Thursday, January 29, 2009
Just recently, I heard a song by David Crowder for the first time. It’s called “The Glory of it All” and it has quickly become one of my favorite songs. Here are the lyrics:
At the start He was there
He was there
In the end He'll be there
He'll be there
And after all our hands have wrought
Oh the glory of it all Is He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all
All is lost
Find Him there
Find Him there
Dawn is there
Dawn is there
And after all
Oh the glory of it all
Is He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all
Oh, He is there
With redemption from the fall
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh, the glory of it all
My favorite phrase in this song is actually not in the lyrics I looked up. Toward the end, he sings,
Things will never be the same,
We will never be the same.
If you read through the song then you already know that it is about God sending His Son to rescue us from sin and eternal separation from Him. All we have to do is accept this gift. With that said, let me tell you about the moment my life changed forever.
While doing my Beth Moore Bible study one day, I came across a question that asked,
When did your relationship with Christ begin? (I’m pretty sure I’m paraphrasing)
Immediately the date came to my mind…September 4, 1988. And then it hit me. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years! My dad had just recently been saved and my mom had rededicated her life to the Lord. Both of my parents began to talk to Brittany and I about what it meant to be a Christian. Not long after that, we asked Jesus to come into our hearts and be the Lord of our lives. My dad baptized us and we began our journey with Jesus. There were no fireworks or audible voices from Heaven. I didn’t experience any major turns from drugs or excessive drinking. There was just a child-like faith along with a desire to know this Savior that our parents were talking about. Even though I understood what it meant to be a Christian and the need for Him in my life, I had no idea that things would never be the same. I would never be the same.
My family and I became regular attendees of church and Sunday school. In addition, Brittany and I attended a private Christian school. I was surrounded by constant teaching and conversations about Christ, and it wasn’t long before some of the wonder and excitement of being a Christian wore off.
If I had to pinpoint a time in my life in which Jesus became real to me and my relationship with him began to grow, it would be my senior year in high school. Don’t get me wrong. He had always been there. I just wasn’t looking for Him in my daily life. But anyway. Back to my senior year. Everything was changing and my world was about to be drastically different with the start of college. I was overwhelmed by all of these unknowns and the insecurities that I carried around with me like multiple pieces of luggage on a long trip. Little did I know that God was orchestrating details and events in a way that would change my life. I began to put Him first and seek His will for my life. That year, the Lord brought Luke into my life and I have never been the same.
College was an amazing experience. Some of my best friends were made in Tulsa and Waco. Plus, I continued to date the love of my life. At the end of those four years, I realized that God had richly blessed me with priceless memories. Again, my world was about to change, and there were many unknowns to face. But as I sat in my apartment on graduation day, I cried because I knew that as a result of what He had given me I would never be the same.
Two weeks later, I married Luke and we began our life together. Talk about change. I had never lived with a boy, and let’s be honest, sometimes they’re just gross. We faced many challenges and hard decisions that first year, but there was never a doubt in my mind that God had placed this man in my life until “death do us part.” God gave me my perfect match. Someone that brings out the best in me and encourages me to improve on the things that the Lord reveals in my life. Our marriage has been one of the best things that has happened to me. He is an excellent example of how Christ sees His bride, the church, and because of the blessing he is in my life, I will never be the same.
Fast forward a few years to the morning we found out I was pregnant. We were shocked and very surprised. Our lives were about to change…in a BIG way. To say that I was overwhelmed and did not feel ready would be the understatement of the year. One night as I sat and worried about the future, the Lord whispered to my heart, in the form of James 1:17, that this little boy would be a gift to us. Needless to say, I clung to that verse through all the discomforts and fears that my pregnancy brought. I was not one of those people that just loved being pregnant so I was really looking forward to getting to the “gift” part of this promise! On July 17, 2007, I met our son. I took one look at him and knew that I would never be the same.
Austin has opened my eyes to the enormous sacrifice that God made for us. I cannot imagine what I would do if something happened to him, and I definitely would not give his life to save someone else. Sorry, guys. But that’s exactly what God did. Because He loved us so much, He sent His only Son to die so that we could live with Him forever. We don’t even have to work for our salvation. We simply have to make a choice to believe that He died for us and make a commitment to live for Him.
So far the path I walk with Him has been littered with regret, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. I know that we will have trouble in this life, but I am so thankful that He has given me moments and memories along the way that I treasure in my heart. I do not deserve these blessings, and I am just so humbled that He would love me enough to give me more than I could ask or imagine!
Because of Him, I will never be the same!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Today was Austin's 18 month check-up. He's doing great and was even all caught up on his shots. HOWEVER, the doctor did want him to get the second half of his flu vaccine. Say what?! Maybe I'm just not up to date on all my "mom research" but I had no idea these things come in installments of 2! In fact, I have never had the flu vaccine myself. I am blessed to say that I have yet to get the flu. Knock on wood. I have, however, had the privilege of having the stomach flu. Needless to say, he got the second half of the vaccine and was quite pleased with the bandaid they put over his "owie." We rewarded ourselves with some donut holes and a dr. pepper for mommy. I'll be having salad for lunch since I indulged myself this morning. All in all it was a great morning and I finally feel like our little man is back to his old self. :)
In honor of our favorite little boy, I've posted a couple of fun pictures we took the other day. The first is of his "smile." Remember when I told the story about what he does when you tell him to smile? If not, click here. It's totally worth it, I promise! Anyways, I finally caught it with our camera. Keep in mind that this is like trying to nail jello to a tree. Not only does he do his tricks when and where he feels like it, but you never know what kind of smile you'll get. Sometimes he barely blinks his eyes and moves on to the next thing. So thank you, Austin, for being such a willing participant in this picture and deeming your daddy and I worthy of your smile. We so appreciate your patience and assistance. :) Gosh, I love him!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Ok, now for the bad news. Wednesday night my throat started hurting. At first I thought it was just a cold but was a tad bit concerned since it wasn't a "scratchy throat" feeling. I woke up Thursday morning feeling a little worse but took some advil and was feeling ok throughout the day. Then the advil wore off. My throat was hurting. Really bad. I was starting to think that maybe it was more serious than just a cold. Not good. I called my mom to ask her what Claire's symptoms have been when she has had strep in the past. As soon as she answered her phone I burst into tears. People, we're not talking a few tears and a shaky voice. I'm talking borderline sobbing while thinking to myself,
What the heck is my problem?! Why am I acting like a blubbering idiot?
The more I described my symptoms the more I felt like it was strep. As soon as we put Austin to bed and my parents arrived at our house, Luke and I headed to the urgent care near our house. Don't worry. We tried a new one. I was thrilled to see no one else in the waiting room and even more pumped to see Ugly Betty on their tv. I filled out the paperwork and continued to feel worse by the minute. At one point I strongly considered laying down on the floor and curling up in the fetal position. Lucky for Luke (and my sense of pride) I refrained. I was so relieved to hear that I did have an infection so that I could get some antibiotics.
You'll be happy to know that even though I felt like death warmed over (and probably looked the part too) I still managed to keep my sense of humor. Let's be honest, it's all I had at this point. On our way to the doctor's office, I reminded Luke of his good fortune,
You know, you shoud really soak in this time of silence since it hurts my throat to talk. The bad news is that I'm storing up all these words that I'll have to use once my throat is better.
Friday I was starting to feel better and am so thankful that my mom was willing to keep Austin for most of the day. Not only that but she made me some amazing homemade chicken noodle soup. I spent most of my day in bed and only got up to take a shower and change clothes. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I did watch a little Torri and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. I don't know what was wrong with me. Maybe the medication was effecting my judgement. I mean, I don't even like them, especially him.
Here's hoping that I continue to feel better and Luke does not get strep. My goal is for all of us to stay healthy. I definitely failed this last month.
I do have some pretty funny pictures to post so I'll try to do that tomorrow. Right now I'm going to watch a little UFC with my husband. Yeah right. I hate that show. Maybe I'll go see if Torri and Dean are on tv. Then again, maybe not. ;)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I also need to take a moment to brag on my son. While waiting in our pediatricians office, we had the pleasure of observing a VERY active little guy. Not only was he super active but I would also give him an N (needs improvement) on listening to his mother. I especially loved how she had to wrestle him back into his stroller in order to take him back to a room. While all of this was going on, Austin crawled up into my lap and laid his little head on my shoulder. I agree, Austin. That kid makes me tired enough to take a nap too. It made me realize that even though Austin is active, he is also a very good little boy!
In other news, I watched The Bachelor last night. Jesus. Take. The. Wheel. I don't even know where to begin so I'll just say this:
THANK YOU, JESUS, THAT I AM HAPPILY MARRIED AND NO LONGER DATING!!!
For a more in depth look at this week's episode please click here and read this hilarious recap by one of my favorite bloggers. You won't be sorry.
Today is Bible study night and I am only on Day 2 of our five day homework installment. I've debated whether or not to go, but I've come to realize that the days that I feel like I have no energy to go are usually the times that I need me a little Beth and God the most.
Ok, Austin is awake and it's time for dose #1 of the good medicine! One last thought, though: the weekend is halfway here!! :)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday evening I noticed that Austin felt a little warm so we took his temperature even though the little man was screaming and WRITHING in protest.
Sidenote: I could understand this reaction if we were taking his temperature you know where, but there is no way I'm going to subject my son to that so we take it under his arm and add a degree. I have absolutely no idea why he chooses to be dramatic when we use the least invasive method you could possibly think of. But anyways...
After much debate and discussion followed by a phone call to my mom, we decided to head to the urgent care clinic. Once we got there, we checked in and hoped for a short wait because we're optimistic like that. OR we just prefer our rose colored glasses to being realistic. While we waited we walked outside with Austin, watched coverage of Barak arriving in Washington, and read a few books about a stuffed bear and the cow jumping over the moon. Riveting, I know. You're probably thinking that with all this activity I wouldn't have time to observe the interesting people around us, but you would be wrong. For the most part, the other patients looked just about as thrilled to be waiting as we were except for one young man who looked like he was about to explode. I became a little concerned when he started expelling some major sighs and hitting the back of his head on the wall behind him. I wonder if he realized that somewhere during the waiting process he'd taken a turn to Crazytown. Anyways, no one was more relieved to see his girlfriend walk back into the waiting room than I was. What I was not relieved to hear, however, was the phrase...What the f...? come out of his mouth. Listen, sir, if anyone understands how frustrating it is to wait this long to see the doctor it would be the couple with the 18 month old, but you don't see us uttering profanities now do you?
We continued to wait. And wait. And wait. I thought we'd hit the jackpot when I heard the nurse say,
I will admit that I did feel a little sorry for her mispronunciation of our name and the fact that it was actually Austin that was the patient that day. But who was I to complain? I just wanted to get back to a room. Unfortunately, she was not mispronouncing the name and I didn't realize this until after I had gone to get Luke. NOW who felt like the idiot? Two thumbs pointing back at this girl. So we waited some more. FINALLY they called us back and we were able to see the doctor. Turns out little A had an ear infection...in BOTH ears. Luckily, we live in an age where there is medicine to treat such infections, and while Luke ran to pick up said medicine, I fed Austin a scrumptious dinner of applesauce and a peanut butter sandwich.
Bless his heart. He's had a rough month. And while we're on the topic, bless our hearts. Luke and I are exhausted from all the germs floating around this time of year and the effect it has on our son. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be a single mom. In fact, I'm going to say a little prayer right now for all those amazing women out there that do this parenting thing on their own. Come to think of it, I'm sure there are some dads out there going it alone too.
So now you know why I could not just let him cry this morning. I wanted to check on my little boy and make sure he didn't have a fever or was feeling worse. If you think about him, I would so appreciate a little prayer on his behalf for good sleep and a healthy little body.
You know, this intense season has taught me alot. Parenting is not for the weak of heart...or stomach for that matter. What all OBs should say to their expecting patients is,
I hope you're not a big fan of sleep because you're about to lose more than you ever thought possible.
You just thought you were smart. You won't want to admit it, but you won't know what the heck you're doing half the time.
Thank goodness God intervenes and gives Luke and I the wisdom and energy we need to make it one more day because heaven knows we need it!
Ok, since this post turned out way longer than I intended I'm going to call it a day. That and the fact that Austin is literally hanging from my arm as I type this. Plus he has a dirty diaper even though I just changed one not 10 minutes ago. This too shall pass, right?! Happy Monday, everyone!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Monday: First day of school for Austin was a success! WOOHOO! However, Savannah - Austin = bad news...see diaper memo below. In addition, I realized that the high count for mountain cedar the day before chose to wreak havoc on my sinuses on Monday. I thought to myself,
It's gonna be a BIG week! I can already tell.
Tuesday: Austin was definitely suffering from a cold and not sleeping great at night. Sweet. The grocery store was our only outing, which meant that I spent the day in my grungy clothes. I know Luke really appreciates this look when he comes home from work. Don't let him tell you otherwise!
Wednesday: Austin and I enjoyed a fun lunch with my dad at Schlotzky's. My favorite part was when he (Austin, not my dad) busted out crying for no apparent reason causing everyone to turn and stare at me like I was hurting him. I wanted to yell,
Look away, people. Nothing to see here.
But I didn't. During Austin's second nap, I worked on some stuff for my dad using my new (and very cool) headset. I'm not the only one that had a blast with these bad boys. While fixing dinner, I heard Luke say,
We've got a great game lined up tonight...
Yes, he had the headset on and was pretending to be a sportscaster. And no, he would not let me take his picture, even though I begged. Bible study was great and, as usual, Beth proved to be a rockstar in the God and Bible study writing department. Luke, however, was not feeling like a rockstar since he had caught Austin's cold. And speaking of Austin, he spent most of the night crying off and on due to wanting one of us present in his room at all times. Oh the joys of parenthood! Sometimes it makes you want to punch yourself in the face.
Thursday: ERRAND DAY!! Apparently, Austin thinks his Gigi lives and/or works at Babies 'R Us since he kept saying her name over and over when we pulled into the parking lot. On our way home, Austin and I stopped at Hobby Lobby. It was really hard to focus on my shopping since one shopper insisted on trying, unsuccessfully, to cough her lung up. Congratulations. You win the award for loudest, most obnoxious cough in the history of all Hobby Lobby stores. Not to mention the fact that some of us are trying to stay healthy around here! Geez!
I also realized Thursday night how much I love it when Luke is really tired. Why, you ask. Well because he starts acting really silly and saying funny things. For example, one night when he was exhausted he busted out "The Star Spangled Banner" ...Luke style. It. Was. Hilarious.
And that brings us to Friday. I am happy to report that Austin slept much better last night. Somebody give Jesus a big handclap of praise for that!! HALLELUJAH!! I'd also like to give a big shout out to my husband for figuring out how to set the "repeat" feature on Austin's CD player. Now he can listen to the sound of crashing waves ALL NIGHT LONG! It's a wonder his diaper isn't soaked to the bone from peeing all night. But hey, I don't care how wet I may find him the next morning. If he's sleeping through the night again...all is well.
I hope you all are staying warm and enjoying some fun moments with your own family. Let's be honest, sometimes it's the only thing that gets us through the not so fun moments! Have a great weekend, y'all! :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So what else is going on at the Keiffer house this Wednesday? I'd be happy to tell you. Austin has come down with a little cold and cough. This means that he is grumpy with a capital "G"! He hasn't been sleeping great so today I made a mom decision and put him down for 2 naps. I'm sure you can just imagine how thrilled he was.
In other news, I started my new FIRM workout DVD. It's called "Total Body Time Crunch." Everything about this title makes my day! I definitely need to work my ENTIRE body in a short amount of time. I really do love the FIRM but what I don't love is having to learn all new moves. In case you don't know me well, which most of you do, I feel the need to mention that when it comes to moves I have none! Picture with me, if you will, an uncoordinated woman doing all kinds of crazy things with her arms in an effort to follow the graceful moves of the aerobic instructors on the DVD. It's ok to laugh. I sure did! I've also been walking with my mom which has been really fun. I have to tell you, though, that I've started stressing just a little bit. You see, one of these days Luke and I will decide that we need to add a little more crazy to the mix with another little one. When that day comes, I would like to be a little closer to my pre-pregnancy weight. Nobody get excited. We still have a few months at least before we even start to get serious. Still, we all know that time flies and once you get out of college the 'ol metabolism hits the breaks...major. I'll let ya know how it goes but here's hoping for a smaller stomach and a slimmer face in a few weeks.
And speaking of Luke, he got some exciting news today that hopefully I'll be able to share in a couple of days. He and I have made a few changes around here. The other night we had the big budget arguement of '09. Did I say arguement? I actually meant "intense fellowship." One of the things I love about my husband is his ability to manage our money responsibly. I never worry about our finances or whether or not we'll be able to pay the bills because we have a budget that we follow...for the most part. However, like everyone else, we are a tad bit stressed about the economy. God has always been a faithful provider, and bad economy or not, He will continue to take care of us no matter what. Luke and I just feel that it is important to manage our money and save just in case the worst happens. That doesn't mean, though, that we don't clash a little when discussing just how much to spend and save. Not to mention that we added a couple of expenses to the budget recently. SO all this to say that we were trying to get on the same page and came up with a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself. We will now be sharing even more of our responsibilities. This means that Luke will be helping with stuff around the house in the evenings and I will be helping him pay bills. I feel really good about this plan because I think it will allow each of us to "walk a mile in the other's shoes" so to speak.
That just about does it on life around here today. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and get ready for some FRIDGID weather in the next couple of days.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
In addition, he ate his ENTIRE lunch plus some green peas Miss Sharon gave the whole class. Let me just add a little known fact about his lunch here. As I was gathering up food to pack in his lunch I realized that applesauce might not be the best fruit to send due to the fact that Austin hasn't quite mastered the talent of feeding it to himself. SO I opted for the mixed fruit, which he absolutely refuses to eat in Luke and my presence. I thought to myself:
Well, good luck with that today, Miss Sharon and Miss Gail!
And what do you know? That little stinker even ate his fruit bites. Seriously. We have been punk'd by our own son!
Other activities enjoyed by little A included playing outside, chapel, learning all about circles, and playing in the gym. I think he'll be excited to go back on Friday!
You might be wondering what I did with all this free time. Let me assure you that I was not at a loss for what to do with myself! I came home and took a shower in the peace and quiet. More importantly, the heater in the bathroom was on and the door was shut so as to actually feel warm when stepping out of the shower. When I emerged and went in search of Savannah, I found her suffering from a little separation anxiety. Apparently, the way our dog copes with missing her "little brother" is to chew up one of his dirty diapers. Happy first day off, Aimee!
Dirty diapers are not snacks. Neither are crayons, kleenex, or small toys belonging to Austin. Please try to remember this in the future or else you may find yourself living the life of a permanent outside dog!
Too bad she can't actually read and understand that little memo. Instead, she was sent outside for the remainder of the day, and I headed over to Panera for lunch with a good friend. It was a fabulous day for both of us and I think it's safe to say that we're both looking forward to Friday.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
I was just thinking today that I can't believe how fast time flies. Not to mention that I can't believe our sweet boy weighed 7 pounds once upon a time. It's amazing how much he has grown and changed over the last year and a half. He's at such a fun age right now but also more of a challenge. It seems like he is just starting to realize the concept of independence and boy does he like to see how much he can test it. I will say that he listens when we tell him no for the most part, but sometimes his curiosity gets the best of him. In fact, I feel like he is just a little sponge right now, soaking up all of his surroundings. I really want to make the most of this and encourage him to discover as many new things as he can. But with this curiosity and "learning spurt" comes a complete disgust for napping. He does not want to miss out or slow down for anything! Although, on the rare occasion that he doesn't get a nap, he's what Luke and I like to call a Grumpy Gus.
On that note, let me tell you about this new phase that we've entered. Not long ago, I could take him up for his nap, and he would fall asleep while I rocked him. I'd put him in his bed and off to dreamland he would go. These days he does not stay asleep when I put him in his bed. In fact, he can cry for 20 minutes or more before he finally gives up and goes to sleep. The frustrating thing is that we have to let him cry it out because if we go in at all to rock him more, comfort, or tell him to lay down, he just gets wound up all over again. The worst part is that we have no idea how long he'll cry. I keep telling myself that "this too shall pass" but I would greatly appreciate any advice you might have.
When he's fully rested, however, he is such a joy. He is saying so many new words like car, hi, and banana. Also, Britt taught him the sign language for "please" while she and Jon were in town. I found a website that has more signs on it and thought I would teach him some more stuff so he can communicate with us better. We've also noticed that he loves the fact that when he says "mama" or "dada" we respond. Car rides are usually filled with the sound of "mama? dada?" over and over again. But our favorite new thing that he does happend just the other day. On a whim, I decided to see what he would do if I said, "smile, Austin." He immediately scrunched up his little eyes, turned his face upward, and gave us a little smirk. We died laughing.
He is a blast! I love the fact that if I tried to write down all the fun things he's doing I would never finish this post. I am so thankful for our little man and look forward to all the fun things we have yet to discover about him. :)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
We headed home and put Austin to bed. I spent a little time on the computer before Luke and I decided to watch a movie. I hadn't seen Maid of Honor so we ordered it on pay per view. It was hilarious and such a great storyline.
I am so thankful for Luke and Austin, especially on nights like these. Hope you all are enjoying some family time too this weekend! :)
Friday, January 2, 2009
When I finally decided to venture out of our room, I found the 2 of them upstairs watching tv together. To my surprise, Austin was drinking out of his "big boy" sippee cup. You know, the one with the hard top instead of the soft, bottle-wanna-be top. This couldn't have happend any sooner. Let me tell you a little story. A few months ago when Luke and I were introducing Austin to a fork, he decided it was more fun to stick the prongs into the holes of his sippee cup. Thus, enlarging said holes.
Fast forward to New Year's Eve.
While in the middle of a relaxing dinner of pizza with my parents, we all look over to see Austin poking small bits of food through the sippee cup holes and into his drink. Gross. And yes, he did take a couple of swigs of his concoction. Sick.
So you can imagine how relieved I was to see him drinking from a cup that will not allow him to alter his juice or milk. Apparently, though, I was the only one surprised since, and I quote, "He's been drinking out of a cup like that since we were at my parents' house." Cool.
At this point, I leaned over to give my husband a good morning kiss and guess who decided to whip out another one of his new tricks? That's right. Austin. Our sweet little boy threw himself down on the floor in an all out temper tantrum because he didn't like the fact that we were showing affection to someone other than him. I've got news for ya, pal. How do you think you got here? I can assure you that it wasn't by immaculate conception.
While Luke tried to finish working on his truck, I spent the rest of the day chasing after Austin. In my pajamas. And when I said "tried to finish" that's exactly what I meant! Let's just say that at the end of the night, we had 2 carbon monoxide detectors going off and one unhappy mama! After some research (and a little stressing on my part) we decided it was just the car fumes from the garage and nothing too serious. What. An. Adventure.
Here's hoping that the rest of the week is a little less crazy and a little more relaxing.
Happy New Year!!!