Tuesday, September 29, 2009

in the words of the office, permission to speak on the record

Before I begin a new post allow me to share a few thoughts from the last one. First of all, Luke and I had a senior moment when it came to the proper spelling of height vs. heigth. For some reason, neither looked right to me and when he read it later he made this face like,
Ummm, that's unfortunate that you don't know how to spell that word for sure.
So my apologies if I didn't spell it right. Some days it's an accomplishment to remember how to spell my name correctly. You think I'm kidding but I'm not.
Ok. Now that that's out of the way, how's the week goin' for ya so far? Mine has been stupendous, thank you for asking. Last night was date night with my little man since Luke went to the Metallica concert. Oh! What's that? You can't picture him at a hard rock concert? Well, neither can I to be honest, but shocking as it may be, he actually enjoys that kind of music. Plus, whose going to pass up a free ticket to box seats in the AT&T Center. Not my husband! I offered to paint his face for the occasion but he declined. Weird, I know. He had a great time and I enjoyed a little quality TV time after my date went to bed. Unfortunately, since I was solely in charge of bed time, Austin did not get a bath. Come to think of it he hasn't had a bath since Saturday. GASP! I have nothing to say for myself other than that I find bending over a bathtub while trying to bathe a little person to be the most uncomfortable position in the history of the world. In addition, bathing Austin is a little like wrestling a greased pig. Or what I imagine that would be like. Needless to say, he will be getting a bath tonight whether I like it or not.
I also got my hair cut today. In fact, I decided to take a walk on the wild side and get a whole new 'do. I love it! I can't remember if I told Luke or not that I was getting my hairs cut today so he may get the shock of his life when he gets home. Ok, ok. It's not that drastic of a hair cut.
In other news, Britt and I are working on something pretty exciting. Or at least we think so. Hopefully, it will bring in a little extra money for our families and we'll have some fun in the process. As soon as things are a little further along, I'll fill you guys in on all the details. Try to contain your excitement. Until then, know that if I'm a little scarce around here it's not because I don't like y'all. I'm just trying to work on my Proverbs 31 woman traits. She's quite the one-upper if you hadn't noticed!
Alright, friends, since today is an MDO Day I'm gonna go get some stuff done before I pick up little A. Have a Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

because saying stupid things really is a talent

Do you want to know something pathetic? Sometimes, when I feel the need to update you all on life at The Keiffer House, I will sit in front of my computer for embarrassing amounts of time trying to come up with the perfect beginning sentence. And now you're probably thinking,

She spent obscene amounts of time coming up with THAT sentence?!

Why yes. Yes I did. All I can say is that it feels good to be honest.

So, if you don't mind, just insert amazing intro sentence here.

Thank you so much.

And now, I give you the rundown of our weekend. We kicked it off with some burgers from Freddy's on Friday night. Some of you may remember that around our house we call them Crack Burgers. Because we strongly suspect that they are laced with crack cocaine. They are that addicting. We hadn't had Freddy's in a while and it was a gloooorious reunion. Saturday morning Luke and I actually woke up before Austin. I know. I should have checked to see if pigs were flying by outside our bedroom window. Around 8:00 I decided to go make sure he was still breathing. Now I'm not sure if I woke him up or not but he definitely popped his little head up when I walked in and asked me,

What happend?

Well, I don't know. Why don't you tell me. Did your Daddy give you a big 'ol dose of Benadryl last night before bed or what?

And since he was in such a good mood we decided to go on a family walk. Including Savannah who quite possibly gave us a run for our money in the out of shape department. I never thought I'd see the day when I had to drag her home instead of the other way around. We wore her out for sure! The rest of the day was spent hanging out, running errands, and going to dinner with some friends. Besides the quality family time, I would have to say that the highlight of my Saturday was when a lady passed us a note at dinner via our waitress to say that "your baby is so good." It's things like that that just warm a mother's heart because it's confirmation that you're not completely screwing up. Oh yeah. And that the whole restaurant doesn't hate you because you have that child. Don't lie. You know you've thought it whether you have kids or not. All in all it was a good Saturday.

Today we went to church and then had lunch at Wing Stop. If I want to speak Luke's Food Love Language then I suggest wings for lunch or dinner. I'm sure you can just imagine how thrilled he was when I said I wanted to go there for lunch today. It was during this meal that I reached an all time high for Stupidest Things To Ever Come Out of My Mouth. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: How's Josh doing?

Luke: Good. He had to tape the basketball practice from the bird's nest the other day. He called Jared thinking he would get some support but I guess he didn't get what he was looking for.

Me: Really? I guess he expected some encouragement since Jared is afraid of heights.

Luke: Yeah, but apparently Jared didn't exactly deliver.

Me: You know, it's weird that Jared is afraid of heights because he's so tall!

And then I thought to myself,

Did you REALLY just say that? What does his heigth have to do with being afraid of actual heights?!

The answer to that is absolutely NOTHING! But that didn't stop me from trying to justify my response to a suddenly silent Luke.

Me: I mean, you would think that he wouldn't be afraid of heights since he's taller than everyone else and therefore is always looking down at us.

Luke: Still silent but obviously trying not to laugh.

I'm still not sure why I drew that conclusion and then thought it would be a good idea to share with the group. Clearly, the crack in Freddy's burgers takes a couple of days to affect your judgement. Lesson learned.

As hard as it is to believe, this wasn't the highlight of my Sunday. Try to contain your surprise. The best part of today was when I walked in the door after attending a baby shower and discovered that my wonderful husband had cleaned the downstairs. I felt a little like God must've felt when He looked at the world He'd created and said it was good. Except I would have added an extra word since I'm just that verbal.

It was VERY good.

Wanna know something else that's very good? Austin. In case you missed it, we're not the only ones who think so. Just ask the lady we saw at Stone Werks. Here he is with his "mickey hand," which is really just a big OU hand. I wouldn't neccesarily say that he's an Oklahoma fan, he just really likes it that his Uncle Josh taught him "Boomer! Sooner!" and we all respond when he says it. Because he's just so darn cute. Here he is in action:

Love it! Almost as much as I love him.

Happy Sunday, friends!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

remember the yellow piece of construction paper?

Well, my friends, fall is officially here in the form of rain, cooler weather, and pumpkin spice lattes. I cannot tell you how happy this kind of weather makes me. You know that Twilight series everyone keeps talking about? It's ok if you don't. Just know that you are probably one of about 2 that hasn't heard of it...

What can I say? Honesty is my specialty today.

Anyway. I could totally live in Forks. Actually, I could totally live anywhere in the Pacific Northwest where it rains more than the sun shines. And not because I'm one of those weirdos that asked Stephanie Meyer if her books were an autobiography. Are. You. Kidding. Me?! I just love rainy, snuggle weather like this.

But that's not what I wanted to talk to you about today.

Today, I would like to discuss some Mother's Day Out Thoughts and Observations. First of all, Austin could not love school more if they filled his classroom with puppies, balls, and other such toys that thrill him to pieces. In fact, when I pick him up he is either finishing his snack {because he is the World's Slowest Eater} or playing with his friends and not eager to leave. It warms my heart that he enjoys himself so immensely, and someday should the Spirit lead me to let him go to after care, I will be able to obey knowing that he will continue to have the time of his life. However, I can't bear to be away from him any longer on Tuesdays and Thursdays so the little man will just have to pray for some divine intervention if he wants to explore the world of Late Pickup.

One of the things I love about his new teacher is that she sends out her newsletter via email. Or Me-mail as Luke calls it. Feel free to call him Mr. Creative if you want to. The Lambs Newsletter is really just a way for Ms. Debbie and Ms. Cherie to inform us of what they're doing that month, and most importantly, who brings snack on what day. It just so happens that Austin was in charge of bringing the snack for today. Normally, I remember this the night before or morning of and frantically scour our pantry to see what hasn't been opened yet that can pass for a well thought out snack. But this time I actually prepared way ahead of time and made mini pumpkin spice muffins.

Sometimes I like to call myself Super Mom when no one's around. And sometimes I just thank God that he reminded me of a committment that slipped my mind. I mainly find myself doing the second statement. Just keepin' it real, folks.

So off to school we went this morning with our mini muffins. And blanket. And pillow. And backpack. And lunchbox. In the rain no less. At that point, I was referring to myself as the Pack Mule because I looked a little like what I imagine Mary and Joseph's donkey looked like when they headed out for Bethlehem. No lie. Luckily, Austin found every puddle along the way and was kind enough to stop and stomp his foot in each one. Oh the world of little boy joys! We finally made it to his class where I passed on all his gear plus The Muffins to Ms. Debbie. I'm sure he's having a blast even as I type these words.

And finally, remember The Family Page that I threw together his first day of school? Turns out it wasn't due that day. I know this because my eyes happend to land upon this sentence in the newsletter:

Turn in Family Page ASAP!

What?! You mean to tell me that thing wasn't due the first day?! Great. Well, at least I got it done and out of the way. The only regret I have at this point is that there isn't a picture of Austin and Savannah on his Family Page. Sorry, Savannah. Just know that you are on the Family Page in our hearts.

And on that lame note, I bid you good day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

all about my boys

As many of you know, Luke led Sunday School for my Dad this morning. He did great!! One of my favorite things he said was that there are highs and lows in love and marriage. The important thing is to remember that you're on this ride together and committed to seeing things through no matter what! How true that is. We've had some amazing highs and some not so fun lows but Luke is the perfect compliment to me. There is no one else I'd rather ride through life with than him.

Now that was a good word. Hallelujah and Amen.

I'm so proud of the husband God gave me. You know what they say...we may not be perfect but we're perfect for each other.

I love you, Luke! You. Are. Wonderful.

Austin has been in rare form these days. I am constantly blown away by how smart he is. Don't get me wrong. I always knew he was a genius but he catches on to things that I didn't even know he was learning. For example, here's a little snapshot of a recent convo we had the other day.

Austin: What's that Mommy?

Me: Those are plants.

Austin: Ohhhh! Amaaazing!

I have no idea where he learned how to use that word. I can't say that Luke and I just walk around saying that over and over. Clearly, our son is "amaaaazing!" And clearly we will have to be even more vigilant about MINDING THE LITTLE EARS. The last thing I want him to do is say "Shoot!" if he drops something in Sunday school.

He's also really been into wearing his sunglasses lately. I love to look in the backseat and see him just chillin in his glasses. He loves them so much that he sometimes wears them into the actual store. I guess he just wants to be prepared for any papparazzi that might be waiting to snap his picture since he's kind of a big deal! But why would I bore you with all these details when I could just show you a picture instead:

You're welcome for providing that little ray of sunshine in your day.

It's no secret that everything Austin does is either cute, hilarious, sweet, or all of the above. However, he may have out done himself the other day when he was taking pictures with Grammy's camera. Despite the fact that it's digital, he would hold it up to his face and say "Cheese!" while pointing it at random objects like the lamp. Or my arm. Or his backpack. He was so excited about his new found talent that he would run over to Savannah and say,

Look, Sanny! Look!

It was the funniest thing I've witnessed in quite a while.

I'm so thankful for both of the boys in my life. They fill my days with laughter, excitement, and precious memories. I love them more than words can say!!

The End.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the "garbage" sale

Today we had a garage sale. Or garbage sale as we like to call it. You know what they say...one man's trash is another man's treasure. But let me back up because this sale was quite the last minute decision.

Shocking, I know.

Luke's mom, better known these days as Austin's Grammy, came down to visit this weekend. She was so sweet to offer to spend some quality time with Austin so that Luke and I could enjoy some much needed quality time ourselves. Whenever either of our parents offer to take care of Austin for any length of time, I immediately start making a massive to do list. And of course, Date Night is a must! With that knowledge, it should be no surprise to you that I saw this weekend as my big chance to accomplish many things while Austin was acting as Grammy's Number One Fan. One of these things just happend to be our garage sale. In fact, when my mom asked me what we were doing this weekend and I replied,

Having a garage sale.

She gave me a very surprised look and said,

Really?! This weekend?

I guess since we've been talking about doing this for the last 2 years, they thought it would never happen. I know. It's so weird that they would draw that conclusion.

So we got the permit {yes, you need one}, priced our "garbage" {yes, I almost had an anxiety attack trying to decide what was too much, too little, or just right}, and prepared to begin our big day at the very early hour of 9:00 {no, I had no idea that you couldn't start at the crack of dawn like my parents used to do back in the day}.

There we were surrounded by piles upon piles of junk while people milled about looking for their Big Find of the day. Let me tell you, there are ALL KINDS of people that come out of the wood work for a good garage sale. Here are some highlights:

One older gentleman took a serious turn to Creepy Town when he wouldn't quit talking about how much he likes eating breakfast at McDonald's and telling me stories about the time he spent in Burma. I'm not entirely sure where Burma is. All I know is that it exists across the ocean and they're not too good at expressing their emotions. Or so he told me. He also told me to "look at that little guy tearing it up in the park." The little guy was my son and I was not about to disclose that fact to Sir Talks Alot And Acts Creepy. Maybe he just needed someone to talk to but all the references to McDonalds and kids and Burma left me feeling a little unsettled.

Later that day, a Hispanic woman walked up wearing a t-shirt that still had the $1.00 price tag from the last garage sale she visited. I felt a little sorry for her until she kept insisting that Luke's polos were "little boy" sizes. When we told her no...several times...she asked us if we were sure...several times.
In Spanish.


Then she wanted to know if she could have about 5 for $1.00. {I'm sensing a theme here.} We told her yes mainly because we wanted to get rid of as many clothes as we could, but also because we felt like it was time for her to move on to the next sale and insult someone else. It worked. Her parting words were, "I'm sorry. Thank you."

I'm not even sure what to make of that so I won't try.

During one of the slow times, Luke decided to organize the piles of clothes. Some lady took that moment to comment on how well trained he was and I got the death stare.

From Luke.

Go figure.

The good news is that Luke and I got to spend some quality time together AND get paid for it. SCORE! We passed the hours with a plate of apples and string cheese while we marveled at the fact that people will park anywhere with their doors open and cars running all in an effort to claim their find before anyone else does. They should probably be more careful because someone might claim their car as their own steal of a deal! I'm just sayin'...

After it was all said and done, we made some good money and took the stuff left over to Goodwill. Then we celebrated the end of our long day with dinner at Saltgrass.

Tomorrow I plan on doing absolutely nothing after I go to church and listen to my husband teach the class about passion, intimacy, and committment in marriage. That's right my parents chose this week to be out of town. Luckily, this is a topic that is near and dear to Luke's heart, and I am 100% positive that he will do a great job! Not that I have anything to base that statement on other than my complete confidence in my husband. He's decided he wants to surprise me with what he says tomorrow.
Because every marriage needs a little mystery.
I'll be sure and let you know what he decided to go with. Hopefully you'll be able to get some sleep tonight even though I've left you in suspense. At least you know you're in good company. And by company, I mean everyone but Luke.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

some thoughts that wouldn't be complete without some rambling

Happy Sunday, friends!! I'm writing to you from my couch while I listen to the boys in my life have a video chat with the grandparents. Grammy and Pops to be exact. It's an especially sweet sound seeing as how Luke has been on call all week and we are enjoying the unexpected pleasure of having him home early today. YAY!! So yeah. I'm pretty thrilled it's Sunday and tomorrow we resume our regularly scheduled programming and work routine. Although I'm happy to report that this week went wonderfully despite Luke's long hours.

And since I have a few moments to myself to think, I'd thought I'd jot down some Thoughts on Life I've had this week.

You can thank me later.

First of all, I ventured into my HEB for the first time in weeks the other day. Remember? I've been cheating on HEB with Walmart lately. HELLO!! When did they remodel? Or I guess I should say REARRANGE?!! Seriously. I felt like the phrase "Here Everything's Better" should've been changed to "Here Everything's BAFFLING." Because that's exactly what I felt. Baffled. Baffled as to why I found myself on the soda aisle when I really wanted to be on the bread aisle and so on and so forth etcetera etcetera. I had to get out of there quick because I was starting to get stressed. In a big way.

So. Do you wanna know what I do on the weekends when Luke is working? Well, besides take care of Austin sans my favorite teammate. That would be finding myself watching old reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 mostly because I couldn't tear my eyes away from the train wreck that was the fashion of the 90's. The fact that I never watched that show to begin with is unimportant. What IS important, though, is the fact that at one time someone decided it would be fun to smoke crack and then come up with some shady fashion trends. But don't worry. When I wasn't busy playing fashion critic, I managed to find the time to watch the new CW drama The Vampire Diaries. I know. I KNOW!! I have nothing to say for myself other than I was bored and there was nothing else to watch on tv. These are the kinds of things I resort to, people, when Luke is not home at his usual time.

And finally, because I know I'll get in trouble if I go too long without posting a picture, I give you one of my favorite pics from August. This also serves as a friendly reminder to pray for the college student below seeing as how she has gotten her first taste of being sick while away from home in the form of The Stomach Flu.

You're welcome for that mental picture.

Bless her heart.

And bless Austin's heart in this picture since it would appear that he is very underwhelmed about taking this picture with us. Too Cool For School as Lindsay would say.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and got some of that much needed rain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

confessions of a not so together mom

Well, my friends, another week is half way over and do you want to know something? I keep thinking today is Tuesday. HOWEVER. I am more than pumped that it's Wednesday because we are once again in the midst of The Worst Week of the Month. And no, I'm not talking about what you think I'm talking about. I am referring to the fact that this is Luke's week to be on call. The beginning of the fall semester of Mother's Day Out came just in time!
And speaking of Mother's Day Out let's talk about little A's first day, shall we? First of all, in preparation for the big day, we met his teachers last Friday who are WONDERFUL by the way. He had a blast playing with all the toys he'll be enjoying for the next several months. We also took a picture together in which I am 99.9% sure I did not look as stellar as I would have liked. I've come to accept that I can't help the 200% humidity and the fact that it causes my hair to channel it's inner afro and the make-up to melt off my face.
In other words, I did all I could.
That said, we left with a couple of handouts, a handbook, and a yellow sheet of construction paper for pictures of his family.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, I put off getting all of his stuff ready until a mere 15 minutes before we had to leave. I should probably also mention that my kitchen looked like the aftermath of the Atomic bomb.
I'm not even kidding.
While I waded through all the clutter on my countertops so as to clear a space to make Austin's lunch, my eyes just happend to land on The Yellow Sheet of Construction Paper. This is the part in which I began to think in ALL CAPS...
At this point I had about 10.5 minutes to find some pictures, make his lunch, get his backpack ready, and change a dirty diaper that was already starting to make the Aftermath of the Atomic Bomb smell more like nuclear waste. Would somebody please get me a hazmat suit?!
So I flew around the house like the Tazmanian Devil gathering as many pictures as I could find, an extra set of clothes, diapers, and some chicken nuggets for the lunch I was in the middle of making when The First Day of School blew up in my face. After it was all said and done, Austin had himself a nutritious lunch, a fully loaded backpack, and a yellow piece of construction paper with a few pictures slapped on it as well as My Family written at the top. Not my proudest or most creative moment. In fact, I meant to take a picture to document The World's Lamest Family Picture Page, but alas, the dirty diaper took precedence.
Finally. FINALLY! We pulled into the parking lot and unloaded all of his "gear" before we headed up to his class. I took a quick look around the parking lot and noticed that several moms were dressed all nice like they were going to win some kind of Best Dressed Award for their child's first day.
I was not one of those moms.
Remember? I was too busy making The Family Page.
Nevertheless, I held my head high and prayed my hat would hide some of my face as I walked Austin to his class. Once we reached his room and Ms. Debbie took all of his stuff, he walked in to the sound of a little girl screaming her head off. I thought for sure he was going to lose it too.
Because that's just what he does when someone else is screaming. To which I say, if everyone else jumped off a cliff would you?
But instead, he looked at me, smiled, and said:
I waved and told him I loved him as he turned toward the toys. It was at that exact moment that the hymn "No Turning Back" began to play in my head. It went a little something like this:
I have decided to follow Ms. Debbie,
I have decided to play with her toys.
I have decided to follow Ms. Debbie.
No turning back.
No turning back.
He had a GREAT first day just in case you were wondering. I mean the kid was so excited that he didn't take a nap during rest time. I just love that he has so much fun at school. It makes leaving him alot easier and gives me the complete freedom to enjoy my time off.
And there you have it, folks. The unabridged rundown of Austin's first day of school and proof that I am one of those moms that doesn't always have it together.
Hope you all are having a fabulous week!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a sweet reminder

Today I found out that someone I knew in elementary school and middle school passed away after battling cancer for 2 years. I had the privilege of reading through some of her and her husband's thoughts during their challenging journey. I was absolutely blown away by their attitudes and complete trust in Jesus. It was humbling, really.

I was not prepared for how sad I would feel after hearing this news. It's always sobering when someone my age or younger passes away. Even though I knew her for just a brief time, I always enjoyed the updates I heard from mutual friends. I guess that's just the way it is when you attend a small school for 12 years. Needless to say, I just sat on my couch and told the Lord, with tears streaming down my face, that death and sickness just makes me so sad.

And He, in turn, brought to mind a couple of scriptures. The first I read in my Bible study yesterday.

Luke 7:11-15

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."

This story really touched my heart yesterday and I'm so thankful God brought it to mind today. I take great comfort in the fact that Jesus doesn't just know how we feel, he is moved by our emotions as we struggle through painful situations. In fact, so precious are our tears to Him that the Bible says He keeps a record of every single one...

Psalm 56:8

You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

{The Message}

I tend to get so caught up in the fact that He is always in control and knows each situation intimately even before it happens that I forget how moved He is by our reactions and our tears. It was such a sweet reminder to me today that He will always be gentle with our tender emotions. Can I get an Amen from all the moms out there that have ever had pregnancy emotions, baby blues, or pre-empty nest panic attacks?!

Amen. On the first 2 not the last. Yet.

So I rejoice with Lana who is worshiping our Heavenly Father right this very moment. And I praise The One who has conquered death. And sickness. And just overall yuckiness.

Satan. Jokes on you. This is what it feels like to have your butt kicked by Jesus. Glory, Hallelujah, and Amen.

However, I mourn with her family and friends whose tears and aches are being recorded even as I type these words.

Sweet Jesus, draw near and comfort as only You can! May we always take refuge in the shelter of Your wings as the storms rage around us. You are so faithful!