31 August 2010

The Happiness Project : a collection of happiness

I couldn't pick just ONE picture that brings me happiness. There's just too many to count.

So, here are just a few of the things and people that make me happy.

Oh, and if I could put a picture of listening to Christmas music in September I would.


30 August 2010

This weekend we had a Missions Festival at church and it was remarkable.
A few of the missionaries our church supports came from all over and we were able to hear about what they are doing and celebrate God's work around the world. It truly was both an encouraging and challenging event.

I could go on for hours about the heart for missions and the serious sacrifice and calling that it is. It's so amazing to watch people-families, singles and older generations-leave all that they have and own for Christ and His call on their lives.

We were also so lucky to have Kate's parents stay with us for a few days. It was surreal to have them in our home (without Kate. She was so missed) but it was really great to hear their stories and adventures from all over the world. (ps. here is one of their awesome websites)

I'm posting an incredible sermon our Pastor (who also happens to be my man) gave, along with a few of the missionaries, on Sunday. God's Spirit spoke through those people sharing their lives and all the glory goes to Him. Give a listen for yourself...

These pictures only touch on a moment where some were all together and were able to share what God has laid on their hearts and the work that they do. It was such an honor and privilege to be able to meet with them and come alongside them as the Body.

In other news, this is how Jack spent a rainy afternoon. Getting tangled in a blanket (and getting frustrated when the blanket nearly swallowed him.) Such simple joys.

26 August 2010

You Capture - Outside

Taking pictures of outside things is kind of difficult for me. Unlike most of the world, summers in Arizona are not delightful (though to some they are!) but not for me. Growing up in the Midwest I am used to humid summers that are hot (but short) and by the end of August you begin to see the sun setting earlier, the evenings becoming cooler and the smell of autumn in the air. I miss that. A lot. Arizona's summer lasts until October (mid-October last year!) and the heat just continues. Prescott's weather 100,000,000 (etc) times better than Phoenix, but it's still the desert and it's still hot. The-sun-bakes-on-the-skin kind of hot. All that to say, I don't get outside much and when we do it's after 6pm when it is much, much more enjoyable. That being said, I made a special trip just for these pictures (and most of them I drove to the location rather than enjoying the walk. I'll be enjoying it in late October!)

The first few are of our lovely neighborhood (one of the many reasons we love life out here in Williamson.) There's this spot on our walks that is just breathtaking. We mostly see it as the sun is setting, but here it is...during a (very) hot summer day.

Jack enjoying his stroller (and it's wheels!) He could have played all day out there.

Jack's little curly toes that I could munch on daily. How quickly they've grown. Soon they'll be fitting into tennis shoes and hitting a soccer ball and dancing.

25 August 2010

Jack had to get his blood drawn today. I have been putting it off for about a month and a half now (the doctor said no rush...so I didn't rush. Am I a horrible mom? Who wants to get their 9 month old's blood drawn any way?) I thought I was totally prepared. I really don't mind getting my blood drawn and have done it so many times it's no big deal. For some inexperienced and ignorant reason I thought they would prick his heel or something. Well, they didn't. The draw called for two nurses. They both looked a little nervous and the dude said, "It looks like he's about to cry any second." What?

So, I put on my brave-mom face, but my insides were swimming with goldfish and started to get that queasy feeling. Suddenly, my palms were sweaty and I was not the typical "calm-mom" that I was supposed to be. No way.

I laughed nervously and explained to the nurse that this was his first blood draw and I don't think I could be one of those moms who holds it together while her kid is spewing his guts everywhere (thank You Jesus that hasn't happened yet.) She smiled as if it was totally normal and told me he would be fine.

I did my best to distract Jack with whatever I could find and the nurse warned me again, "hold his arm down." and I did. I watched them insert a tiny needle into his tiny arm and my little guy was a champ. Except for, in typical Jack fashion, he did not like someone holding him so tightly. He turned apple red trying to break free from their grip, but without so much as a whine. That-aboy, Jack! As my dad always says, "spit on it and growl!"

...and growl he did. All the way to Taco Don's (THE best Mexican restaurant in all of Prescott.) with his dad. It was delightful!

and I made it...through my first blood-draw-needle-invasion. Probably not my last.

24 August 2010

My man appreciates cars...(check out his incredible review here) I mean, he really, really LOVES them. Not just cars (fyi: one thing I quickly learned when we got married. You do not refer to an SUV or truck as a car. Who knew? jk.)

But "the other woman" in our lives (just kidding, again.) is his (not) brand new (but new to us) 1995 Toyota Land cruiser. John can be found at different times of the day disappearing into the garage just to "look at something" or "check something" or take my vinegar Windex and clean out the inside of the beast. I giggle every time. We gotta have our dreams, right? Well, John's dream came true this last weekend. We welcomed the Landcruiser (dirt, grime and all)beast into our lives. We are hoping for many, many adventures in this thing in the future. Apparently, you can buy a camper that goes on top of the Landcruiser. In case you run into bears, right? To which John replies, "That's it! We should take to the Yellowstone and camp out!" With a 9 month old?

No thanks. Ask me again in 10 years. jk. I'd follow John (and the Landcruisy) anywhere.

Yesterday we went to Phoenix on a whim for mom's birthday + an excuse for a quick road trip with some of our friends. They bought an suv and we got some Jamba Juice. Man, I miss Jamba juice up here in the mountains.

And why is it on the days that you really need to get things done (I mean it this time, hehe.) does my boy have a fussy day? Running nose and all. Poor bud.

21 August 2010

Another reason I am loving summer? Seeing cousins who I don't see nearly enough.

Time with cousins is almost as magical as Christmas. Seriously. We share so much (loud) laughter, enjoy good food and have plenty of jokes and stories to share. Every visit is a treasure, but all of us know that time is merely a gift and it's running with or without us. I wish I could grab hold of some moments and look at them for a while. Maybe step into them (like in Mary Poppins) and enjoy them for an afternoon.

Here are a few I would jump into if I could...

Abbie and I perfecting our LOST pose. It was raining in the desert and we all went racing through it. This picture I wouldn't mind spending a few hours in...I'll be back in time to feed Jack dinner.

LOST Season post 1 pre-season 2

These are my dear cousins Kathryn and Mary (and my sister Maggie is in the picture below.) We grew up together. We played Little Women (or any other story we made up) all the time and spent afternoons racing around the house in dress up clothes and using dramatic accents. They were my childhood playmates and this weekend I was able to enjoy their kindred spirits once again. These memories I hold so dear.

I know...nice turtleneck, right?

My cousin Arica and I making a joke about something. Or, er, maybe I'm the joke.

I think this was an attempt at an "awkward picture." We took about 20 of these before the night was up. I'm pretty sure we took the pictures just so we could laugh obnoxiously loud during someones wedding shower. Things were so different then. We were just kids. Half of the life we've experienced now wasn't even fathomable then.

Sweet cousins (and my sister) There's nothing quite like that. This was post-Ukraine, pre-John (and Jack.) It's incredible to remember.
This weekend I spent time with a few of my cousins. A couple of them were in vacationing in Phoenix and had Jack and I met the trip down there to see them.

At the end of the evening last night my cousin Abbie (my co-LOST pose cousin) and I were talking (way past both of our normal bedtimes) and there was a pause in the conversation. We kind of sighed and I'm pretty sure both of us were wishing for carefree summer nights that consisted of nothing more than a dip in the pool, eating left over pie and talking late into the night. Though our present lives are incredible blessings, sometimes it's just fun to remember and wish for those days...and that our kids will be blessed to enjoy such days as well.

19 August 2010

You Capture - In The Kitchen

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen...however, unfortunately I don't have good lighting in my kitchen. Oh well...you do what you can, though.

Our very vintage stove. I can't seem to part with it.

The kitchen is probably one of Jack's favorite places to play. He loves to explore everything (obviously, like most 9 months olds, not just the kitchen.) This week it was the light on the oven. If I don't find him turning the light off and on on the oven than I find him standing by the dishwasher, constantly trying to reach for silverware. If he's not there, than he's digging in drawers and removing the contents of them all over the floor.

This was post sip of the water and mid dribble out of the mouth. silly guy.

There's something so beautiful and freeing about watching him explore. It's like he reacts to every impulse that he has. He has his boundaries (one of them being the laundry room/water heater) but he often doesn't even bother going near them. He loves the little things and could go back and forth between them for a good hour. I wish I could be that free, sometimes. To discover something that to the average eye aren't interesting, but in truth they are.

It also reminds me to enjoy the little things in life. To savor every time the "light turns on in the stove" ie those moments with Jesus when things are sort of illuminated. Like the smell of desert rain, the orangesicle colored sunsets and snuggling with my hubby for no reason other than it's been a long, hard day and we're ready to rest. Does the bathroom need cleaning? Of course. Is dinner ready? No way. But was there that freeing moment when Jesus sent that wave of peace through the breeze in the window? I pray I'm still enough to see and feel it.

17 August 2010

the sound of thunder

This is kind of what it looks like outside of my window. I didn't take the picture-
unfortunately--I can't quite capture the sky. It's beautiful.

There's what I got...

Jack has officially discovered toilet paper. I watched as he unraveled the paper, one sheet at a time. He talks to it, eats a little bit of it and is completely and entirely obsessed with it. If that's what it takes for me to be able to do my hair, makeup and make the bed all in one morning than so be it. I will buy him 10,000 rolls of toilet paper! (Not really, we have a septic tank. Sorry kid.)

Last night we went for a walk after dinner (something we try to do most nights.) It's getting darker earlier and the sky looked like cotton candy (purple and pink, my favorite.) Jack sat in the stroller and didn't make a peep the entire time. He loves being outside. He's a true Peter Pan at heart. Maybe he'll want to grow up more than his mom did/does. The best part? He kind of poops out when he gets home often looking like this.

I need to go enjoy the storm, my boy and lunch. Grilled cheese, anyone?

12 August 2010

You Capture - Everyday Things

Jack's favorite perch--looking out the window.

His chuckle-laugh. Gets me every time.

This is Jack's morning outfit--courtesy of daddy.

I love this man more every day. He's incredible and puts up with me and my craziness.

Sleepy boy and content mama.

Jack getting tired and John happy as ever. If it were up to him, I think John would spend every day outdoors.

A family of three. Such an adventure.

The North Orchard they call it. Greg and I used to create endless stories in this field and around it. It's truly from Heaven.

My cousin Greg and Erin's baby boy Noah. So, so precious. I missed that baby stage for a few minutes when I saw him. Not quite enough to be ready for another, though.

The proud, loving (and slightly sleep deprived) parents. Greg and I grew up together and were always really close (along with other partners-in-crime-cousins) It was so magical to be with him after years of talking and hoping our kids could grow up near each other. We hope they can create as many adventures as we did.

Noah weighs almost as much as Jack but is six months younger!

Little did I know that this great Moby wrap would give me a two day headache from too much pressure on my shoulders. Jack seemed to enjoy it though. And I must admit I love wearing him that close.

Noah getting some Jack-love. Jack loves giving kisses.

Father and son. Can those blue eyes seriously get any bluer?

Jack and I went to Sedona with my parents for a couple of days. It was beautiful and full of afternoon monsoons.

G-ma and Jackboy in the water.

G-pa and G-ma with Jack. Note him clinging to his stroller. I'm not sure why he does this.

Summer is nearing to a close. Most of the time I dread August. It's typically hot and just seems to be a really long month. However, this year I really am going to miss the summer. Having a crawling boy is MUCH easier than being 6 months pregnant and weighing waaay to much to be comfortable. I wouldn't mind if summer lasted a few more months this year. Only to allow a few extra months for autumn as well.
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