Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"do" a deer, a female deer...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wished she could sing.

But she couldn't.

She would spend hours praying that God would give her a voice just like her sisters. Her prayers sounded a little something like this:

Dear Jesus: Wouldn't it be great if I could sing?! Then my 2 sisters and I could sing together in a sort of Von Trapp Bauerlein fashion? No? Ok. Well, the thought was fun while it lasted...

It's true. I've always wanted to possess a talent for singing but for some reason God said no to that desire. I don't know. Maybe He knew that if He'd granted me that wish I would have gotten a big head. Or maybe He knew that I would cause all kinds of people to stumble due to their jealousy of my amazing, angelic voice. Yeah. I'm gonna go with that one. :) Whatever the reason, it doesn't mean that I'm not moved by music and those that have been gifted with this ability.

The other day I bought a new CD for Austin to listen to while he falls asleep.

Because eventually we're going to start potty training and something tells me the ocean waves will only cause soiled bedsheets which will result in tears and unbelief that I have reached the Changing Soiled Sheets season of my life. And frankly, I don't have the wherewithal to deal with that every morning.

So I picked up a copy of Sing Over Me: Worship Songs and Lullabies at my local Christian bookstore. Best purchase I've ever made. Hands down! Bedtime and naptime have become one of my favorite parts of the day for reasons other than the obvious. A feeling of utter peacefulness sweeps over me as we snuggle in the rocking chair and listen to the sweet praise music coming from his stereo. Songs like "How Great Is Our God" and "Jesus Loves Me" fill his dark room and provide me with an unexpected, quiet moment to pray while I savor one of the best parts of being a mom.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is "Sing Over Me" by Bethany Dillon & Nichole Nordeman. Here are the lyrics:

I live in wonder of Your love
You rise like the sun in my heart
Even when the night draws near me
There You are...
I will wade in the water of mercy
I will walk in the light of Your will
Whatever should come against me
Teach me to be still
As You sing over me

Draw me close to rest in Your peace
Sing over me
Oh, sing

Sing of Your unending faithfulness
That knows no doubt or fear
And the face of all that I don't know yet
Remind me of who You are
You are mighty
You will save

Rejoice over me with singing
You will quiet by Your love glory over me
Oh, sing!

Now usually I don't make it all the way to this song before I lay Austin in his bed and slip out the door, but one night God made sure my little {or not so little} bottom was still in that rocking chair. As I listened to this song the verse in Zephaniah came to mind:

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great DELIGHT in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I immediately felt convicted. When was the last time I made myself still before God for the simple purpose of letting Him sing over me? To let Him whisper to my heart that He DELIGHTS in me...warts and all. I spend my days immersed in the chaos that is Wifehood, Motherhood, Sisterhood, and Friendhood. There's laundry, dishes, dinner, and various other tasks that never seem to end. Add to that the unexpected emergencies and issues that arise and you have yourself one busy girl that often doesn't take time for the most important part of any day. Time with the Lord. GASP! Yes. I just confessed that the Daily Quiet Time, it's been lacking.

As a mom, nothing thrills my heart more than when Austin will let me sweep him off his feet in a great big bear hug. Sometimes I'll even get to sneak a kiss in there. It's amazing what details you can savor in a split second...his smell, the sound of his laughter, and the sweet knowledge that he is mine! These moments are quickly becoming few and far between since he has much to accomplish in a day. I guess that's why bedtime and naptime have become such a precious time for me.

So here's my question. When was the last time you let Jesus sweep you off your feet so that He could take the time to tell you that He delights in everything about you? Or maybe you just desperately need the quiet of His love while He sings over you. Wherever you are in your life right now, know this...You are His! He longs to sing over us and His voice is better than the voice of the most gifted person you know. And we all know that person is not me!
However, one day I will make it to Heaven where I will have the talent I've always wanted. Look for me. I'll be the one that has an uncanny resemblence to Carrie Underwood and angels for backup singers! :)

Picture update coming soon!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

since i missed my mother's day post, i give you aimee's thoughts on motherhood

There are moments in which I question why God thought I would be a good "boy mom." Like the other day when Austin thought it would be fun to grab the gravel looking stuff from the fireplace and put it in Savannah's food bowl followed by a little hand washing in her water bowl. Or today when I was hit square in the forehead with one of his rubber balls while playing catch. If you know me at all then you know how challenged I am when it comes to sports. Yes, I did try out for the basketball team in middle school. And no I did not make the cut. Shocker! However the coach did call to break the news and inform my parents of my non-existent talent with a "bless her heart! she just can't dribble a ball to save her life!"

Can you understand why, after a failed attempt to catch Austin's impeccable throw, I sent a look Heavenward as if to say, "Seriously? You really signed me up for this?!"

There are moments of sheer panic in which I fear that I'm either doing too much, not enough, or missing something altogether. For example, he is so curious these days. I want to encourage his questions {no matter how repetitive} as he discovers the world around him. BUT. What do you do when your 2 year old son wants to know all about your eye shadow and then mimics you as you swipe some on your eyelids?! The fact that I answered his question by saying "this is eyeshadow. sometimes mommies wear eyeshadow" did not deter him from trying out a little pretend L'Oreal Sunlit Bronze.

Again, the look Heavenward while I thought to You Know Who, "A little help here would be nice! Am I totally screwing with his manhood by putting make-up on in front of him?"

By now it's no secret that half the time I have no idea what I'm doing. I've discovered that being a mom is the very definition of a Faith Walk. Faith that the common cold will not evolve into The Swine Flu. Faith that he will not smother himself in his pillow or get tangled up in his blanket at night even though he is 2 and well past the SIDS stage. Faith that he can climb up on the couch by himself without falling and causing massive brain damage. You laugh, but this is truly how my mind works. Clearly, I'm still working on the "take your thoughts captive" command. But more importantly, faith that even though I don't know what I'm doing, God does, and He'll give me the wisdom I need to raise a little boy to be a Godly young man.

Last night at dinner I announced to Luke that "these were the things we had left to do tonight: clean the kitchen, bathe and rock Austin, and set my parents' sprinklers to go off." Being the good husband he is, he replied with "what would you like me to do?" I really wanted to say "everything!" because I was tired and wanted nothing more than to put my pajamas on and climb into bed. However. Exhaustion is what you sign up for when you become an adult, right? So I sucked it up and told him that if he would bathe Austin and turn the parentals sprinklers on, I would handle the rest. And thus began the chaos that is The Evening Routine.

With the kitchen cleaned, I settled in for a little Fritz and the Beautiful Horses and our bedtime prayer. I snuggled him close and we said "goodnight to Jesus." At the end I said,

Can you say Love you, Jesus?

And he replied with,

Ya ee Jezee!

Y'all. It was the sweetest moment. I could almost physically feel God's delight as Austin did his best to repeat those words. And so of course, this tender exchange got me thinking all about how thankful I was for Austin and how fast time was flying and whathaveyou. As I watched the praise music lull my son to sleep, this is what I told the Lord,

It feels like I just blinked and suddenly Austin went from being swaddled like a baby burrito to feet hanging over the side of the rocking chair. It hurts just a little when I think how quickly this time went because I know the next 16 years will go even faster. AND THEN I'll have to have even more faith as we send him out on his own.

{oh come on! You had to know that train of thought was coming from Ms. Planner of the Year}

And then I told Him that I just loved Austin so much. More than I ever thought possible. All of the sudden the verse God gave me before Austin was born came to my mind.

Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

I had this crazy thought that maybe part of the Gift of Austin was the deeper understanding of the depth of God's love for me, His child. Until July 17, 2007 I didn't understand what it felt like to love someone so much that you would gladly give your life for theirs. I didn't know how it would feel to want to give one person everything they desired but only if it was in their best interest.

Don't get me wrong. I love Luke and the rest of my family very, very deeply, but a mother's love for her child is different. That said, this is one of my favorite verses:

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands... Isaiah 49:15-16

He will never forget us. We are engraved on the palms of His hands. So deep is His love for His children that He gave His life for ours.

I may not have scars on my hands, but I have fading stretch marks and a few more curves to remind me of a little boy that stole my heart.

He came complete with dump trucks and dirt piles. An independent spirit and a song in his heart. He is my gentle reminder that sometimes God gives us what we feel ill equipped to handle so that we will venture out of our comfort zone and trust Him completely.

Oh yeah. And the occassional whack on the head to keep me humble.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a random update...emphasis on the random

Well. It's still hotter than blazes here in San Antonio, and all the deoderant in the world can't help us now. Here's hoping that we'll feel a little relief by Christmas. I've quit watching the "snooze" because it's just depressing to see that many 100s in a row unless I'm seeing them in the form of dollars.

But that has yet to happen. Go figure.

I've started blaming this weather for my lack of motivation when it comes to important things like giving myself a pedicure and posting pictures on my blog in a less than timely manner. But you know what they say...

Better late than never.

You might think that these pictures have been worth the wait, but unfortunately, you would be wrong. Really, I just wanted to post these because they are of some of our favorite people. Lucky for you, I've kept the pics to a minimum.

Aaaand here they are:

Luke and I at Matt's Rehearsal Dinner

The boys...minus Matt. He was a little busy...weird, I know ;)

Brad and Jenny. Austin's adopted Aunt and Uncle in Tulsa :)

Luke and I with our friend Dan.

We love these people because we do alot of the following with them:

We were named the "Wild Table" at the Rehearsal Dinner due to the amount of laughter and noise we made. We saw alot more of our favorite friends that weekend but I only took pictures at the Rehearsal. Also, I was unable to get a picture with the groom because, well, he was the groom and they tend to have lots going on during their Wedding Weekend.

In other news, we had a blast at the lake last weekend! Austin celebrated the big 2, and in honor of his special day, my brother-in-law Josh taught Austin "Boomer! Sooner!" He was happily yelling this with his uncle while wearing the Baylor shirt his Aunt Claire gave him.

Talk about a picture of confusion.

It was a great day filled with fun phone calls, balloons, and no naps! That's right. We soaked in the ENTIRE day with our little man who was asleep by 8 that night. We marveled at how fast time is going while I reminisced that 2 years ago I was well on my way to shingles.

Now there's a mood killer for ya!

I have some pictures that I'll probably post sometime around Thanksgiving.

Oh I kid, because I'm a kidder...

But really, we felt so very blessed to celebrate one of God's biggest blessings in our lives! We can't wait to see what this next year holds for our Austin! :) I certainly hope that it includes cooler temperatures because I can only endure so much sweat for so long.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

happy birthday, austin luke. a little early.

Next Friday my little man will be 2 years old. Since we'll be up at the lake celebrating with party #1, I wanted to do a post today.

Because I'll be busy packing and furiously trying to get ready to leave town all this week.

This time 2 years ago I was very pregnant and praying Austin would come early. At the same time I was wishing that I could just go to sleep and wake up to his sweet face without all the pain of labor. Obviously, God did not grant that wish and I persevered through 9 hours of labor with my favorite teammates Luke, my mom, and baby Austin. I can honestly tell you that it was one of my finest hours while at the same time not my finest hour. If you would allow me to be a little obnoxious, I have to tell you that I was so proud of myself for making it through labor and delivery. The encouragement helped, of course, but ultimately I knew it was up to me and God to do all the hard work.

And we did it! Thus, the reason it was my finest hour.

Now. I did not look so stellar afterwards. Mascara under my eyes and hair that looked like a haystack isn't so attractive. Not to mention looking like a 400 pound woman due to all the fluids they pumped into me. However, I fully intend on doing that a little differently next time. Sorry, all you unfortunate people that get to be in there with me, that's just the way I'm gonna roll! Nevertheless, at the end of this intense process I was a new mom to the most wonderful little boy!

The next few days were filled with lots of visits from friends and family. We celebrated until we couldn't celebrate anymore.

Because we were exhausted. And let's face it. We haven't caught up on that sleep yet, and something tells me we never will.

But after all the visits and stress of adjusting to no sleep and a new member in our family were over, we made some of the best memories. Luke and I were talking the other night about our favorite moments those first few weeks. I remember sitting on the couch watching a movie with Luke while Austin slept next to me. His little feet were sticking out from underneath his blanket and he looked so peaceful.

We also couldn't believe how little he was. And I absolutely loved picking out the physical features that belonged to me and Luke. For example, he had Luke's fingers and toes and my dad's mouth and chin. My mother-in-law said she could see alot of Brittany and Claire in his face and the temperment I had as a baby.


Like Mary in the Bible, these were the moments I pondered in my heart. We took lots of pictures to document this new season, and I took as many mental pictures as my brain could hold. There was just something so sweet about having a newborn in our house and the knowledge that life would never be the same. We would never be the same.

Over the last 2 years, I have been blown away by how much he has blessed our lives. He is the definition of joyful and fills our lives with laughter everyday! I could not have picked a better gift from God!

Austin Luke:
I love everything about you: your smile, your laugh, your happy heart...absolutely everything! I feel so honored that God chose me to be your mommy and am so thankful for all the memories we've made so far. You are special in so many ways and I just know that God has something big planned for your life. We can't wait to see what it is.

We love you more than words can say:
Mommy & Daddy

Happy Birthday to my favorite little man!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

allow me to clarify

First off I am not pregnant. Believe me when I say that when that time comes again you. will. know. And Elena, you are so right about the twins! No one knows better than you that it runs in the family, and should God bless us with twins, I will be calling you for moral support. In fact, your number will be on my speed dial, which would be quite an accomplishment since I'm not entirely sure how to use it.

It's probably no secret that the "being pregnant" announcement will come sooner rather than later. However, we want it to be a complete surprise since I kind of missed out on that with the Pregnant Teenageresque phone call I made to my mom and sister. Aaaand I made those calls at 4:30 IN THE MORNING. It's true when they say that your family loves you unconditionally. Needless to say, Luke and I (well, mostly just me} are having a blast keeping this our little secret and planning ways to spring it on our family a reasonable hour of course!

So if you have any brilliant ideas, throw them our way! We'd love your input. And now I would like to take this moment to congratulate all of my pregnant friends! I'm not exaggerating when I say that I am the minority these days! :)

Happy weekend, my friends!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

3 is the new 2

So Luke and I had a very interesting discussion last night regarding children and the number we would like to have in our family.

As I've said before, he would be good with one and I think 3 would be fun. {just for the record, I wasn't trying to make that rhyme...I'm just THAT gifted :)}

I sat there telling him all about how I was sacrificing my dream for 3 children because God had not changed his heart yada, yada, yada while he told me in no uncertain terms that he was compromising too. Apparently he would be thrilled to leave Austin an only child and spoil him rotten.

I'm absolutely postive his college roomate and someday his wife would thank us for that.

In a last ditch effort to convince him how A-MAZING three kids would be I told him in my most confident tone,

Clearly, 3 is the new 2 since everyone is having 3 little people these days.

Unfortunately, Luke is not one to be swayed by the masses so it looks like 2 is the number for us. :) That means that while the rest of you are raising your third child, Luke and I will be taking some fabulous vacations. And please don't rain on my parade right now with comments like "a vacation can't be better than a child." I'm trying to make lemonade from these lemons I've been handed!

After this little convo, I hit him with another brilliant idea.

Since the next one would be our last I thought it would be great fun to each compile a list of 5 possible names each week. Of course, we would have to throw some ridiculous ones in there because someday we'll want to tell Keiffer #2 that his/her name was almost Dunixi or Ruzgar.

I'm not making those up. They're on the Baby Names website.

He wasn't as on board with this idea as I'd hoped he'd be. Sometime after that I told him something like "his attitude was lame sauce." I promise I hadn't been drinking. Every once in a while I decide to try out a new phrase and it goes over like a lead balloon. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a look like the one Luke gave me cross his face in all the 10 years we've known each other. So I decided to pack that little phrase away and put it somewhere that I CAN'T EVER REACH AGAIN!

In other news, we've been trying to teach Austin how old he is. Most of the time he gets it right but sometimes he surprises us with his creativity. For example, yesterday's coversation went a little something like this:

Me: Austin, how old are you?

Austin: SIX!

Me: Nooo, you're not six. How old are you?

Austin: NINE!

Me: No, silly goose. You're TWO!

Austin: TWO!!

I can see he got my math skills. And like most kids, he thinks he's older than he really is.

Aaaand, that's all I got! Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

i can't be held responsible for all the rambling when i've been up since 5:45

Today is a Mother's Day Out day, which means that this post will be rather short {no, really} with no pictures.
Right now I am listening to some sort of whistling somewhere in my house...or outside. I can't tell. And by whistling, I mean the "when-I-get-all-steamed-up-hear-me-shout" tea kettle kind. It really is such a pleasure, especially since I'm a little paranoid about our air conditioner breaking. This means that any suspicious noise could be reason enough to call The Beyer Boys. Wait. Are they the ones that fix air conditioners? All I know is that Aramendia {or some such nonsense like that} does plumbing. I know this because on a scale from 1 to 10 their commercials are pretty dorky. PLUS, it grosses me out just thinking about the kind of things you would need to call plumbing professionals for.
But that's not important right now.
What is important is the fact that I was watching the news {or snooze, as Luke calls it} this morning and over the next several or 200 days we will be enjoying temperatures in the 100s. At the end of this really great segment, Mike Osterhage informed all of us that some people love the south Texas heat. In fact, some even go so far as to roll down their windows in an effort to feel the full effect of the 200% humidity and overall hotness.
Who ARE these people?!
The only people I see driving with their windows down are the unfortunate ones with a broken air conditioner. It's quite obvious by the scowl on their face. But even with a working AC and the wearing of many skirts and sundresses, it's a stifling heat. I absolutely hate it when even my legs start to sweat. It makes me cranky since I'm hot and can't take off any more clothing. Don't judge because you know it happens to you too!
Like I've said to a few people, this weather makes me thankful for my salvation.
Hallelujah and Amen.
And finally, is anyone else ready for the media to TAKE A BREAK WITH ALL THE MICHAEL JACKSON COVERAGE ALREADY?!
Don't get me wrong. It is a very sad situation since I am not sure that he was a Christian. However. I would like to spend a little time with my good friends on Good Morning America without talking about how much his face changed over the years or whether or not Debbie Rowe will attend the funeral. Poor Farrah Fawcet. He totally stole her thunder. I guess if she had thought to start trends like the single white glove and moonwalk people would have paid to come to her funeral too.
I'm just sayin'...
Nevertheless, he was a very talented musician and I really feel sorry for his kids. So now that I've stepped down off my soapbox I feel that this would be a good time to committ to praying for his family.
And now, I'm off to do a little more cleaning followed by an episode of Ice Road Truckers. Because it's hot, y'all, and I don't do sweat unless I know I'm burning some serious calories.
Thank you and good day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

would someone please play the theme song for the beverly hillbillies

Hello, friends and family!

I've been meaning to share a picture with y'all. I took this on our way home from The Wedding Weekend of '09, which apparently was also The Weekend I Took Pictures Like Some Sort of Private Investigator. There really are no words for the complete chaos I captured on film, but you know me, I have to try.

We had just come out of Whataburger where we stopped for dinner in a desperate attempt to pull Austin out of his cranky mood. My sanity was truly hanging on by a thread. I just happend to look over and see a truck and trailer piled so full of junk that I couldn't believe my eyes! Y'all. I couldn't look away mainly because I was trying to look at every item they had crammed into their vehicle, but also because the organizer in me felt like they had just commited an unspeakable crime.

So without further ado, I give you the modern day version of the Beverly Hillbillies:

What I especially love is how the junk spills over from the bed of the truck onto the hood of the cab. It would also appear that they put a toddler bed at the end of all their stuff like some sort of bookend. You stay classy Man in the Red Truck!

On another note, today has been such a fabulous day because I woke up at 6a super motivated to accomplish a plethora of things around the house. For example, I am completely caught up on laundry right down to the cart cover I busted out during the Swine Flu epidemic that really wasn't an epidemic at all.

Thank you, overly dramatic media.

And I also plan on doing a little reorganizing so we'll see how that goes.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy summer!

Happy 4th, y'all! And a very Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful! In honor of this special holiday and summertime in general, I've posted a new playlist for your listening pleasure. :)

You're welcome.

And while we're on the topic of summer does anyone else feel like they're melting every time you step out in this unbearable heat? Seriously, y'all. I blame the heat for my new addiction to shows like Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. Snow and ice have never looked so good. Obviously, Austin and I spend our time hiding from the heat and only venturing out for necessary errands and visits to my parents' pool. I'm declaring this The Summer of The Tan, because if I'm going to spend so much time at the pool I certainly hope I have something to show for it!

I've also decided that it is past time for a little hair trim. But more importantly, the bangs are in some serious need of a date with the scissors. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm beginning to look like the shaggy dog. So if you happen to see me around town but you don't recognize me due to all the hair in my face, I apologize.

Alright, Austin and I are about to eat some hot dogs with Pete and Rhonda (or Gigi and Papi-I know, he's a hispanic wanna be) so here's the breakdown of my new summer mix.

Because I know you're just dying for the reasons behind my choices. ;)

1. All-American Girl {Carrie Underwood}: I think this one is pretty obvious. :)

2. Sunshine & Summertime {Faith Hill}: This song reminds me of the summer my sisters and Andrea went to the Faith Hill/Tim McGraw concert. SO FUN!!

3. The Star Spangled Banner {Dixie Chicks}: In honor of the 4th of July. And I'm not a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks HOWEVER it was either them or Whitney Houston... Gotta go with the girls from Texas

4. Summer Nights {Rascal Flatts}: I love this song on their new album!

5. Island in the Sun {Weezer}: Because if I'm gonna be this hot I'd prefer to be on the beach. Dare to dream. Dare to dream.

6. Ever After {Carrie Underwood}: I just like this song. And I like Carrie Underwood, a good 'ol girl from Oklahoma!

7. America the Beautiful {Ray Charles}: Because America is beautiful with the exception of San Antonio during a massive drought...brown is not my favorite color when it comes to landscape. I'm just sayin'

8. Summertime {Billie Holiday}: It's just a good song by a very talented artist.

9. Soak Up the Sun {Sheryl Crow}: Like I said, if Austin and I are going to be outside you will find us by the pool soaking up the sun...with the appropriate amount of sunscreen.

10. Beautiful Day {U2}: Everyone loves a beautiful day. And we have plenty of them here in the summertime :)

11. Viva La Vida {Coldplay}: This song reminds me of the "dance parties" we had with Austin on family vacation last year. He can do The Sprinkler like nobody's business!!

And the rest are just some of my favorite Christian songs! Hope you guys are staying cool and enjoying some family time this summer. :)