Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beth Moore and a Baby!

It is blissfully quiet in my house right now because Austin is taking his ONE nap for the day. So I thought I would take this opportunity to write about one of the most encouraging experiences I've had in a while. This last weekend I got to go to my first Beth Moore conference. It was AMAZING! She is so gifted and truly allows the Lord to speak through her. How could anyone not leave completely blessed and fired up about Jesus?! Anyways, I would like to do a Beth Moore Highlights post because it was so good and encouraging, but I don't think that is going to be on the agenda for this afternoon.

Basically her message was about our inheritance and being heirs of Christ and co-heirs with Jesus. Seriously, y'all, there were so many great things that she said that I could not possibly fit them all in one post. I just love, love, love how she always makes AT LEAST one point that I totally didn't expect but makes perfect sense. It was just great and I can't wait to go to another one!

On another completely different topic, my friend Ginger had her baby the very night we were at Beth Moore. That alone should mean that little Harper is destined for greatness! :) After the conference and a very good lunch at Chuy's, we all headed over to the hospital to meet the new Bailey. Can I just tell you that it brought back so many great memories?! Who knew that Austin used to be that tiny? We didn't stay long but I'm pretty sure we all really enjoyed getting to see the new parents in action and meet a sweet, sweet baby girl.

This weekend me and my little family are headed up to the Dallas area to enjoy some time with Luke's family at their new lakehouse. I'm really excited to see everyone but a little nervous since we're driving. Why would I be nervous about driving you ask? Well, let's just say this is the longest Austin will have to be in his carseat seeing as how we've always flown up there. If my next blog entry comes from a mental institution, you'll know why! ;) Seriously, though, I think Luke and I have a plan. Needless to say, this week has been FILLED with cleaning and laundering in an effort to come home to a clean house and so that my husband will have clean underwear to take on our trip. But, lucky for me, there is still room in this busy schedule for a little of God's humor. Allow me to recap the week and fill you in on something that stays completely consistent in my life...

1) Almost BITING it at the Beth Moore conference. That's right I almost outdid my fall on the first day of college by falling in front of 10,000 women. Ok, so maybe they wouldn't have all seen, but enough would have for it to be COMPLETELY embarrassing!

2) When asked by my lovely husband, "What does mommy do?" Austin promply replies with the sound a pig makes. You read right. My son basically just called me fat! :)

3) Austin has learned how to tickle us. It goes without saying that this is super cute, but what makes it funny is that he will tickle ANYTHING... your leg, your arm, the tray at McDonalds. He doesn't discriminate!

4) And for those of us with children, how cool is it when they come behind you and basically undo everything you've worked hard to accomplish?! Ummm, it's not. It's right up there with Austin almost pulling my gaucho pants down while pulling himself up on my leg.

And my favorite highlight of the week:
5) Hearing Austin over the monitor saying "good girl" as he woke up this morning. Luke and I think he was trying to call for Savannah to come get him out of bed. I love it! Almost as much as I love him...

Life is never dull around our house and I sure am thankful for that. After all, laughing is one of my favorite activities and supposedly it burns lots of calories. And since Austin seems to think I make the sound of a pig, it's a good thing we do alot of laughing around here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life Lately

As I sit here on my couch, enjoying the fragrance a home cooked meal has left behind, I am amazed at how life is still changing here at the Keiffer house. Our little man is growing up so quickly! He is so close to walking but still knows he can get places faster by crawling. While I can't wait for him to be able to walk beside me and hold my hand, I also know that my life is going to change drastically once he can walk. So I'm savoring these last few days of crawling. He's gotten brave a couple of times and taken a couple of tiny steps on his own but nothing major...YET!

He is also transitioning down to one nap! Actually, I guess I should say that we're BOTH transitioning. I had prepared myself to start doing this at 15 months. Austin, however, had other plans. Still the positive side to this is that I can now run all my errands in the morning and get there when the stores open instead of fighting traffic and heat in the middle of the day!

I'm also pretty sure that he is going through a growth spurt. I knew this was coming since he had slowed down some for a little while, but I have been blown away by how much this kid can eat lately! The other night we went to dinner with Luke's mom and brother Josh and Austin would have eaten the table if we'd let him. Long after we had all finished our meals plus dessert he was still making his "I want more food" noise. This noise is cute the first 2 minutes but quickly grows old after the next several, especially if you are just trying to get a couple of bites of your own food. Luckily, Britt taught him the sign language for "more please" and he is picking up on that.

Other than all of that, we're just enjoying life as usual and I am certainly glad to be back to doing everything with my little buddy now that the wedding is over. This includes, but is not limited to, doing laundry. Luke's mom discovered that he enjoys helping with this chore and I can't wait to teach him how to fold and put away the laundry. Oh what a day that will be!! I'm smiling just thinking about it. Until then, it's pretty cute to have him help me put clothes in the washer and dryer, and just so that we have proof to show his wife one day, I had Luke take a picture of the little guy in action.

Austin is also still a huge fan of our dog Savannah. Whenever she's "napping" in her house, he looks for any chance he has to sneak into the laundry room and let her out. I think this is the main reason for his fascination with the laundry room and why he likes to help with this particular chore. Nevertheless, it's pretty clear that these 2 are becoming fast friends. One of my favorite things to see is his little bottom high tailing it to the laundry room where his first best friend awaits his help for a quick escape.

Even though I'm pretty sure that Savannah will always be Austin's favorite dog, he is still a huge fan of dogs in general, especially his stuffed dog that once belonged to Luke. It never fails to bring a smile to his face and I love to watch him hug it close.
I am so thankful for our little boy and the joy he brings to our lives! He is truly a blessing and I wouldn't change one thing about him!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wedding Week Highlights

Just in case you didn't have the where with all to read the in depth post about the wedding, I thought I'd recap some of the highlights. The good, the bad, and a little of the ugly. :)

Highlight #1:

The Lingerie Shower and Bachlorette Party. I had a blast planning every detail of this night with my sister Claire. Our goal was to make it as girly and memorable as possible. But most importantly to honor our sister and help her have a little fun before the big day! She got some great stuff and of course some wild stuff that should make her marriage a little more interesting.

Highlight #2:

The Bridesmaid Luncheon. Such sweet girls and such a special time. From lunch to the prayer we all prayed over Britt, it was so fun!

Highlight #3:

The Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. Ok, here's where some of the not so good comes in. The wedding coordinator at the church was LESS than impressive. A couple of times she rolled her eyes so far back in her head that we felt like asking, once she resumed a normal facial expression, "Welcome back. How was it?!" Seriously, if you don't like dealing with young couples and their attendants then you should SERIOUSLY consider a job change. However, despite the grinch that tried to steal the wedding happiness, we had a great time practicing and watching how excited the two of them were!

Highlight #4:

Having my car break down at the airport while picking up Andrea. My wonderful husband Luke was kind enough to leave the dinner a little early to pick up Andrea from the airport. About the time I was expecting them to pull into the parking lot, he calls to inform us that my car won't start. Are. You. Kidding. Me?! Not cool, literally and figuratively. Luckily it was just the battery and was fixed the next day just in time to finish with all the wedding festivities. I am officially apologizing on behalf of the Escape for such poor timing.

Highlight #5:

Getting my hair done with Britt. I savored every moment alone with her because I knew I wouldn't get much time for the rest of the day. It was great to spend some time together and I'm so thankful for that time and memory!

Highlight #6:

Seeing Britt in her dress. Enough said. :)

Highlight #7:

Seeing how happy Britt and Jon were. My mom said it best. Jon was so happy that he could barely stand still, and Britt's face lit up with the biggest smile whenever her groom was in sight. What a precious picture of how Jesus feels about each of His children and how we should feel about our Father!

Highlight #8:

Playing peek-a-boo with Austin right before I went down the aisle. He was in the back and caught sight of me through the glass. So precious!

Highlight #9

The unity candle song. Claire and a couple of guys from our church played and sang "Listen to Our Hearts" by Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman. It was beautiful and such a sweet time for Britt and Jon to talk and pray together.

Highlight #10

Hearing my dad thank the wedding coordinator (mentioned above) for her graciousness. Um, apparently he's great at heaping coals of kindness on others' heads!

Highlight #11

The reception. Everything was so much fun. I especially liked Andrea's comment when all the aggies sang the Aggie War Hymn. It did kind of last longer than expected and she just wanted to know if it was actually A&M The Musical! :) I love it!! I also loved dancing with Luke and getting to talk to lots of our close friends. And, of course, it was so great to watch Brittany and Jon together.

So there you have it. Some of my most favorite memories from the weekend that I will treasure always. Congratulations, Brittany and Jon! We are so happy for you both! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

From Miss to Mrs

I want to apologize in advance for the length of this post. Actually, let's be honest, I'm not sorry at all. My sister only gets married once and it was such a fabulous weekend that I can't wait to share it with all of you. First of all, Brittany looked BEAUTIFUL!! And they were the happiest I'd ever seen them! Here is the bride and groom in all their glory:

There were so many wonderful highlights of the night that it is nearly impossible to capture them all here but I will do my best to try. Britt was pretty calm throughout the day and only experienced some nerves right before she got to see Jon. However, I think she was mostly excited. Her friend (and one of the bridesmaids) gave her a cute little white hoodie that said "Sexy Little Bride" on the back. SUPER CUTE and something she really wanted. Of course, it goes without saying that she wore it on her wedding day and took it on her honeymoon as well.

We were able to get our hair done before heading to the church where we all got ready. It was so fun to be in one big room with all the girls, especially since I didn't have alot of time to do that at my wedding. Once we got her dress on, and it was definitely a team effort, Britt looked absolutely stunning! My middle sister officially looked all grown up and ready to join the "married club!" (Don't worry, Claire, time will fly and we'll all be members!) I'm so proud of both my sisters and LOVED sharing such a special day with them. :)

Britt's other bridesmaids were such a special group of ladies and I was honored to celebrate with all of them. My Granny hosted a Bridesmaid Luncheon and we were able to pray over Britt. Needless to say, it was filled with many bittersweet tears and a couple of premature Amens to prevent sobbing like children! :) At the end of the prayer I had to laugh at the trash can full of Kleenex and thank Jesus for the opportunity to witness the love these friends had for Britt.

The team effort of getting Britt in her dress was quite a hilarious sight. But thank goodness we were able to "dress" her without messing up a very pretty updo.

To Brittany and Claire: I hold both of you in my heart and pray each day that God will bless you above and beyond what you can imagine. I'm so thankful we are so close and can be a part of each others' celebrations. You two are beautiful inside and out!

I just realized that I didn't get a picture with my mom and dad, but let me just say that they looked wonderful too. Soo happy and thankful for the man God provided for our Brittany. I DID however get a picture with one of my favorite friends who also doubled as our makeup artist for the day. I have no idea if she reads this but just in case...Andrea, you are such a blast and made this weekend so fun for all of us, especially me. You kept me from being too sad as I prepared to say goodbye for a short while to my little sister. But more importantly, thank you for making sure my hair didn't end up looking like a mullet. Simply put, you are the best!!

I also want to say a big thank you to my little family for being so flexible with my ever changing schedule during Wedding Week 2008! Standing next to Britt during the ceremony, my mind drifted back to the day I married my best friend and all the blessings God has given us since then. I could not have made it through this week without Luke's encouragement and Austin's sweet smile. I love you both more than words can say and I look forward to celebrating many more happy occasions with you two (and someday three) by my side! :)

For those of you who may not know, my dad performed the ceremony. He did the same for me and it was so special! Even though he is my dad and I'm somewhat biased, I think he did an awesome job. His main message to the bride and groom was "never put a tv in the bedroom." Apparently bedrooms are for sleeping, talking, and you guessed it...SEX! Pretty good advice if you ask me. A few people asked me if it was weird having him talk about that but I have to say that it wasn't. It is such an important part of marriage and when we both asked him to do the ceremony we knew that would be something he would address. He desires that we both have the best marriage possible and are as happy as he and my mom are. And to be completely honest I was more nervous about kissing Luke with him 2 feet away than I was hearing him talk about...well, I think you remember! Although, I do not have pictures of the ceremony, I DO have pictures of the programs which looked great!

The reception was a blast!!! There were so many wonderful friends and family present to celebrate with us. Not to mention, some of Jon and Britt's friends that kept us laughing with their dance skills. It was over too soon. Before we knew it, we were throwing rose petals and waving goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Yeager. To sum it up, we partied like rock stars and I don't regret a moment of it!

This picture accurately captures the essence of Britt and Jon. Thanks for always keeping us laughing!Me and my cousin Jill. Isn't she gorgeous?!
Love these girls and the fact that we look like a tan Oreo cookie with me being the WHITE cream in the middle. :)
The first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Yeager Daddy/ Daughter dance
Stealing a dance with my sweetie.

Mother and Father of the Bride...and the best parents ever!
Uhhh, yes, Claire was dancing in flip flops.
Dre with the bride and groom

Dancing the night away
The adventure of marriage officially begins!
Claire deems the wedding and reception a definite SUCCESS!

THE cake
Love the cake topper!
The groom's cake...YUM! Family is the best
A few of the center pieces...I apologize for the incorrect angle
Despite being WIPED OUT we mustered enough energy to celebrate my cousin Aaron's birthday at La Margarita on Sunday. It was a perfect way to end the weekend. Mexican food with family and a friend. It doesn't get much better than that, folks!

The girls, sans Britt :(

Believe it or not this little guy was pretty wiped out as well
Our waiter had a fun time in this picture... Austin, however, was not amused!

Yes, it was a weekend filled with laughter, a few tears, and the making of many precious memories! I think the most important thing to mention is that the love that Brittany and Jon have for each other pales in comparison to the love they have for Jesus. And even deeper still is God's love for both of them. My sister and brother-in-law have just begun the adventure of a lifetime and I can't wait to see how God uses them together as a couple. Thank you Jesus for such a wonderful weekend. You alone know the plans You have for all of us!