i’m not sure how i’ve taken two months to post…but it may be because:
1. we still don’t have internet at home
2. i haven’t been at work since sept. 12th
3. i was in the hospital for 10 days and my sweet baby boy had to be born 7 1/2 wks early due to dangerously high blood pressure…but he is doing really well! and is SO very beautiful and precious. he had to stay in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for 3 weeks, and we have loved having him home for the past 2 1/2 wks. we give glory and praise and THANKS to our Lord God for His once again amazing care and protection of me and our wee babe. :)
As you can imagine, I’ve/we’ve been pretty busy in the last month or so.
Moving was…well, somewhat of a nightmare. But we pushed through–and made it! We could’ve never done it without the help of my loving parents. I’m so grateful for ALL the things they did for us and the hours and hours (and HOURS) they spent helping us pack/move/clean/100 other things. It took us FOUR days to get from Arkadelphia to Little Rock with all our belongings. The U-haul? Should’ve been twice as big. Our stuff? We should’ve given twice as much to the Beehive, I guess. We finally pulled up to our new house (for the last time from Arky) at 4:00 on Monday afternoon. (Moving started on Friday morning around 8 & never stopped the whole weekend/Monday.) I had to start my new job the next morning!! I was pretty stressed, to say the least. Leave it to the sweetest Jennie in the world to show up with pizza & coke and her heart & hands ready to help that night. :) With her amazing help, we really got a lot done in only a matter of a few hours! Since then, it’s been slow-going. Doug is working at night right now so he can keep Elisabeth in the day. It’s close to impossible for him to be able to get anything done (turn your back for 30 seconds, and she’s gotten into everything!!)…and then, when i get home from work, i’m too tired to do much of anything. These days, I’ve been running errands EVERY night–so it’s 1) pull in the driveway 2) grab a diaper bag and E 3) pull out of the driveway (with doug right behind me, going to work)…we need a BREAK! :)
we’ll get a semi-break/fun time this weekend when we have Elisabeth’s SECOND birthday party!! :) She turned two on Wednesday! I really wish i could’ve spent the day with her and Doug (had to work)…but i think she had a great time that day–Doug and a friend of his took her to the zoo! my sister, Sarah, even got to go for part of the time. that night we went out to eat & then we took her to toys ‘r us. what fun!! we picked out some really perfect toys to give her for her birthday (at her party on sat.)
i have to get to work now…will write another update sooner than last time, i hope! :)
…who would enter this world
and change lives forever,
enriching mine (beyond description).
And then there were two
whose presence sparkles light
into every space they touch,
whose breath breathes joy
onto every ear that hears-such
that being near them, the heart
might almost pop
from sheer delight
from bursting goodness
from whole love.
happy birthday, dear Julie Anna and Jennie E.
you are eternally loved.
i decided the best way to tell you about everything would be to just share some photos…
our friend, sara, graciously offered to make Elisabeth’s birthday cake. we had no idea it would be so beautiful–or delicious!
can you get over the precious cupcakes??
she even made E a special separate cake:
Elisabeth, of course, LOVED it!!
she really enjoyed opening all her wonderful gifts–i seriously couldn’t believe her reactions and expressions!
she loved helping unwrap…
interested already in dishes, shoes, hats and cards…what a little woman she is!
this one’s priceless!
the eubanks family graciously allowed us to use their private lake and pavillion; it was the perfect setting for the party! sadly, i didn’t get any photos of everyone swimming, but i know some of you would like to see the birthday girl in her bathing suit!!…so here’s some photos of E modeling her itsby bitsy teeny weeny flower polka-dot bikini back in may:
as you can see, she’s not nearly as happy in her other bather (later in the summer):
okay, back to the party!
doug, always young at heart, having fun with bubbles!
we were overwhelmed by all the friends and family who came to celebrate E and her first full year of life. the sproles, jennie, and the clevelands all came from little rock. several friends, young and old, came from our local church:
i guess you could even say that my nephew, E’s cousin, came all the way from australia for the event! (it doesn’t look like he had much fun…although, i’m not sure any 18 year old would have very much fun at a 1 year old’s party!)
my favourite photo of all–the entire family, both sides.
1 daddy + 1 mommy + 4 grandparents + 4 aunts + 1 uncle + 1 cousin = ONE HAPPY ONE YEAR OLD BABY GIRL AT HER FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!
well, i’ve been quite a little blogging hermit lately, haven’t i? other than work, what have i been doing for the last two months instead of blogging?
- Celebrating the first birthday of Elisabeth Grace
not having devoted a huge post to this causes me guilt–DAILY. i will soon–better late than never? i don’t know, you tell me.
- Turning 30
perhaps because i had “dreaded” the big 3-0 all year, turning 30 was really not a huge deal, emotionally. i had a very nice birthday and felt extremely happy and loved. for what more could i have asked?
- Trying to lose weight…
…and doing it! this is my ninth week doing weight watchers online, and in my first 8 weeks i’ve lost 21.4 lbs. (hey, every tenth of a pound counts, doesn’t it?!) :) i’m really happy with the results so far and will renew my online membership after the initial 3 months deal ends. my weight has ALWAYS been the most shameful and embarrassing topic for me…and i have always, in the past, done everything to avoid discussing it. well, not anymore! i have already found that in telling others–even here in the open on my blog, for heaven’s sake!–i feel so much more freedom and am prompted to continue trying to improve myself and my health.
going along with that…
- Walking with Elisabeth
i bought E a fancy schmancy new stroller–the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller, to be exact. yes, i realise i purchased a jogging stroller…and maybe i’ll work into doing that! for now, though, it is working just fine as a walking stroller. i LOVE it–it even has a thing called “music on the move.” simply hook up your ipod or player of choice and enjoy the tunes coming out of the speakers! i think E is okay with my “on the go” playlist, but am i a horrible mom for making her listen to eminem, weezer, inxs, the clash, gnr, green day and the like?…oh well :)
- Daydreaming about London
yeah, i am getting PRETTY pumped about our trip in January. last week i reserved our room!! i’ve spent months poring over website after website trying to find a good deal. my requirements were not all that picky: i wanted a place that is clean, includes breakfast, has a good location & is close enough to public transport stops. well…finding a place that has all that WITH a low price tag attached (as we are definitely “budget travelers”) has been quite an ordeal. i definitely did NOT want to stay in a hostel–doug, on the other hand, had been picturing a place where the bed comes down from the wall and the room’s only light is from a lone dangling light bulb. he just really wanted that “experience.” seeing as it is his graduation present, i guess the right thing would have been to give into his wishes, but i didn’t do the right thing. well, i compromised. kind of. :) the place we’re staying is called the london house hotel and is a budget hotel/hostel. here’s the kicker: it was recently remodeled, and if you visit the site, you’ll see that the “super” rooms (where we’ll be) look really nice. a flat-screen plasma and an ensuite room WITH floor space?!?! all for 54 pounds a night?!…unheard of in central london!!! I STRUCK GOLD! :) now i can’t wait to daydream some more and plan out our days…
- Embossing. LOVE it.
i’m in love with paper source, and so imagine my delight when i received a gift certificate from j & jeb for my birthday! i bought some new stamps and tons of embossing powder…fun fun!! thanks so much, again, my friends! :) also, dear dougley took me on a shopping spree to hobby lobby!! i got an embossing heat tool (i had previously been using a candle or lighter!!) and more stamps and some stamp cleaner. i wish i could have my own stationery shop/business–what a dream!
- Devouring Harry Potter
i have seen the first four movies, but i’ve never had a desire to read the books. my husband, on the other hand, has read each one about three times! so on the sunday after the big release date for the last book, when doug asked me to read aloud to him while he drove, I.WAS.HOOKED. “that’s it!” i said. “i have to read them now.” and so that afternoon, i picked up harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone, and i have gone full speed ahead through each of them since then. i am merely pages from completing harry potter and the deathly hallows, and the thought of finishing the story…oh, there are too many emotions to name! let me just say that i now completely understand the madness behind all the hp fans out there. completely.
so. what have you been up to? :)
Tomorrow is the big day: Elisabeth’s First Birthday Party!!
We have made plans to have it at a private lake…but with the forecast, I’m wondering if our water activities (swimming, canoeing, paddleboating) will have to be cancelled? :(
We’ll still have fun, though, and come rain or shine, Elisabeth will still be ONE YEAR OLD on Monday!!
- how has 2 1/2 weeks passed without one single post? for shame, for shame.
- my youngest sister is getting married in THREE DAYS. i’m so afraid i’ve been holding in a lot of emotion and that it’s all going to come blubbering out soon–hopefully AFTER the wedding day. (is that possible, PLEASE?!)
- doug has been in India for ten days now, and he’s doing really well! although i cannot imagine the heat (125 degrees, anyone?), he loves it there…so much so that he has been writing things like, “i just wish you were here, because i never want to leave” and “you and E would do just fine here.” um…
- still haven’t decided on a birthday theme for little E’s first birthday. it’s one month away! i’m so excited about her turning one year old, but i still cannot believe how fast the time has passed.
- my sister, Kellie (and this should be #1), and my nephew, Daniel, are here from Australia!! they have been with us in Arkansas for one week now, and the time with them has been so great. i wish all of you could meet them–or at least just hear them talking. :)
- going along with #2, rachel’s bachelorette party is tomorrow night, and there is much left to be done! tonight i have to figure out what type of dessert we’re going to have in the hotel suite after dinner, make/buy it, figure out party favors and make/buy those, gather up cds and dvds…the list goes on and on. this is no run-of-the-mill bach. party, either: we’re having dinner at some la-la restaurant called SO and then staying in a two-story atrium suite at The Peabody. wow. it should be a LOT of fun, though!! i’m excited about everything, but, like everyone else involved in planning for the wedding, being able to breathe again will be nice, too. :)
- i booked our plane tickets for london–we’re really going! since our house lease ends in december, i don’t even know where we’ll be LIVING come January, but hey!–we’re going to london!
- i’m going to get a spray tan after work today. a little nervous? yep. hope i don’t end up being the orange one in all the wedding photos. :)
- don’t ever put your phone number in anything you fill out “on a whim” online. just for kicks, i clicked on a yahoo link a few weeks ago re: online masters degrees. why oh WHY did i put in my personal info. including my phone number?? but i did, and within MINUTES my phone was ringing. i’ve gotten probably at least one call a day from admissions counselors at all these random schools. i answered the phone once and talked with someone, but i was too embarrassed to have to keep saying i am not genuinely interested…so i recently changed my voice mail message, addressing the counselors at the end. yes, i seriously did that. immature? yes. a relief? definitely. no more calls since then. :)
- Rachel asked me to sing at her rehearsal dinner, and i heard the song for the first time on sunday–beautiful!! do you know “mended” by watermark? here’s a snippet. :)
· obviously, i’m stuck in a rut doing these little bullet posts.
· do you ever forget to put on deodorant? yuck—i did today. how could i be in SUCH a hurry that i could forget such a crucial thing??
· we got home last night from a whirlwind one night trip to memphis…to find that my precious Mother had washed ALL of Elisabeth’s laundry. (and there was QUITE a bit—three loads worth!!) she is more wonderful than i could ever express.
· i’ve been living with a shadow overhead…have you seen music & lyrics? i started watching it last night after getting E to sleep, and i LLLLOVE it. that sweet little song has been in my head all morning. i can’t wait to finish the movie tonight!
· my sister, Rachel, is unbelievably hilarious sometimes. she called me at work this morning, and here’s a snippet of the beginning of our conversation (she starts):
“hiiiiii! i tried to call you ALL weekend!”
“oh really? it never showed up on my phone!”
“well, that’s because i didn’t have your number.”
· thanks SO MUCH for the first birthday party ideas. i’m really thinking about those polka dots! (i actually had previously considered that as a theme!!) although…you know, the lizard theme—or even the polka dot lizards—is really tempting, Rix!! ha ha. believe it or not, speaking of funny Rachel, she actually called Elisabeth “lizard breath” one time—no joke. (i didn’t find it funny at the time, but now—especially after your comment—it’s a knee-slapper.)
· besides party themes running through my head, i’ve got London on my mind! (what else is new.) i think it’s really going to happen! although January is the coldest (and rainiest, i believe) month of the year there, that is when we’re planning to go. ANY LONDON TIPS??
- why melinda? why couldn’t it have been jordan? L bummer. at least that cutie, beatboxin blake, made the cut. J
- so, did you hear about the woman who survived an internal decapitation???? what?
- some recent search engine terms (i love these!): pain + sadness, kangaroo live birth (WHAT?!), all you need is love + noter (noteR??), flixers (i thought i made up this word?), down under, rebeekah (yikes!), and—my favourite really recent ones—commando and going commando
- which leads me to say, citizen D, the reason i said “for girls only” is not only because it’s a semi-embarrassing topic, but also—you said it yourself!! guys (especially ones who wear boxers) going commando is not as big of a deal as girls doing it! at least, i sexistly think so. J
- i’m trying to decide on a party theme for E’s first birthday. i’ve been thinking about the little nicknames we call her—precious lamb, angel, pumpkin, etc. but i don’t know about going with any of those. (besides, pumpkins in july?) i love the whole ladybugs or butterflies or whatever type theme, but those seem so over-done. i thought about doing a party at the park by our house…but oh for the HEAT in mid-July. then i thought about doing a party at the arkadelphia aquatic park (i.e. glorified swimming pool)…but that would mean bathing suits. um, not too fun for the grown ups! (at least, most of us.) okay, so i need some help—any suggestions?
No, I am not “Mammy,” and Elisabeth is not eating shortbread.
(You know when you look at a word for too long, and it starts to look like it’s spelled REALLY incorrectly? While trying to figure out the apostrophes, that just happened to me with “shortening.”)
But I have been making–and tasting–some. But only tasting! The shortbread was really for my Dad, as his birthday was yesterday, and shortbread is one of his all-time favourites. (My birthday tribute post to him will not be posted until next Monday…stay tuned to find out why.) :)
I wanted to share the recipe because making it was so simple, and the results are DELICIOUS! A big thanks to “cheryl otten” at allrecipes.com for this fabulous find.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar–I used 1/2 cup, and I sprinkled some on top after baking
- 3/4 cup butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Blend all ingredients well. Dough will be stiff.
- Press into a 9 x 9 inch buttered dish. Prick top with a fork.
- Bake until pale golden brown on the edges. Cool and cut into squares.
My dish was actually an 11″ round dish, and it worked just fine. Also, all the reviews said to wait until the shortbread cools to cut it, but I cut mine into wedges with a pizza cutter while it was still warm. I made a second batch pressing the dough into three large heart-shaped stoneware molds…I had to go all out for my dear Dad!! :)