Monday, February 28, 2011


I love being a mom to Calvin and Jack, but lately I sense I am missing something. I watch other people with my kids. Their eyes beam. They laugh from the heart. I feel like they have something that I don't.

I know I love Calvin and Jack deeply! But I am often willing myself to do and feel what I think I "should." I want my heart to overflow with joy.

I know that God designed me to love and experience joy. I am thankful that God is using my boys to challenge me. Recently Dan and I listened to a Tim Keller sermon titled "Blessed rest of self forgetfulness." It helped me define the problem a little better. Instead of focusing on my sweet boys, I watch myself, scoring my performance. I act out of pressure and duty and feel relief. I want to act out of selfless love and experience joy.

Already, I see glimpses of God helping me forget myself and gain joy. I've heard myself laugh a little more deeply with both boys recently. And I noticed myself pulling Jack close as an impulse and fully relaxing while rubbing Calvin's back before nap time. I guess I am glad I don't know what I have done to make this be.....I would turn it into a program and try to work at it. I am just thankful.

Maybe next time you see me, I'll look something like this! Talk about joy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Now and Then...

Jack is 7 months old today. My friend Amanda just sent me this picture she took from our time together yesterday afternoon. Between the two families, we have Cal and Mac (2 and almost 2) and Jack and Corrie (7 months and 4 months). Though it is pretty comical, I think it demonstrates how things have just gone from good to better since Jack was born in July!

This is life now:
This was life then..


One child doing one neat little activity =). I used to just sit on our bench and read, talk on the phone, or talk to Calvin while we played outside.

And contained,
Stairs and walls were not even an option!

I much prefer...
Jack kicking his arms and legs, mercilessly chewing on his little firefly, and wrinkling his little forehead while his blue eyes dart here and there. Corrie struggling to hold her toys while still straped into the carseat. Both babies watching Calvin (wearing a winter hat and shorts) and Mac (asking for The Little Blue Truck book over and over again) take each others toys and reluctantly give them back to each other when prompted by us.
Amanda and I still get a little conversation in while we're together. =)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watch This!

I have to remind myself lately to just enjoy the moment instead of trying to constantly capture it. Here are some recent favorites. Maybe you'll like watching Jack and Cal's tricks, too!

Calvin's Phrases:

Calvin is putting 2+ words together when he speaks. Though phrases like "More milk peaz", "pay 'side," and "shooz off" are very functional, my favorite is "watch this!" It is often repeated at least 5 times while he's throwing something. Here is a sample, though he's putting blocks into a clock instead of throwing.

Calvin's buddy Mac (pictured below) was over yesterday, and the boys were collectively working on sharing a lawnmower and a yellow shovel. Today we were outside, and Calvin was adamantly trying to tell me something.....I finally figured out it was "lawnmower, share." He was thrilled when I said it, and he then added "Mac" to the equation! He later said the same phrase , except with "yellow shovel" instead of lawnmower.

Jack's Eating:

This one might win me some kind of negligent mom award, but I thought it was so sweet. Jack was really hungry when we were out the other day, so I thought I'd feed him his bottle in his carrier before we got home. He pretty much grabbed it out of my hands!

Jack has demonstrated some serious eating skills lately, too! He's been eating at least 4 ounces of food at each meal in addition to his normal milk supply!

Jack Crawling...well, almost!

Jack really wants to be mobile! So far, he's pretty good at going backwards!

And every once-in-a-while, he'll lurch forward a bit!

Calvin First Golf Lesson:

In the words of Calvin, "uhhh, yeah...."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Road Trip!

On Monday, I packed up the car with Cal and Jack and headed down to Dewees Island off the coast of Charleston, SC. Six hours, a ferry ride, lots of whining, and a bit of crying later, we reached our friends Chris and Curt (and Brown and Joseay).

What was I thinking? I am still not sure, but at one point (near the beginning) I thought, "Wow, this is really fun! I love having the boys in the car for this adventure!" Needless to say, that sentiment waned quite a bit after the goldfish, fruit snacks, and McDonald's french fries were old news.

Brown and Calvin were sweet together.....their common interests proved to be both good and bad. They both loved this fire truck we visited on the island.

But they also chased after many of the same toys... like this "hhh-yoccer" ball on the beach.

Though Cal and Brown scrambled to the ball, when it went into the water, they just kind of looked at each other not sure of what to do. Calvin ended up crying, standing ankle-deep in water after a larger wave rolled in. Brown's pants soaked up that wave after it knocked him down. Neither got the ball.

It was such a blessing to spend time with good friends, enjoy beautiful scenery,

play on the (chilly) beach,

and let some stress out =).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rainy Day Projects

It has been rainy and cool outside for the last couple of days, so we're feeling a little stir crazy. We've already gone out to lunch and taken the boys to the indoor play area at the mall. Now that we've resigned ourselves to being inside, everyone seems to have a project.

Dan has been drawing. He used this grid format to create a portrait of Winston Churchill in college, but this is his first attempt since.

Jack has been working pretty hard on crawling. So far he only makes it backwards or tothe side. He was getting pretty frustrated since his efforts were taking him away from his toys when Dan came along to distract him.

He has also been spending a lot of time with this blanket. I give it to him when I lay him in his crib, and he immediately wraps it up and over his head. When he wakes up, he just happily kicks his legs and chews on it until I come get him.

Jack has been enjoying sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and rice cereal. Peas are not eliciting quite the strong gagging response that they did initially, but they are certainly not a favorite. =)

I've been making baby food. Here is the latest attempt at peas....maybe he'll like them disguised as "peas and carrots!" My projects usually involve some for of organization, and I've been pretty excited at this latest system.

Calvin had quite a surprise in store for us yesterday when we opened the door to rescue him from his nap. At one point during we actually thought he was sleeping (novel idea!) since he was quiet. Instead, I'm pretty sure he was working very hard on this.

If the books made their way onto his bed in the way he returned them to the bookcase (one or two at a time), he used a good chunk of his 2 hours for this project.

Cal has also been making good work out of this clock. He loves putting the shapes in, taking them out, stacking the blocks, grouping the blocks.

Though he enjoys saying "red" and "blue" to the shapes that apply, this star seems to be the favorite. It was lost last night and magically appeared today. We asked Cal where it was, and he said "bus." Only his favorite things get to take a ride in the bus......the doggie, and now apparently the star.

Dan's been off all week for his vacation week, and it has been great for all of us. We have had a lot of down time together. This is pretty much what meals have looked like this week.

Calvin has been asking for Dan's hand and then holding it while we eat. Pretty sweet. A couple nights ago when we were putting Calvin to bed, he laid his head down and said, "Dada.....home." Usually the inflection is a question, indicating that he wants daddy to come home. This time it was just a sweet fact. We all feel that way.