Monday, May 31, 2010

Lessons From Preschoolers

Some call it nagging.  It might even be considered whining.  But for this nice and neat blog post, it'll be named PERSISTENCE.

And this little girl has a lot of it!  Especially when cotton candy is involved.  Repeating the same phrase over and over again, can wear me down.

While I think of it as a negative when I'm on the receiving end, I'm looking at it from her point of view today.  Because being persistent in your dreams in life (cotton candy, grad school, job promotion, American Idol, potty training, sleeping through the night) can (sometimes) get us where we want to go.

So as I continue to wrestle with the insurance company over charges for Cordelia's birth (11/7/09, ahem), I will draw upon my Preschooler's persistence.  And maybe, just maybe, we'll get this claim (my money) figured out.  I will not give up.

Thank you, Eloise, for this valuable lesson in life.

Do you want to see my Preschooler's other lessons?  She's such a bright little bug: see here, here, and here.

Not Me Monday

It's been ages since I've participated in MckMama's Not Me Monday.  And I've missed the cathartic nature of confessing my many imperfections.

Here's what I've NOT been up to lately, wink wink.

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

I have NOT been without my dear husband for the last few days.  And I have missed him dearly, but NOT for the most selfish reasons.  

I do NOT miss him helping me in the middle of the night with the little ones.  I do NOT miss him most when I'm awake from 2-4am with an ever chipper 3 year old who can't go back to sleep after having an accident in bed.  I can NOT wait to see him so that he can help split the work load when Cordelia continues to cough herself awake every 2 hours.  NO, I am absolutely NOT that self absorbed.  Nor exhausted.  Nor lazy.  Nor needy. NOT ME!

Just to prove that I'm NOT lazy nor exhausted, I will NOT tell you how the soiled sheets from 2 nights ago are still on the bed.  I did NOT just tell Eloise to switch beds so that I wouldn't have to change her sheets.  And it's been over 48 hours, and I still have NOT washed them.  Nope, NOT ME!

And as if that wasn't bad enough, I have NOT napped when I could this past few days to catch up on my sleep.  I have NOT tried to get more rest so that I'm a nicer and healthier person.  Instead, I have NOT read an entire book.  (Sarah Pekkanen's new book The Opposite of Me.  Sarah is my sweet neighbor and an excellent author.  It's a great vacation read.  Chick Lit.  But also a very real look at identity and quarter life crises, which I don't know about you, but everyone is having them these days.)  Anyway, NOT ME.  I'm a responsible mother who puts her health first.  Obviously.

Happy Monday!  What have you NOT been doing lately?

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Candid End to School

It's the end of Eloise's first preschool year.  Let's look back at her first day.

Now, the last day of school.

Posed.  (Never good.)

Candid.  (Always better!)

We love you Ms. S!  Thanks for such a wonderfully successful year!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mark Schultz

Yes, for all you (ahem, Molly) who answered correctly (aren't sister's great?), that is indeed, Mark Schultz.  Not a household name to many, but for me, he's big time.

I first met Mark when I was in high school.  We were on a mission trip to Mexico and he was a youth minister with a church from Nashville that came with us.

And because our churches were friends, he came and did some other youth/music stuff with our church so I met him those times as well.  All while in high school.

Total times meeting Mark Schultz before last night = 3.  Maybe 4.  That's all.

So I hear on the radio that he's coming to play at Falls Church (shout out to my loyal reader Elizabeth for getting the location of the concert correct!).  Of course I made plans to go see him.

He's a become a well known contemporary Christian singer.  He's a real talent, he's real nice, and I've enjoyed following him for the past 12 years.

So Alex and I walk into the church last night, and guess who's standing in the lobby,

"I know you." He points at me.  "Emily _____."

He remembers me.  And my name.  Boy, did I feel cool!  And boy does that man have a gift for names.

We chatted with him a little before the concert,  enjoyed a great show, and chatted a little afterwards.

I'm an even bigger fan of Mark Schultz now.

And I am going to make a great effort in learning and using people's names.  Because it feels good when someone knows your name.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tiny Dancer

It's the end of the school year and things are coming to a close.  Eloise recently had her end of the year ballet show.  Needless to say, it was adorable.

Happy Birthday Alex

Is this what it feels like to get a year older?

Oh no!

Just kidding babe.

I love you so much!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Heart Faces

The theme is yellow this week at I Heart Faces.  Eloise loves her big yellow ball, and I love this resting shot.  Click on over to see some magnificent yellow photos.

Weekend in Review

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pentecost Sunday

Appropriately adorned. 

Fuzzy photography can be attributed to either a) poor lighting b) the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Eloise successfully sat through an entire church service, on the front row, without making a peep.

And Alex baptized little Cordelia Fae, our little bitty cuddle bug.

Pentecost Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the year because it is when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, our encourager, companion, and friend in this world.

And it reminds me of the power these words have, "Come Holy Spirit, Come."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

402 and the Winner with complications

To prove our randomness to those how doubted, here is evidence.

The numbers on a silver platter.  Nothing but the best for my readers.

The honest priest.

Picking the winner.

Drum roll please...

And then things get complicated.

KHS throws a wrench in things with her comment.  KHS is technically the winner, but looks like there was a ghost writer involved.  

Read her comment:
Hi Mom. It's me, Eloise. I have channeled through invisible Charles to post on your blog so I can have a shot at that candy! xo

Now what am I supposed to do with that?  (Expect your candy soon, KHS :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010


Well, the comments are heating up!  1/11 are good odds.  Just think you might just be the winner.

And while I love hearing all the love, you can't win me over with compliments.  I should have made it clear (first giveaway, sorry!), I will be choosing at random.  Just think Alex, the priest, picking numbers out of a hat.

It will be fair and square.

So leave those comments.  We'll be picking very very soon!  :-)  (And thanks for indulging the silliness.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

400th Post and Giveaway

That is right, people, this is my 400th post.  Can you believe I've been around for that long?  Neither can I.

So I thought we'd take a trip down memory lane and see where this magic all began.

After the birth of Eloise, we emailed photos and video to our family and friends but it just became too tedious.  So Alex suggested we start a blog.  Our family and friends could easily stay updated and everything would be kept nice and tidy in one place.

Here's post #1. There were 23 posts in 2007.

I wasn't too enthusiastic at first.  I occasionally would post but didn't think I had much to share.

Here's another look of the blog.  2008 brought us 83 posts.  This is of Eloise and her cousin Cici taking some first steps.  Can't believe they were once that small.

And slowly but surely, I became addicted to the blogosphere.  It has morphed into a diary of sorts.  A place to share not only about my children but also my thoughts and feelings.  And it's been loads of fun.

One more look of the blog.  89 posts in 2009.  Here's Maggie and Tim's wedding.  Almost 1 year ago today.  Happy 1 year anniversary!  So far in 2010, I've posted 167 times.  Wow!

And so to celebrate my 400th post, I thought I could do my first giveaway.  No, no IPad here.  No Photoshop nor Kitchen Aid mixer.  Instead I thought a candy bar would be most appropriate for this blog.  I love candy bars, so I thought I would share one with you.

But after discussing this over breakfast, Alex and I decided mailing chocolate was a big bad idea.  So, what's my second favorite candy?  Haribo gummys of course.  So, if you comment on this here post, I will choose at random one winner to receive some Haribo gummys.  A small, simple, and silly way to celebrate my 400th.  Gets me thinking, what might be appropriate for my 500th post?

Happy 400th post from me to our family and friends around the world!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Anonymous, Not!

This is not anonymous.  I am Emily.  No I won't tell you where I live or my phone number or my middle name or other things like that for safety reasons, of course, but you know my face and if you want to, you can disagree with me.  Just click that little button that says "comment" and write what you want to say.  (Although I know you mostly want to give me compliments, right?  Because I'm a nice blogger and you are nice readers... :-)

I bring this up because of an article we've read in the news.  A local business owner who is a Christian has been viciously attacked on local web forums by anonymous people.  And the "whisper campaign" on the net is destroying her business and personal reputations.

Similar accusations have sprung up on these same forums about our church and school.  And they just are not true.  Unsubstantiated lies.  False.  And they are posted under "anonymous."

Anonymous says we are xyz, and Anonymous says she is xyz, and bam, the damage is done.

If you don't want to go to church, don't go.  If you don't want a Christian school, don't send your children.  If you don't want to get your nails done by a Christian, don't go.  If you don't want to get your nails done by a Buddhist, don't go.  If you don't want to get your nails done by a Muslim, don't go.  And if you don't want to get your nails done by a secular humanist Jewish person, don't go.

And if you have a beef with your nail salon, go to them in person and say something in a civilized manner.  But don't be hateful and anonymous and spread lies.  Thank you.

And that's all I have to say about that.

And let's get back to some blogging fun.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Closing time

Right now at 9:58pm, I'm half watching Glee.  Surfing the web and eating ice cream out of the carton in my pajama pants.

My brain is closed.  This house is closed.

It doesn't matter that there are toys everywhere.  The dinner dishes are still out.  The light is on in the basement and I have a lot of preparations for this weekend.  (Alex is baptizing Cordelia on Sunday and all the parents are coming in.)

Once the last child goes to bed, I'm done.  My hand go up in the air and I collapse.  Just like that.

As a mom, I don't bring my work home with me.  My work is home with me, all the time.  But, I feel guilty.  I can't shake the feeling that I should be picking up and cleaning and organizing and etc.  I know in my mind that I need a break--I haven't had one all day with little Cordelia being sick and Alex working a long, long day.  But the guilt persists.

How do you let yourself relax?  And why is it so hard for me to do that?

Thankfully, Cordelia's been fever-free for a few hours so I'm hoping we've turned the corner.  PTL!

And for our image today, I present to you Alex, Martin, Lammy, and Cammy.  If we've learned anything this year it is that puppets are the BEST teaching tools.  And, anything can be a puppet--a spoon, an animal, a ball, a flower... really, anything can talk.  And kiddos love it.  Lammy and Cammy are Alex's chapel friends at the Preschool.  They are adorable.  And they hail from Estes Park, Colorado.

And here's Eloise being the cutest kid on the block.

And with that.  Good night.

Attention Please

Because Cordelia has been sick the last couple of days, Eloise is getting a little jealous.  And she has been asking for my attention in the most hilarious ways.

This morning she summed it up by recounting yesterday's events.

She woke up yelling, "Mommy, my arm hurts!"

"Oh goodness," I say, "What happened?"

"Well first my mouth hurt.  Then my chin hurt.  Then I saw a monster.  Now my arm hurts and Daddy gave me a bandaid."

Yes indeed.  Yesterday was a day of multiple injury for the little girl.  She must have clocked about 1.5 hours of crying while Cordelia expressed her pain with a mere whimper.  She had to make sure I didn't forget about her while I fussed over Cordelia.

Don't worry, Eloise, I'll never forget you.

(At one point yesterday, Eloise had a bandaid on her chin.  It was so funny looking and I wish I had a photo of it.  Oh well.  I only have 2 arms.)

(Oh, and yes, we did see a monster yesterday.  He's purple and is named Gus.  Our imaginary friend cast is growing.  More on that later. :-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Heart Faces

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is flowers.  I couldn't resist this shot of my little garden nymph.  She was showing me the pansies that she wasn't supposed to pick. :-) And then I took a picture.  Great parenting, huh?

I love the symmetry and lush green background.

Click on the cute button above to see more entries and enter your own!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Water Table

Who needs a water table when you have a kitchen sink?

Not as safe, sanitary, or neat as a water table, though.  Oh well.  This is what I happened upon after putting Cordelia to sleep upstairs.  Maybe she was helping do the dishes?  If only!  At least it entertained her while Cordelia has been sick today.  

Oh, and thankfully no knives were involved.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lessons From Preschoolers

Cordelia took an exceptionally long nap this morning.  Alex worked all day.  So, Eloise and I had an extended play time together.  It was super sweet to have some uninterrupted time with her.

We cuddled for a while and I told her how smart she was, beautiful she was, creative she was, and so on and so on.  After my long list of accolades, Eloise looked at me and said,

"I can do anything!" 

After too many years of knowing that's not true and becoming too concerned about the people around me, Eloise's acclamation was music to my ears.

It's easy to feel discouraged and inadequate and hopeless.  But thanks to you, Eloise, today, maybe just for a small time, I was reminded that I was specially made and can do anything with God's help.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Obama to left, McCain to the right

Here's a fantastic video of kids rapping before the 2008 Presidential election.

Obama on the left, McCain on the cute!

Well, now you've got ads on your left, information on your right...

Cute.  I know.  Anyway.  Yes, I have monetized my blog.  After months of seeing the monetize button, I clicked it.

And we're going to try it out for a little bit.  Just for fun and curiosity.  Reminds me of when I counted the number of stairs I walk in a week.  And we'll see if I make any money.  A pastor's wife can dream, can't she?

I hope you don't find it tacky.   And I hope you don't sit there and continue to click on the ads. (Mom, Sis, Dad, you know who you are...) Don't just click on it hoping to make me a fortune.  That would actually disqualify me.  Just continue to enjoy my blog.  Read it.  Go goo goo over my beautiful children and leave me nice comments on my writing style.

That'd make me so happy.

And I'm sleepy.  So off to bed.  Night night.

Sweet Spot

A lot of serious things have happened lately.  And I've been trying to work it all out.  I've even started a post about some of it but stopped because it's hard to get my mind around all of it.

So, tonight's village council election brought some levity to our lives.

We voted for people we don't know.  Our neighbor told us who to vote for and we did.  We are shameless.

But patriotic, nonetheless.

If patriot-ness includes free ice cream, that is.

And a lot of gum balls.

Tonight was a sweet spot in a messy world.