June 27, 2010

Graduations and Birthdays

Last weekend, I traveled back to Mississippi for Kurt's graduation ceremony. Evy stayed with my parents, because 11 hours of driving (round trip) and a banquet situation didn't seem like the best idea. Kurt told me that he had some things planned for my 25th birthday (which was the same day as his graduation). Did he EVER!

First of all, right as I got into town I met up with SD and Carrie--that was a must! We caught up and chatted like no time had passed, and it was so wonderful to just talk away without our little angels present! :) I miss those girls so much!

I went to my little house (which I have also been missing very much), and got ready. Kurt had already gotten off of work. As we were heading out of the house, he gathered up my bags and told me that we weren't staying there for the weekend! I had to laugh--I had made jokes about having to sleep in an empty house on an air mattress (our entire house is moved to Missouri and so Kurt has been living on the BARE minimum). He actually got us a hotel room so I wouldn't have to do that!

We got in the car and he told me we were going to a movie! (I love the movie theater experience!) Kurt didn't realize that Toy Story 3 came out that day, so he had already gotten us tickets to see The Killers with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl (who is one of my favorites). It was cute, but had a little bit of language and it was more of an action movie than I normally see. However, they were really cute together, and the interior design of their house was definitely a highlight for me. Because I'm that person that pays attention to the set design of a movie!


Kurt did the absolute sweetest thing---as we were walking out, he looked at me and said, "Do you want to go to a late showing of Toy Story 3?" He could tell I wanted to see it SO BADLY! I was thrilled and said yes! So we bought tickets for a later show.

THEN, Kurt surprised me with dinner at one of my favorite places, The Parker House. I had wanted to eat there one more time before we moved, and I was able to! We had fish and steak, crawfish bisque (my favorite), and lots of yummy sides. It was perfect!


After the delicious dinner, we went back to the theater and there was a LINE formed outside of the actual theater that we were going to see the movie in. I get MAJOR anxiety over not getting good seats in a movie. It literally kills me to pay money and then have to sit close. Well, we got perfect seats! We saw it in 3D, which is always fun. I'm going to go ahead and say that I cried several times during the movie, because it reminded me of how beautiful childhood is. As children, we grow attached to toys and create memories with them that are so innocent and sweet. That's why I'm so excited to be a mother---I get to do childhood all over again, in a sense. I was so touched by this precious movie. A DEFINITE must-see!



After the movie, I asked where we were staying, and Kurt told me that we were going to the old King Edward hotel in downtown Jackson. It has recently been renovated and reopened as a Hilton, so I was really excited! The lobby was just beautiful, and we really enjoyed staying there. It was different to experience Jackson in a different way. We lived in a suburb of Jackson, so we were NEVER in the downtown area when we lived there. It felt kind of urban and fun!


The next day was my birthday (as well as Kurt's mom's!). My in-loves were SO sweet. They gave me some giftcards, and I went to Sephora and bought some new makeup! I've been wanting to try one or two brands, and this was a great way to do it. When I was in Sephora, I saw lots of things that my Nana has sent me before. She keeps me well-stocked. Thanks, Nana!

I got back to the house and we got ready for the graduation dinner. It was held were I had my junior and senior proms in high school, so that was funny! I was so, so incredibly proud of my handsome, smart husband. He has worked so hard (that's a severe understatement), and we feel so blessed to be coming to the end of this journey with a healthy marriage and beautiful daughter. The Lord has indeed done great things for us!

Kurt was spoken very highly of at the ceremony, and they told the story of when he showed exemplary skills in handling a crisis situation in the ICU one night while he was on call. Kurt downplayed it a lot at the time, but it was clearly a big deal. I was just so proud!


Here is Kurt's anesthesia class. Several of them are staying at the hospital to be on staff, one is completing military service, and a couple are doing pain management. Kurt is really the only one who is going off to begin his real career with a job in an anesthesia group.


Kurt with his parents. Obviously, they are incredibly proud of him!


When we got married, we had three years left of residency. Look where we are now! Thank you, Lord!



All of us at the graduation ceremony.


When we got back to the hotel, Kurt had MORE GIFTS for me! I was floored, and kept asking, "Why on earth did you do this much!?" We were celebrating the end of residency too, so I guess that explains the extra special treats!

Here were my gifts:




It was a wonderful, WONDERFUL birthday weekend, and I was so happy that we were celebrating Kurt as well. His birthday is next week, and we'll see what I can come up with. It won't be this extravagant, but someday I'm really going to surprise him like he's surprised me lately! I am so thankful for another year to be married to my best friend, be a mommy to my sweet, adorable little girl, and serve the Lord!

June 26, 2010

Happenings

I didn't have the energy to upload any pictures tonight, so hopefully tomorrow I'll get that done and can write up some more interesting posts with pictures to match! Some random updates will have to do for now.

-Yesterday (Friday) merits a post by itself, but I'll go ahead and share that Kurt got in safely to stay for the weekend! He goes back tomorrow and does paperwork on Monday and Tuesday, and then will get in on Tuesday evening to stay PERMANENTLY with us!!!!!!!!! This is it, people. I know that you've been hearing about it for 3 years (literally since I started blogging), but this really is the end of residency!

-I still feel like my house is in limbo. Nothing has changed there. However, my SWEET mother in love is coming next week, and she is bringing a lot of my window treatments!!! This excites me to no end. I think I'm going to start feeling more put together once my windows are done. I've bought the curtain rods for the dining room. That room actually doesn't lack much, because I decided to leave the wall paint as is. It actually ended up complementing the table really well! My painter will just need to paint the trim and window sills white (the previous owners painted JUST that room's trim cream??), and I need to find a rug and perhaps a miscellaneous sideboard, but other than that it's about done. I even decided where I want my FIRST thing hung in the house---it's a mirror to put over the buffet in the dining room. However, I'll be doing some furniture shopping in July and August, and if I can find a well-priced buffet that's bigger, I just might get it. I LOVE the one I have (I bought it in Dallas), but the room could handle a bigger one. We'll see! Oh, I found some barstools for the kitchen! It's this style but in black:

If I don't get that particular one (the price is actually reasonable), I'll get something really similar! I do promise to post update pictures soon!

-Kurt rocked Bitty before bed for the first time. We've just now developed into the rocking routine, because 1) She's just now allowing us to cuddle and rock with her, and 2) She knows how to fall asleep on her own so we're not forming any habits that are really hard to break. I missed my time with her, but I want Kurt to be able to have that special time too. Before Evy was even born, Kurt told me that when he rocked our children, he wanted to sing hymns to them. Well, tonight he rocked Evs and I overheard him singing "The Old Rugged Cross." I felt so incredibly blessed beyond measure!

-I won't go into all the details right now, but a lot has been on my mind about getting into shape. I'll probably do a post about it at some point, but it's still a lot of private issues that I'm working through in my head. Nothing is wrong, I just need to sort things out before I share them. Basically, something kicked into gear inside of me and I created a pretty lofty fitness goal for myself. I am terrified of failure, and that's what is holding me back from sharing 100%. But I dusted off my 30 Day Shred DVD the other night and completed it. I took yesterday off, and tonight we got in late from a date (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I was sitting in the living room having this internal battle with myself about doing the DVD. "I'm tired," "I'll take just one more night off," "It's late," and "Will it really make a difference in my body anyway?" were all thoughts that filled my head. Then I got mad at myself and told myself that my OLD body thought that way. This is my new self (if you've read "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore you learned that mantra). I picked myself up, put on my tennis shoes and completed the DVD!!! I was really proud of myself for being disciplined enough to do it. I struggle with discipline in a lot of areas, and this was a big hurdle for me. I exercised at 10:30 at night! I'm tired and sore but I'm really proud of myself. I'll share more as I feel ready!

-I can't believe I'm 25. Woah.

-Kelly wrote a GREAT post about being "Real" in blogging. Basically, if you want to know my stance on the subject, read her thoughts. They're mine too. I honestly don't even have much to add, because she worded it so well. Like Kelly (and some of you, I'm sure), I've gotten the occasional snide remark either on this blog or behind my back about how "comfortable" and "perfect" my life is, and how I must not have a care in the world. If only people know what sometimes goes on in my heart, home, and head! Like Kelly, I simply choose to blog about the positives most of the time. I'm not trying to paint a perfect picture of our family; I just use discretion. I've talked about it before, but it also has to do with the fact that I see an entire church family every week. In a way, I sort of feel accountable to them. Do I REALLY want my entire church family knowing about the ins and outs of disagreements, thought processes, and other private matters? I'm not trying to be fake! I just believe in being careful about what information you put out there. I really do try and share my heart on my blog, and sometimes that involves sharing the not-so-good things. But most of the time, I'm keeping it happy and positive. Kelly asked our thoughts on the subject in her post, so those are my thoughts.

-I'm sure you've heard of Whitney's blog, "The Glamorous Life of a Housewife." I've been a follower for awhile now. Yall, I seriously was up into the WEE HOURS of the morning reading back through a lot of her previous posts. I had some spare time, and I was sucked in! Basically, she and I are in a VERY similar boat (her husband is in his medical training), and they have one son, and she's a stay at home mom/wife. I LOVE HER. However, what really caught my attention was her decorating (rich and elegant), as well as her mom's decorating (even more rich and elegant). Also, her mom's hostessing skills. Oh, and Christmas--her mom's decorations and her decorations put me to shame. Whitney, if you ever in a million years see this, I want to be a houseguest at your mom's house. And yours. At Christmastime. That about covers it.

-We've been talking about where to take our Lancaster Family Vacation next year (with Kurt's side of the family). In 2008 we went skiing (SO much fun!), and guess what? This year, it looks like we might be going to DISNEY WORLD!!!!! I know, you all think I wrangled that for my own personal benefit, but it's not true! Because babies are now involved (by the way, our little nephew Josh is doing great!), it made the most sense. We can all do our own things at our own pace, but then we can meet up as a family for a nice meal, etc. Nothing has been booked in concrete, but it looks like those are going to be the plans! So yes, as of right now, Evy's first trip to Disney World will be at the age of 2 years old in March 2011! :) (And if you're keeping track, that means that Kurt and I will go in October and then again in March. AMAZING.)

Well that was probably the most random post I've ever done. But now you have a pretty good idea of just some of the things in my head. Talk to you soon. :)

June 24, 2010

Evy Grows Up: 16 Months

Evy is now 16 months old! This post is late, but that's okay. Sometimes that happens! Here's what life is like with Evy at 16 months:

-Evs has been going to bed around 8:30ish and sleeping until 8:30-9:00 a.m. most mornings. It is wonderful!!!! She takes one nap a day. For awhile we were in a transition period where she was wanting to take a morning nap but only take one nap a day. It made for some VERY long days!! Thankfully, she has now transitioned to one afternoon nap and she usually goes down around noon or 1:00 p.m. Her average is 1.5-2 hours. Although yesterday, she slept for 3 HOURS! I checked on her about 20 times because it was so unusual. I think it was because she ate a really big lunch beforehand so her little tummy was nice and full.

-Speaking of eating, she's been going through the most frustrating phase: not being hungry! It's so weird. She just doesn't seem to have an appetite. She eats every meal and some snacks, but just not a lot at each sitting. I'm not worried per se, I just wish I could feel satisfied that she's getting a good, full tummy each time. At least I know I'm not alone. . . Carrie and Kelly have both talked about their girls being that way lately.

-Restaurants have become touch and go. If we time it right, it usually ends up being okay, but if she's not hungry and occupied with food, she is fussing like CRAZY to get down from her high chair and walk. Argh. I know that's just the age we're in, but I sure do miss leisurely meals!

-She is waving and saying "bye bye" on cue whenever we ask and also when she senses or sees that someone is going somewhere. She even tells people in stores and restaurants bye bye as they're leaving. We get many smiles! Of course I think it's just about the most adorable thing in the WORLD to hear that little voice say "Bye bye" so sweetly. We joke that she says it with a southern accent! I guess that is where she spent her first year of life....

-Evy also says "night night" on occasion. She does know that when I say "Nappy" or "night night" it means that she's going to sleep. She'll look around for her paci and Bun Bun (yes, he's still here and going strong). We've developed a good routine recently. She'll let me rock her (because I love to rock and sing to her) for a little bit, and then I put her in her crib (she's still awake). She goes on to sleep by herself, and it's the best of both worlds!

-She is wearing 18-24 months clothes and a size 4 diaper. Her little legs are still chunky and I LOVE IT.

-Her hair is growing a lot and she has a lot of little curls. I just think they're the cutest!

-She says "Ish" every time she sees an animal of any sort (at my parents'). She puts her head down and cuddles Muffy (our Shih-Tzu) so kindly. I'm glad she's learning to be gentle!

-Evy still has a thing about shoes. She's moved on from being concerned about her own shoes, but if anyone takes their shoes off, she gets majorly worried and stressed. She won't let you rest until you put your shoes back on (or hide them, which we usually do). OCD at 16 months.....nice.

-If we give her a wipe and tell her to blow her nose, she will! She holds it up and blows--so funny! She will also dab a powder puff on her face as we say "Pretty."

-She recognizes family members immediately. She's gotten to spend lots of time with Kurt's parents as well as my family these last few weeks. She now says "Papa!" I'm sure all the other grandparent names aren't far behind. My dad got lucky because those are the easy sounds for her to make--hee hee!

-She dances to music and it's so funny. She bobs up and down and moves her head side to side. She definitely seems to be an entertainer (which I was as a kid), so it's fun to watch!

-While I was typing this post, Evy started fussing in her crib. I love when this happens (well, I don't love that she's fussing, but you know what I mean), because it's rare that she wakes up in the night. I get to rock her, smell that precious little head, and give her more kisses that the million I already gave her today. I love extra cuddling! :)

There's no way a list could enumerate what Bitty is up to and how much we love her. Not having Kurt here these last several weeks has made me appreciate single parents so much more. I have missed not having my teammate (and husband!) here. However, he's coming in tomorrow for the weekend! Then it's just a few days of paperwork back in Jackson, then he's DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Evy has been adorable and precious at every age, but this is an especially cute time. She's really starting to communicate and interact with us. She's learning so much, and it makes me really excited that I could possibly be her teacher in a few years (we're still feeling led to homeschool at this point). I just want to be apart of what she's learning and watch her little mind grow. She's extraordinary, simply because God made her. I'm still in awe everyday that God chose me to be her mother. It's so cliche, but that's how I feel! When she acknowledges me as "Ma-ma" I just want to lift up my hands and touch God's face to say THANK YOU!

Kurt and I have never enjoyed 16 months of our lives so much! We love you, Bitty!

June 23, 2010

Linky Love

Every so often, I like to share some great things I've come across online. So, here are some recents!

-This post from French Essence describes London so beautifully. These last few days I've been missing one of my favorite cities so, so much. I relived a lot of memories while I was driving to and from Mississippi by myself (more on that in another post). London makes my heart full.

-I recently found Raising Homemakers and I LOVE it! Before anyone FREAKS OUT at the title of the website, I want to put it out there that I don't think it's wrong at all to teach our daughters the skills of keeping a house. I also don't think it's a bad thing to teach our daughters that it is a noble and worthwhile calling to be at home raising a family and nurturing a marriage. Those things can happen while a woman has a career as well, but I thoroughly agree with and support this website. Our daughters need to know that you're not less of a person if you dream of being a homemaker.

-My little sister is really growing a lot in her walk with the Lord. She has some great thoughts!

-My dad is starting a new series at Lynwood (our church) July 11 called PEOPLE. Each letter stands for a topic relating to people, and I think it'll be so interesting! Here's the graphic I did, which I really like because it has a different feel that we've done before:


-Speaking of church, we're excited to have our prospective worship pastor in town this weekend in view-of-a-call. (For those who are unfamiliar, that's what some churches call the visit where a minister and his family are publicly introduced to the church and the vote is held at the end of the visit.) We are thrilled that the Lord has led us to this family!

-My sweet blog friend Sheri has a private blog, but she recently posted this video that her husband and daughters made. The clincher is that her husband was recently deployed for a year. Pause my regular playlist, watch this video, and say a prayer of thanks for these incredible families who sacrifice so much for our country.



-I loved every single picture from this post at Room Service. I LOVE THEM. Could look at them all day.

-I recently went to get my library card, and I checked out several home decor books just for fun. I absolutely fell in love with this one, and I got SO many ideas and inspirations! I can't wait to implement some of them!


-This doesn't fall under the category of Linky Love, but here's a picture of some of the fabrics that I'm using in our house. I am going to bring in some color here and there in different ways, but I wanted to start out with a completely neutral scheme. I'm letting the house breathe, and I'm figuring out what direction I'm going in for each room. Here's a peek!


That about sums it up for now. I'll be back tomorrow with Evy's 16 months post!

Memorial Day Weekend

I'm finally getting caught up! Here are some pictures from Memorial Day weekend:

Kurt's parents had been in town for a few days, and Mrs. Pam snapped this picture of us in front of our new house before they left. Our outfits are all over the place (and I don't even think I look like myself in this picture), but we three are very happy to be a little family all moved in!


As usual, Evy helped around the house while wearing her patriotic attire. (Sidnote: We have since painted the walls, mantle, etc. Progress pictures coming soon!)


One of the most immediate projects when we moved in was putting a fence around the end of our driveway (it's a steep drop-off into the backyard). Kurt, my Dad, and my father in love worked so hard to get it safe for our little explorer! Note: We are haggling my brother to paint the fence for us. We'll see if he can make time in his taxing schedule of sleeping, going to camps, watching TV, eating, and sleeping.


I wasn't able to snap a picture of Bitty with her Randad before he left, but here she is with Papa:


Bitty helped!

That evening, we went over to my parents' house for a cookout. Evy has been so cute with Muffy recently. She'll give her "love love" and pet "gently."


A literal monsoon threatened to ruin the cookout, but my brother braved the storm. For a little bit I tried to stand out in it to hold the umbrella over his head, but I was getting DRENCHED. He ended up getting them cooked somehow while I had to go home and change. I also had to pull my hair back because it just couldn't be styled at that point. Hence, no pictures of me at the cookout! :)

We were so happy to have our dear family friend, Mrs. Venieda, eat with us. She babysat Andrea when she was a baby (when my family lived here the first time), and we always love spending time with her!


The oh-so-festive table my mom decorated :)


Lastly, here's a good dose of the sweetest baby in the world!



June 22, 2010

Stay Tuned!

I know I say this every time I post, but a lot has been going on! I miss keeping track of everything that we've done on my blog, so here's what posts are coming up:

-Memorial Day
-Evy turning 16 months
-My birthday weekend/Kurt's graduation
-Random Happenings and Thoughts (while driving by myself)

And........

-MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

I'm going to wait a bit until I talk about it, but I will say this: I have never intended to do giveaways on my blog (I don't have anything against them, it was just one more thing for me to try and fit in). [Also, I don't intend to do giveaways after this unless it's a special situation.] However, God literally dropped an opportunity in my lap that I'm so excited about! Here's a hint: it involves a Christian celebrity! I've probably hyped this up too much and when I announce it people will be let down, but let's put it this way: I am personally very excited about this, so it's just a bonus if YOU are. Haha!

Just wanted to check in. I'll cross another post off my list tonight!

June 20, 2010

Celebrating Daddies

I couldn't let the day pass by without writing a special post about Father's Day! I spent the first portion of the day driving back here to Missouri after being in Mississippi for Kurt's graduation (post coming soon). I also celebrated my 25th birthday on Saturday (the same night as graduation), and Kurt really outdid himself this year! I can't wait to share about it. However, the post topic right now is about Daddies.

Obviously, the first man in my life was my Dad. I have such special, special memories of my childhood all the way up until now. I remember washing the cars, playing on the monkey bars, and going to the nursery (plants and gardening center) with him, among MANY others. We've taken trips together, had many lunches, and talked a lot. I'm blessed to have a close relationship with both of my parents, and I thank the Lord every day for that.

My dad learned from his dad how to be a dad, and so I celebrate Dah today as well. I also honor my mom's dad, for the many ways that he is diligent and devoted in his "father" roles. Both of my parents were pastor's children, and they both had very positive experiences. I thank my grandfathers (and grandmothers) for this, because I in turn had a very positive experience being in a pastor's family.

When I met Kurt, I could tell that he was a lot like my dad, and that was what instantly told me that this was a relationship that could really be The One. Kurt is patient, kind, loving, and always exhibits integrity at all times. I saw those traits in him from the first time we started dating, and he has continued to be that same guy everyday.

I didn't know how much more I would be bonded to Kurt after we became parents. When Evy entered the world, Kurt became the most precious, tender father to her. He absolutely adores her, and it's so evident how much he loves her. We both delight in everything she does, and it's so much fun to really have a "partner" in parenting. We agree totally on how we parent, and Kurt is so supportive of me as I am staying at home with our child(ren). That is absolutely the best gift he could give me--allowing me to live my calling as a wife and mother and serve in our home.

What I've observed about being a parent is that a lot of emulation happens. My dad emulated his father, Kurt emulates his dad, and the cycle continues. I am so blessed to be a part of a legacy that included positive role models for parenting. In this day and age, that's rare.

So, to my grandfathers, Dad, father-in-love, and Kurt, I celebrate all of you and honor who you are! Thank you for sacrificially loving and leading so many of us and for being examples of God's unconditional love.

Happy Father's Day!

June 17, 2010

Disney Fine Art

I'm also posting this to my Disney blog, but sometimes I can't help but share on my personal blog too!

I absolutely love to look at Disney Fine Art. I liken it to looking at concept drawings for an architecture project, building expansion, etc. The artist takes the concept and paints a beautiful picture of what your feelings are when you experience the scene--not necessarily what your eyes actually see.

That's how I feel about Disney Fine Art. All that I love about Disney and the stories that have been told are represented in these beautiful works of art. Here are a few of my favorites.
So This Is Love by Harrison Ellenshaw

Waiting for Peter Pan by Harrison Ellenshaw

The Glass Castle by Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw

The Knighting of Pooh by Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw



Moments Away by Rodel Gonzales

Off to Home We Go by Peter Ellenshaw


Practically Perfect by Peter Ellenshaw

The Mystical Kingdom of the Beast by Peter Ellenshaw

I could look at these all day!

June 16, 2010

It's Picture Time

I didn't realize how far behind I was in uploading pictures to our computer, let alone this blog! I just haven't had the energy to do as much as I'd like to do. First, some business to take care of:

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my sweet, wonderful, amazing husband! Three years ago today, aroun this time, we were about to get married and begin our life as a married couple. I can't believe it's been three years, yet it feels like we've been together forever (I mean that in the best way)! Although we aren't together in person today, I'll see him Friday, which is so exciting. Kurt, I love you and thank the Lord constantly for the person you are to me. Words aren't big enough! I love you!

Also, my little girl was 16 months on the 9th! I'll do a post (even though it won't be on THE day), highlighting what she's been up to.

Here are some recent pictures. These are all over the place, but at least they're on the blog now! I'm going to do another post with Memorial Day pictures. :)

MOVING DAY!


When we arrived in Cape, we had welcome baskets for us and Evy Kate :)


We had a lot of help, and as you can see, everyone had a positive attitude:


The best part was being reunited with precious Bitty!


Entertaining during bathtime.


Having an inaugural swim at the new house:




Evy was such a helper when we were putting up new blinds.



She has been really enjoying Mr. Bear---thank you, Nana and Poppy!


I'll do 16 month and Memorial Day posts soon! Have a great afternoon!
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