Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lazy 5

On Sunday we went to Lazy 5 Ranch with Brooke, Reid, and Kennedy.  We had so much fun!!  Aniston was SO excited to be there, and the weather was gorgeous.

We went on a wagon ride through the park.  (Side note--I have NO idea why people choose to drive their cars instead of take the wagon.  Sure, it's cheaper, but when you consider a little extra money versus a yak poking it's head in your car window--there's just no contest.)  I was in charge of taking pictures since, a) I'm not a huge fan of feeding slobbery animals, and b) even if B doesn't want to admit it, he gets a little nervous when I'm the one holding Aniston on a moving wagon with huge animals around.  I have no idea why. ;)

Every fall Lazy 5 has a fall festival with lots of pumpkins, a hay castle, huge play areas filled with corn kernels, and a pumpkin slingshot.  B and Reid did the slingshot last year, and, of course, wanted to do it again.  (That may have been the only reason they agreed to go back to Lazy 5.  Ha!)  Both of them managed to knock the pumpkin off the hay bale, so they won prizes--tickets for a family trip to Lazy 5!

It was a perfect day!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Five on Friday

...or Saturday, if you're like me and haven't had a spare second in, oh, say a month or so and always seem to be just slightly behind. :) Anyway, I'm linking up with Natasha today!

{One} Kesha's Wedding
Kesha's wedding was last Saturday.  Everything was so perfect.  The weather was kind of dreary and rainy the whole day, which was a little scary since the ceremony was outside at her parents' house, but the rain stopped and the clouds started to break up just in time for Kesha and Matt to say 'I do'!  Aniston was a flower girl.  She did well--much better than I expected given how horribly rehearsal had gone the night before!  It was a wonderful time to celebrate with great friends, and we had lots of fun!

{Two} Date Night
Last night, B and I went out with Brooke and Reid---without kids!  We had the best time!  I love Aniston to pieces, but sometimes it's nice to have a little adult time.  And, you know, be able to eat my dinner while it's actually hot and only be responsible for cutting my own food.  Ha!

{Three} Lazy 5
Last night was a date night, but Sunday is definitely going to be a family day.  We're going to Lazy 5 Ranch with Brooke, Reid, and Kennedy.  We went last fall, and Aniston had a good time, but I am so excited to watch her tomorrow.  She has grown and changed so much this year, and I know she'll like it even more! 

{Four} The Last Weekend in October?
How can that be?!  I feel like we've been so busy, we haven't had time to appreciate all the fun October has to offer.  We never made it to the pumpkin patch this year, which makes me sad.  Lazy 5 has a fall festival going on right now, so I'm trying to let the pumpkin patch go. ;)  Really, though, I'd like for life to slow down enough for me to have time to enjoy it.  Is that too much to ask?

{Five} Halloween
As a kid, I hated Halloween.  I didn't like dressing up and I didn't like asking people for candy (it just felt wrong).  Fast forward twenty years, put Aniston in the picture, and I am all about it.  Can't wait for Thursday!

Happy weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Communion, Tantrums, and Grace

Most Sundays, at some point, I wonder why we even bothered to go to church.  I'm fairly certain I haven't really heard a sermon in the last year.  Most of my time during worship is spent trying to keep Aniston (somewhat) quiet by feeding her fruit snacks, letting her play with my jewelry, or whatever else I can pull out of my bag of mommy tricks.  I spend a fair amount of time blocking the aisle so she can't escape and run out the door.  (She's been known to. And she's pretty quick.)  I also have to hunt for the occasional imaginary dog and, possibly, hide from imaginary bears.  I spend a good bit of worship time with my foot on the edge of a dress tail to keep a certain princess from crawling under the pews. And that's on a good day.  On the bad days, either B or I haul the squealing, crying princess from the sanctuary.

Most Sundays I leave church feeling stressed, haggard, and a little sweaty from the wresting match I've endured for the last hour.  It is not relaxing or refreshing.  It's a test of my patience and virtue--one that I admittedly fail often.

Last Sunday, we had communion.  I realize that every denomination and church is different when it comes to communion, but, at ours, everyone is welcome--even the little ones.  So, when it was time, we went to the front to receive it, and Aniston went, too.  A couple had been sitting in front of us for the entire service.  They joined our church awhile back, but haven't been able to attend because of serious health issues.  There's no way Aniston remembered them, but, as we walked down the aisle, she left me and went to them, getting as close to the lady as she possibly could.  The look on the lady's face was just....priceless.  Aniston took the wafer from the pastor all on her own, dipped it in the grape juice with a little help, and then knelt at the altar--still beside the lady--and bowed her head. 

I was just in awe of the whole thing.  As I knelt down beside her to pray, I couldn't do anything but give thanks.  I'm so thankful for this miracle, for this little one who teaches me so much on a daily basis.  Being her mommy is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and is one of my biggest blessings, but it's also the hardest thing I've ever done.

We're in a difficult stage right now.  Aniston throws tantrums, is stubborn, and wants to do things her way and in her time.  Even on Sunday, after that precious communion time, she pitched a huge fit before we left church.  I was so frustrated.  All I could think was, But she was doing so well!  What happened?

Later on, as I was thinking about it, I realized that may have been my own personal message.  How often has God said that very same thing about me?  How often has He been frustrated with me, my choices, and my reactions to being told, "No,"?  It's a humbling thought.  Even more humbling is the amount of grace and mercy I continue to receive, even when I don't deserve it. 

Through parenting, I'm learning more about love, grace, and mercy than I ever knew before, and I'm thankful.

So next Sunday, when I miss most of the sermon (again) and when Aniston is talking loudly (again), instead of becoming frustrated, I'm going to take a moment to appreciate the wonder of it all. 

She's learning, and I am, too.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Confessions

I confess....

...I should drink more water.  One of the words on last week's spelling test for the second graders was "water".  When I called it out, I used the sentence, "I like to drink water."  One of my students raised her hand and said, "I thought you only drank Diet Sundrop."  Oops.

...a student came to school last Monday talking about some great vintage toys she bought over the weekend.  I was so excited to hear such a great vocabulary word!  Then she proceeded to name all the vintage toys she bought....and they were toys I had when I was little.  Sigh.  Really?  I'm vintage?

...Aniston begged for bites of my Lean Cuisine tonight and ended up eating half of it.  Seriously?  Why in the world would she want a Lean Cuisine when she could eat ANYTHING?  Not to mention that there are only, like, seven bites in a Lean Cuisine anyway.  I guess that's one way to cut the calories...

...I want to go to the pumpkin patch, but it's supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow.  Something about picking a pumpkin in hot weather just seems wrong. to-do list for this weekend is as long as my arm.  I wonder how much of it will actually get done.'s 10:00 on a Friday night, and I'm heading to bed.  Because I'm vintage, you know. ;)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The County Fair

On Monday evening, B and I took the princess to the fair.  When I told her we were going she said, "Oh boy!" (even though there's no way she knew/remembered what the fair was), and she kept up that level of excitement all. night. long.  She wanted to see the animals right away, so that's where we headed first.  She loved looking at the pigs, "sheeps", and horses.

She was fascinated by all the rides, and said, "Ride that!" every time we walked by one. 

At this point, I should mention that B is not a fan of the fair at all.  He doesn't really care for eating at the fair (what?!) and didn't let Aniston touch a single thing outside of her stroller last year.  (He may be a smidge on the overprotective side.)  He's not convinced the rides are safe, or that the people running them know what they're doing. 

But he's wrapped around Aniston's finger, and when she begged to ride a few rides, that's what we did. ;) 

She wanted to ride the ferris wheel, but when we got close to it, she declared it was "too tall!" and refused.  So she and I rode the carousel, and then B rode the tea cups with her.  (Because only one parent can ride, you know--the other has to be taking pictures and videotaping. Ha!) 

I'm almost certain I've never loved B more than I did on Monday night.  It was just a perfect night with our little family, and watching him with Aniston was enough to make me want to cry.  (Of course, I didn't because that would have meant crying beside the tea cup ride at the fair, and that's a little strange.  I was already videoing and waving like a lunatic.  No need in attracting any more attention to myself than that.)  

Sometimes it's the little things that make you realized how blessed you are.