Sunday, November 30, 2008

It is finished.

Unbutton your pants, pop an antacid and unpack the Christmas lights. Yes, in the blink of an eye, my favorite holiday has come and gone once again. Christmas is wonderful, Halloween is loads of fun, Easter is great, but Thanksgiving is, and will always be, my fave.

There are no presents, it's not overly commercialized, it's just a day to pause and give thanks for our many, many blessings.
It makes me mad when I see people skip over this great holiday too. I walked into Pier One back in October to be greeted by ornaments, trees and twinkling lights. Jeez! I love Christmas as much as the next gal, but respect the turkey folks!

This year we had a lot to be thankful for and we had two opportunities to celebrate little C's first Turkey Day with both my family and Mr. C's. Two celebrations stretched into three days of family, fellowship, fun, football and of course wonderful food. I was in heaven!

We ate WAY too much and got a chance to catch up on DVR recordings and some much needed sleep. All-in-all it was the perfect week/end (with one exception involving the BCS rankings...), and as sad as I am to see my favorite holiday finished, its passing means Carter's first Christmas is right around the corner!

With a mouthful of food and a naked baby in the high chair, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It was time for a facelift

C'mon In!

Hope you like the new layout. With the acceptance that the blog is mine more than the mister's, came the freedom to make the page a tad more me :)

Our blog isn't the only place that's received some sprucing up. We recently finished our dining room and entry...well ALMOST...I'd love new light fixtures, hardwood in the dining, an area rug and a runner, etc., but I'm sure I'll be tweaking things for the rest of our time in this house. We've paved the way, though, and it's a much improved first impression.

'before' and 'after' shots:

It was just that simple! Ha! Anyone who talked to me during this little project knows I'm kidding. Regardless, I'm glad it's done, and just in time for my favorite holiday.

We've moved!

Correction, I've moved...I mean who are we kidding? My better half is about as interested in contributing to this little project of mine as he is following international soccer!

Anyway, for the sake of practicing a little web-safety I've tried to add some anonymity to the blog by removing our surname. With as many pictures and stories as I've posted, I'm sure if anyone REALLY wanted to stalk us they could; but because I know there are far more interesting people out there, I'm not going to edit any previous posts to remove names. Going forward, however, we'll just be a (Mrs. C/mama C), the mister (Mr. C/papa C/C-man), and of course the little one (little C-man/ baby C/ C-monster). You get the idea :)

With a new title, I decided I needed a new (and correctly spelled!) domain, so you can now find us here ( hope that doesn't throw everyone off too badly and destroy any 'following' I've created (LOL - yea right..I'm sure I can just call the three people that read this blog and let them know :)

The story behind the title? Well, it's kind of a throw back to a previous post I did (very late at night so forgive the melancholy/over dramatic tone) about what I want to be when I grow up. In a world where we are all about extreme living, pushing boundaries, and being the best, I feel that the beauty in living a simple life has become overshadowed by a universal desire to be 'special'. In reality, though, an average life IS a beautiful thing.

Bestselling author Michael Neill says it better that I ever could with the following story...
Have an Average Day

I encourage you to follow the link, but if you don't have time to read the article, the moral of the story is, enjoying the ordinary is extraordinary, and a series of seemingly average days can have a profound positive impact on the world.

So with that, I wish all of you an average day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me

I recently started following a site called Blog Around the World (fondly referred to as BATW). It's a fun blog site devoted solely to promoting other blog sites! I'm admittedly not a very good follower because I don't visit many of the sites the author features in her daily posts. Today's post and featured site were a different story, though.

I was so touched by Lynette's story and blog (Dancing Barefoot) I wanted to share it with all of you. Here's an excerpt from today's BATW post, Joy in Unbearable Loss :

"...Lynnette @ Dancing Barefoot is the mother of nine children. Yes, I said nine. But three of them are having a big ole party together in heaven right now. I cannot imagine the loss of one child let alone three. But through the most unimaginable pain a parent can experience, Lynette and her husband clung to their faith to get them through these dark times. Instead of rejecting God, they have grown closer and stronger with Him and each other. Their faith has deepened such that it is probably unshakable at this point. Very few people can say that because very few people have experienced what Lynnette and her family have experienced. I can tell you that she is a great witness to me personally and out of all this pain there is a sweetness about her that can only come from the Lord. She has just written a book that was released this past Tuesday, called In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me that takes the reader on her journey..."

I've not read Lynette's book, but I'm anxious to. As a new mother, my biggest fear is that something would happen to our precious son. I don't know that I could survive the pain of losing my child, and as a result I often find myself begging, pleading and bargaining with God not to test my faith in Him in that way. This story is an inspirational reminder to me that God is the author of all creation and that every child's life is a precious gift.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Halfway there!

Carter turned 6 months old yesterday! It's such a cliche thing to say, but the time has just flown by! It's so hard to believe he's already halfway through his first year. When I stop to think about what all he has learned to do in 6 months, it's just incredible. I mean 6 months ago he couldn't lift his head, let alone his body, now check out just how well he gets himself from point A to B!

He's also rocking the solid foods. We've worked our way through several orange/yellow veggies, and he's really enjoyed everything so far except avocado - go figure, he was practically raised on guacamole while he was in the womb!

Pumpkin - yum!

Avocado - yuck!?!

The lip lock (nothing gets past it!)

So to celebrate his 1/2 birthday I made him bananas for the first time, and instead of pureeing them, I mashed them with a little water so he could explore a little different texture as well as taste. He seemed to like's the video:

And add one more food to the list of solids he's eating - icing! Daddy had to work late, but we tried to get one picture with his cake before bed and Carter used the photo op to grab a fistful of icing and shove it in his mouth! It was hilarious! Too bad that was the exact moment my camera battery died!!! So frustrating! I told Stephen to freeze while I scrambled around to charge the battery. Here's a picture from a few minutes just doesn't do the moment justice because he had already sucked most of the icing off his hand and face, but I'm glad we captured the memory anyway. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

I think this saying dates back to 16th century English literature, and I'm guessing whoever coined the phrase was travelling with a small child.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ahhh! I was Blog Tagged!

I was checking out my friend Ashley's very cute blog this morning (this is her picture - isn't she a doll?!) and saw I had been blog tagged! I don't want any bad juju, and I'm hoping if I butter her up enough, she'll give me some of her decorating tips; SO, here are the rules;

1. Link to the person who tagged you (Ashley)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write six random thoughts about yourself
4. Tag six people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know he/she has been tagged
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

Six random things about me:
1. Try as I may, I'd rather have a good beer than a good glass of wine.
2. I have zero will power around sweets and have been known to eat cookies for breakfast if they are in the house.
3. I know I shouldn't, but I love South Park.
4. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
5. I don't change out of my pj's unless I'm going somewhere or have people coming over.
6. Because of #5, I try to plan an outting every day, even if it's just to Sonic for an iced tea during happy hour.

Ok, so I blog tag







Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fresh Food Feeder

Just had to give props to my favorite new baby's called a fresh food feeder. We have the munchkin brand, but there is a sassy brand I've heard good things about too. Anyway, it's this kewl little contraption you can put fresh food in and let your little one gnaw away without fear of choking.

Carter's not quite ready for chicken a la king or anything, but I've been running through the gamut of different teething products desperate for something that keeps him occupied for more than 5 seconds before he gets frustrated. So I tried this thing yesterday with a slice of peeled apple and he went to town for close to 30 minutes! It was fantastic! Hands down, the best kid-item I purchased this fall.

Thanks Uncle C!

For the past few months Carter's uncle has been in Kabul, Afghanistan on a deployment supporting the Afghan Military Academy. Much to everyone's delight, not least of all his wife and two girls I'm sure, he's headed home this month!

With such a fancy gig, uncle warbucks sent a little token home to his favorite nephew during his time away. His first Hard Rock Cafe T-Shirt from Kabul! No, you won't find it listed on Hard Rock's website as an actual location, but I'm sure that's just a mistake :) Carter also received an envelope with several thousand Afghanis (to start Carter's Afghan college fund of course!).

I did a little research, and as close as I can tell, the fist full of bills is equivalent to roughly 10 USD - a sum I'm sure the person or entity he exchanged with was grateful to get. What's even more amazing is, I think this is new currency, and the old currency was even weaker - if my math is correct the same amount in the old currency would have been worth only pennies. However, it seems with the recent activity in the middle east, money from the Taliban era has picked up steam and is worth several thousand times its face value to collectors and coin enthusiasts. Don't quote me on any of this, though. My research may be pretty off. Afghani exchange rate info on the web is pretty spotty.

Needless-to-say, whatever it's worth, it was a fun gift and we got a kick out of it; I know it will be a cool treasure in Carter's piggy bank when he gets old enough to understand money. And, deep pockets or not, we're praying for his safe return. I know it's been a long three months for his beautiful girls and wife, and we kinda missed him too.

Thanks Uncle C! Come home safe! And here's to hoping your time there improved the economy well enough to strengthen the Afghani, because with the rising cost of tuition and the so-so strength of the USD, we might be busting into Carter's piggy bank in 18 years or so!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Filled with Firsts

I've been slacking on the blogging this month, and I needed to catch up - October was filled with a lot of 'firsts' for Carter!! We had a pretty low-key month. Hung out around the house a lot following our whirl-wind September. I started redecorating the dining room and we got some new paint up. And of course, we celebrated Carter's first Halloween with friends and babies. All the babies were ADORABLE, but I'm sad to say I didn't get many pretty please you guys send pictures!

Carter's first trip to Lake Jackson to visit Grammy and Grandad for their birthdays.

Carter's first time in his Johnny Jump-up (video soon to come!)

First successful drink from his sippy cup.

First cold day (dipped into the 40's!) so we turned on the fireplace for the first time, and he loved watching it.

First time to sit up by himself!

And of course...his first Halloween!!

Still perfecting our sitting technique.

Giraffe thinks about crawling...

...but decides to scoot instead.

These next firsts technically fell in November, but while I was on the subject, I had to post them.

Here's Carter on his first 1st day of hunting season. Uncanny resemblance to Elmer Fudd, don't you think? Good to know we've got options for Halloween next year! :)

First time to sit up in the bathtub.

And in case you didn't get a good look in that last picture, a first that has been 5 and 1/2 months in the making...his first Mohawk!!! He finally has enough hair, but just barely!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I want to be when I grow up.

I promise I will get pictures up as soon as I get my camera back...I left it at a friend's house. But tonight, I am sorry to say there are no pictures with this post. No videos. This post is just for me. It was just something I realized and had to capture in writing before fatigue overcomes me and I crash for the day.

Tonight as I walked around our beautiful home turning out lights and locking doors, I looked around at dishes in the sink, laundry on the couch, and stuff piled up on counters, and was going through the motions until I noticed at a little pair of shoes sitting on the bar. Those tiny shoes...well, I don't know how to explain it other than in an instant I felt a wave of joy. I looked back around the room with different eyes...stuff on the counters was there because sippy cups and bottles had filled up the cabinets. Dishes were in the sink because I made baby food from scratch, the laundry on the couch was made up of little socks and pants and bibs...and with this perspective I felt myself smiling with my whole heart and soul.

When I was a little girl my mom and dad both worked so hard to make ends meet. I know it killed them to put me in daycare, but financially they couldn't afford any other alternative. My aunt on the other hand was a stay at home mom. So when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, with the clarity of a child I replied, "I want to be a mom. One like my aunt that stays home."

Fast forward a quarter of a century, and that innocent aspiration got lost. My goals changed, and I became swept up in wanting to be something more special. Someone the public would want to know, someone they would remember. I took an acting class in college, but was so bad I ended up with a C. I went off to London after graduation only to find I missed home so badly I could burst. I killed myself at every dumb job I had trying to find my stride and work my way up in the business world. Yet, my resume isn't that wonderful, and I doubt by the time I re-enter the workplace it will be worth anything more than the paper it's printed on.

And as much as I might try to spoof it up with fun blog entries, being a mom and staying at home is not all that interesting. If someone stopped by unexpectedly on most days they would find me in my pajamas eating cereal for lunch and playing on the floor with my son. I'm not even one of these stay at home moms that has a hobby or passion or crafty side that could earn me a little extra spending money. I'm even bad at staying on top of the chores. But it's what I'm meant to be, and tonight I found out there is a hum you feel in your very core when you finally hit the perfect note God has been pointing out to you.

I haven't completely come to grips with the fact that I will never in a million years see my name in lights, that I will never be that person everyone wants to know about, and I will most likely live out my days in suburbia being special only to a handful of friends and family. But even though I'll never achieve fame, I did achieve fortune. By an unbelievable series of events, God has richly blessed me to be exactly what I had wanted to be. A mom. One like my aunt that stays at home.