Monday, July 30, 2012

A Fun Weekend

This weekend was one of the best, most relaxing weekends we've had in awhile.  I rushed around like a crazy person on Friday cleaning and doing laundry so we wouldn't have to deal with any of that over the weekend.  Of course, it takes twice as long to do things with Aniston because she's right behind me, pulling out whatever I just put away.  Ha!  Friday night was just an ordinary night at home.  We watched some of the Olympic opening ceremonies and played with Aniston.  She and Lucy played ball together--Aniston would roll the ball across the floor to Lucy, and Lucy would push the ball back to Aniston with her nose.  Aniston thought it was the funniest thing!  She giggled so much!  They played until Lucy got a little over-excited and bit the ball, causing it to pop.  Both of them looked at Bradley and me like, "Now what?"  Too  cute. 

Our sixth anniversary was Sunday.  (Side Note--I can't believe we've been married for six years! Where has the time gone?!)  We had talked about going somewhere like we always did pre-Aniston, but decided against it.  (I know she would be fine with any of her grandparents/family for the weekend, but I'm just not ready for that.)  Bradley's compromise was to spend Saturday together, just the two of us, and have Aniston spend the night with her great-grandparents.  Aniston slept late on Saturday (which is always nice) and we enjoyed spending the morning with her.  We dropped her off with Chelsea around noon.  We planned to go to Boone for the day, but then changed our minds and headed toward Charlotte/Concord for some shopping instead.  It was nice to have time just to wander.  We had dinner at Johnny Carino's, a favorite of ours that we rarely go to because of the distance.  So yummy! It was so strange for it just to be the two of us that night.  It was Aniston's first time away from home.  I know it thrilled Mamaw and Papaw to have her for the night.  From what we've heard, she didn't miss us a bit. :)  We missed her though! 

We spent Sunday with our little girl.  We couldn't have chosen a better way to celebrate our anniversary.  We went to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt, and Aniston cried when her cup was empty.  Bless her. It was pitiful, but pretty funny, too.  We spent the afternoon playing outside.  She "painted" with water and thought it was the best thing ever. She's such a mess, and we're so blessed.  :)

Our weekend went by too quickly.  Isn't that always the case?  On the bright side, Bradley is (finally!) taking some time off of work.  He happened to schedule his vacation for the two weeks of the summer when I have stuff going on--a meeting on Thursday and a workshop on Monday and Tuesday.  Definitely a lack of communication!  Oops!  We have lots of things planned around those days, though, and Bradley will be able to have some daddy-daughter time with Aniston while I'm out.  It's going to be a fun two weeks!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 15: Your Favorite Bible Verse

I can't narrow it down to one, so I'm listing several.  :)

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

--John 3:16-17

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
--Isaiah 40:28

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
--Philippians 4:13

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
--Romans 8:38-39

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
--Jeremiah 29:11

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

--Proverbs 31:30

And of course:

For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath granted me what I asked of him.
--1 Samuel 1:27

If you're a blogger, you should check out Sweetie Baby's Designs!  Leslie creates custom blog designs that are so cute!  Her website has a new look, and to celebrate she's doing a giveaway, as well as offering a great discount.  The giveaway is in the blog section of the site.  You have to hurry though--the giveaway ends tonight!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 14: A picture of you last year - how have you changed?

The first picture was taken last October; the second picture was taken this evening.  I feel like I've changed a lot in the past year.  In the fall I was just beginning to learn how to balance work, home, and a baby.  I doubted myself a lot.  I worried that I wasn't giving Aniston enough of me. I felt torn between work and home.  If I worked late, I felt guilty because I should have gone home to spend time with Aniston.  If I went home at 3:15, I felt guilty because I should have spent more time in my classroom catching up on things.  I never thought stress could have such a physical impact on a person, but it certainly caused some problems for me.  My heart started doing really scary things. After wearing a heart monitor and having a stress test and echocardiogram, the cardiologist diagnosed the problem as premature ventricular contractions.  I've always had PVCs (which had been misdiagnosed years ago as a mitral valve prolapse), but the severity and frequency had increased tremendously.  The cardiologist attributed the change to the amount of stress I was under.  What a wake up call!  I knew then that something had to change.  I started managing my time better.  I asked Bradley for help more often.  When I started feeling guilty, I focused my thinking on everything I had accomplished that day.  I started giving myself time to do things I enjoy, like reading.  I started running and discovered that I actually like it.  It's a little bit of time during the day that is completely mine and, even though it sounds selfish to say aloud, I love that time.  Although I have a prescription to help manage the PVCs, I haven't had to take it in months.  It still happens sometimes, but not nearly as often as before.  The balancing act is always going to be hard, but I think I've found what works for me.  I've also managed to finally lose all the baby weight plus most of the weight I gained during fertility treatments.  I feel better than I've felt in years.  I was happy then, but I'm much happier now. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 13: Your Friends

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
--Thomas Jefferson

Kesha, Emily, and I have been friends since college.  The three of us have stuck together through all kinds of stuff.  We've shared so much joy through the years--vacations, college graduation, our first day as teachers, weddings, parties, Aniston's birthday, Emily announcing her pregnancy.  We've dealt with some really hard stuff, too.  They've both lost grandparents.  There have been scary medical issues.  Life has so many ups and downs, and we've weathered them all together.
Of course, I can't write about them without mentioning the way they stood by me through the last several years.  When I realized there was a problem after a year of no birth control and no pregnancy, I admitted it to them first.  I remember exactly where I was when I called Emily crying. They supported my decision to go to REACH, and loved me through that first treatment and helped me deal with all it entailed...crazy hormones, emotional hysterosalpingogram test results, everything.  When that first treatment cycle resulted in a pregnancy, their excitement was only slightly less than my own.  After the second ultrasound, they were among the first to know I lost our baby.  They were so supportive through the loss and the years of fertility treatments that followed.  They repeatedly brought dinner, sent flowers, and listened.  They provided distractions.  They remembered our baby's due date.  They took time off of work to stay with me after I had surgery.  When the surgery wasn't the answer we thought it would be, Kesha brought ice cream.  Life seemed a little less scary when they were around, and I can't begin to describe what that meant to me.  When I found out I was pregnant with Aniston, I was so thrilled but so anxious--and they understood.  They were there when Aniston was born, and I couldn't have imagined that day without them.  I'm so thankful for everything they did for us.
The three of us have the kind of friendship that is built on years of shared experiences and trust.  Even as our lives change, we manage to change together.  Kesha and Emily are two of the most important people in my life, and I love them more than words.  How lucky am I to have two best friends?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dear Aniston

Dear Aniston,
You are almost sixteen months old!  Time is flying, and I can't believe how much you change on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis.  You are running now, and you are into everything!  You say several words on a regular basis--Mama, Dada, Papaw, Papa, ball, roll, and up.  Up is your favorite word, and you say it constantly!  You're beginning to say Mamaw and Nana more often, and you try your best to say Kesha and Eric.  When you say Eric, it sounds like "Eck" and it's precious!  You mimick lots of other things we say, too.  It's so fun to hear you try new words!  We've been working on animal sounds, but, according to you, all animals either bark or growl.  :) You can follow simple directions at this point, and you can find things if I ask you where something is.  You can point to your toes, hands, eyes, ears, and mouth when asked.  You are so smart!  I love watching you reason and figure out things.  You are a sweet, sassy little thing with lots of personality.  You shrug your shoulders a lot--sometimes both of them, other times only one.  It is the cutest. thing. ever!  You love Lucy and Ethel, and share your snacks and meals with them often.  They love you, too, and put up with your fur-pulling and tail-grabbing...probably because of all those shared snacks!  You love playing outside, riding the golf cart with Mamaw and Papaw, and playing with baby dolls.  Minnie Mouse is your favorite stuffed animal right now, but your pink puppy is a close second.  You like going shopping and out to eat--you're definitely a people watcher, especially babies and kids!  You're sometimes mischievious and sneaky.  We always know when you're trying to "sneak" because you bend at the waist and walk really slowly.  So funny!   You love to make people laugh and you'll do anything to get a smile!  When you do or say something you think is special, you expect everyone around to say, "Yay!" and clap for you.  If they don't, you'll just go ahead and do it for yourself. 
I never knew it was possible to love someone as much as I love you, or to be as happy as I am right now.  You are such a blessing.  Being your mommy is the most wonderful thing, and I love you to pieces!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beach Trip

A few years ago, Kesha's parents bought a beach house.  Kesha, who is also a teacher, stays there most of the summer, and often sweetly invites us to join her.  Aniston and I have spent lots of time with Aunt Kesha the last few weeks, and we've had a wonderful time! 

Aniston loved the sand and water!  She played nonstop.  She thought it was hilarious to put sand on our legs, and always wanted to sit in her own chair--not on someone's lap.  I've always loved the beach, and it thrills me that Aniston seems to love it just as much as I do.  We spent our days on the beach and our nights going out to dinner, shopping, and riding the golf cart.  We tried Sweet Frog's for the first time, and to say that frozen yogurt was a favorite of Aniston's would be an understatement.  Aniston was her typical self--a complete attention hog everywhere we went.  :) 

We were able to spend time with Amanda, Kesha's sister, who we don't see nearly often enough!  Amanda is getting married in June, and asked Aniston to be her flower girl.  We're so excited! 

Aniston is so blessed to have Aunt Kesha, and I am, too.  To have a friend who loves your child as if she were her own is so incredibly precious.  Aniston and Kesha already have a relationship that's all their own, and I know that bond will only continue to strengthen.  When we arrived home, Aniston clung to Kesha, not wanting to leave her.  So sweet!

Amanda took this picture without us knowing. When Kesha saw it, she commented that everything is the same as it's always been, we've just added Aniston...and Aniston fits right in. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 12: Something You Don't Leave the House Without

"An Ode to the iPhone" may be a better title for this post. 

I never leave the house without my iPhone.  Never, never, never.  I love the thing. I'm attached to it in a way I swore I never would be.  A few short years ago, I scoffed at people who had smartphones and used them constantly.  I mean, really.  Do you really need the internet on your phone?  Do you really need constant access to social media?  Can you really not sit in the waiting room at a doctor's office and just wait, rather than pulling out your phone?

I'm one of those people now, and I'm not scoffing anymore.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blog Challenge Day 11: Favorite TV Shows

Growing up and throughout college, I wasn't much of a TV watcher.  I had a couple of shows I liked to watch, but not many, and I didn't watch them every week.  After Bradley and I got married, we got a DVR and Netflix.  That ended the "I don't really watch TV" stage of my life.  The DVR could quite possibly be the best invention ever.  (Or worst, depending on the way you want to look at it. Ha!)  Netflix just encourages me to watch entire seasons of shows I've never been interested in before. 

My list of favorite TV shows is pretty long.  Don't judge.

1.  Criminal Minds
2.  NCIS
3.  NCIS: Los Angeles
4.  Army Wives
5.  Blue Bloods
6.  The Vampire Diaries
7.  How I Met Your Mother
8.  The Big Bang Theory
9.  Grey's Anatomy
10.  Private Practice
11.  Hawaii Five-0