Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentines day

I am blessed to have 2 men in my life that have always done a wonderful job of making me feel special.

My very first Valentine was my dad. It's amazing that someone who was raised in a family of all boys could be so good at raising girls and making us feel special. Looking back, I remember Daddy/Daughter dates, the loudest voice in the crowd during my cheerleading days, and unexpected moments of advice. He's the reason I love my Heavenly Father so much and why I never settled when it came to dating. When the time came to walk me down the aisle, he did so without the Steve Martin antics in Father of the Bride. I know it was bittersweet for him, but let's be honest, he was only sad until he thought about the raise he was about to get. He is a blessing and I'm so thankful God made Pete Bauerlein my dad.

Luke is my second Valentine. The one I waited for for about 18 years.

No lie. 

To say he was worth the wait would be the understatement of the year. He is patient and kind. Gentle and humble, except for maybe when he's been proven right. He is the answer to all the prayers I prayed so long ago. But more importantly, he challenges me and smooths my rough edges. He always sees the best in me and believes I can do anything even when I doubt myself. I look at him and am reminded of many of the characteristics I love so much about Jesus.

Simply put, he is my best friend. The person that can make me laugh like no one else, push my buttons like no one else, and love the good and bad like no one else. Together we've faced the ups and downs of life, and through it all our marriage has been made stronger. After almost 7 years of mood-swings-without-warning, sleep-deprivation-due-to-having-kids, and more-things-on-our-to-do-list-than-we-have-time, he is still one of the best things to ever happen to me.

So to my favorite I say:

I love you more and more everyday!!

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Thursday, February 10, 2011

some thoughts on winter

I have never been so cold for an extended period of time in. my. life. Let's be honest. Part of the appeal of moving down to south Texas was that IT DOESN'T GET THAT COLD HERE! And yes, being closer to family was an added bonus. Here's something I bet you never knew: you can get cabin fever without millions of feet of snow that result in thousands of snow days.

It's called windchill, people, and I'm just not a fan of getting in my car and going anywhere when it feels like -19. Ok. Maybe that was a tad dramatic since my friends up north are actually experiencing those temperatures. My condolences. I wouldn't last a day in that kind of weather. It's like my friend Andrea said:

It's like winter got into a big vat of Muscle Milk.

Truer words were never spoken. 

Scarves are my new BFFs since all my super warm coats won't zip anymore. You'd think being about 8 months pregnant would keep you a little warmer than everyone else. Think again.

When we went to visit Britt and Jon in Boston over Thanksgiving, we got to do a lantern tour in Plymouth. You know, in honor of the Pilgrims. That particular day was extremely windy; therefore, making the 40 degree temps feel more like -40. And no, this time I'm not exaggerating. I remember thinking,

I sure am glad it doesn't get this cold in San Antonio!

Turns out jokes on me because apparently it can get that cold in San Antonio. So here I am having flashbacks to Plymouth and the lantern tour that felt like it would never end. I will say that my favorite part of that evening was seeing Britt wrap her scarf around her head like a little babushka because she didn't think she'd need a hat. Jon did too, in case you were wondering. And then, being the amazing uncle that he is, pushed an empty umbrella stroller around the town since Austin decided to have a meltdown which resulted in Luke carrying him. {aaand a really long runon sentence} It may sound like we didn't have fun, but surprisingly we did. I think it was all the jokes and memories we came away with after enduring the bitter cold. We even outlasted the family from Minnesota.

I guess the moral of the story is that you can still have fun and make memories in the bitter teaching your son how to make a snowball after it snows in San Antonio. Still I have one thing to say to Winter 2011:

Dial it down. Nobody likes a one-upper.

Stay warm, friends!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

this too shall pass

I would love to tell you that I'll get better about blogging more regularly, but that would be a lie. And if I'm gonna put my son in time out for lying, then I better not do it either.

Just sayin'...

Life is good here at The Keiffer House. Despite fighting head colds and allergies, I'd say we're enjoying the fact that life has slowed down a little since the holidays. Not being able to travel will force you to do that, you know. Now if we could just get Austin's new room and Brooke's first {or is it her second??} room finished, I would feel like we're ready for baby #2.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to see baby stuff around our house again. I guess I really had forgotten how tiny Austin was at one time. In fact, I went through some of his old, old clothes and was amazed and how easily the memories associated with each little outfit came flooding back. Time flies and before you know it, you're registering your first born for pre-school. I can't even think about it or I'll have a meltdown that involves the Ugly Cry. And no one, I mean NO ONE, looks good doing The Ugly Cry.

 I'm just so thankful for my little guy! So here's another letter telling him just that.

Dear Austin:

It hit me the other day that in 2 months, it won't just be the three of us anymore. While I can't wait to meet our sweet baby Brooke, part of me is a little sad to close this chapter of you and me.

It doesn't seem possible that three years could go by so fast! It seems like just yesterday, we were making our first trip to Target together. I was so nervous about how it would go, but you slept through the whole adventure. That's ok. Since then, you've developed an appreciation for the Dollar Spot that would make any mom proud!

I will never forget the moment that I truly became your mom. We were at the doctor and the nurse had to prick your heel to take some blood. You were crying. I was crying. Thank goodness the nurse didn't cry! I knew in that moment that I would do anything for you. I knew that for better or worse, a piece of me would always be tied to you. When you rejoice, I will rejoice with you. When you weep, I will weep with you.

In just a couple of short months, our world and family will change, but one thing will remain the same and that is the depth of your daddy and my love for you! You are everything we never imagined God would give us. Everything about you brings us such joy and laughter. You really are the gift that God promised you would be.

I love that I can see glimpses of other family members in you. It makes me feel closer to those that are far away. I love the way you make up songs about whatever is on your mind. It reminds me so much of the days that your Aunt Brittany would sing her "original" songs. She still has a song in her heart and I hope you always will too. I love your sweet spirit and tender heart. They bring a smile to my face because they remind me of your Grammy and Great-Granny. I love that you have a strong sense of right and wrong. You are such a rule follower and that definitely comes from your Aunt Claire and Gigi. Your joy and zest for life is the very picture of your Papa B. You entertain us like your Uncle Josh, and you love to talk to Jesus just like your Uncle Jon, Uncle Jared and Pops. You have a very determined spirit when trying to do new things and that reminds me of your Aunt Lindsay.

But more than anything, I love seeing glimpses of your Daddy in you. You are patient and forgiving just like he is. You are an observer and hardly miss a thing, which means you are always asking questions. You're an early riser. That is definitely a trait you get from your Daddy. You are loyal to your family and love unconditionally. These are perhaps the character qualities I love most about your Daddy, and it brings my heart great joy to see them in you. The two of you are buddies. I pray you never stop wanting to be just like your daddy because he is the best example here on earth of your Heavenly Daddy.

And speaking of your Heavenly Father, I pray that you will accept Him as your Savior at an early age. My desire for you is that you would come to know Him intimately and seek to glorify and please Him daily. I pray that as you face the troubles of this life, that you will remember that you are more than a conquerer because He has already won the victory! He loves you more than we ever could. As deep as our love is for you, it is still a poor picture of how wide and how deep God's love is for you. 

These last three years have been some of the best of my life. You are a daily reminder that life is full of seasons and all too quickly "this too shall pass." Thank you for being patient with us as we try to do this parenting thing the best we can. You are precious to us and one of our greatest treasures! We love doing life with you, but more importantly, we love you.


Proverbs 24:3-4

By wisdom a house is built,

and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.