Brave Adventure

Brave Adventure

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Okay Thursday


It's okay...

-...that I am taking a break from cleaning and packing to drink hot chocolate and watch a movie

-...that I am so glad to get out of Houston and into some semi-cold weather over Christmas

-...that the baby is taking an extra nap

-...that I am on a countdown to the 22nd which ends my dessert fast

-...that I am exhausted for no reason (one of those, you slept so hard that you're tired kind of things)

-...that I wish I was more artsy/eclectic

-...that I cannot pull of high waisted shorts

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Anniversary Day



Today is Cal and my 3 year anniversary!

Can I just tell you that it has been a long road. I have loved every moment and really love that we have such a great story to tell when people ask. I would like to take you through a quick journey of who Cal and I are as a couple. Enjoy!


This is the first ever picture of Cal and I posted to Facebook. We weren't dating yet, but my parents (especially my dad) were completely convinced that we needed to date. I just thought he was a flirt, ha! He tried to drive me home, he tried to see a movie with me, and eventually he tried to ask me to ring dance. The guy does not take no for an answer! Well, I eventually figured out that he liked me for real (he spent a good bit of money on my piano lessons at a service auction after a bid war and one of his friends sort of convinced me).  So we went to the park to swing (I love to swing!) and then to Sonic for ice cream (they used to have non-dairy ice cream and I am lactose intolerant - thoughtful? yes!).






Funny story: We were not officially dating yet when both of our parents came into town for Parents' Weekend. So we had meet the parents before we were even dating. I was so awkward. Seriously. For our first date (which was before this), he took me to Cafe Capri and star gazing. Awesome. Then we made brownies and watched Sleepless in Seattle - his pick. Boom. I finally agreed to date him April 18, 2008 - I know that it's completely sappy that I remember the date. It was at midnight-ish so neither one of us can actually remember if April 18 was the day before or after midnight haha.






This was the last time we saw each other before we spent the summer apart. Cal went to South East Asia and I went to Weatherford and Moldova. We could email once a week and he called me once for like five minutes in July. It was an amazing 5 minutes. It was a super hard summer, but when he got back I had never had a better hug. We spent a semester in school together and then another semester apart (where Cal drove in literally every other weekend) until he proposed March 28, 2009.

Halloween/Ring Dunk!

Songfest!
Our first wedding together


Cal taught me to change a bike tire

It was a wedding season

Fall is awesome!
After looking for apartments (for when we were married)
Dinner after getting ENGAGED!

Whoop!

Then I started seminary and wedding planning. Whew! Busy season. But we got married and started our life in Mississippi. We lived there for a year and a half before moving to Houston where we have been for the last year and a half.

Engagement Photos

Wedding!


Halloween in MS! We were Juno and Bleeker

We made some great friends! (Not all pictured here)

Move to Houston!

After living in Houston a bit, we find out we were pregnant and were blessed with the most precious baby girl! It has been a crazy road but I wouldn't trade a moment!

Maternity Photos

Houston Baby Shower!

Our angel

Happy Anniversary, Caleb! Here's to many more laugh-filled, joy-filled, God-filled years!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I am a Messy Mommy

I am a Mess Mommy!


I am linking up today to agree with other moms that I am not perfect. Not only that, but I need to not compare myself to other moms no matter how perfect they may look. No one is perfect!





This seemingly perfect picture is brought to you by Jesus, "luck", and a funny photographer. I am so glad they made that function of a camera where you can take a million pictures at one time so that you are more likely to get a good shot. God made that camera function I am completely convinced.

Today for the first time in months my kitchen is clean mostly clean. But I'm not going to lie to you that the only reason it is cleanish is because we are having people over tonight. It has taken me days to get it this clean and that was even with the help of a friend who did some dishes for me while I was celebrating my anniversary.

Can I just tell you that there is no saying more true than "comparison is the thief of joy". It so is. I go over to these mom's houses that are spotless all the time and they have multiple kids! Multiple. I am just one woman, with one child, an increasingly messy house, and I often feel like I am falling down on the wife job. I can't get my baking done, take care of my child, clean the house, do my homework, and love my husband all in the same day and all perfectly. That's what it feels like. My husband is a hero. He cooks a lot. 

Recently, God has just been impressing on my heart that He made me. He has given me this little girl and this amount to do. He knows that with His help that I can handle it. Now that doesn't mean that my kitchen will be clean or dinner will always be on time or that my kid won't walk around in a dirty onesie sometimes, but it does mean that I am still a good mommy. I love my daughter and I would do anything to keep her healthy and taken care of. It is hard to be a mommy, but I am doing everything I can to be a good mommy. She knows I love her, she knows that I bend over backward for her daily, and she will continue to know that. She may not always have the best/coolest clothes, but she will always be deeply loved. I think that (and what I do for her because of that love) is enough. I'm so blessed that RB doesn't care (and the husb doesn't care) about a perfect house.

Linking up today with Messy Moms everywhere over at naturallyestes.blogspot.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Musings

So for those of you who read the blog without me posting on Facebook, here is a present. A blog post just for you.






First, before I tell you any of the randomness that visits my brain each week, you need to see this video. http://vimeo.com/55307071 It's about a family full of adopted children, some with special needs, and it is beautiful. If you do not cry or at least feel moved, I would do some serious Bible reading (James 1:27 for example). God absolutely has a plan for each child in the world. No single child is an accident ever. God loves these children and wants them to find their forever family. Maybe God wants you to be their forever family. If just the believers in the world all adopted 1 child, it would eliminate domestic adoption completely. There would be no more need!

This last weekend was Anniversary Fun Day for Cal and I's third anniversary which is crazy. We have been together for four and a half years and married for three (as of Wednesday any way). We took RB to the Natural Science Museum and saw some of the coolest stuff in the Paleontology Hall. I love dinosaurs, no joke. Dinosaurs are Biblical too. Not kidding. So we had a ton of fun and then we had dinner at Kata Robata - Asian tapas anyone? So good. Since I'm not doing dessert right now though, we are going to do dessert only after the 22nd (end of fast).

P.s. Why do boys' slacks never lose their crease in the wash but girls' do?

9 Months

Happy 9 Months!


Hey Friends!We celebrated her 9 month birthday (or one day late) by getting a blood test for her kidneys. She hated it, but maybe her 9 month birthday present to me will be some answers!

Fun facts for month nine:
Weight and Height: I just want to be honest with you, she is not growing well so I just don't want to even type it out.
Eating: Every three to four hours during the day nursing and 3 meals a day with solids
Sleeping: Mainly 2 naps, and sometimes one rest where she won't sleep, but she needs to unplug for a little bit
Diaper: Size 2
Clothing: A little bit 3-6 month and 6 month
 
What's new for month nine:
  • She loves to STAND! She is pulling up like crazy and is trying to take some steps.
  • She is super brave and adventurous. Limits? No way!
  • She is so talkative although "mama" is still her favorite word
  • Outside is her favorite!
  • She loves to eat so much. She got to try beef for the first time and she went crazy. She always chooses beef over everything else if they are both on her plate. She really likes Havarti cheese too - who knew? She must be thankful for that Harry and David basket someone gave us.
  • She has two teeth! And another one on the way. 
  • She wants to feed herself and is really good at it! She can use her pinchers if she wants to.
  • She loves to bang toys together. 
  • She loves to really examine everything.
  • She is trying so hard to crawl, but can definitely pivot in a 360. She hates tummy time so she will pivot around to wherever I am and try to get me to pick her up. 
  • She loves music and singing. I have made up songs including every family member and we sing them while looking at their picture.
  • She loves to watch me eat....she laughs the whole time.
  • She loves reading, reading, reading. 
  • Favorite foods: Sweet Potatoes, Beef, Pears, Cheese, Applesauce, Yogurt
Pictures!


We both have hats!


Mirror!

First experience with the tree

She wants to cut down her own Christmas tree that's her sized


Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Musings



I think everyone goes through some periods of blah in their life, in relationships, even in their God time. I know I do. I feel like I have been in a long season of blah for that matter. I'll be honest with you that when things are up in the air, sometimes it gets hard to talk to God. It's not that you have lost any faith, but it just feels awful saying the same things in prayer over and over again sometimes. I feel guilty if I don't pray for RB's healing, yet it weighs on me to have to think about it sometimes. I'm not saying this is every day, but sometimes. But here I am, praying, reading my Bible, and plugging along in faith despite the blah-ness I sometimes feel.
I was reading in 1 Corinthians 13 today and was just reminded of how little we really read that entire chapter. Not just the "what love is" part, but the before and after. I don't want to be just a gong that drives people crazy because I cannot speak what I have to say in love. We need to fall in love with our families, our friends, and the world again (as I was so aptly reminded by someone close to me).  We need to be so in love with them that we reach out to them, tell them the truth, and love on them deeply. Not becoming the world or sin or whatever, but loving them as Jesus did. Jesus hung out with sinners and called them out on it. His love was so profound it either pulled people down to their knees to repentance or it made them lash out in anger. I want to be able to fully love people. I want to be able to let go of bitterness, anger, my "right" to be angry, awkwardness, that feeling that someone may not like you, or whatever it is that holds me back and just love them fully. This doesn't mean I stay silent, on the contrary. I encourage you to read that entire passage and really ponder all it has to offer, all that God is saying there.

Christmas time is coming, it is finally cold here, and what are we thinking about? Is it trees, or garland or lights? Or is it how the One, God, the All Mighty Himself sent His Son who is fully God and fully man to become a baby. Would you willingly give up the status of God to become a baby, to live perfectly yet be killed for it? To take on the sins of the world? Would you do it? I wouldn't, which is one of the many reasons I am not God. I am not perfect. But just think about it, think about God being a baby. As a mother of a 9 month old (almost), I know what a baby is like and I cannot fathom God's plan fully. I cannot really wrap my mind around it wholly. One of my friends said that when they thought about it, the way they saw it was God was desperate. I think that is accurate, but not in a human desperate way. God was desperate for His name to be glorified in His creation. God was desperate to reunite His creation with Himself. God knew from day one what would happen and what that would mean. He knew what sacrifice He would have to make for relationship, yet He still paid that price. He could easily not have made us, yet He chose to. Whoa! What an incredible thing.

Advent is here. He has come, Emmanuel, God with us.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Musings

Monday Musings

It looks like rain outside which for me only means one thing...

My daughter just does not want to be normal, she wants to be unique. Yaaay! I am definitely not normal so that makes my heart a little happy. She has gone from 2 solid naps, to 3 naps a day haha.

I have begun writing a series of children's songs on accident just hanging out with RB during the day. Some of them are  raps. Here is an example:

(to the tune of Big Pimpin')

Big Poopin', now you're at ease
Big Poopin', do what you please!
Big Poopin', out of your booty
Big Poopin', no wonder you're moody!


RB is very adventurous. She was standing up holding my thumbs (rather unsteadily) and tried to reach out for a toy... I guess she doesn't realize that balance issues are key to the success of that endeavor.

My begonias are still blooming! Every time I think of my begonias I think of that youtube video The Dad Life... "begonias, crepe myrtles... ornamental turtles!....ah no, roundup to the rescue"

Sometimes the best medicine for your little one is you. Cuddle time can go a long way.

That moment where you are so thankful to realize the stuff on your shirt is dried icing rather than crusty spit up.

Is it weird that I am so excited to go to the Dentist today? Although I'm a little scared because despite all of the flossing and brushing (multiple times a day) that I do, I tend to have horrible teeth. Argh. Whereas the husb could go for days without brushing his teeth with no consequences.

As Christmas music begins to seep onto the radio, so begins my rant on a few of these songs. For example: Mary did you know... why yes, yes I did know because there was this angel that came and told me. I may not have known the exact details, but the gist was clear. That's why I followed and worshiped Him.
My grown up Christmas list... okay I don't know why but I just really don't like that song. Even when Kelly Clarkson sings it and I like her a lot.

I am loving that new song by Fun because it sounds a lot like Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel. Don't hate, I listened to them on cassette in the car with my mom as a kid. I like music from every era, so there!

I have gotten some tips at food photography and have been trying to photograph some of my creations this weekend. I think they came out a lot better than I expected! My friend who gave me the tips also edited the pictures for me and they came out really well. She is awesome. I wish she lived closer to me, but an hour is not that bad I suppose. I will include some of my work for you here (p.s. feel free to spread around the I have a baking business because I could use the word of mouth):






Which one is your favorite? I taste tested all of them, so I promise they taste even better than they look. The Brown Sugar Cinnamon cupcakes were delicious, but the S'mores Treats (think Rice Krispie treats but better) and the Chocolate Log really stole the show. I only had one bit of each left after the party we took them to. I am thinking I may need to get some white dishes just for food photography or at least some more dishes that I can use for this because I don't have very many as it turns out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Today

Today I am so overwhelmed by emotions and by people and by thoughts and by prayers. Today I am sitting in my living room, cuddled in a quilt my Papa helped make and my Nana gave me as I cry reading over so many of your wonderful promises to pray for my little girl and our family. Today I make myself get out of bed and get dressed, knowing that this afternoon will be a tough one. Today I put on my mommy jeans and my mommy arms and my mommy smile for a little girl who doesn't understand what all is going on. Today I am a little bit nervous. Today I am confidant in our heavenly Father. Today I trust in what I cannot see, today I hope in what I do not understand. Today above all else I pray. Today I am thankful for the body of Christ, for community. Today I am thankful for husbands. Today I know that God has made me for a time such as this, for this little girl, for this moment. Today I know that I can handle this because it is what I need to do. Today I listen to the silence of her sleeping and hope that the events of the afternoon are such that she will never remember. Today I will give in, I will indulge and I will spoil this little girl to my heart's content. Today I will make time for fun. Today I will tickle my daughter. Today I will not dwell in this temporary pain. Today God is faithful and can handle all that is in and on my mind. Amen.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Musings



We loved our Thanksgiving break, but we are also happy to be home! Rebekah slept all night last night for the first time in 3-4 nights. I think she missed her bed. It is so much harder on babies to travel.

Baby girl met lots of new people and tried mango! Yummm. She got a couple new toys too,  yay grandparents!

RB really connected with my oldest sister.

My cousins have grown up!!

I feel conflicted about Christmas radio. On the one hand, I want to hear all the Christmas classics that I have always loved and am thrilled to hear them any time. On the other hand, I don't feel like Christian radio should play secular music no matter how fun (this includes How to Save a Life by The Fray or any other Christian-esque secular song). Just a thought.

The babe loooves finger food. And turning pages in books. And eating non-edible items.

How do I get into a play group?

Please be praying, tomorrow is RB's kidney test. Also keep my friend whose sister died in your prayers. His brother is in rough condition so it is a long, expensive road ahead (though he will make a full recovery).

I feel like despite all the joy that generally comes with this time of year, it is also a tough time for a lot of people.

I would like to do a crafty Christmas one year where everyone made all the gifts. It would be so heart felt!

Pictures from Thanksgiving to come!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Held

Held

Sometimes life just does not make sense and it is hard to see God's plan or God's justice in circumstances. I feel baffled at times because I just don't get it. I just don't see how this can possibly for anyone's good or the right thing. I just have to go entirely on promise, entirely on God's Word. Romans 8:28-29. A friend of mine lost a family member today and has another in critical condition. While it wasn't an infant, this song has been ringing in my ears ever since. God is still in control, but I hate it.

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Musings






Just the smell of a Kit Kat makes me go crazy. I think Kit Kats taste better in fun size. I never buy them in full size, but really enjoy them at Hallowmation day (Halloween + Reformation Day). Yum. I also made trifle this weekend which was so tasty.

RB has been SO fussy and SO sleepy. I don't get it. Awesome moment of the day - I put a 6 month t-shirt on her today and it is very snug. It is actually... wait for it... too small. So excited about that. Baby girl is growing regardless of how I feel.

I have a pair of navy and white polka dot skinny trousers. They are just too awesome and made me feel amazing when I wore them. I won't tell you the size of the pants, but let's just say that it is a number I am so so proud of.

I am training for a half marathon and I'm scared to death about it.

I have been watching a silly ABC Family show.... my brain is rotting. 

RB officially has blue eyes!

I wish I had a personal trainer. I was working with a guy before Cal and I got married. That was the most in shape I have ever been or ever felt. I don't want a six pack, but I would like to be tone, you know?

This day has barely started and I'm already nervous about it. RB has been in fine form lately and I'm just nervous that today is going to be a torment. I am fervently praying that she will at least let me know why she is upset so that I can help fix it. I'm sometimes afraid that everyone reading this blog hears too much about the hard parts of mommyhood. I promise that I love it, but I also just can't lie to you and pretend like there are never hard days. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but that does not mean it's all roses. Some days I just want to take a benedryl and go back to bed.

We got some beautiful pictures weekend before last by the lovely Joy D. Here is a sneak peak:



I think that she does have a few qualities of mine if you look super close, but she is much more Cal's clone. We will see how she looks as she gets older!

Friday, November 16, 2012

8 Months

Happy 8 Months, Rebekah Blakely!





Fun facts for month eight:
Weight: Over 13 pounds!
Height: 25-26 inches (this girl will not sit still!) 
Eating: Every three to four hours during the day nursing and 3 meals a day with solids
Sleeping: Mainly 2 naps, and sometimes one rest where she won't sleep, but she needs to unplug for a little bit
Diaper: Size 2
Clothing: A little bit 3-6 month and 6 month
 
What's new for month eight:
  • She loves to sit and dive for toys! She is getting really good at reaching out for things and then getting back up without falling over. That being said, she loves things that are just out of reach and will launch herself (and I mean launch) into tummy time in order to get it. 
  • We have a tooth! She has one tooth that has come through on the bottom and a little corner of tooth out on the top. Who knows when that top tooth will come through though because it started way before the bottom one and still hasn't made any more progress. 
  • She definitely knows that I am Mama! She is babbling Dada but I think we are getting closer to knowing what that means.
  • She is experimenting with TONS of consonants. She is so talkative these days. 
  • She can pick up finger foods including puffs, sweet potatoes (that's a mess), and broccoli.
  • She prefers chunky food to soupy food. 
  • She loves to really examine everything. She will pick it up in one hand and turn it all around trying to really see all sides of it. 
  • She is trying so hard to crawl, but can definitely pivot in a 360. She hates tummy time so she will pivot around to wherever I am and try to get me to pick her up. 
  • She already does what is called the "parachute reaction" when you put her down on her tummy. 
  • She wants to pull up and stand really badly also but I am hoping she will crawl first since this is important to development. 
  • She loves music and singing. I have made up songs including every family member and we sing them while looking at their picture.
  • She loves to watch me eat....she laughs the whole time.
  • She is laughing a lot!
  • She hates tummy time these days. She is just so frustrated that she can't crawl! The closest thing we have to crawling is the launching.
  • She loves reading, reading, reading. 
  • She wants to be outside all day long! In any form I can provide it!
  • Favorite foods: Sweet Potatoes (all day long), prunes, bananas (off the table thanks to constipation), pears, and any pouch mix. 
  • You may have heard, but her kidney check up did not go well. Her left kidney has no change and her right kidney has gotten worse. We have scheduled a new test for her and are praying that God will reveal what's next. 
Some pictures for you!