Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby vs. Grinch - Ten Months

No question. The Grinch doesn't stand a chance.

Enjoying a delicious snack of Grinch fuzz.

Ten Months

Baby Mags is quickly starting to grow out of the "Baby" and is becoming a little girl so quickly. Don't let the lack of hair fool you. She is cunning, quick and witty and she understands way more than you think she does.

This month has been exploding with activity for Maggie. She has almost completely graduated from her army/belly crawl into full-blown hands and knees, although if given a choice she would rather stand and cruise around furniture and do squats all day long. She is not a daredevil...she definitely needs to check things out and proceeds with caution until she is absolutely sure and comfortable (a trait inherited from both of us), but once she knows what she's doing there's no stopping her.

She also is quite certain of what she does and doesn't want, and makes that VERY clear. She has pretty much completely stopped using the sign for "more" and now just bangs her hand on the tray/table/whatever as if to say, "GIVE IT TO ME NOW!"

Also on the subject of communication, she has also started raising her hands above her head to say she is "sooo big." It melts my heart every time. Especially when she does it unprompted. And also when she does it when we ask if she wants more.

One of my favorite things that she has developed this month is figuring out when we think things are funny. Every once and awhile Gary or I will laugh at something and she will start chuckling, too, and then get the giggles. Sometimes she'll just look at the TV or the wall or who knows and just start cracking up.

You just have to look at both of their faces to figure out what's going on here. Add it to the list of "she's going to kill me for this someday."

She's been doing this weird overbite face recently. So unattractive and so cute all at once.

She loves going to the pool (OK, OK, I do, too...), although it is still up for debate whether she likes the water or just sitting and people watching more...

Her favorite thing to do right now is open and close things. Cabinets, doors, books, etc. This box is literally FULL of Beanie Babies and she didn't even touch them...just opened and closed the lid for about fifteen minutes straight.

Maggie always crosses her legs. Such a little lady!

With her "Facebook." It's her favorite right now.

I know this picture is blurry, but it is SO Maggie, and this is an expression that rarely gets captured on the camera.

We're hanging out at Grammy Muggs and Grandpa Gary's house this week so that we can see Gary a little bit more. It's been wonderful so far.

I can't believe we're less than two months away from ONE YEAR. I feel like I understand a little more why mothers get emotional when their kids go to kindergarten and then again off to college...some days I just think, "Eighteen years is not enough! It's not fair!!" And so I try to soak in every minute because time is already flying by way too quickly.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I did it!!

Sometime around the end of last year/beginning of this year my sister and my mom both decided to post about the "Top Ten Books I Read in 2009." Ha! I found myself completely appalled as I tried to remember the last time I read A book, let alone TEN, let alone within one year! And THEN they split the list into "Top Ten Fiction" and "Top Ten Non-Fiction" and I realized that my mind was a total wasteland.

It's not that I don't like to read. There was a time in my life that I devoured books by the day. There was a time that I CHOSE to read such monstrosities as Gone with the Wind and Ben Hur and the Brothers K (what was I thinking??). It's not as if I don't have a PILE of books on my bedside table of all varieties...just in case I'm in the mood for something different.

I just always seem to feel this plaguing sense of guilt every time I sit down to read. Like, "Hey, isn't there something you should be doing??" And whether it's housework or work work or exercise or preparing dinner or sleep or [insert here], the answer is almost always yes. And if I'm on vacation or away from all of those "must do's," then I feel somewhat anti-social for choosing to sit down with a book rather than a person.

Well, regardless of my personality or preferences, I still have had this nagging feeling that I need to start reading again this year. After my women's Bible Study wrapped up at the church this spring, I thought that it would be the perfect time to introduce a book back into my life, taking the time to read when I would have normally been doing my study. So I scoured the bookshelf waiting for inspiration to strike.

I ended up with "All of Grace," by Charles Spurgeon. Not because of the cool retro cover or the author, but because it was SMALL, and I knew I needed something I could definitely finish.

And today I DID.

It only took me two months, but here it is - I have finished my first book of 2010! (We won't divulge how long it's really been since I've finished an entire book...) And it was wonderful. One of the first pieces of literature I've encountered that is specifically written TO those who don't believe. I found it completely refreshing and compelling. It gave me not only a new perspective on those around me, but on my own faith as well.

The last page of the book holds a call to action for both parties. Here is mine:
"He who does not pine to lead others to Jesus has never been under the spell of love himself. Get busy doing the work of the Lord, the work of love. Begin at home. Visit your neighbors next. Enlighten the town or the street where you live. Scatter the Word of the Lord wherever your hand can reach."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home

As of yesterday, our house is officially ON the market! I am SO excited and SO nervous all at once. I just have to keep reminding myself that God is in control and that his timing is perfect.

You can find a link to our listing here. Feel free to spread the word!

In the meantime, while we wait, I am absolutely ECSTATIC to not have any house projects hanging over our heads anymore! It is such an incredible feeling to have the whole weekend in front of us without thinking about hanging doors or painting or even weeding! (BIG thanks to our parents for their help the past few weeks!)

It's amazing to me that exactly three years ago we were just starting to paint...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Next Chapter...

Phew!! As fast as this summer is going, I must say, I am glad to see July. June was quite a month! As if birthdays (Gary was only one of SIX between both families!), starting a photography class, traveling cross-country and a wedding were not enough, we also made a big decision and began the next chapter of our lives...

...which will be in CLEVELAND!!

As one of our friends said, "Hm. That's a funny way of moving out west." Haha! We agree! But we also feel extremely blessed and humbled that of all the places we could move, God has given us the opportunity to be in a place near family we love. We will miss our family and friends here dearly, but are so thankful to spend this next season of our lives with our Cleveland family!

Starting next week, Gary will be "commuting" to Ohio as he shifts to doing outside sales for First Trust. We are both thrilled, excited, scared, nervous about this new chapter in our lives.

It's funny - we never thought that we would be living here, buy our first house here, have our first child here...and on top of it, if you told me five years ago I would love living in Wheaton I would have laughed...but I do! I will miss this place a lot, and I never thought that would be the case.

This has been an awesome year. A very fun, very rich year. But in the words of Helen Keller, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." And so, we are excited to move forward to see what this new adventure holds, trusting that our lives will be even fuller as we trust God to lead us to the place(s) he wants us to be.

Everything has happened extremely quickly. It all feels very surreal. I feel like we have been working non-stop cleaning, fixing, painting, etc. in order to get our house ready to go on the market (Thursday!). We are hoping and praying for a quick sale in order to minimize our time apart.

Now, if we can only convince LeBron to stay...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Wedding!

Part of my absence from the blogosphere this past month was due to a wonderful week and a half spent in California preparing for and celebrating Aunt Kirstin's wedding. It was an awesome week - so many fun memories were made and we spent a ton of quality time with great people that we love.

The wedding was beautiful and meaningful. With 40 extended family members there, it was indeed a celebration and a very special event.

As Gary and I were both in the wedding, I have NO pictures of the wedding day. Here are a few of my favorites from those who were able to take pictures:

Maggie was quite a hit!

Sandwiched between my two favorite guys. Aren't they handsome?

Hanging out with Auntie Kirstin and her new Uncle Jay.

I love this picture of Kirstin and Jay. I have a similar one of Gary and I after our wedding - you can see the joy and love SO clearly in their faces!

My pictures of the rest of the week can be found here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

First Face-plant

I'm currently in the middle of a fantastic photography class. I'm learning a TON - including that Maggie's new-found mobility is not necessarily great for her photo subject resume. Today she took a nosedive off the porch when I looked down to adjust the settings on my camera. Stupid manual mode!! Will I ever get the hang of it??

You can pretty much see the path her face took as it slid across the cement. Poor baby!

Baby vs. Grinch - Nine Months

I think it is safe to say that Maggie is soundly dominating the Grinch these days.

Nine Months

What a month this has been!!

We are certainly on our way to the 10-month mark, but these pictures are were all taken around the 19th - closer to her 9-month mark.

This month her personality has absolutely exploded. Instead of greeting strangers with her usual stoic stare-down she bursts into a contagious wide-mouthed grin - even before they catch her eye. She laughs at everything, and is "talking" up a storm.

Sleep continued to be less than ideal this month, especially due to our trip to California for Auntie Kirstin's wedding, but that seems to be improving due to some strong encouragement from our doctor at her 9-month appointment and a couple of long nights of "crying it out." This week was the first time I've slept through the night in 5 months! Hoping that these good habits continue...

She loves to "bang" her arm - on a table, on a person, or even in the air. I'd like to think that she's waving "hi" and "bye," but it only happens about 50 percent of the time, so the jury's still out on that one. This past week she seemed to show understanding and demonstration of the sign for "more," but again, she doesn't do it every time, so we're still working on it...and have started adding more to our repertoire.

She is pulling up on EVERYTHING now. It's awesome and nerve-wracking all at once. She's not the only one on her toes these days!

Non-toys continue to be the toy of choice, with the exception of her dollhouse and my little sister's "Bathtime Ernie," which she never seems to tire of.

The park and the pool are definitely highlights of her day, although I'm not sure what she enjoys more - the swing, or watching the other kids play...

OH! And she is sporting SEVEN teeth these days!! No wonder her sleep has been horrendous! :)