Tuesday, June 28, 2016

52 Week Photo Project: Week 25

No one here ate Oreos on the way home...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Aunt Edith's Turn

My Great Aunt Edith was the last of a generation for our side of the family.  She buried her husband and his four siblings and their spouses.  Theirs was a generation that knew hard times and sacrifice and faith.  A generation who traveled by covered wagon and read by oil lamp and pulled together to win a World War against hatred and intolerance.  People who understood what it meant to love this country and watched the first man walk on the moon and drove the first wave of Model T cars. A generation so full of the hope and perseverance, lessons we all so badly need today.

Aunt Edith was, first and foremost, a lady.  Growing up, I was surrounded by a number of strong women.  And while she was no exception with regard to strength, she was quite different than my mother, grandmother, and other aunts.  She was quiet.  If you know my family, you understand why that stood out.  While my Gran frequently barked "Jody, you hush now, it's my turn to talk" while talking to my great uncle on the phone, I never heard Aunt Edith raise her voice.  She usually sat quietly, smiling, while all the talkers around her carried on.  She had no need to be the center of attention.

She had a calm presence, she always smiled, sat with her long legs perfectly crossed, and held a handkerchief in her hand. She wore polyester pants, always had her hair fixed, and made sure that no one in her presence ever went hungry.  I never heard her utter a curse word, but did hear her threaten to fix her son Craig's attitude a time or two.

She loved my Great Uncle Jody.  Which was probably quite a job given that he was the baby of the family and horribly spoiled by his mama and my grandma. They were married for over 60 years, after getting engaged at the Love Tree, on the ranch where they lived.  They raised two children. They held their great grandbabies and great, great nieces and nephews. They took every kid in the family fishing for cat fish at the tank in their yard. They danced at weddings and celebrated 100 years of the ranch being in our family, and enjoyed camping at the lake.



Hers was a life that set an example for us all, and leaves her remaining family members with shoes that cannot possibly be filled. 

And although we mourn today, I can just picture her sitting there quietly smiling as Gran and Uncle Jody argue over whose turn it is to talk now that she's arrived in Heaven.  Maybe this time, she'll join in and tell them, "Hush! It's my turn now."


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Fun

Over Father's Day Weekend, The Boy from Texas' family had a little get together at his Nana's house.  When we arrived, the front yard was all set up for a little fun in the sun.  And I'm here to tell you, I know one little guy who sure enjoyed it!










Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#KeepinItReal

A month or so ago, one of my friends tagged me in an Instagram challenge called "Keepin' It Real."  The idea was to share a real life photo every day for a week.  None of the photo-shop, highlight reel kind of photos we usually see on social media were allowed.  I loved this idea....I think being honest about what real life looks like and not acting like we all live in perfectly clean houses eating perfectly balanced meals whilst wearing adorable rompers with newly washed hair all the time is important.

So....here were my 7 photos.

Day 1
Some days, my lunch break is a run around the lake and a healthy salad.  Today, it was microwave mac and cheese and jello.  Real life, people!

Day 2
Sometimes, mom puts your pants on and forgets to snap the onesie first.  And she is just too lazy to take the pants off and start over.  At least he's wearing clothes!

Day 3
See that clean floor?  I didn't do it.  Shortly after BB was born, we hired someone to help clean. Best money we spend. There is just only so much I can do.

Day 4
My usually happy kid had a meltdown in the car today.  I just kept right on driving and he just kept right on screaming.  Some days, you just do what you gotta do to get home.

Day 5
After a day of dirty dishes, a teething baby, an argument over nothing with my husband, 3 loads of laundry, being behind on a work project, and a storm knocking out power for 4 hours, I just needed a shower and some cookie dough.

Day 6
I really thought we'd remain organized and neat despite adding a little fella.  Instead, we dump out the whole toy basket and play with prenatal vitamin jars.  That's life.

Day 7
This working mom thing is tough.  I love my job and honestly I am quite sure I am not wired to be a stay-at-home mom.  But when I drop him off to go stay with his grandparents for a few days while I'm on a work trip, I wonder...


Friday, June 17, 2016

BB Seven, Eight and Nine Months

Well, the title of this blog post tells you how well these monthly updates have been going.  How in the world am I three months behind already??  I'm going to do an abbreviated version of these posts just to be sure I have some record of how incredibly fast this kiddo is growing!

Seven Months
Despite a rough start, the transition from his bassinet to his crib has gone swimmingly well.  He usually sleeps all night from about 9:30 - 7:00.  If he does wake up, usually all it takes is a binky and some pats on the tummy and he goes right back to sleep.  He officially has two little bottom teeth!

My Favorite Shots






Monthly Check In

Weight: 18.4 pounds

Height:  27.25 inches

Likes:  Touching other people's teeth, sitting up.

Dislikes:  Someone touching his teeth, laying down.


Eight Months

At 8 months, he had finally gotten the hang of true crawling and no longer needed his army crawl method.  He had three bottom teeth and was chewing on everything in sight.  He got his first black eye (two, actually) as a result of going 110 miles an hour and not having the best balance.  He has started on puffs and, like all food, thinks they are great.

My Favorite Shots







Monthly Check In:

I have no stats because our scale was broken.

Likes:  Crawling everywhere, his "car," being outside, Dad's sprinkler.

Dislikes:  Hitting his head.




Nine Months

I think that every stage just gets more fun.  At 9 months, BB is into absolutely everything.  It's been amazing to watch him learn things right before our eyes.  He figured out quickly how to let go of something while standing up and fall on his butt instead of his head.  He's currently eating finger foods and doing much better about making his little fingers cooperate with his mouth. He crawls like a champ, pulls up on anything he can get his hands on, has 7, yes SEVEN, teeth, walks as long as he is holding onto something, and loves to eat anything we will give him.

My Favorite Shots









Monthly Check In

Weight:  19 pounds, 8 ounces.

Height:  28.5 inches.

Head:  90th percentile.

Likes:  Standing up, opening drawers, table food, swimming.

Dislikes:  Laying on his back, being still, getting stuck in the play pen while mom takes a shower.




52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 23

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Drawing Up a Play

Is it just me, or has the world gone off its rocker in the last month or so?  I feel like there is hatred and division everywhere.  Then throw in the massacre last weekend in Orlando and it's just all too much for me.  My mind can't wrap around what is happening and what in the world needs to be done to change it. I can't figure out how the heck I'm supposed be raising good kids in this mess.  If BB and LL were old enough to ask questions, how would I answer them?


And, fortunately, I'm not alone. I've talked to other friends who are finding themselves without answers as well.  I mean really good people who are trying hard to do their very best to follow Jesus, but feel like their heads are spinning right now about what that looks like in this current situation.  As much as I'd like it to be, I just don't think things are all black and white.


There's not a play in the book for exactly what to do here.  I need Jesus to have sat down with a dry erase clip board and some X's and O's to show me exactly where I'm supposed to be running and how to catch the dang ball on this one.

I think the best we can do is try to live justly and treat people right.  We can pray and read the Bible and go to church and love our neighbor.  We can do our very best to show people Jesus.

For me, I've decided that it looks like kindness.  I don't care whether someone is a Muslim or Christian or gay or transgender or has assault rifles in their gun safe.  I'm going to be kind.  I'm going to be respectful.  I'm going to treat them like human beings.  I will listen to those with different beliefs.  I will respect that they have the right to their beliefs, just like I have the right to mine.  I will mourn anytime ANYONE is killed.  I will ask God for mercy and healing and hope.

I'm erring on the side of kindness.  That's the play I've drawn up on my clipboard.

Because that's my best understanding about what Jesus would do.  And I may get to Heaven one day and find out that I'm going about this completely wrong.  But, as one of my very favorite prayers by Thomas Merton says, "But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you."


Lord, help us all.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

We have a little announcement to make...



Yep, it's a girl!!  We are so excited about this little one, who we will refer to as LL on the blog. 

Yesterday was out anatomy ultrasound.  We have had this on the schedule for two months, but because real life is real life, The Boy from Texas ended up out on the pipeline for a 30 hour job and he could not be there. 

Technology to the rescue!  We were fortunate that he happened to be at a time where he was in his pick up and in a place on a hill with phone service, so we Face Timed him right in. 

Our sonogram tech is the same who we had for our anatomy ultrasound with Braun. When she called me back, she said, "I couldn't believe it when I saw your name on my schedule! At least you are not remodeling your house this time!" Truth!

Right away she got just the right angle to make the announcement...pink it was!

And LL looks just perfect. Measuring right on track, estimated weight of 11 oz.  All organs look perfect.  Of course, that's what really matters and we are so grateful for a healthy little one!

I had been a little concerned because I have not felt her move yet, and BB was absolutely all over the place by now!  No need for concern. Turns out, this time the placenta is anterior (in the front) instead of posterioir (in the back). So when she kicks, the placenta is basically like a pillow between her and me.

She posed quite nicely for the camera, including sucking her thumb and crossing her legs at the ankles like a lady. 


Just 20 more weeks until we meet this little girl! (She better be ready...this brother of hers is probably gonna make her real tough real fast!) 


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My Favorite Etsy Shop....and a Discount for YOU!

I've slowly been adding some decor to Braun's room, so when my sweet friend Britt (you all know her as Super Mom) opened an Etsy Shop, I knew she'd have something perfect.

First, because she's an amazing photographer.  (She did shoot our wedding, maternity, and newborn photos, you know!)  And second, because her life on the ranch with her brood of kids and zoo of animals would match up perfectly with our farm animal themed room.

And I was right.  Of course, the difficulty came in choosing which print we needed.  I adore this one. And this one.  Oh, what about this one?  (She also has some absolutely beautiful religious photos as well....like this.  And this.  Seriously, I can't stop.)

I finally made a decision and placed my order.

My package came perfectly wrapped--I would have expected nothing less from her--and ready to open!



Here is what I ended up choosing.....it's called "Got a Carrot?"



Ours is printed on foamboard, but when you order you can choose between a print, canvas, matboard, or foamboard.  I really love the foamboard because it's sturdy enough not to need a frame, but will still allow me to frame it and add it to our gallery wall if I decide to do that!  Sizes range all the way from 5x7 to 24x36.

So...if you are hunting some home decor or a gift, check out Britt's Etsy Shop.....just click here!

And....because she is insanely awesome, Britt is offering 20% off to Figuring Out The Plot readers through July 1!  When you check out, just enter the promo code THEPLOT and you'll get the discount.

I'm already plotting (get it...like the plot?)  my next order!

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