Thursday, September 20, 2012

life is beautiful ~ a little nap-time craft

Callan woke up at 7am today.  Not unusually early, but I was still pretty groggy since I stayed up until just after midnight to kiss Travis goodnight (when he got home from work).  As Travis stayed in bed for a few more hours of sleep this morning, I shuffled after Callan's energetic pitter-patter of feet down the hallway.  I started a pot of coffee, as usual.  Callan played with his trains for a few minutes until he was ready for breakfast.

I turned on Pandora (At Your Name [Yahweh Yahweh] Radio).  As he ate, I got a little sewing done.  After he was finished eating, I cleaned him up, turned off my sewing machine, and sat down on the floor with Callan to play with his trains.

"Oh Happy Day" (by Fee) came on Pandora.  Callan went into the kitchen (that's where the laptop was) and just stood there smiling.  We started dancing.  10 minutes of dancing, smiles, and giggles.  Then we laid on the floor.  He looked over at me and smiled.  I smiled back.  My heart over-flowed.  It's these moments that make this life absolutely beautiful.  Snippets of momentary perfection.

"Let Faith Arise" (by Chris Tomlin) played in the background.  I closed my eyes.  I covered my face.  I sang along, in my head.  A prayerful song.  A song of thanksgiving.  Life is not always easy.  Sometimes we struggle.  Financially, emotionally, hiccups along the road, but my faith in Him gets me through.  Every time.

God has blessed me with one heck of a beautiful life.

"I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember
You are faithful, God, forever"

- "Let Faith Arise", Chris Tomlin

When Callan went down for a nap, I made this little reminder.
Hand-painted on a plank of what once was a barrel out in our backyard.
It found a place to rest up on our mantle.

Life really is beautiful.
Savor life, it's too beautiful to just let it slip by.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

pumpkin cookies with carmel frosting

My list of reasons for loving Fall is pretty lengthy.
Pumpkin flavored anything is towards the top of the list.

Last year I stumbled upon these delicious pumpkin cookies with carmel frosting.
They're some of my favorite pumpkin cookies.
A must-make every Fall.

I only made half of a batch this morning (I didn't have enough butter for a full batch), and I'm thankful there are half as many as there would be (if I made a full batch), because I may or may not have already eaten 3 of them.
And it's only 1 pm.

Cue self-control.
Although I have very low expectations for myself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a prayer request

We have friends, from our church back in California, that are asking everyone they know, and don't know, for prayers for their unborn baby.  Please, if you have a moment, lift up their little one in prayer.

Here is their most recent Facebook update:

"Hello all. Many of you saw a few weeks ago that Brett and I are pregnant. We're now 14 weeks and 3 days and we need your prayers. This week we discovered that our baby is developing abnormally. The baby has developed a large cyst on her back and neck and has fluid building up inside of her. Medic
ally, the cysts are referred to as cystic hygroma. The fluid build up is due to the lymphatic system not functioning properly. This could also be indicative of another developmental abnormality called Turner Syndrome. All that to say, the prognosis is not good. Based on the ultrasound, they don't expect baby to make it into the third trimester and probably not past 20 weeks due to the increase of fluid. And that's why we are posting: to ask you to pray for a miracle. We believe in God, we believe in His son Jesus, and we believe He listens to the prayers of his children. We believe He does miracles and we believe He weeps alongside us, just as He did with the family of Lazarus before He raised him from the dead. So, will you join us in petitioning God for a miracle? Will you pray and ask Him to heal our baby so we can meet her in March? It doesn't have to be a fancy or long prayer. I mostly just pray all day "Lord, heal my baby" and I know He hears me. And perhaps the best prayers I've heard have come from our 3 year old, Jack, who just says what he is thinking and talks to God like He would talk to any of you. Please consider joining us with this simple prayer and ask everyone you know to join us and do the same. I know some of you don't believe in God or have doubts. I ask you to consider praying too and see what God does. Every day the baby keeps growing is a gift and we are so grateful. Join us in praising God and praying for a miracle. Ask your church, Bible study, friends, family, everyone and anyone to join us in prayer. Repost this if you want. Feel free to message me with any questions. We would be happy to answer. -Brett Garvin & Liz Garvin"

Brett, Liz, and Jack would be so grateful for your prayers.

a week in New Jersey

Two Thursdays ago, my mom came out to visit for a few days, and then took me and Callan home with her.  We left Travis behind to look after the house and the dogs, but mainly because he doesn't have enough paid vacation to spare right now.  We had a lot of fun, while away, but we sure did miss him.

Prepare for picture overload.
We kept busy and I took hundreds of pictures along the way.
Here are just a few handfuls, some of my favorites.

My sister and I took took the kids to the park, one evening, early in the week.

Trying to get an 18 month old and a 22 month old to sit still for a picture is nearly impossible.

But even antsy toddlers take cute pictures.

Hanging out on Grandma & Grandpa's deck.

On the front steps.

"Run to Grandpa!"

Climbing the magnolia tree.

Little boys always sit in the dirt.
And grab handfulls to throw.

Playing with his new train set from Ikea.

We met my sister and niece at Van Saun Park one afternoon.

We enjoyed walking through the little zoo.

And letting the kids explore freely.

This picture cracks me up.
"Oh, hey!  You're here, too!"

And riding the train that circles the zoo.

Callan's first train ride.

Running and playing in Grandma & Grandpa's front yard.

We enjoyed some fireside snuggles.

We went to Staten Island, NY to visit my grandma, aunt, and cousins.

Callan "met" his great grandpa for the first time.



We went to Pennsylvania to visit my grandparents, and stopped in East Strasburg for a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road.  

Callan's first real train ride.

It was a 45 minute ride through Amish farmlands.
We sat in an open air car, so we got to feel the breeze as we chugged down the track, and smell the lovely smells of farm living.  

Callan thought it was pretty great.

Here he is in front of one of the gift shops - doesn't he look like SUCH  big boy!

Family inside joke, since my sister was a little girl.

$2 pumpkins.  

After the train ride, we went over to see my grandparents.
Callan and Papa.

Papa, Callan, my dad.

Walker rides with Papa.

Callan loved it.

We stopped so I could take a picture of this old, charming building.
Isn't it gorgeous?

On Friday evening, my parents watched Callan so my sister and I could have a little girl time.  We went out to dinner and then walked around Target for a bit.  We headed back to her house to make cupcakes for an early celebration of my mom's birthday.

They were pretty delicious.

On our last, full day, we all went to the Turtleback Zoo.
It was an absolutely perfect day.
Low 70s, sunshine, a slight breeze - it was like an intro to Fall.
Gimme some more of that Fall weather.  I'm so ready.

My favorite view at the zoo.

Train ride at Turtleback.
This was the train ride vacation.
Callan didn't seem to mind, at all.

"choo choo!"

Oh, these two.
They played so well together.
Running up and down the hallway like a couple of toddlers.

A few "Grandma & Grandpa with the grandkids" pictures.

Holding hands.


Callan and I had a wonderful week with family!
Lots of fun memories were made.
Lots of laughs were laughed, hugs hugged, and moments savored.