September 27, 2009

all i need to know

as i come to the end of a day filled with a roller coaster of emotions, complete with waves of overwhelming exhaustion, i am so thankful to be grounded in the truth of the god i serve and his unchanging character. it is my belief that when we experience gut-wrenching, knock-you-off-your-feet tragedy in our lives, most humans do one of two things. we either doubt the god we thought we knew and run in the opposite direction, or we embrace him. well, maybe it's more accurate to say we cling to him out of the desperation of knowing that there is nothing and nobody else that can get us through this. knowing that he is our only means of survival.

does this mean that the people who do the latter never doubt him for a second? do they never wonder why a loving god would allow such searingly painful circumstances to befall his followers? do they never question how being faithful to this god landed them in relationships where other people could be so unfaithful to their promises?

i can't answer for anyone else, but to the question of whether i have ever felt this way, the answer is a resounding, "OH YEAH." though i love to imagine the idea of being a person who possess super powers, trusting god every second of every day with never a doubt or a question would certainly not be my power. and in all honesty, giving the world the answers to all these questions wouldn't be my power either.

all i can tell you is what i know; and i know that my god is real and he is good. i see the evidence when i take the time to stare at the stars as they twinkle, see the artistry ingrained in every sunset, and look at the toothy grins of the beautiful children he gave me. i hear him speak to my heart through time spent reading scripture- for the first time or the hundredth, and through other christians who love me as they come to my side to encourage and pray over me. i have watched eagerly as time after time he has answered my prayers in the most creative and obvious ways.

and he knows i still have questions, and he knows i still have moments of doubt. yet he continues to love me lavishly, pursue me passionately, and fight for me faithfully. in the face of this truth, my pain and my anguish seem all but washed away by the wake of his glory. so for now i put away the questions, the requests, and the anxiety; and i rest in knowing that the answers don't really matter. if the god who created me and the jesus who died a wretched death to save my soul mean anything to me, how can they not mean everything?

the train of his robe fills the temple, and he is bigger than this current crisis. he's big enough to handle whatever we throw at him, so throw whatever you've got. please-- i beg you-- don't let the cloudiness of your reality get in the way of the clarity of his divinity. he's waiting. he loves you. he's got eternal life and abundant life, and he's offering both. "abundance" isn't the part where the roller coaster gets to the top of the tallest hill. it's where you have the freedom to ride through all it's ups and downs with your hands held high in the air, knowing you are safe and secure in the arms of your savior.

September 9, 2009

isn't she lovely?

30 reasons jill is the coolest chick ever

1. she loves jesus fiercely

2. she could live on pop tarts and cereal if anyone would let her

3. since high school, i have never seen the girl in public with a single hair out of place

4. she was an amazing teacher who was adored by students, parents and administrators alike

5. scott bryant, careful planner that he is, couldn't resist her pouting any longer and proposed marriage earlier than he had scheduled (and he's still glad he did)

6. she prays on her knees for her family and friends on a daily basis

7. jill's bedtime ritual could put most OCD sufferers to shame with it's complexity

8. she is strikingly beautiful, yet not the least bit conceited

9. she's been putting up with me in her life since the 7th grade

10. her faith has stood firm through many trials, and she uses her experience to minister to others

11. she might panic over a hair on the bathroom floor, but when faced with a true crisis, she's really handy to have around

12. did i mention her hair already?

13. she is the most dedicated, patient, understanding mother i know

14. she can spend an hour trying to choose a restaurant, then get there and still not like anything on the menu :)

15. she is so giving that her friends are able to experience christ's love through her attitude

16. our senior year of high school, she was able to easily wear a cheer leading uniform that belonged to our friend tiffany- who happens to be a good 6 inches shorter- and jill rocked it

17. she stands up for those she loves and makes them feel good about themselves

18. she always eats with me whatever crazy thing i'm baking at the time, and never puts on a lb.

19. she has been married for 7 years, and she is still constantly striving to better herself in her role as a wife

20. for all the high maintenance jokes we make, she is great at laughing at herself

21. if you ask her what time it is, she's likely to say, "it's 5 to the 30," or some similar statement

22. god has blessed her with a beautiful voice, and she uses it to glorify his name

23. her precious daughter hasn't slept well since birth- but instead of complaining about it, jill will say things like, "at least none of us has a terminal illness"

24. i once told her i had the urge to push her off the balcony of a hotel- just to see her fall- and she's still my bff

25. she's encourages by writing sweet cards, praying scripture over people, and giving gifts when people are down

26. once the girl gets a tan, it lasts for like a year

27. she can scrapbook like no body's business-- and she's even frugal about it

28. she dove head first into my icy river with me, and she's content to ride it out until it gets better

29. every boy who ever knew her fell in love with her, but it still broke her heart when she had to let them down

30. she asks really poignant questions like, "how will we know when the bus comes?"


September 3, 2009

oh, how he loves us

it has been a long time since i've posted on my blog. i've been busy. busy drowning in an ice cold river. this river is filled with doubt, anger, fear, and self-pity to name a few. the cold is not the least bit refreshing, but rather paralyzing. it leaves me disoriented, numb, and struggling to catch my breath.

i'm not sure when i fell in, or how i'll pull myself out. i'm battered and bruised from slamming into one rock after another, each one causing enough pain to break through the numbness and remind of the reality of the situation.

fortunately, i have some life preservers. they come in the form of my friends and family. i have many encouragers standing on the bank of my river, cheering me on and praying for my safety. there are also some who are as close to the rapids as possible, allowing themselves to be cut and bruised, while reaching into the icy cold to try and pull me out. i am sometimes able to grab on to them and get a break from the beating, but the current is too strong for me to remain.

still, there are a select few who do all they can to save me from this, and who would willingly trade places with me if they could. of course, i would never let them, but they will never know how much it has meant to me to have such overwhelming help and hope and love to remind me to keep breathing and fight for the future.

when i awoke this morning at 2:00 am, engulfed in the raging chill of the river and feeling the weight of the water on my chest, i was afraid this would not be a good day. certainly- some days are better than others, but i had a feeling this day would bring no relief. i thought about my life preservers, but even the most dedicated would be sleeping at this hour, and i know that none of them has the ability to actually pull me out of this place.

so i began to pray to the one person who is big enough to calm the water, dry it up, or pluck me out, if he so desires. and something miraculous happened. i began to smell salt in the air, and feel a warm breeze pushing through the oppressive clouds. ever since i was a child, the smell of the salty ocean has been as instantly calming as a valium for my soul.

as i drew nearer to my savior, the raging rapids became the slow, lulling waves of an enormous new body of water. i felt myself begin to relax as the water temperature increased and warmed me from the outside in, and there was no more need to struggle. i was peacefully surrounded by the real, living ocean of god's love. my breath came effortlessly as he held me in his hand, and i was able to glimpse the beauty and glory of the dawn breaking way off in the distance. i could sense that sunrise would be majestic, and i know now that it is coming for me.

i know the "new day" may be a long way off, but for now i will wait here and try to be patient. will there be moments where i once again experience the fear of the icy abyss? without a doubt. but i pray that in the pain of those times, i can remember the calm of my ocean, and the faithfulness of my god. my prayer for you is that even if your day begins in with you drowning in a raging river, it will end with you sinking in the ocean of jesus's unconditional, lavish love.

maybe this song will help us all grasp that.

June 3, 2009

tiny dancer

well, my sweet lorelei had her very first dance recital last weekend. i have to say that i couldn't have been more excited, but i did set my expectations for her performance fairly low. that's because the child just turned 4, and i have taught classes this age where they know the dance perfectly in class but still just stand there awestruck on such a big stage with the bright lights.

the best part about this dance class is that she got to do it all year with her bff's, sohie and lucy. they are both still 3 years old, and they did a great job at the rehearsal and recital. all of our precious girls had great attitudes through the entire weekend, and i couldn't be more proud.we had a small celebration playdate at chuck e. cheese with the girls, the babies, and hudson on the morning of the recital. i made a ballerina cake to pump them up, and i think it was a hit.

at one point in the dress rehearsal meg, who also used to dance, just looked at me as the older girls danced their hearts out on the stage and asked if i was jealous. yes- i was, but i suppose no one wants to see an almost 30 year old mother of two up there shaking her groove thing, so i'll continue to try to be the supportive- but not psychotic- stage mom for now.

anyway, watching my first born dance and smile at the audience brought tears to my eyes. even if that's the only recital she ever does, i will cherish the pictures and memories forever. can you believe how cute they are?

May 23, 2009

goin' to the chapel

it has been so long since last i posted, that i'm just going to let the pictures update you on the happenings of our last month or two. here goes:
my boy is still a monkey...
who got his first haircut... given by his daddy...

on our kitchen table.

our easter (which was also my birthday) was great...
complete with the bunny.

we met my precious nephew, wallace...
and found out that uncle michael and aunt brook will give us another niece or nephew in nov!

my girl is still a princess...

who loves bluebonnets...

and her brother.
my sister is anxiously awaiting the day she holds her first child...
which should be sometime in june... and i can't wait!
what else was i going to tell you about june?
oh yeah...
my mom
is getting
pics of the diamonds and the man soon to come. we couldn't be more excited!

March 30, 2009

how great is our god

i have to begin today by telling you about a challenge i made to myself a couple of weeks ago. at a sunday school lesson on the subject of prayer, i was disheartened to realize that my prayer life was far from being the way i desired. i made a commitment to try to stay more focused on god's presence throughout the day and have an ongoing conversation with him like i used to do. this may sound strange to some of you, but it is simply about taking the time to pray for my needs and the needs of others as i go about my day. and- most importantly- tuning out the other noise in my life to make me more in tune to what god is trying to tell me. the lord has been amazing to me in all the days that i have focused on our communication, but today i had to share some specifics.

so this is not the best day in our household. today i should be working, and the kids should be at school playing and learning. instead- my sweet everett woke up with the stomach bug that lorelei had late last week. poor thing, at almost 16 months old, he was impossible to console this morning as i first tried a bath to wash all the nasty off of him. he fought me tooth and nail, and it was physically impossible to get him to sit down in the tub. he kept grabbing me around the neck, trying to climb out of the tub and into my arms. he didn't understand that i was right there with him, but it was necessary for me to clean him up before i could snuggle him as close as he wanted me to.
god spoke to my heart: why do you fight and scream and try to scratch your way out of the cleansing flood i sometimes bring? can't you see that in those moments, the filth of your sin is coming between the two of us? don't let anyone convince you that you are drowning- i will not let you. just allow me to clean you up so that i can fully embrace you and wrap you up in my arms.

i pulled him out of the bath tub as quickly as i could, but some of his stench still lingered. i held him close, kissed his head, and loved him anyway. that's just what a mother does.
the lord said: even when you are caught up in the guilt and the shame of the way you've been living... even when you're just sure that all those around you can still smell the odor of your indifference, disobedience, or unworthiness, i hold you close and love you anyway. you are mine. that's just what your father does.

the next battle of the morning was that he was hungry. starving by his standards i'm sure, and genuinely confused as to why there was no breakfast on the table like most mornings. i tried to explain, "baby, your tummy is sick. putting food in there right now would only make it worse." he- of course- didn't even hear my words because he was too busy begging and screaming, and pointing to the highchair.
i heard his sweet voice say: my child, so many times you have asked me for something, maybe even expected it, but i couldn't let you have it. those things you were begging for would not have saved you or brought real comfort or satisfaction. only i can do that. they would have made the situation worse, but you couldn't see that. in my time, you may still have the things you've been pleading for and waiting for, but for now you must trust that i know my reasons, and you could not even understand them. be patient. i'll never let you starve.

i just held everett through the rest of the morning, and i let him cry in my arms when he needed to. i hate that my sweet boy is sick, but i relish every moment i have to hold him close and comfort him. finally, he decided he was too hungry to wait any longer, and he again began to cry and beg for food. i felt it might be a good time to test the waters because he hadn't been sick in awhile. so- i set him down- which he hated, and ran to get the saltines. he literally stopped in his tracks, wiped tears off his face, and smiled when he saw them coming. the first cracker made his day. a few minutes later, i gave him another, but this time his response was different. he took this wonderful, square piece of yummy goodness, and he began to run to me. i thought he wanted to sit in my lap while he enjoyed it, but he did something that really surprised me. the precious baby held out his cracker and offered it to me. when i took it in my hand, he didn't fuss, he took the last two steps to my arms, embraced me with his, and laid the biggest kiss on my face.
i prayed: father, god- make me more like everett as i pursue a deeper relationship with you. help me to be grateful for every blessing you give me, while offering it back to you as a sign that nothing brings me more joy than our fellowship together.

what a sweet sick day i had with my son and my heavenly father.

March 17, 2009

hey hey! we're the monkeys.

very early in everett's life, we began to call him "monkey." i have always loved monkeys and longed to have one for a pet- except that whole thing about them throwing their poo deterred me. anyway, i believe that rett got this nickname because he was so chunky.

i guess this nickname has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, because lately i cannot think of a better way to describe my chunky, adorable, mischievous boy. it is physically impossible to keep up with him through every minute of the day, so i thought i'd share some of his shenanigans. every one of these things happened during his waking hours today- between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm.
#1: within 5 minutes of pulling him out of his crib this morning, i noticed a red spot on his head. after further investigation, i realized that right under his hairline on his forehead he had a mark that looked like a rug burn. he likes to kick his legs and bang his little head on his crib mattress largely due to the drum like sound it makes, so my only guess here is that he was doing this when he woke up this morning and somehow managed to rub that spot almost raw.
#2: the moment we walked into the kitchen to get his breakfast ready, i let go of his hand and turned to get his milk out of the fridge. by the time i grabbed it and turned back around, the boy had crawled up on to my small kitchen step stool, grabbed onto the sink, and pulled himself up to a standing position. by the time i could lunge and grab him, he had lifted up one leg in an attempt to scale the cabinet and climb into the sink.
#3: about an hour later, lorelei and i sat on the couch in the living room to put her shoes on. everett james entered the room with us, and by the time i got sister's foot into just one of her shoes, he had opened the door on our coffee table, pulled out an old set of head phones, tried to put them on his head while already dancing to the "music" and began to scream and cry. he had his back to me, so i leaned over and grabbed him to give hugs. when i did, i saw that he had somehow managed to pinch his eyelid- i guess in the adjustable band on the headphones, and it had left a red, almost bleeding mark.
#4: from this incident, we headed to lorelei's preschool registration. it was quick and easy. we were in the building maybe 8 minutes. i knew it was close to rett's nap time, so i brought him his cup of milk and a small bag of cheerios. he has eaten out of a small ziplock sack many times before with no problems, mind you. i was filling out the form for lulu, and i looked down at him in the stroller just in time to see him dump the last of the cheerios out of the bag and onto the carpet in the church foyer. there was a large circle of snacks surrounding him on the floor, and he looked up at me with a grin and the expression of true accomplishment as if to say, "look mommy! i got every last cheerio into my floor art!"
#5: sophie came over to play this afternoon, and rett was napping most of the time. at the end of her visit, meg came to pick her up, and the 3 kids were playing in the family room. suddenly i hear meg say, "everett james! mandy- does he do this all the time?" i look and see that he has launched his chubby little leg up and over the side of our tall basket full on blankets that we have always used to block him from the buttons on the tv. this is not the first time he has hurled his body into the basket, but this time he got up to his knees in front of the tv and pushed the power button. "no, everett," i said firmly, and he proceeded to look at me and do it several more times despite my warnings. i finally grabbed him to take him to his crib for his 1 minute time out.
#6: he was awfully quiet during the time out, and when i went to get him i found the reason. he had been up on his tippy toes on the bumper pad, and he was able to grab the first letter of his name hanging high above the crib and drop it down into the 1 inch space between the crib and the wall.
#7: he was a great eater at supper. so was sis. hallelujah!
#8: tonight, after about 3 repeat episodes of the climbing into the basket and up on the kitchen stool, i needed to do some dishes. i let him play in the kitchen with me, and he found all kinds of "treasures" that had fallen between the refrigerator and the cabinet. he brought most to me, but took a couple to the trash can and disposed of them himself.
#9: the worst news is that i realized that the boy can just about climb onto the ottoman that we use to keep him blocked in the family room with all his toys where he's the safest.
#10: i didn't mention the squirming, hollering, rolling, and running away he does each time he needs a change of clothes or diaper, but there was plenty of that. i have actually started to pray before we go out in public that my baby will not have a poopey diaper because it is almost impossible to change him anywhere other than home. this wiggle fest, however, came before bed when i realized he needed a good nail clipping. i had him sitting on the counter beside the kitchen sink while i (obviously) held on to him tightly. during the experience of trying to trim toe and finger nails, i found myself actually breaking a sweat because it was so crazy. he wasn't crying or sad in any way. he just decided he needed to grab everything in sight, and when i moved those things, he continued to slide his sweet bobo into the sink over and over again without me being able to stop him. i seriously stopped 3 nails short of finished, kissed his precious mouth, and put him to bed.
maybe after a good night's sleep, i will have the energy to tame my monkey man tomorrow. the biggest problem in the situation is how completely smitten i am with him. i suppose it might have something to do with the fact that every time he flashes me that silly grin, i feel as if i'm looking at a baby version of the adorable man i married. i'm going to have to stop melting at the sight of the kid and become a better disciplinarian before we end up making a trip to the ER.

February 21, 2009

... and party every day

we had lorelei's 4th birthday party today at chuck e. cheese. i'm sorry- did you say 4? how can this sweet tiny little curly headed person be 4 years old, i bet you wonder. i do too, not to mention the way i feel about being the mother of a 4 year old, but that's a whole different post.
my sweet little shortie wanted a strawberry shortcake theme, so we made the invitations and sent them to her dearest friends. almost everyone was able to come, so it was a great party.

my mom made her the cutest strawberry shortcake skirt and top to match, and mimi found the adorable hat online. we have a fantastic time celebrating our girl with friends and family!

(opening gifts with lucy and sophie)

if you are looking for an easy place to party- i have to suggest chuck e cheese. we arrived 10 minutes before, sat the cake and the favors on a table, and walked out the minute it was over with all the other guests and left the mess behind. now that's my kind of party!

(all smiles with parker)

the most difficult thing i did in planning the party was to make her cake. i've been working on my cake decorating skills a bit lately, but this was my first public attempt. it's not perfect by any means, but i have to say that i didn't allow myself to obsess or be a perfectionist. it's a lot more fun that way. there are actually 2 cakes, one stacked on top of the other, and it's a good thing the pink one was the bottom layer because after i finished icing it i saw lorelei admiring it as it sat on the kitchen table well within her reach. next thing i know, i look over and she has made 3 little finger holes on the top of the cake. oh- and she also grabbed one of the piggy bank party favors and stuck it smack dab in the middle of the cake- which of course made a large dent. i walked over, picked up the piggy bank and gave her a look that must have had more an impact than i inteded because she immediately burst into tears. i told her it was fine because the other cake would sit right there and cover it up- and the day was saved. so here's how it turned out: we did greatly miss all of lulu's aunts and uncles, but the grandparents came out in full force. after the party, we had them all over to our house for a more low key celebration. i know i say it all the time, but these people are the best at loving us and our kids and being there any time we call on them!(with mimi and grandaddy)

(with papa and grammy)

(with nana and g.g.)

January 13, 2009

My girl

so i spent an hour writing a post about our christmas a few days ago, and somehow it got deleted. maybe i'll get back to that someday. for today, however, i'm feeling convicted about the fact that i have an adorable daughter who says hilarious things, and i never write them down. i figure if i blog about a few of my faves, i'll at least be able to remember them forever. i hope it doesn't bore you. i will start with the earliest i remember and attempt to stay in chronological order.

age: under 1 year

-her first word was "dada." that was followed closely by "tot." it was her way of talking about scott bryant, a friend of ours who is like an uncle to her. their sweet friendship later led to moments like this:

age: around 18 months
-one day we were laying in my bed as i desperately struggled to hold my little wiggle worm still in the hopes that she would fall asleep for a nap (which never worked.) suddenly, lorelei used all her strength to try to dive out of my arms and shouted out "pees desus!" (please jesus) as if beckoning the lord to save her from her mean old mother.

age: between 1-2 years.
she would try so hard to say "i love you," but it always came out "i goo goo."
age: 28 months
-i was pregnant and tired, and she was going through a defiant streak. i sat her in the time out chair for disobeying and she kept talking to me. i told her there was no talking in time out, hoping to make it a real punishment for her, but she thought she could outsmart me. as i washed dishes in the kitchen, i heard her singing (not talking, mind you) "time out---is--- a good place" in a sort of old school rock and roll voice.

age: 2 1/2 years
-on halloween day 2007, i explained to lorelei that we would go trick-or-treat then head back to our house to have pizza with our friends. her response to this was, "and then parker will marry me in my minnie mouse skirt." "why do you think parker wants to marry you?" i prodded. "because he's my friend and he 'finks' i'm 'bootiful.'
age: nearing 3 years
-soon before everett was born, people started asking her if she was excited to be getting a baby brother. she would always reply, "yes... but he won't talk or play for a long time. just lay there and be a baby. but i'll share my snacks 'wif' him."

age: 3 years
-my sweet girl was melting down one day in what i only imagined would be more of a teenage girl drama, and i told her that when she stopped crying we could go play together. she replied through her sobs, "i don't want to play or do 'anysang.' i don't 'yike' 'anysang.' not even light pink. i just want to 'yay' here and cry."
age:3 years
-i walked in to the family room one morning while she and everett were laying on the floor watching cartoons. lorelei shouted, "mom! everett got a tooth!"
when i asked how she knew she responded, "i felt it when he was chewing on my toes. i let him do that 'cause he really 'yikes' to do that."

age: 3 years
-again one day she talked about marrying parker and stated that they would live in a pink house. i told her i wasn't sure if parker would want to live in a pink house, and she replied in a very serious tone, "mom-- parker just wants me to be happy."

age: closing in on 4 years (3 weeks ago)
-the day aunt steph and uncle ryan told her that she was going to have a cousin, lorelei was sitting in steph's lap. they talked about her having a baby in her belly, and lu jumped up and said "right there? where i've been sittin'?"

last week
she was in mimi's bathroom with her and the following conversation transpired:
L:"Mimi, how did you get those decorations way up there on that shelf?"
M: "Well, I climbed up on a ladder."
L: "Oh- that's not safe even for grown-ups. Only God and Jesus should climb up ladders."

January 3, 2009

10 things...

"When you receive the prize, you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing that they were prized with 'Honest Weblog'. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!"

I have been given this award twice- a long time ago, by jill and kylie, two of my most precious friends. jill has stuck with me through thick and thin (the pun is intentional when it comes to my weight) since 7th grade when we were forced by the school to share a locker with each other. kylie is a friend who i have become close to in the last couple of years as we share our adventures in parenting together, and it makes me really sad that i didn't make the effort to know her better way back at midway high.

ok- let the honesty begin...

1. cleaning house is the bane of my existence. it seems that no matter how hard i try, one day it's clean and the next it's a pit. it's not that i don't enjoy having a clean bathtub. it's the fact that i have to spend a good part of my day on my hands and knees with a sponge surrounded by chemical fumes strong enough to burn the hair out if my nose that i have a hard time with.

2. i have an addictive personality. this is the reason above all moral or health standards why i stay far away from alchohol, cigarettes, coffee products and soft drinks. try to get between me and my chocolate, sugar, or tv, though, and you'll see what i mean by "addicted."

3. i'm a procrastinator. and i have ADD. this can be a near fatal combination. if not for my addiction to chocolate i could feasibly starve. i might seriously put off eating all morning in favor of doing other things i'm already behind on, then finally get to the kitchen and still forget to eat because i got distracted by the magnets that are so out of place on the fridge. before you know it i'd be on my way to target to get some sort of refridgerator organization tool and run out of gas because i waited until the tank was almost empty and then still passed up the gasoline in favor of the candy bar i saw inside the station. ok- so i would never starve. but madness can insue at any minute in my life. be careful not to get too close!

4. i literally just heard myself say to my daughter, "hey- we never sit on our brother's head whether he likes it or not."

5. i often reveal too much about myself to people i hardly know. my friend describes my disorder as "compulsive honesty," but i think it's more of a desire to hear people tell me that they have done that or felt that way too. it makes me feel more normal.

6. i'm not shy, but when faced with meeting lots of new people or an uncomfortable situation, i tend to talk way too much. i can sometimes hear myself and in my mind i'm thinking "just shut-up already." but i almost never do.

7. i was witness to a christmas miracle. for over 2 years, my dear friend meg had been trying to get pregnant and struggling with all the problems that infertility can bring. though she and shane did an amazing job of keeping the faith, i knew that her sweet heart just couldn't take much more disappointment. we found out she was pregnant on december 8, then on christmas eve that she's having twins! woo-hoo! notice i say "we" as if i had any part at all in the process except praying and crying each time the news was stinky. praise god for this gift to the watwood clan!

8. i am procrastinating right now and need to go do dishes.

9. i spent the first 27 years of my life trying to find ways to straighten out my frizzy, curly hair to look sleek and shiny like a pantene add. i am now either being extremely lazy or just learning to embrace the curls, and i attribute this to my overwhelming love for my sweet curly lu of a daughter. i wouldn't change her curls for a million dollars!

10. i sometimes say things wrong. in a way that seems quite dirty. when it's the furthest thing from my mind. these statements have been coined as "mandyisms" and i'm thankful that they seem to be getting fewer and far between now that i watch every syllable so closely having a 3 year old "parrot" at home.

once again- i have waited so long to answer this challenge that there is nobody left for me to tag. i need to get more friends.