Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Happy Heart

** Just a sidenote: I started writing this post last week and somehow part of what I'd written got lost before I could publish the entry. Not cool. So to keep with my theme of a "happy heart," I decided to wait to finish it until I was not quite so annoyed with blogger.

There are many things that make me happy. Too many to count really. Lately, however, I feel like God has placed an abundance of these things in my life and I would like to share some of them with you.

First of all, it's definitely fall! Break out the cinnamon candles and put some chili in the crockpot! Very few things make me smile more than asking Luke if he would like to sleep with our windows open. And that's exactly what we did last night. It. was. great! The wind was blowing through the trees, and I got to come home from Bible study and snuggle with my already sleeping husband. Ok, the fact that he was already sleeping WASN'T so great, but you take what you can get right?!

This brings me to the next thing that makes me happy and that's laughing. Shocker, I know! This morning around 4:30 I was jolted awake by the sound of my husband freaking out and Savannah's tags jingling as she pranced back into our bedroom from the family room. (This may be a slight exaggeration, but I can't be held responsible for my interpretation of the happenings in our bedroom that early in the morning) ANYWAYS, once I realized that everything was fine, I snuggled back down under the covers and went back to sleep. Remember, we were sleeping with our windows open, which apparently acts like a drug for me and keeps me from being super alert when there's a bunch of commotion going on around me. I didn't think much of this early morning excitement until I asked Luke how he slept.

"Good until your dog freaked out and almost gave me a heart attack!"

So this is when I realized that maybe I didn't quite catch the gist of the situation when I barely cracked my eyes open to make sure no one was seriously injured and that Luke wasn't ACTUALLY having a heart attack in bed beside me.

"Why? What happend?"

"Oh, I don't know. Your dog barked, wrestled with herself, and took off into the family room. She then calmly walked back in and over to her bed like nothing happend."

At this point, I am laughing loudly and probably pretty obnoxiously too since I love it when Savannah does something crazy and I get to hear Luke's version of it later. In response to my laughter, Luke says

"Yeah. I'd think it was pretty funny too if she'd done something like that at a normal hour!"

"Well, I think she has bad dreams sometimes."

"That's fine if she has bad dreams as long as it doesn't cause me to have nightmares about having a heart attack in my bed."

Thank you, Savannah, for keeping my husband on his toes and giving me something to laugh at today!

The other very exciting thing that makes me happy is the fact that come January, my Bible study will be doing the new Beth Moore study on Esther. This was always my favorite story in the Bible growing up because what little girl doesn't love a story about an ordinary woman becoming a queen?! Even better is the phrase of words next to the title on the front cover of the workbook, which is "it's tough being a woman." Why, yes. Yes it is! I. can't. wait. But don't worry, we'll be reading Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible until we start the Esther study. This is sort of like the christian version of Girls Gone Wild and I'm super pumped! It's no secret to those that know me well that I'm kind of a goody two shoes and ultra responsible. I don't know. Maybe it's an "oldest sibling" thing. Either way, I'm really looking forward to doing a little vicarious living through this book and learn some valuable lessons at the same time.

Finally, folks, it's about 2 months until Christmas and that makes me REALLY happy. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year in my opinion! I love the decorations, the fun traditions, and buying gifts for friends and family. But most of all, I love the music! Luke, on the other hand, is not so much a fan of the tunes of Christmas. He is also not a fan of my habit of playing said music throughout the month of December. For this reason, I am refusing to allow myself to start the season a little early by playing some of my favorite Christmas CDs in October. Well, that and the fact that I'm not quite sure which box I put them in this year. Marriage is all about compromising, right?! But come December, "Joy to the World" and "Jingle Bells" will be some of the anthems of the Keiffer house whether Luke likes it or not! I am also looking forward to starting some new traditions in my little family. I really want to start teaching Austin at an early age the real reason for Christmas.

Well, that just about does it for now. Hope you all are having a great week and finding lots of reasons to be happy today. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Life As Usual

It's amazing what some rest and good drugs can do. I am happy to report that Austin is feeling much better. We're still waiting for his appetite to be back to normal, but he is sleeping better and acting more like his silly self. Just in case you don't believe me, here's some proof:

I spent Friday night preparing for a baby shower with some friends while Luke and Austin had "guys night." This was one of the pictures taken while I was gone. I sure am glad that Austin wants to be just like his daddy! You'll notice the lack of clothing which is how he spent most of last week. However, I think the highlight of his weekend was spending Saturday with Gigi and Papa B. As for Luke and I, well, we stayed pretty busy while our little man was away. My time was spent throwing a shower for a good friend and Luke spent the day doing yardwork. Here's just a glimpse of what he got done:

You're probably thinking that you have no idea what the difference is. I'll be happy to tell you and brag on my husband a little bit. We now have a rock border around the front (but empty) flower bed and are missing a little tree. He did some work in the backyard too. Slowly but surely we are making progress, and one day no one will be able to call our yard "hell's little half acre."

I'm also feeling better about life. I still have some things to work on thanks to my little memo from God last week, but it helps to have things back in perspective. It's going to be a busy week so I'm glad my little helper is on the mend and ready to be my buddy again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Can Do All Things...

...through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 These last couple of days have been rough. Austin hasn't been his usual self since this weekend. We thought it was just a cold and that he would be on the mend soon. Boy were we wrong! Yesterday he had a hard time sleeping and being comfortable. Not to mention the fact that he woke up with a high fever that morning. I always start to worry when he runs a temperature because I'm a mom and that's just what we do. And then the agony of whether or not I should take him to the doctor sets in. I kept an eye on him all day and started the routine of advil every 6-8 hours. While there were definitely some happy moments, (emphasis on moments) he was really cranky all day and at times inconsolable. I made an executive decision later that afternoon and called the doctor. An early morning appointment was music to my ears. That evening Luke and I decided to take shifts during the night to monitor his fever and keep him as comfortable as possible. It went ok, but nothing makes my heart ache more than when I can do nothing for my son when he's in pain and upset.

The doctor visit went well thanks to my mom who came along to help keep Austin happy. He has an ear infection and tonsilitis...YUCK! The good news is that he can take medicine that will help him feel better quickly. I'm extremely happy to report that he is taking a nap and I'm hoping the gentle sound of the rain will keep him relaxed.

But no matter what, I can do ALL things through Christ.

On top of this stressful situation, I've been struggling these last few days with something that I've had a hard time giving over to God completely. I've begun to realize that fear has become a stronghold in my life. Fear that something will happen to my family. Fear of the unknown. The list goes on, and I'm weary of fighting this battle. I KNOW that God has brought me so far in my life. He has taught me many lessons and walked me through even more valleys. I have no doubt that He won't leave me hanging here, but I must learn to trust His perfect plan even if it is different from mine. And that's something that has never come easy to me.

So I remind myself, I can do ALL things through Christ.

It seems that the older I get the more I realize that I can do nothing by my own strength. I must rely on my Jesus to get me through each day, each hour, and each second. For this reason, I give Him all my praise in this moment because He has whispered to my heart, "You just call my name, Aimee, and I'll be there."

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

It's more than just a verse to me. It's a promise. A reminder. A battle cry to Satan that he will not win because Jesus is on my side. I can conquer my fears and face each day with supernatural strength because nothing is impossible for God.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Quick Hello!

While Austin is napping, I thought I'd post a quick entry. Sorry, folks, no pictures today. :( My parents arrived home safely last night so I have officially returned the title of "Mom to a Teenager" back to my own mom. They had a great time and we sure are happy to have them back! We'll be meeting up with them for dinner tonight. Let's be honest. I'm sure they'll be glad to visit with Luke and I but MOST of their attention will be directed towards a certain one year old that I know. ;)

My quest for healthy living is going well. I just did a Pilates Sculpt routine that I taped on our U-verse. I love that there is a channel solely dedicated to exercise! It makes it a little easier to keep things interesting. I've started taping "All Star Workouts" everyday like a big dork, but hey, it's worth it just to have something new to do.

We leave for Dallas in approximately 2 days and I am so unmotivated to get things in order at my house before we head out. I need to finish laundry, do some cleaning, pack our things, and make sure we have everything we need for Austin. I would say that at least I'll have the drive up to relax before a busy weekend but that would be lying. You see, my son doesn't exactly share my love for relaxing on a road trip. He would rather be protesting very loudly from his carseat and sharing with us his disgust for a set of parents that make him sit in one place for 4 hours. Here's hoping that part of that time will be spent taking a nap and then maybe I can distract him with a snack and a movie. Does anyone know if they sell Wonder Pets on DVD?!

Well that just about does it for my short post. I'm off to clean out my pantry so I can take some stuff for the Food Bank to Bible study tonight. Have a fabulous day and enjoy this lovely fall weather!! :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life These Days

In case you didn't notice, I changed my background and I LOVE it!! I also figured out how to add music. Sometimes I surprise myself. I am super pumped about the new look and sound, and I hope it makes your reading experience even more fun. :) Now on to more important things.

It's no secret that my family and I love to laugh! I am a firm believer that laughter IS the best medicine, and I am blessed to have many people in my life that prove that point on a regular basis. With that in mind, I thought I'd post a few things that made me laugh this week.

So just this morning I was doing a little reading on one of my favorite blogs and had the pleasure of discovering this little story. Isn't it great to hear how God can use little people to get our attention and make us focus on the more important things in life? Of course this was not the only blog entry that made me laugh. Here's something else for your viewing pleasure. Here's why this made me laugh. First of all, I too have tried a neti pot during a desperate time in my life. And I, like Curtis, lost my concentration and almost lost my dinner in my bathroom sink. This little contraption failed to change my life for the better. I don't know. Maybe I'm just not coordinated enough to reap the full benefits of draining your nose through a teapot. Congratulations to all of you who are talented and are living a changed life due to the neti pot. If it wasn't weird, I would ask you to come over and give me a private lesson.

It goes without saying that my son and husband are also a frequent source of laughter in my life. So I was not surprised when our family lunch on Saturday resulted in some good laughs on my part. As we were getting in the car, Luke said something sarcastic to me and I quickly replied with, "It's no secret that I run this show around here." I'm not really sure what we were discussing. All I remember is his quick-witted reply back to me. He said, "Yeah. You keep saying that and we'll just call it business. as. usual." Haha! It was probably more funny at the time but it sure did make me laugh. The other thing that made me laugh at lunch was my son! We decided on bbq for lunch, and after ordering and finding a table, I pulled out the bib that came with his highchair. When you scroll down you'll understand why I had to take a picture.

I couldn't contain my laughter when I put this on Austin and looked down to see a little head on top of a huge bib with big letters on the front. Needless to say, he didn't keep that thing on long at all. Can't say that I blame him. I wouldn't be caught dead with a huge bib on me that said something like "finger lickin', lip smackin' bodacious bbq" either.

However, the straw we gave him at the end to keep him happy was a completely different story. He loves straws and loves it even more when you feed him some of your drink from one. I was a little disturbed, though, to look over and see him using it as a ridiculously long cigarette. Apparently, though, I wasn't disturbed enough to keep myself from taking his picture. You stay classy, Austin Keiffer!

And speaking of Austin, I took a couple of pictures while we were playing the other day. These are 2 of his favorite toys. His door and his firetruck. However, neither of these outdo any kind of ball or "gall" as he calls them. If he's sad or mad all you have to do is hand him a ball and his mood changes instantly. It's great!

In other news, I was officially the mom of a teenager this last week. My sister Claire stayed with Luke and I while my parents were out of town on vacation. Remember when I said she was super busy? Well, she still is. And it makes me tired. It's been fun, though. We've loved having her here...when she was here. I meant to get a picture of us this week but didn't get the chance. So here's my favorite of us instead. :)

Finally, I am SUPER excited about a couple of trips Luke and I will be making. One with Austin and one without. This weekend we're going back up to Dallas to hang out with some of our Tulsa friends. We'll also be going to the TU vs SMU game. I can't wait. We haven't seen these people since we moved almost a year ago. Also, Luke and I will be going up to Columbus to visit these two, sans Austin.

We are SO excited! I know I will miss Austin terribly but it will be so nice to take a little trip with my husband the way we used to...just the 2 of us. Plus, it will be really nice to spend a little time with Jared and Lindsay. I will add that booking the flights was a little difficult, and I won't even go into what I think about their new policy of charging $15 per bag PER FLIGHT. If you change planes you would have to pay a total of $30 for just one bag! RIDICULOUS!! Needless to say, Luke is not a fan, so much so that he asked I be packed 2 weeks in advance in order to ship my things to Ohio. Are. You. Kidding. Me?! I told him I did not want to talk about it that night because I was so excited about our trip. Translation: Ruin my mood and you get to sleep in Savannah's dogloo! He took the hint. Have a I mentioned that my husband is incredibly smart?! Obviously he was joking about shipping my stuff, but what he was not joking about was carrying our bags on instead of checking them. This is stressing me out just a little since I'm not the lightest of packers. Oh well. A little challenge never hurt anyone and hopefully I'll rise to the occasion.

Finally, I've decided to get serious about working out at least every other day. I'm really ready to shed these last few pounds of the baby weight. I'm ashamed to admit that it's taken me this long! Really, there's just no excuse. I've been convicted lately about respecting my body and remembering that it's the temple of God. Eating right and staying active seems to have so many benefits for me. Not to mention the fact that it's amazing how much of an automatic self-esteem boost it is. On that note, I came across this blog today. sidenote: I'm sure you've noticed by now that I have a slight obsession with blog reading. Hi my name is Aimee and I'm addicted to blogstalking. Anyways, it's not a fitness blog, but what I loved is that she does "Fitness Friday" entries. I found some of these entries to be a challenge to get motivated and make this area more of a priority. Besides reaching my goal weight, I really want Austin to learn at an early age how important it is to eat right and take care of the body God has given us. To sum it up, I'm praying for self-discipline and a desire to get some exercise in some way every day.

Well, that just about does it for the details on life these days. Hope you all are having a great start to the week! I know I'm looking forward to what God has in store for the Keiffer family this week and I hope you are anxiously awaiting His blessings in your own life for the week. Happy Monday. :)