Friday, December 7, 2012

Sugar and Spice...

Corrie here. I'm officially the worst blogger ever. It's been over a year, and I should probably just give it up. But we really do have intentions of resuming blogging, so I guess I'll start today. To catch you up to speed, it's been a great year. Since my last post, we went to Disney World with the whole family. I love DW. Also, I'm pregnant, almost 20 weeks, and I've been sick every single day for over three months straight. That about sums it up.

This rest of this post will be about the shock of my life.

Most of you know that I have two little girls. Two amazing little girls. I LOVE having daughters. When I was growing up, I imagined a house full of girls. And we have a small house, so that's basically what I have. And I adore it. I love everything that comes with it. I love knowing that as I invest my time and energy and love into these little ones, I am forming deep friendships that will culminate when they are grown. I love watching how special God made them...the nurturing and "mommy-ing" starts early. I've heard that little boys turn everything into cars and guns. Well, little girls turn everything into babies and families. If they have three PRETZELS that are different sizes, then one is the daddy, the shorter one is the mommy, and the smallest is the baby. Hilarious! I love that they judge a Sunday morning dress by it's "twirlability." I love the cuddling and watching Disney movies and baking cookies and helping mommy clean. I love that long after they go to bed, we can hear whispering and giggling. Ohhhh, how I love little girl giggles!! It's a sound I will forever treasure in my heart. I love the fascination with princesses and all things sparkly and magic. I love that they cannot walk out the door dressed to go somewhere without hearing from their daddy that they look beautiful.  And oh my goodness, watching Patrick with his girls has been the highlight of my life. They have him wrapped. So...all that to say, when I found out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed to be expecting another little girl. My dream coming true! I just knew it was a girl. With the exception of two or three friends, everyone knew. We had a name, the girls wanted a was good! Except the puking part... haha

Fast forward three months....
Patrick, Lily, Evie, and I were watching the ultrasound of our precious baby girl. Everything looked great, which is the best news in all of this. We were waiting on the tech to tell us what we all knew....that it was a girl. And that's when I saw it. A penis. My little girl had a PENIS!! (I can't believe I just typed that word out). And then the lady confirmed what I saw. And oh...the shock. I squealed, I laughed, I cried. I seriously should name this child Isaac for all of the laughing I did. The ladies outside thought we were having twins! Nope, just a BOY!!! We were thrilled! I called everyone and LOVED hearing the shock. We were giddy all day.

But as the day wore on, it hit me...I'm not bringing my little girl home. By that night, I was crying. Sobbing. I know that moms of little boys will read this and think I am crazy...but cut me some slack. I'm a hormonal mess. Plus, I know girls. I wasn't crying over having a boy. I was crying over letting go of the idea of another girl. I cried myself to sleep that night. Pathetic, I know. But I'm just being honest. I do not for one second think girls are "better" than boys. In fact, hearing people compare the two like that annoys me more than anything on the face of the earth. I just don't know little boys. I didn't have a brother...

After a few days of the news sinking in, however, I am happy to report that I am totally stoked about having a boy! I still have my moments. I mean, let's face it...the clothes options for girls are sooo much more diverse. And I'm a little shallow like that. But after talking to several friends with both sexes, I am getting more excited. The vast majority have been so helpful. They have all told me that the love is no more, the bond is no's just different. I will love my boy just as much as I love my girls, but my relationship with him will be different. It should be. I sure hope I don't love the same things about him as I do my girls...haha! And I'm good with that. In fact, I am looking so forward to experiencing both. There is nothing on earth like having daughters. And I'm confident I will be able to say there is nothing on earth like having a son as well. Both are so, so special. And God makes no mistakes. This little man was exactly the perfect fit for our family, and I can't wait to get my hands on him. I mean, his daddy is pretty much my favorite person on earth. So I know I will adore his son! I got a Christmas card in the mail the other day from my friend, Haley, and on the back of it is the cutest picture ever of her little boy. It seriously made my heart stop a little. I don't know what it was about his little smile that made me so excited, but it just did.  I may not know what I'm doing, but I have a little girl that has prepared me for this messy, dirty, risk-taking little boy. (Yes, Evie plays in the mud in her crown and tutu). And I've heard little boys love their mamas. My girls love me, and we have the most unique bond, but their faces light up when their daddy walks in the room. And I love that. What am I saying??....Patrick is an amazing dad. This will probably be the world's first daddy's boy.

So...all that to say...bring on the cars, frogs, nerf guns, little boy smiles...Oh please let him have huge dimples. I'm ready! I can't wait to meet this little fella. I am sure he will steal this mama's heart just like his older sisters have.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Honey Bunny is ONE

I cannot believe it has been a year since I met Lucy Kate face to face for the first time. Words cannot express how I felt at that moment. Oh, how I had been waiting (what seemed like forever) for this.
It has been such a fun year with this sweet baby! I have loved watching her grow and learn. Nathan and I say all of the time that our favorite thing is to watch her discover. It is just cute. Most nights, we will sit on the floor in our den and do nothing but watch her crawl around and go through things. I wouldn't trade the nights at home with my family this year for anything in the world. Part of watching her grow has been hard though. The day she first walked, I cried all night! It just hit me that it is such a short time in her life that she is meant for my arms-- that she wants me to hold her everywhere I go-- that she would prefer me over anything or anyone else. The day she walked was one of her first (with many more to come) declarations of independence from me. It was so special and sweet and yet so sad! Goodness-- Life is short! My prayer is that we honor God in the way we raise Lucy Kate and that we make the very most of the time that she is in our home- when she is dependent on us :) And hopefully (prayerfully), one day she will learn to transfer that dependence to the only One that will never let her down and the only One that is capable of fully providing everything she needs.
Since this is her birthday blog post- I do feel the need to talk about her actual birthday DAY and her birthday trip to the zoo :)
I really wanted to make her birthday super special and, even though she won't remember anything that happened, I wanted to make a special memory for Nathan and me. We made LK her favorite meals (biscuits then later spaghetti), and we took her to the zoo. It was such a good zoo day because it was chilly and cloudy (which all zoo goers know is the best time to go because that's when the animals are the most active). We had so much fun looking at all the exhibits! On a whim, I told Nathan we should just go ahead and eat lunch in the cafe since we were both starving and wanting a place to sit and relax for a minute before heading home. After we ordered our food, the manager of the cafe told us that as soon as we walked in the door, the male Gibbon noticed Nathan and had been going crazy! Then she told us to go stand by the big window. That's when the ape pounced on the glass at Nathan! It was so funny (though not to Lucy Kate), we decided to record it (if he would do it again). Sure enough, as many times as we stood there, that ape would go crazy and bang the window! We completely realize that these apes do this kind of thing. They are placed in that exhibit next to the cafe for a reason. But we were fortunate enough to capture it on video! We had no clue that the video would get as much attention as it did. I still cannot believe it! As of today, this video has 2.2 million views on Youtube, and it has been featured on MANY national TV shows, newspapers, and internet channels. I was really hoping to make it to Ellen-- still holding out hope :/
I'm so glad all of that happened on Lucy Kate's birthday-- what a fun story we will have for her in a few years!!!

Lastly, I do have to mention her big birthday bash! I decided to do a sweet shoppe theme. I had so much fun shopping for it and being crafty; although, I will say, I did not come up with the crafty ideas! Here are a few pictures from that fun day :) Pictures are a little out of order...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Amendment 26

When Anna and I started this blog two years ago, we wanted this to be a place where we could share what was going on in our lives and the various things God was placing on our hearts. We never intended this (and still don't) to be a controversial, confrontational, political, or anything of the sort type of blog. In fact, writing this post kinda makes me sweat a little because it's such a hot button issue right now. But at this particular time, the thing that weighs heavy on my heart just happens to be a very controversial topic.

Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."

If you have watched the news lately or been on facebook, you know that Amendment 26 has been the center of many stories, arguments, and disagreements. I should say, at this point, if you are reading this and are pro-choice, then we have a fundamental difference in beliefs. You will probably not agree with anything I say. I write this more for the "pro-life" proponents who are against this vote. To make it clear, the actual wording of what we are voting on is as follows:
"Initiative 26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to define the word
'person' or 'persons', as those terms are used in Article III of the state constitution,
to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the
functional equivalent thereof."

That's it. This particular vote is as simple as a matter of what you believe. When does life begin? Does it begin at the moment of conception? As a follower of Jesus Christ and a believer in the inerrant Word of God, I need to look no further than scripture itself to determine my vote.

Psalm 139:13 "For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:15-16 "My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began."
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Isaiah 44:2 "This is what the Lord says-He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you..."
Isaiah 44:24 "This is what the LORD says-your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb..."

It absolutely breaks my heart to hear friends, "pro-life" voters, and fellow followers of Christ believe the lies surrounding this issue. First of all, the vote is on how this amendment is worded. It is to protect the precious lives of unborn children, and that is it. This is not a vote to ban birth control or IVF. It is a vote to ban abortion....the murder of the voiceless and innocent. I am not naive to the possible repercussions to this amendment. I realize that some forms of birth control may eventually be affected. Do I believe that at any point Mississippi will actually do away with all birth control? No. I think that is HIGHLY unlikely. The forms that might come into question (dare I say?) should be questioned. As far as IVF goes, this is an industry that needs more regulation. This bill could change the methodology by which it is done. It might mean that fewer embryos are harvested, resulting in fewer and fewer unused embryos. Again, it is highly unlikely that IVF will ever be banned.

I have heard several arguments claiming this vote will criminalize mothers who miscarry. This is so utterly ridiculous that it does not deserve the dignity of a response. Another area of concern for several voters is abortion in cases of rape or incest. While situations like this are unimaginably difficult, truth does not change in hard circumstances. Please hear my heart...I am, in no way, being cavalier about the pain and difficulty of a woman faced with such. I cannot even begin to comprehend. But I do know that God alone is the giver and sustainer of life. And I fully believe that no child and no pregnancy is an accident. Even the times when it is so hard to understand, God still values that precious life.

I know have made several, albeit probably weak, arguments on reasons to vote yes. But for me personally, and anyone who is a child of God, the scripture is our final authority. And the Bible is very clear. God gives life, and He is the only one with the right to take it away. At the end of the day, if every single one of these arguments come to fruition, my vote will still be yes. God values life, and because of that, so should we. If we say we are pro-life, how can we not vote to save it? If you believe in the Word of God, then you believe life begins when you are "formless." There is not much shape to little person at conception, but God is "knitting him together" and "planning his days before a single one of them began." God alone knows what is going on inside of a womb. He alone sees it. He alone plans it. Who are we to say that life is not worthy?

Like I said before, if all birth control is banned and "unwanted" pregnancy rates soar, I will still answer to God alone for my vote. I will vote for what I know to be right, and trust our loving, good, and infinitely wise Father for the outcome. Isn't His plan always best? Because of that truth, we need not fear any possible repercussions from voting yes.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letting Go

Days old

I can’t believe the last time I blogged was before I had Lucy Kate! Well, I do have a seven-month old. Maybe that’s a good excuse. Haha! Life has been gloriously different- and busy since she came into our lives. As I type this now, I am watching her on the monitor rolling around and crying, so I know this blog will take me longer to write than I wanted! Since I last wrote, I quit my awesome job, and now I stay at home with my baby—an even more awesome job, and I seriously love it!
In the past seven months, I have thought a lot about Lucy Kate’s precious little life, and I have been amazed at how quickly these past few months have gone. I don’t think I adequately prepared my heart for the quick changes babies go through. My tiny baby who, just a few months ago, couldn’t even hold up her own head is now pulling herself up to stand! And the little one whose cry in the middle of the night would quickly awake me because she couldn’t go three hours without being nursed, now soundly sleeps 12 hours at night. And the clothes in her closet that were way too big and I thought would never fit, have now been in a storage bin for 4 months because they are way too small. And the tiny voice that I so wondered (but could hardly imagine) the sound, now babbles all the time. And my hand that felt like it would never be free of holding the pacie in her mouth is no longer needed (for that) because she can do it just fine on her own. And my sweet baby that depended solely on me for food now eats dinner every night in her highchair. I know a baby can’t stay a baby forever… I just wish they could be a baby for a little longer!

At every stage of her life, we will have to face moments of her getting bigger and us letting her go a little. Right now- our “letting go” is sending her to her own room to sleep. For the past seven months, she has slept in a crib in the same room as Nathan and me at night. I have loved, loved it, but now I know it is time to send her on her own little way ACROSS the house (I am still struggling with it)! :/ As silly as it may seem, a part of me is very sad to see this stage of her life pass. However, I know that it is a small step in the process of a lifetime of letting her go. But that is God’s plan. He gave her to us to train her, teach her, love her, and let her go to be the person He planned for her to be. We are just the blessed ones He chose to help her along in the process.

I hope I never take any stage of her life or time I have with her for granted. Twenty years will be here before I know it, and one day she will be experiencing this incredible bond with her own little ones. Well.. hopefully not in TWENTY years. J

Lucy Kate 7 months

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschooling....two weeks in and still alive!

So....I have been on this little homeschooling journey for two weeks, and so far, we are still loving it!!! Lily is doing beautifully, and she seems to really enjoy it. We are currently reading James and the Giant Peach. It was one of my favorites when I was little and is proving the same for Lily. I wasn't sure how she would do with a book that had chapters and no pictures, but it is going over VERY well. It's probably that active little imagination!

I thought I would give a short little list about random things I've learned during the past two weeks. Yes, I know. It's only been two weeks....But oh well. I didn't have any other topic to blog about.

1. My day MUST start in the Bible and with prayer. It sets the mood for the entire day. I am literally a mess without it. Coffee, my bible, and a comfy chair is the most important part of my day. I have not always been very disciplined about it, sad to say. But God is gracefully and patiently showing me how utterly horrible I can be without His constant fellowship.

2. I CANNOT quickly check Pinterest before starting "school." I think I mentioned it before, but it is quite addictive. :/

3. Okay, I already knew this one. But my kids can really get on my nerves sometimes. I love them to pieces. And I also want to pull my hair out around 4:00pm. Some days have been so wonderful. Others days....well...I really feel dropping Lily off at the bus stop. :) She is just at such an argumentative stage! I'm reaping...I know, mom.

4. I love watching my kids finally "get" something. It is really neat to be the one who explains something to them and then see that little light bulb go off.

5. Me + Math = no. I am afraid that Lily may have inherited the "dumb with numbers" gene from me. I'm kinda nervous....And I'm also really glad I married an engineer. I mean, I can do Kindergarten math. But if we stick with this through fractions, I will resign as her math teacher. Patrick will have to take over.

6. Flexibility is the key to homeschooling. Or at least in my house.

7. I really look forward to my lunch time Diet Coke. I always have. Though maybe just a little more now.

8. Glitter is so stinkin' messy!!!

9. Apparently, messages tied to balloons was nice in theory. But they must have landed in the ocean. Or in some mean person's yard who refuses to humor my five year old and send us a postcard.

10. Recess is still my favorite subject.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm BA-ACK!!

It has been entirely too long since I last blogged. I bet you thought this sad little blog was over. But you will be pleased to know that I still have many quite uninteresting things to post. Get excited. :) ha!

Anyway, things have been kinda busy around here this past summer. Anna moved into a new house, and we have been busy with several projects. I have done a complete overhaul on my house. And I have also been wasting an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest. I'm sure everyone has heard of it, but I was kinda late jumping on that bandwagon. I am now, however, completely addicted. It's bad. And good. And so, so bad....

My latest venture, though, just started this past Monday. For those of you who don't know, I decided to homeschool the girls. I need to start out by saying that if you were to have asked me five years ago if this would be a part of my future, I would have But God has a way of bringing things to pass that we least expect. I had never even considered homeschooling. I just assumed that I would walk Lily into Kindergarten one day and spend the whole rest of the day in bed crying like most normal moms. It was so a "non-thought" for me that I never (up until three or so years ago) even prayed about it. However, God led us to a different church and new friends, and a little seed was planted in my heart. We began to pray about it. I think most of my first prayers started out like "I sorta kinda feel like MAYBE this is something I should consider, but PLEASE, GOD, tell me no." I wanted to have a complete peace about sending Lily and Evie to school. However, the more I prayed, the less peace I felt. Ugh.... My prayer genuinely began to evolve at this point. When I started praying "Thy will be done", I started to truly grasp the verse "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." My delight was going to be in doing HIS will, not mine. And you know what? He completely and utterly gave my heart a new desire. I WANTED to homeschool. Did I feel completely ill-equipped? Yep. Do I still? Um...yes. I'm a college graduate, and I've always felt like I was "smart enough." But teaching a five year old? Yeah, that terrifies me. I mean, I am responsible for her learning to read, write, do math (major eek!), and a million other little things. It's probably a good thing that I feel this way. It keeps me constantly in prayer and constantly leaning on the Lord to show me the way. And let's face it: I would royally mess my children up if I had to go it alone. **I need to put a disclaimer: This is a decision that God was calling my family to do. We are taking it year by year. NO way.. think that public school is bad. His leading for your family can and will look differently than it does for mine. So please hear no condemnation whatsoever. Also...please join me in praying that He will not want me to continue homeschooling through high school. Algebra and I do NOT get along. haha!**

All of that huge explanation to say that we "officially" started this week! Yay! It's been a great and fun week (for the most part). We started out by having a "Lily starts Kindergarten" party. I decorated the dining room, and Patrick went to get balloons. She woke up to a table full of books and school supplies, a terribly ugly poster with glitter (I'm sooo not artsy), and sprinkle pancakes. As you can see below, Evie thought she was starting Kindergarten too. By the way, the pictures are kinda out of order. Sorry.
We made postcards to go on the balloons. We wrote a bible
verse and our address. Hopefully, someone far away found them
and will send us a postcard back telling us where it landed.
My sweet five year old Lily. She was so excited.
Getting ready to release our balloons.
We looked at a map and made a hypothesis on where the balloons
would land. We had different variables to consider. Before you
go thinking my children are brilliant and have the best teacher
because they understand what a hypothesis is, you should
know they got it from watching entirely too much Dinosaur Train.
I seriously considered letting PBS teach them this year. Highly
educational programming, y'all!
I guessed Louisiana. Evie pointed to Texas. Lily
guessed Disney World. Imagine that.
What's the first day of Kindergarten without a little finger paint?
Naturally, the finger paint led to playing in the water hose. Hey, I
homeschool. It's allowed.
Making cute.
Decorating cookies...
Okay, I know what everyone is probably thinking. Did they actually learn anything?? Yes. In between the pictures we did bible, phonics, writing, reading, and math. It was a great day. I love the creativity of each day that homeschooling allows. We took a popsicle break mid-morning just because we could. The day wasn't all wonderful, though. I started out by praying over our morning, and I specifically prayed that Evie would have a cooperative spirit. If you know Evie, then you know she is my strong-willed, passionate child. I pray this prayer for her a lot. Anyway, I guess God thought I needed a laugh. Because the first thing she did when she woke up was murder a baby bird. We had a found an abandoned bird's nest at my parents and brought it home for observation. There was a little, tiny egg in there, and we had high hopes of seeing it hatch. Well, Evie escaped out of the house while Patrick was taking the trash out. She walked right over to the nest, picked the egg up, and squished it between her fingers. It pretty much exploded all over her. Her hair, her clothes, her skin.....and it was THE.MOST.HORRIBLE.SMELL.EVER. Pretty sure it was never going to actually hatch. It had to be rotten. She went straight to the bath where I spent the better part of the morning washing and rewashing her hair. FYI- dead baby bird yolk is a hard smell to get out.

So there you have it....our first official homeschooling day. Not all glamorous. But I laid my head on my pillow that night knowing I was EXACTLY where God intended me to be. I am fully aware that it will not all be fun and not every day will be great. This week has already proven that. In fact, I am sick today with a nasty summer cold. It's all I can do keep my head up. Fortunately, homeschooling allows for a flexible schedule. Praise the Lord. I'll keep you somewhat posted on how things are going. And if you see us out in public, don't be shocked if we are wearing bonnets and blue jean jumpers..... haha.....jk. Homeschooling has a come a loooonnngggg way.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A hard week...

Early Monday morning, our sweet Mama Dot went home to be with the Lord. These past few days have been very hard for our family, and I know there are some really sad days ahead. We rejoice knowing she is in the presence of Jesus, but oh how she will be missed here. Please remember my family, particularly my mom and her siblings, in your prayers. She was so precious to us.

Mama Dot swinging with the girls. She loved that swing!

Visiting Leo the lion. Mama Dot is the reason my Lily loves lions.
She has been taking her grandchildren and now
great grandchildren to visit UNA's mascot for years.

Mama Dot with her cat, Josie. This picture makes me laugh every
time I look at it. She was never a cat person, but this little stray
found it's way to her back door. She has loved him ever since. Yes,
the cat is male. Lily named the cat after her BFF before we realized
it was not a female. The name just stuck.

Mama Dot with Evie. I am so grateful that she met my two girls.
She loved them, but "peapod" held a special place in her heart.

Mama Dot with Lucy Kate. We are so, so blessed that she
had the opportunity to meet her. God's timing is so good.
She stayed with my mom for the last month of her life, and she
had precious time to just hold and rock LK. They both loved it.

I love this picture. A sweet new baby at the beginning of life,
and my sweet grandmother closer to the end.
"..The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD" Job 1:21

This picture is so tiny that you probably won't be able to see it.
I cannot figure out how to make it bigger. But I just love this
shot of Anna and Mama Dot. I think it says so much about her.