Friday, September 30, 2011

An Ordinary Day

I was going to include these pictures I took yesterday in yesterday's post, but for some reason I was having sooo much trouble formatting the post and it was just not working out for me!  So, here they are today!

Ellington goes in cycles of things she likes to play with.  She'll be obsessed about something for awhile and then not touch it for weeks and then be obsessed again.  Ellington hasn't played with her dress up stuff for quite awhile, but she broke it back out yesterday morning.  She's got on 5 necklaces, 3 bracelets, a flower headband, and a purse full of more necklaces!  Oh yeah....who could forget the tutu!

We went to Wal-Mart yesterday morning for some much needed grocery shopping to at least help us make it through the weekend.  Our fridge was down to housing condiments which is never a good sign!  We also picked up some things for Ellington's family birthday party which is only a little over a week away!  I LOVE that I can go to Wal-Mart on weekday mornings now.  It's soooooo much better!  I wish that I didn't have to go to Wal-Mart at all.  I would rather go to just a grocery store, but we have found that the other stores are just so much more expensive than Wal-Mart.  So, until I become rich I will be shopping at Wal-Mart!

Yes, I dress Ellington this way just to go to Wal-Mart. :)  Other than a quick lunch after Wal-Mart we didn't go anywhere else all day.  I use to think it was so silly for mamas to dress their kids like this when they weren't doing anything "special", but I have decided that every day is special...and if she has it, she might as well wear it!  I guess she's just extra Southern :)

When we got back home Ellington thought her tutu would look good on her bear!  


There wasn't really any point to this post other than new pictures of Ellington. :)  I hope you have a happy weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Mission of Motherhood

I have so many things I want to say in this post that I hardly know where to begin!  When I became a Mama there were many things that were even better than I could have expected, but on the flip side there were many things which were much much harder than I could have ever expected.  Like soul squelching HARD.  The constant-ness of motherhood was something that surprised me and was crippling.  And to this day, almost 2 years from the moment I met my little girl....the constant-ness of mothering is still the hardest part.  Being a mama is to take on the most repetitive tasks to a (for now) thankless child.  We don't grow up desiring to strive and work SO HARD for something with seemingly little reward.

I know better though.  God's Word tells me that being a mother is a blessing and that children are a blessing.  I know it's not God's plan for me to struggle and groan and complain.  I know that's not His way.  I have prayed over the last 2 years that mothering this little one would become ultimate JOY.  Don't get me wrong...Ellington and I have WONDERFUL times together and fantastic memories together, but I didn't have the deep down joy that I knew was possible with God.  I struggled daily to find get be at the place I knew God had for me.

A few months ago I order the book, The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  I guess it was a slow start or my heart wasn't ready, but after about one chapter I stopped reading.  I recently picked it up and it has been rocking my world.  It is FANTASTIC and I have already learned so much.  One quote I love is..
"If I have integrity and patience in the small moments of life that are so important to my children, and if I approach them with a servant's heart, then I have a far better chance of influencing them in the larger and more critical issues of life".
It's those little moments that are so hard...the repetitive tasks and the constant work.  But ya'll, it's so not about us.  God has entrusted souls to us and that is such a huge, mind blowing thing.  I really shouldn't be getting upset when Ellington is disturbing my "me" time.  I mean really.  I have worked SO hard on my attitude with her today.  It's been a beautiful blessing to begin this change into becoming the kind of mother I know God desires for me to be.  And it isn't about me and how great I am.  It's all about Him and how great He is.

One of my other favorite quotes in the book is.... "...the minority of mothers who choose to devote their lives to the nurturing of a godly heritage by focusing on their home as the center of life find themselves unsupported and unaffirmed by a culture that does not value their contribution.  The hard, daily, repetitive work of making a home a haven, providing healthy meals, correcting and training little ones, and constantly cleaning up messes is perceived as menial labor instead of the stuff from which godliness is built.  The result is that the mothers who do attempt to follow God's design for families may suffer from feelings of isolation, loneliness, and discouragement."

All I can say to that quote is AMEN.  It's so sad to me that I know that hearts for God are cultivated in the home and there is SO little placed on this subject in churches today.  (It's not the lack of support of the secular culture that is the lack of support WITHIN the church that is the most disturbing part).  And it's not just that it isn't talked about, but motherhood isn't  It is something that will be crippling to today's children as well as the entire Christian culture.  For real.  It's that serious.

I feel like I have jumped ALL over the place and that I have left out 90% of what I wanted to say, but I strongly encourage you to read this book if you are a Mama.  You really won't regret it.  Being a Mama is the hardest thing ever, but I also know it's the most IMPORTANT thing ever. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This little girl....

...will be TWO YEARS OLD one week from today. How is that even possible??!! 

It's kind of amazing that I got a picture of Ellington smiling for the camera.  It is almost impossible to do these days.  Usually she ignores me with all of her might.  Do you know how I got her to smile?  I said "One, two, three, ravioli!".  No lie.  That's what I said.  It worked.  Score. :)
And here's what she did about 2 seconds later...

Getting our pictures taken next Saturday should be an adventure.  I am trying not to worry about it.  After all, when you pay for something you want it to turn out well....but inside I am preparing for a battle. :) 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dancing in the Street

Last night Starkville had a downtown block party and it was SO much fun!  Starkville and MSU have really come a long way recently with promoting fun events on home football weekends.  It's a fun time to live in Starkville.  If I heard myself say that a few years ago I think I would have laughed.  I NEVER would have imagined still living in Starkville, but after living in here about eight years I think it's finally growing on me. :)

We started off the night eating at Mugshots.  I didn't think we would be able to eat outside on the balcony because I knew there would be a lot of people downtown already, but luckily we were able to get a table!

The block party started at 6:00 right as we were finishing up supper.  From where we were sitting we could hear and see the choir that was performing and as you can tell, Ellington was delighted by it!

Our big mission of the night was to try and get E's picture taken with Bully.  We have one from when she was about 6 months old, but needed a new one.  Here's Ellington's face when she first spotted him:

We finally worked our way up to Bully and she was NOT having it.  She kept saying she was scared.  As we were walking away she was delighted by him and waved like crazy.  :)  She LOVED him as long as he was very very far away!

We spent some time walking around and vising the bookstore and decided to try Bully again.  This time seemed promising.  The second Robert and E got near him she started freaking out.  This is the best we got:

We were so excited to run into our friends, The Hammetts!

Ellington would not let Robert put her down because she was afraid that at any second Bully would appear.  Well, after over an hour of carrying her around Robert's arms were quite tired!!!  We asked if she wanted to hold Katelyn's hands and that did the trick!

Ellington and her friends LOVED dancing in the street to the band.  It was precious!!!  They had a blast!  

Thanks Starkville! Your first block party was a huge success in our book!  As we were pulling in our driveway (sometime between 8 and 8:30), I said, "I'm so sad the night is over".  Robert said, "It doesn't have to be" and thew the Explorer into reverse.  We went out for icecream an hour past bedtime. :)  E finally got to sleep after 9:00 and she is still asleep as I type this (at 8:00 am).  What a fun night together!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Clean Carpets

This week we did something super exciting....we got out carpets cleaned!  Hooray!  Ha!  I was so so excited because our carpet has been needing it DESPERATELY....for years really!  So, we pretty much turned our house upside down to get as much furniture off of the carpet as possible.  Ellington and I stayed in Philadelphia for a couple of days since the house was such a mess and we didn't really need to be there when it was being cleaned or drying anyway.

Ellington LOVED having the furniture rearranged!  
(Quick story about the crocs she is wearing.... I HATE crocs.  Like, I really really hate them.  A sweet friend gave these to us because they didn't fit her little girl and Ellington LOVES them because she can take them on and off all by herself.  So, these are Ellington's "house" shoes and she can only wear them at home. :)  Haha...she would love the shoes I hate the most.)

Ellington loved having open space so much that we decided to leave it open for one more day.  She has had a blast having so much room to run and play in!

The carpet looks great and I am SO THRILLED to finally have it done! I don't know why we ever waited so long!

At the Lake

Last weekend we met Robert's whole family at Pickwick Lake.  We hadn't been in a few years and we were excited to take Ellington this time!  We arrived about an hour and a half before anyone else, so we did a little exploring before everyone got there!  We walked down to the water to check out some boats.  Ellington loved it!

Here's the cabin we stayed in!

We had so much fun once everyone got there!  Ellington especially enjoyed being thrown on the couch by Daniel. :)

Ellington loved playing with Connor and Brody!

After pizza on Friday night we all played Bingo!

Ellington actually won the first round!  Ha!  She loves the Cookie Monster that she won as her prize.  It's her new favorite bath toy!

This was our first time to spend a lot of time around Laura and Daniel's new dog, May.  Ellington was not so sure of May AT ALL!  She mostly wanted me to hold her if May was around. The picture below was one of the few times she wasn't upset!  She was brushing the dog's hair with Laura's Bingo prize...a pumice stone!

On Saturday morning we went to a nearby park.  

Saturday afternoon everyone, except for me, went on a boat ride.  I get TERRIBLY motion sick so I knew it wasn't a good idea for me to go.  Laura took some GREAT pictures and e-mailed them to me, but I am having trouble figuring out how to store them somewhere that I can then access them for the blog.  I feel like it shouldn't be so hard to do, but I am having trouble with it!  Anyway, once I get it figured out I will post some boating pictures because they are precious!

While everyone was gone Saturday afternoon I started feeling a migraine coming on and it just kept getting worse.  I haven't had one since January so it was kind of out of nowhere. (I feel like such a middle age boring person talking about migraines and motion sickness...I am so lame sometimes!)  We left after supper on Saturday night about 7:30 (Robert had to be back at church on Sunday morning for the position that he serves in) and the drive home was HORRIBLE.  I felt so so so sick.  Thankfully, Ellington was a doll baby.  She chatted to herself for about 30 or 45 minutes and then fell asleep!

We had a great weekend with everyone at the lake and look forward to doing it again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bulldog Baby

I haven't been the best blogger lately. I have found that I blog in waves. Sometimes I post a bunch and then I go forever and don't do anything!  Ellington has been keeping us busy lately so I guess that's my excuse. :)

The pictures today are from about a week and a half ago when we played Auburn.  Ellington was set with her cheerleader doll, cowbell, and snack. :)  She LOVES MSU football.  It's truly hysterical.  No one tell her that we live in Starkville and that going to a game is totally within the realm of possibility.  I don't know how people take little kids to games.  That is not my idea of fun!

One of my favorite things when I was a kid was that if MSU was playing (football or basketball) during a mealtime that we got to eat in the living room.  We NEVER got to eat in the living room so this was a really big deal!  I decided to let Ellington eat her lunch in the living room during the game and she thought it was the best thing ever! :)

More posts soon....I promise! ;)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Banner

While I was creating my new blog banner this morning I realized that I should share the tutorial with all of YOU in case you are interested!  I am not at all computer savvy.  In fact, I still have no idea how to download anything on an ipod.  I am pretty positive I am one of the very few 20 somethings who doesn't know how to do that.  Anyway, the amazing tutorial I use for making my own blog banners is found at one of my favorite blogs, Clover Lane.  You can find the step by step directions here.  It's easy peasy!  The possibilities are endless.  The best part is that it is FREE!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Because She's Cute

This post mostly consists of pictures of Ellington because I couldn't narrow them down. :)  She's really just that cute!  We had a great Thursday!  We started off the day with a long stroll.  Unfortunately, little miss wasn't really into it and wanted to "go home" the whole time.  We've got to work on her strolling longevity because I plan on doing a lot of it this fall!  After strolling we went to the park.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  We stayed for over an hour, but would have stayed longer if we weren't running into lunch time!  Thursday afternoon we had her 6 month post tube surgery check up and the tubes are doing just great!  We didn't have to wait AT ALL at the doctor's office...pretty amazing.  Thursday evening we went to eat on campus at the Union so that we could play outside some too!  We are LOVING this weather.

Rocking at the Union.

I think she was dreaming of being a big kid at college, but I myself am in NO HURRY for that. :)

When we got home we decided to just stay outside until bedtime :)

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Falling and Walking

Today we returned to school after having 5 days off.  When you only work M-W and you have a Monday holiday...well, you have a SUPER long weekend. :)  We enjoyed it immensely, but we had to get back to it today.  Ellington and I both had great days.....until we came home.  Every day before nap (and bed) I read to E, rock, sing, and then lay her down.  Same routine every time.  Today when I went to lay her down she started crying hysterically and saying "rock rock" so we went back to the chair and I rocked her to sleep.  No big deal, we've done this before.  I have always been able to just lay her down and leave, even though she always wakes up when I lay her down.  Well, she started SCREAMING.  Not just crying....this horrible horrible scream.  I couldn't calm her down and I didn't know what else to do than try to let her work it out.  About 1 minute later I hear a horrible "thud" and before I could even process it she was banging on her door.  She climbed over the rail and FELL OUT OF HER CRIB.  Oh my word.  She has NEVER attempted to climb out.  She doesn't even climb on our furniture!!!  She has never gotten on our couch or kitchen chair alone.  SHE DOESN'T CLIMB.  I had no reason to ever think I needed to fully lower the bed.  Until today.  I rocked her back to sleep and when I tried to lay her down she started screaming again.  Thankfully, Robert was at home.  Usually he's still sleeping at that time of day but since E's bedroom and our bedroom are right next to each other he clearly wasn't sleeping through all of the screaming!  Robert went in and rocked her and she let him lay her down.  THANK GOODNESS.  I have no idea what I would have done.  After sleeping about an hour she woke up screaming.  I went in her room and she fell right asleep on me.  I have no idea what in the world was going on!  I hope it was just a random event and not the start of a new habit.  She went down fine at bedtime tonight, but bedtime has always been much easier anyway.  We'll see how it goes tomorrow!

All of that to say, lowering Ellington's crib was on the TOP of Robert's to-do list this afternoon!

Ellington enjoyed jumping on her mattress!

The bed is as low as it will go now.  I am hoping this works for awhile longer.  I have NO desire to move her to a big girl bed right now!

By far the BEST part of today was the cooler temperatures.  Ya'll, I could NOT handle 100+ degrees one more day.  It was making me crazy!  It was totally effecting my mood and my ability to accomplish anything!  This weather is soooooo welcomed at our house.  I was finally able to stroll outside again!  Hooray!!!  I love strolling and we hadn't been in forever.  It was so nice getting my exercise in this evening rather than doing it on the treadmill after I put E to bed!  Although, now my little partner is able to carry conversations...this makes working out MUCH harder! :)  She kept trying to talk and ask questions and I could literally barely speak!  Her favorite question was, "What is that?"  

So, that was our day.  If your child ever fell out of their crib, leave me a comment telling me that it is totally normal. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

We were so happy to be able to all be home together today!  It was even better because it was dark and rainy all day long!  We had a slow morning and stayed in our pjs.  Ellington is loving "playing letters" these days!  It keeps her busy for quite awhile.

Robert got a great treat when he found out that they were going to build a Buffalo Wild Wings in Starkville.  This is one of his favorite restaurants and I don't think he ever dreamed there would be one in our little town!  It opened up in August about the same time school started so we hadn't been yet because we knew it would be packed with students.  Since it was a holiday (meaning most students are out of town) and pouring down rain, we thought lunch today would be the perfect time to go!  I must admit, I don't really care for the restaurant, but I am happy for Robert and wanted to be there for his first time. :)

And here was our rain guage when we got home from lunch!  It is even closer to being full right now.

After Ellington's nap this afternoon we finally got to go meet sweet Wade!  Our friends (and small group leaders), Todd and Stacie had Wade a couple of weeks ago.  Ellington had the stomach virus when he was born so we stayed away. :)  I was so happy to get to hold this sweet guy today!

We enjoyed the day together and are looking forward to FALL!!!