburb" by David Goetz. I love the subtitle: How to keep the Suburbs from killing your soul." Early on in the book, he talks about how important it is to seek God where you are: in the suburbs.

We often think, "Oh, if I could just get away to the beach and watch the sunset or to a quiet waterfall in Montana, I could really find God." He quotes Martin Luther as saying, "Nature cannot reveal God. Nature is indeed very wonderful, and every particle of creation reveals the handiwork of God, if one has the eyes to see. But nature can only confirm one's prior belief in the beneficence of God." He goes on to say that solitude, which is required for spiritual development, is "more inside space than outside space." It isn't physically fleeing the suburbs but rather learning the practice of becoming still. This was interesting to read as I sat looking out over the ocean, listening to the waves roll in one after the other. I often think the answer to my lack of spiritual depth lies in a getaway to a secluded beach or mountaintop. If I could only get there, then I could know God more deeply. But really, being there on the beach I was no closer to God than in my own living room. It's all about the state of my heart wherever I am. Anyways, it's a great read and very true to the suburban life. I love his honesty and can relate to more of it than I'd like to admit. So,does this mean I can consider myself a reader? Or do you have to finish more than one book?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ode to the Mailman

My procrastination came out in true form today. I had just put Lily down for a nap and happened to glance out the storm door to see the Mailman going down the opposite side of the street. The image of that thank you note I've intended to write all week flashed through my mind. Could I find my stationary, a working pen, and a stamp, plus gather my thoughts before the little white truck pulled up to our mailbox? Well, I was sure gonna try.

I managed to find everything I needed and captured my grateful spirit in record time. Now, to the bedroom to get a stamp. As I rounded the living room corner, I saw Mr. Mailman pulling away from the curb, but I knew I could probably still catch him at the corner stop sign. Hopping shrubs and dodging dog droppings, I hustled through several yards. His brakes had just finished screeching when I called out, "Hey!" (Wasn't sure what else to say.) Once I got to the truck, I handed him my little note and internally congratulated myself. "Can I get this out today?" He took it, glanced down, paused, and looked back up at me. "Do you have a two cent stamp? Postage went up."

Oh yeah. I could vaguely remember hearing something about that somewhere at some point. "Well, I can just mail it tomorrow," and I extended my hand ready to accept my defeat. "Tell you what. I've got some extra 2centers at the Post Office. I'll stick one on there for you when I get back."

Wow. I wasn't expecting that. Maybe he could appreciate my valiant effort in chasing him down. Maybe he felt sorry for this lady who obviously paid no attention to current events. Maybe he was just a nice guy. Whatever the case, I thanked him for his kindness and went on my merry way. So, thanks Mr. Mailman for going the extra mile for a fellow citizen. And sorry, Summer, if your thank you note never gets there.

(By the way, in efforts to make up for my lack of knowledge, I did some research and discovered the Forever Stamp. Maybe I'm way behind in this too, but what a great concept. It can be used forever, regardless of how much stamp prices go up. So no more keeping up with the postage hikes. Not that I did anyway. You can check it out here).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

First Haircut

I took Lily a couple weeks ago to get her first haircut. Our sweet stylist Bonnie made her feel so comfortable. (and the spray bottle helped too!) She sat pretty still in my lap while Bonnie snipped away. Lily grabbed a little at Bonnie's hands while she trimmed her bangs, but once she trimmed the back Lily didn't seem to care. I saved a few "almost" curls for the baby book.

If you're looking for a great stylist in Highland Village, I can give you Bonnie's number. She's the unofficial Village hair stylist!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Things above

I should be in bed. Asleep. It's almost midnight, and my toddler will undoubtedly awaken in seven short hours regardless of how much shut eye I've had. And yet, I continue to blog. I guess I'm a night person. I love being up at night. Mornings on the other hand are a struggle. Man, for some reason I almost hate to admit that. I guess I've always wished I were a morning person. There's just something so romantic about the idea of waking before the sun, pouring a hot cup of coffee, and enjoying the stillness of the quiet house. But that's pretty much me right now. Minus the coffee and the sun.

Anyways, I've really been thinking on Colossians 3:1-3 this week. Ben Stewart spoke out of this text last weekend, and it was SO good to hear. He said that our thoughts lead to our affections which lead to our actions. And all these evil thoughts that we have need to be replaced with good thoughts (oversimplified version.) It's not enough just to stop thinking the bad thoughts. We've got to fill that void with good thoughts. Hence, Col. 3: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God..."

This came at such a good time. Last Sunday night, I came to church totally unprepared for the battle that would take place in my mind during worship. But it was hardly "worship" for me. I loved getting to hear a new voice leading out. But sadly, it led to self-focus and all these thoughts of insecurity and comparison and inadequacy. And my reaction in these times can be really impulsive. So, I was thinking, "I've got to leave. I've got to go home and practice. I've got to get better." Silly, I know. But so real and overwhelming in the moment. Thankfully, the Lord helped me fight off that impulsiveness, and I stayed to hear the message. Which was just what I needed. Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful. Faithful to speak to me through your Word, through your servant Ben, through friends like Andrea and Molly.

I know this may be a battle I will always fight this side of heaven - but that I am ultimately victorious through Him. And so I continue to take captive the lies by believing Truth. Setting my mind on things that are above. Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Not even a hum...

Well, it's 2:36 a.m., and I'm wide awake. It could be the fact that I went to bed at 9:00 p.m., probably for the first time since elementary school. Or maybe it was that random moment when the power came back on, and all the lights that we forgot we left on suddenly beamed brightly confusing the heck out of me as I lay in bed trying to figure out what just happened. Regardless of how hard I tried to convince myself of my sleepiness for the next hour, I finally gave up and decided to blog (of course.) Yes, our power did go off tonight during those crazy storms. At about 7:20 I was busy with the usual multi-tasking: feeding Lily her dinner, talking to my mom on the phone, listening to the weather report on TV, when all of this activity ceased abruptly when the power just shut off. You know that moment when everything just stops. And there we were, sitting in silence and darkness and powerless to do anything about it.

And you know what, it was actually somewhat refreshing. After putting Lily to bed Josh and I just sat on the couch facing each other and listened to the silence by candlelight. There was nothing. No constant chatter from the TV, no music from the computer, no spinning from the washer, not even a hum from the refridgerator. And I began thinking how much noise I'm used to in my day to day life. I'm so accustomed to a steady stream of chaos that I'm really not aware of its effect on me. But once that was all taken away it felt so good to be surrounded in silence.

In their book Overcoming Overload, Steve and Mary Farrar talk about the importance of a sanctuary for us as believers. A time of solitude, stillness, and silence where we can reconnect with our Creator. To turn off the "noise" and be refreshed in knowing Him. Such a beautiful idea but sometimes a hard reality (especially with a 13 month old!) But it's so crucial to the well-being of my soul. And sadly, sometimes it doesn't happen unless it's forced upon me like tonight when our power shut off. It's almost as if God was saying, "Let me help you to slow down and rest." And that's just what we did. And it makes me wonder why we don't do that more often.