Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy birthday, Elizabeth

Sweet Thing,

You are asleep in your big girl bed as I write to you now.

 Just wanted to write a little something to you.

 Your favorite color - pink

 Your favorite sister - Carolina. You say her name so well.

 Your favorite food - fruit snacks

 Your favorite shows - Fresh Beat Band and Yo Gabba Gabba

 You are really good at writing. You hold your pencil just the right way.

 Daddy loves the way you run. You are crazy over him.

 You have the most beautiful smile I believe I have ever seen.

You have the highest pitch voice which makes everything sounds just a little bit more sweet.

 I love it how you sooth yourself by playing with your hair.

 I love it that you need to just touch my hair just one more time before you go off to sleep.

 I love it that when you are trying to convince us of something, you declare it and then whip your head to the right and say "okay"!!!! We all do it now in case you weren't aware of how contagious you are.

 You are a calming force in this home of " how does that make you feel " counselors including your feel every emotion sister:).

 You don't let us take ourselves too serious.

 You bring joy beyond words to our lives.

 I wouldn't say you are a morning person......

 You are sweet to your baby dolls.

 Sister belly laughs at you. Sissy admires you, looks out for you and minds you when you boss her.

 And you look to her to make sure everything is really ok in this world. 

You are lovely beyond words.

 Daddy always said that you are just dessert. We will tell you the whole story behind that when you get older, but for now I will keep it short. We never even knew to dream of a you. We thought it was going to be just the three of us and Lukey but then God blew life into me and again our lives have never been the same.

 Tomorrow you turn two, BabyDoll.   I cannot really say I have a baby anymore although you will always be my baby. I lub you, baby! You can always share lipstick and hairbrushes with me. 

Just want to pray a blessing over you my sweet child.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Elizabeth Mae. She is mighty. She is lovely and I am grateful that she dwells in our midst. I see your goodness in her. Please keep all things that do not or will not glorify you away from this woman child. Make her a woman of strength and dignity. Please help her fall in love with you. Show her your ways. Let her be crazy over your Word. Help her to find you soon Lord. Make her sensitive to your voice and Spirit.  I pray Lord that we will have a love for one another that you adore. That we will forgive each other quick and laugh from the pit of our bellies. And if and when she does cry, she calls out to you and then calls me on the phone. Help me to see her. Help me to celebrate her beauty. Let Carolina and she love each other until long after i am gone. Bless her husband and make him wild over you. Use them to show others your love. Let babies come to her in just the right time.  Bless her beyond my words, Lord. You made her. You have a beautiful plan for her. Help me to never get in the way of it. Celebrate with us tomorrow! You are totally invited to her party too! Of course come and make yourself known here and every crevice of our lives.

 I am crazy over you Lord,
Elizabeth's Momma

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Jump Start!

This is where we started January 1, 2011. The Littles were really little.

Please forgive me for stealing this from Baby Bangs, a blog that I adore and follow. I just thought it would jump start my blogging again and help me to capture what happened in our last year.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Ran a half marathon.
My first marathon/mile 8
Lived with my in-laws while we waited to close on our house.
Went to grad school for my second Masters degree.
A massage on the beach.
Celebrated my three year old and my one year old daughter birthdays.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Greg and I set goals for 2011, but they weren't really resolutions.  

Our Welcome Sign When Arriving to Texas
Goals like:  
A trip outside of Missouri - Texas
Potty train - Carolina
Wean - Little Elizabeth
Decide where we were going to live - Jackson Street
Date nights
Etc. Etc. Etc.  
No resolutions, but directions. Make sense:)

Goals for this year are less specific:  Be more compassionate, forgive quicker, be intentional in other's lives, read the Bible in a year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth or get married?

My Besties had a baby - Noa

My other Besties had a baby girl- Brooklyn
My niece - Lindy gave birth to Norah Rose Lamper.
Our cousin - Sarah had baby Jonah Asher Greenstein.

Jeff and Kathy Orr
My sister - Kathy married Jeff Orr.  Greg was their officiant.  It was just lovely!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Grandma Jewel and Kay Rodgers passed in 2011.

5. What countries did you visit?

I got to visit Mexico two times this year. One just with my man and the other with my girls and my man.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

2011 was one of my favorite years.  I hope 2012 brings Greg a job as a school counselor and that my counseling practice is fruitful.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I love you, Greg Vest
November 8, 2011 - The day when my man came in the back door and told me that he lost his job.  I will never forget the look on his face. I am certainly glad our response to each other was love and tenderness.  It's one of those days that you think is going to be the end of your existence, however it began the beating of my man's heart.  He had been working construction for years. Probably the most educated construction worker I know, but he was doing it for me and for our little girls. That's how I could stay home.  I had actually prayed that the Lord would let him get a job elsewhere. I had prayed to that I would one day get to clean out his work clothes drawer that was filled with caulk, dirt and grim of other people's houses.  But looking back on it now, it was a drawer filled with manly work. A man that would sacrifice his own dreams for me.  A man that dreamed of more, but asked God everyday to lead his steps.  He was true to his family and he had his ear to ground asking God to show him when it was time.  So when I say that November 8 is etched on my mind, it's more than just losing a job. It's the day that my husband knew God had more for him.  It was the day we cleaned out his work drawer. It was the day he realized he could do his internship and begin the dream he had thought God had for him long ago.  November 8, 2011, that look on his face turned to joy.  Greg and I spent about 45 minutes afraid, but God suddenly turned it into joy.  He is so faithful.  Greg starts his internship on Monday at our daughter's elementary school.  He is also going to be working closely to one of our newest favorite people, Earl, in the middle school in our county.  I am certainly glad that I was the one he came home to that day and had to say the dreadful words of "I lost my job". I wouldn't miss this adventure with my man for anything in this world.

8. What was your biggest achievement for the year?

Ran a half marathon.  It really is mind over body.  I had an injury going in, but I talked myself through the run and ran all of it except for 1/2 a mile.  Amazing achievement.  Still can't believe it! 
My broken 

9. What was your biggest failure?

Speaking harshly to my children and husband.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I broke my face on Thanksgiving day playing our annual football game.  

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our sweet little Cape Cod house.

The girl's passports.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Our new old house.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Selling our house after a long lease purchase and buying our darling little home.

Anticipating my girls view on Mexico.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Running to you - Shane and Shane

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
-Happier or sadder?

Happier!  Can you believe it. Happier!  

-Thinner or fatter?

My goal for 2012 is to find balance here. I was at different times thinner and fatter than I needed to be in 2011. (Stole this, but feel it)

-Richer or poorer?

Little bit poorer, but only in money.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Cook dinner for my family. 

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Hold grudges.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

We had planned a trip for our family to go to Mexico.  We were planning on going the week after Thanksgiving.  However, I broke my face so we had to postpone our trip for two weeks.  It was the week before Christmas week festivities. It was the greatest trip. Our girls had so much fun. Greg and I had so much fun.  It was weird to be in a tropical paradise hearing Felize Navida, but someone had to do it.  So we did.  

Our Christmas in Mexico

We had to miss Christmas with the Rodger family because we got into town late the evening of.  We love that Christmas celebration so much and hated to miss it, but the ocean was a little bit more tempting.  

Santa came to visit US:)
Santa made a visit to our home when we got back from Mexico.  It was a wonderful surprise.

On Christmas Eve, we went to Greg's family. It was so fun.  Our cousin Matt started doing these silly random poses which set in motion the human pyramid.  So fun!

Christmas Morning, we spent the morning in our new home with our Littles.  They had the best Christmas.  Every year I say we had the prettiest Christmas tree and again I think we did. It was so pretty.  It is weird I thought since Greg lost his job we would be lacking this Christmas.  However, it was the best Christmas I can ever remember.  We loved it very much. 
That evening we went to my sister's house and ate like king's.

Our Sweet Morning at Home on Christmas Day.

Our cousins, Neil, Sarah, Hannah and Jonah came from Philly the next day.  We spent the week around town and downtown.  

Carolina ice skating
Carolina also had her first trip the ice skating rink.  She was so brave and did so well for her first time.  
U2 with the McCain's

19. What was your favorite TV program?

We got rid of cable about a year and a half ago and use Netflix.  However, we did get into Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Downton Abbey.  

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Halfbroke Horses, Hunger Games, the study of James.

21. What was your favorite music this year?

Shane and Shane, Coldplay and U2 ( saw them this year)

22. What were your favorite films of the year? 

The Help

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 40 this year.  Greg and I went to Mexico to celebrate. We came home and on the day of my birthday, our small group surprised me at one of our favorite mexican restaurants. I heart these people.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Leaning on Jesus like never before.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Classic with a splash of sassy. Sometimes boring, but sometimes cute!  

26. What kept you sane?

Burying my head in my Bible, sometimes sleeping with it.  Getting on my knees to pray.  Our Small Group and My Monday Ladyfriends!

27. What am I blown away by from 2011

Immediately after our friends and family received the text that Greg lost his job, they began to look around their house and see how they could give Greg work to do.  What an amazing life we have.  We are surrounded by the most loving and genuine people I know.  They were truly concerned.  Within the first 48 hours, we had a gift certificate for $150 to the grocery store and Greg had two side jobs on the books.  He got on at Fort Zumwalt as a substitute thanks to my sis.  Since then he has been busy helping others as they help us.  God has been faithful to us.  He is redeeming our life.  Our friends and family will be blessed for thinking of us during our time of need.  

Also, when I broke my face there was a tremendous out pouring of love for me and family.  We had people offer to pay our doctor bills, bring us food and bless us with sweet gifts like flowers and pedi's.  

Our life is rich. It is blessed and surrounded by God's people.  Amazed by His love and their love too.

Thank you friends and family for your deep love.  We will never ever forget it.

28.  Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

I really really really can trust God. His Peace cannot be described.  He gives it to us in times of need.  He does not want us to fear. He is for us.  He knows our wounds. His grace is sufficient.


So here is to 2012.  Love you friends and family.  Let's see what this year holds.  Hope it is the best for you.  If your year is filled with ups and downs like ours was this year, we hope we can love you, celebrate with you or cry with you.  Thank you from the bottom of our heart.  You are the finest of things.