Saturday, February 27, 2010

The it's not Valentines Day anymore Valentines Day post...

We had big plans to go to the aquarium over Valentines Day weekend for a little family outing. But this little snow storm decided to sweep through the USA and included the southeast in its stops. LOVE IT! If you have to be stuck at home, this is how I would want to spend my day. We had 4 INCHES of powdery, white snow. For us Southerners, 4 inches is magical! I wasn't sure how much the little lady would like it...but, she LOVED IT!
Yes, I purposely matched our coats and put on makeup just to get a pretty picture. I'm kind of vain like that. Hahaha.
Those poor ducks and geese must have been freezing!!

The little lady liked to shake the branches so snow would fall on our heads. She is such a funny little gal!

As you can see from the expression above, she had a great Valentines Day weekend. We also made over 40 cards with the help of my sisters kids and sent them to the Children's Cancer Center. It's never too early to teach little ones about the importance of giving and how it is more important than receiving.

I had full intentions of taking some really neat Valentines pictures of the little lady with her main man (her daddy), but never got around to it. I still might do it at some point. Stay tuned! It involves rose petals and my cute hubby in a suit.
We are not really Valentines Day people. But, I have such sweet memories of my father giving me a Valentines Day card every year once I became a teenager. He knew that being "that girl" who never had a boyfriend needed to feel loved on a day that makes single people feel kind of rotten. I always felt so loved by this simple tradition. Once again, it shows how important a father's role is in a daughters life.

Speaking of fathers, mine is in Africa right now. He's been there a week already and will be there for about one more. He and other missionaries spend their days doing Bible studies and teaching the African people of Mali about what Christianity REALLY means. Many of the Mali people have heard of Jesus, but they don't really understand what He is all about. I cannot wait till he gets home to hear his stories of how God used them on this trip.My mother heard from him once last week. He said it was 118 degrees! Whew~

Dear Ella,
Happy heart day my love. I don't need roses, or chocolate, or diamonds for Valentines Day. All I need is a day of showing you my love. I can't imagine a better day than playing in the snow with you and your sweet daddy. May you NEVER feel lonely or sad on Valentines Day.
I love you a thousand times,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still alive

I'm still alive. There has been no time for blogging. There hasn't even been time for cleaning house. I mean, I can't even remember to give the cat water...speaking of which, I wonder how long that bowl has been empty. Poor cat. You know it's been too busy when your less than 2 year old asks for chicken nuggets for lunch...meaning, we have been eating fast food too much. By too much, I mean that we ate it 4 times in the past three days. That just makes my stomach hurt even thinking about it. We have a once a week or less rule in this house.

Ella had surgery today (ear tubes). She did great. They pulled out the red carpet for Ella and me(she had it done where I work). I'm having surgery tomorrow. Prince charming is exhausted from a lot of late night meetings and taking care of all of us. I'm hoping this stress doesn't send his heart into a funky rhythm again. We just don't really have time for all of us to be under the weather...definitely no time for a pacemaker. I keep telling him if he'd stop eating so healthy and sleep less, his heart would be fine (sarcasm). Why is that it's always the healthy people that get weird health issues? I digress...

I don't usually ask, but can you pray for all of us? I don't mean to sound DRAMATIC, we just need some strength from God to get through all this. We certainly don't have anything life threatening going on...just way too much "stuff"...and we are TIRED! The good news is that Andrew's mom is flying in town for almost 2 weeks to help us out. Hallelujah! I'm sort of ashamed to have her see my disastrous house...but, we are in survival mode.

Ok. I'm hearing screams of bloody murder come from Ella's bedroom. HELP!

Little ole me

Dear Ella,
Do you still love me even though I let people pin you down to put you to sleep for surgery? And do you still love me even though I've made you ride around in the car WAY TOO much the past two weeks?
I promise life won't stay like this. You are such a trooper. You are my motivation to smile when things are too busy and hard!!
I love you a thousand times.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dream big

I always wondered where those blog awards came from! Thank you Courtney for nominating me for my first!

My goal for this blog was never to get some big recognition. It's really just a simple love story...a story of love between a mother and a daughter. I want something tangible that Ella can hold onto long after I am gone (and I don't do scrapbooks). I want her to always know how much I have enjoyed every single day of her life. It is such a blessing to be her mother. I really don't like it when people say things like "just wait until she's a teenager" or "just wait until she talks back." These are the same people who said "just wait until she's walking" or "just wait until she's a toddler." They were all wrong. Each phase of her life has been such a blessing. Yes, there are LOTS of temper tantrums, lots of daily messes...all the things you would expect from each stage. But, why would I expect anything else of my child when I can't even make it through the morning myself without screwing up something? So this is my story for that she will always know how she has filled my heart with an indescribable love.

So, according to the award "rules", I am supposed to write seven interesting things about myself. This is hard because I'm a pretty boring person (but I LOVE my life). Here's my attempt to be, uh, interesting...
1. If I wasn't a nurse, I'd either be the new Samantha Brown on the travel channel or the new Sarah Richardson or Candace Olson on HGTV. I'm obsessed with interior design and have an appreciation for all types of design.
2. I can't draw to save my life. I can barely color inside the lines in Ella's Barney coloring book. I am envious of those who can draw/paint/sculpt. I'm really creative, but I can't express it in this way at all.
3. I can be really outgoing and also really shy. It completely depends on who I am around. If I look up to you, I'll probably tend to seem more reserved in fear that I might saying something stupid!
4. I love old music and old movies. Ella seems to like old, classic jazz music too! She's got good taste.
5. I have a slight obsession with those big, warm pretzels you get at the mall. If I'm being really bad, I'll get cheese to go with it. If I'm being REALLY, REALLY bad, then I get a cherry icee too! This is my favorite treat to share with Ella.
6. I love all things Parisian.
7. In a perfect world, my little family and I would live in the Tuscan region of Italy. We'd ride our bikes everywhere, have a vineyard and olive trees, and eat fresh tomatoes every day. We'd vacation in Nice and travel to Paris often. Or maybe we would just live in a swanky apartment in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower. We'd sit at little cafes and drink coffee and eat crepes with bananas and chocolate. Ella would be fluent in french and say "oui, oui Mommy!"

Doesn't that sound glamorous?

But instead, we only have a view of a couple lonely dogwood trees. I only managed to grow 5 lemons on two lemon trees this past year. And the only cafe I'm lounging around at is my not-so-pretty breakfast table...drinking Maxwell House coffee with off brand vanilla creamer. There are no banana and chocolate crepes....only cheerios with brown mushy bananas. And Ella's favorite word is "no" not "oui" (french for yes).

It's good to have dreams. But, my reality is pretty darn good too.

Dear Ella,
May you dream big, but always think mushy bananas are good enough.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The ache of my heart...

My heart is heavy. That sounds so depressing, but I cannot get the image out of my head that I witnessed this week. The worst of it is realizing my own naiveness of this world. I'd like to think that I am aware of what goes on in this world, but after this week, I do not think that I am. I can't stop thinking about it. The feelings this story have evoked in me are some that I am not sure I will ever be able to shake.
I ran into a coworker of mine whom I have not seen in a couple of months. She adopted a little girl from China about two months ago, so she has been gone on personal leave for awhile now. She is the picture perfect little china girl...she looked like a little doll. She and Ella are only a couple weeks apart. They will both be 2 this May. Her daughter is slightly delayed, which one usually expects when adopting a toddler from there.
But underneath the pink leggings of this precious child of God were scars. Her legs reveal the damage of being tied up to her bed. I knew orphanages were less than ideal conditions for little ones, but I was so in shock of the abuse. The saddest part is this is not uncommon in Chinese Orphanages...nor is it even the worst of the things that go on there.
I came home to do my own research on these conditions. What I found in my ten minutes of reading and seeing videos has left my heart with such an ache that I am not sure I will ever be the same. I cannot believe I was so naive that I did not know this. I actually feel ashamed at my own ignorance. I am not sharing this video with you to evoke the same emotions I am having. I am sharing it with you because I don't want other people to be as naive as me. Here is the link.
The thought of my new knowledge has left me with a yearning for God to please tell me what I could do to help.
I rocked Ella for a long time last night. I couldn't help but start crying as she rubbed her little nose on mine and giggled. I just kept thinking that across the world, there are so many children being abused, neglected, and even put in a room to die. I cannot understand how my loving God would allow a child to come into this world that He knows will live in abuse. How could that be for His glory? If everything has a purpose, I cannot justify in my heart how this could have any purpose. These are the things that I cannot explain to a nonbeliever. I don't even understand myself.
That little girl's life may have been saved, but she will forever carry mental and physical scars from this damage. Dear God, please save these children in orphanages from this torment.

Dear Ella,
May you always love others with all your heart. May you always be humble for all you have been given. I pray you will always be aware of the despair in this that you will always be grateful for your blessings.
I love you a MILLION times my precious gift from God,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Sometimes it feels like there is no catching up. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard I work, the house is still not clean. And sometimes, you wake up to a beautiful sunny winter day and feel bummed that it is so beautiful outside, yet you are so behind on all the housework. Sometimes, you just have to put the broom down and leave the dirty clothes in the hamper...which is overflowing to the floor by the way. Sometimes if you don't just stop, you will miss out on lots of this:
Learning to row

You'd miss the excitement in your child's eye when they are so happy!
Sitting on the boat trailer. Doesn't everyone have a picture of their child doing this?

I mean, how often do you get to feed three beautiful white ducks in the middle of winter?
Or play soccer outside...
If I didn't take a break, I never would have realized how BIG she looks in her swing now. Are we really ready for a big kid swing set? When did that happen?
Sometimes you just HAVE TO let them help you paint...even if it was going to make a mess.

And just when I thought our day had already been full of so much fun, there had to be so some serious game of peek-a-boo to be played...

And some silly faces to be made...

And you might as well pull out the crayons and draw 500 pictures of flowers on about 30 pieces of construction paper.

And sometimes you have to read the 30 page book, instead of the 10 page book.
And at the end of the day, the sink is full of dishes. The princess was sound asleep. The hubby wants to know if I want to get in bed in watch a movie..."or else he's going to sleep". I look at that sink full of dishes and think about how even further away I am from ever having a clean house again. There is cat fur blowing through the house like tumbleweed. There is tomato sauce concreted to the breakfast table. I had to decide what was going to make me feel better...trying to catch up on some housework or just say "screw the housework".

It was a REALLY good movie.

Sometimes, you just have to live.

Dear Ella,
I'd rather spend the day playing outside with you, playing Barbies with you, and simply holding you than have clean clothes! You are always worth it. God loves a hard worker...but, He wants us to enjoy the blessings around us too. May you always take time to smell the roses...or feed the ducks!
I love you a thousand times,