Monday, July 26, 2010

When we said "I do"

It has been 7 years since my wonderful husband and I stood at the front of Eastside Baptist Church and made a commitment to last a lifetime. As many of you know, our story started when we were teeny little 15 year old 9th graders. The path leading us to that day 7 years ago was relatively smooth and uneventful. We never broke up. We discussed separating a couple of times just for the sake of having other experiences. But when it came down to it, we couldn't imagine ourselves with any other person. So once we realized we really didn't want to be apart, there's really only one thing to do. We were engaged in December of 2002 with the plan to get married after our undergrad in th esummer of 2004. But why wait? And thus in the spring of 2003 we went on a steeple chase around Fort Smith and 7 years ago there we were ready to commit ourselves in front of God, our friends and family.

Since that day, we've acquired 2 undergraduate degrees, 2 master's degrees, 1 doctorate, 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 house, and an amazing life. We are so blessed in every facet of our life. We have jobs that we love. Our children are fantastic. Our families are so supportive and loving. We have a wonderful house. We have found friends that make Waco feel like our second home. We aren't in need and most of the time we can't even think of anything else we want. By all typical success measures, we are flying high. But there's one more thing that makes everything so much better. It's our dependence on Jesus Christ as the head of our household. By trying to keep the focus between us and in our home turned toward the eternal implications, we have avoided many pitfalls that typically affect young couples. So when we say we feel blessed, we really mean that we know that the way we are and the way things have worked out for us truly would not have happened if we were in charge. And I really subscribe to the old adage "When we plan God laughs." Any rules or ideas I had about what our future would look like (example: I had a rule that we shouldn't get married before we got our undergrad degrees - DUMB!, example: No kids until we're both settled into jobs.- Silly.)

So today, we celebrate our life together. I love my husband. He's amazing! He knows me better than I know myself. And I know that no one else on earth could take care of me better than he can. So here's looking forward to another 70 years with this amazing man.

Check out this awesomeness!

So Cute!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Whatcha thinkin?

1) Everyone should go outside and take some pictures of their kids in the natural sunlight at about 6:00pm. It makes your pictures look amazing. I would give some examples, but Stanton has the camera at work.

2) I love my husband for the way he works so hard to provide for our family. When I married him, I thought I had avoided marrying my father. But their work ethic couldn't be more alike.

3) Babies are amazing. And I know that no matter how hard I try I can't soak up enough of their littleness.

4) My body is weird. Most pregnancy books and such say that your body will be all out of whack for about 6 months after giving birth, but everything is business as usual around here. Which means I can't rely on the breastfeeding to take off the baby weight. I've got about 20 lbs. to lose.

5) It seems that everything is in line for me to teach 2 classes on T/Th this fall. And a big blessing was that child care worked out so that Chaselyn could stay at the same day care part time. I'm super excited about the prospects of working and still staying at home with the kids a lot as well.

6) Apparently the "Jersey Shore" people are set to get $30,000 per episode. That seems like a lot of dough for reality people. I have never seen the show, but I am honestly intrigued at this point.

7) Last night I told Stanton that Facebook told me that our anniversary is on Monday. He said it told him too. Neither of us realized that it was Monday. It's not that we forgot our anniversary, we just hadn't checked in to what day it falls on. We are going out this Friday to the Mayborn Lego exhibit (Thanks MA!) and next Friday we're going to see Beauty and the Beast in Fayetteville with Heath, Kimberly and Rachel. I'm excited!

8) I feel bad about not getting out birth announcements until after Jacob was over 2 months old. As I put the things in the mail, I thought I should have sent a wallet size update photo too.

9) I really like the bathroom redo. It makes me want to do more around the house. Next on the docket is Chaselyn's big girl room. We figure she'll make the switch somewhere around her 2nd birthday or the new year. I've been planning it since January I think.

10) I recently purchased a carpet cleaner. I love the machine. It has a special attachment for pet stains. It made our carpet look way better. I recommend it to anyone with children and/or pets who have accidents and/or messy husbands.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blog much?

Today I have posted to 3 different blogs, not including this one. Be sure you check out

1) Little Jacob, Little Jacob - Jacob's 2 month update, now with pictures

2) A Happy Place - A tour of our new kid's bathroom

3) Home Alone - A recap of our time while Stanton was gone.

Home alone

As many of you know, Stanton left the country for a few days. And by a few days, I mean he was gone from about 8pm on July 2nd to about 6:30am on July 13th. He had a nice time at the Coco-tech conference in Thailand, but we're glad to have him back. As I previously mentioned, my pal Al came to stay with us for a few days. I really can't begin to say how much of a blessing that was to me. Just amazing! Sadly, because we were just hanging out, I didn't really take too many pictures. But here's a few little bits from our time without Daddy.

Alycia showed up on July 3rd in time for dinner. From the very start, she was ready to play with the kids. She and Jacob had many in depth conversations throughout her time here.
Chaselyn has had reactions to strawberries in the past. So I was trying to find some yogurt packs without strawberry. All I could find was Trix yogurt. She was super happy to try the fun colored treat. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say stomach juices don't break down whatever dye was in the special treat.

And of course, after the 3rd of July comes the 4th of July. We had our own little party complete with glow jewelry and sparklers. Chaselyn wasn't quite as excited about the glow sticks as I had hoped. But then again, we waited for it to get dark which meant it was already way past bedtime when we got started.

Besides the 4th, like I've said, we didn't do much just sat around while Alycia painted.

Alycia left on the 8th. It was sad to see her go. But there was some mention of work and pay checks and a husband that made her have to leave. As a surprise to Daddy, we were going to make a special little decoration in the laundry room. I was going to have Chaselyn and Jacob put their handprints on the wall. Then we could date them with a Sharpie and have a fun little growth chart as decoration. So, I got things ready. Chaselyn put on one of my old painting shirts. I decided to go with a bright teal color. Al thought it would be cute to use a brown so it would look like muddy hands, but I was feeling the bright colors for the kids project. See that look on her face, she's looking at the paint. Someone tell me why I didn't notice the look on the poor girls face.

So, focused on the task at hand, I put Chaselyn's hand into the paint. She gave me a funny face. Then I told her to put her hand on the wall. She refused starting to reveal disgust toward the paint on her hand. I realized I was about to lose her. So I took her hand and pressed it against the wall. She promptly started waving her hand from side to side making a blurry blob. I said "Oh No!" to which she responded by crying and saying "eewie!". I quickly cleaned off her hand of the paint to stop the crying and quickly got a rag to wipe off the blob of teal paint on the beige wall. I actually got it off pretty well. I won't say that I got it all off, but unless you know it's there, you don't see it...I think.

So after the failed experiment on my wall. I figured maybe after a couple painting lessons she might warm up to the paint on the hand idea. So we went to the table with brushes, paper plates and lots of colors. She liked that a lot better. And after doing some demonstrations of making handprints on the plates, she was becoming more comfortable with paint on her hand. Hopefully after a couple more trials on the plates, I can get her to do the wall better.

Who can guess what's special about this next pic?

Yes, the red and white polka dots are cute (Thanks Great Aunt Karen!!) but that's not it. It's my baby girls first official pony tail. Isn't it adorable?! It just makes me happy to see that little curl with a little bow.

And what else do you do when you're waiting on Daddy to come home? Go grocery shopping to have all his favorite treats when he gets home. And this my friends is how you can get 2 kids and a full load of groceries. I had been wondering about how to do it for a while. You go to HEB with the big buggies. Then both kiddos can sit up front and you have all the basket space for food.

And yes, that is a Sonic cup and flowers. Chaselyn may have sneaked a few sips of Mommy's strawberry limeade during our tours through the aisles. And yes, those are some fresh roses. A special treat for the girls of the house.

I don't have pictures, but there's something else I want to remember. One day I was browsing the internet for Stanton's birthday present, some new running shoes. Chaselyn caught me and started pointing to the screen yelling "Ooshs!" which is how she said shoes. Thinking that was just adorable and knowing how crazy she is about shoes (see Jacob's feet in the picture above. Also one of her favorite 2 word phrases is "Momma ... Shoe"), I started perusing for little girl shoes. She went crazy trying to pull shoes out of the screen. I had unknowingly created a problem. For the next couple days anytime I pulled out the laptop, she would come over and ask for shoes.

Another time I was playing on the laptop, I was watching the 10 minutes with Chaselyn video. And the most precious and heartbreaking thing happened. She started crying for her Daddy and tried to pull him out of the screen. Up until that point, she was fine with Daddy being gone. She would ask about him and I would tell her that he was at work and he would be back later. And she would carry on with her play time. But seeing him in the video made her want her Daddy right there. She watched the video about 5 times in a row. She stopped crying and started laughing and playing along with herself in the video. So I know she wasn't scarred by it. But it was hard for me to handle at first. But then after a couple days, this happened...
...and that moment made any little bumps we had had over the past few days just melt away!

A happy place

As I started to write this post, I found it very odd that one of the happiest places in our home is now a bathroom. But take a look at it and tell me you're not smiling.

Here's the view when you first walk in. I was a little hesitant because the shower curtain has brown and the colors are more muted than the bright striped towels, but after living with it for a couple days, I figured it wasn't a big deal. I didn't notice it when I wasn't thinking about it.

Now we can take a tour of the animals. First, we have Petunia the Hippo and Davey the Dinosaur. Petunia is everyone's favorite. She just screams happiness. But where's Davey? Stanton wants to keep him a secret. You'll have to come and visit us if you want to meet him.

Going to the right of the shower, we see Ishies the school of fish. They wrap around the top corner of the shower. So cute!

And that big guy above the toilet, his name is Eli. Alycia named him after her favorite football player, which is Peyton Manning. Peyton the elephant didn't sound right, so we decided he could be Eli.
Above the counter and the mirror, we see Marvin the Monkey. He's a happy little fella with a banana. Speaking of happy, that's what Chaselyn calls the bugs around Freddie the Frog. When we took Stanton for a tour of the bathroom for the first time I was talking about the bugs and then commented about how happy the room was. Chaselyn missed the conversation topic switch and decided that the bugs must be called Happy. Can't argue with a toddler. So, on the wall with the door, we have Logan the Lion, Freddie the Frog and Happy the Flies.

And now back to the wall to the left when you walk in. The same wall with the towel rack. We have one more friend to meet. Jilly the Giraffe hangs out behind the door. She peeks around to say hello when you walk in.

And that's it. I'm still looking for a light fixture for above the mirror that is more juvenile. I also would love to redo the cabinets. The honey oak color just isn't appealing. But that's a much bigger project. I'm also looking for new drawer pulls to look more youthful. All I've been able to find is plain white. I would like colorful ones. I'm thinking about just painting some wiht bright happy colors. Thanks again to Alycia for painting our happy friends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Call me Al

Well, don't call me Al, call her Al.

This is my good friend Alycia (pronounced A-lish-a, not A-leash-a or A-lease-ia). She's been my friend since the good days of Chaffin Junior high and GATE OM. We shared a love of women's college basketball and got to experience the formation of the WNBA together. She hosted me for a weekend in college so I could see what it was really like to be at the U of A. We were in each other's weddings. We haven't always been able to have a real close relationship, but it's always been a relationship we can rely on. And over the past few months, our email marathons (Shhhhhh, don't tell our bosses.) have helped us overcome the distance from Ft. Smith to Waco. Well, this past week, we got to catch up on a lot of distance when Al came to stay with me and the kids while Stanton was out of town.

She cooked for us, helped straighten up, played with the kiddos, made me get some much needed exercise and even painted the kids bathroom (it deserves it's own post). She painted the walls a nice green and painted some cute little animals. It's so special. I just got the finishing touches to finish off the room today. It makes me so happy just to walk in. She was so great with the kids too. Just look at the email she wrote them after she left. So nice!

Chaselyn and Jacob,
Thank you for letting me come to visit you. I had a lot of fun playing with you two. You are both such sweet and loving kiddos, and it doesn't hurt that you are so darn cute! I had a great time being a surrogate aunt to you and I find myself already missing you. Chaselyn, I miss you being so concerned about my owie toe and randomly coming up to me to say, "Hi!" Jacob, I miss your cute squeaks and "sleeping" you and talking with you. I hope that you two enjoy your bathroom jungle for many years to come. Mommy and Daddy will teach you all the animals' names. Have a great weekend and Daddy will be home before you know it! miss you lots, your pal Al(ycia)

Leave it to Al to spend her vacation time to come help me out. It was great having her here. It made the time without Stanton fly by. I felt bad for not really having anything super fun to do while she was here. We did some sparklers and glow necklaces for the 4th of July. But that was about the extent our fun plans on my end. But Al didn't mind. She was good just relaxing, talking with Jacob, playing with Chaselyn and painting.
Alycia is a great friend and I'm so happy to know that I can still call on her any time even though she's about 400 miles away. And as if her visit wasn't enough to write about, today is Alycia's birthday! So happy birthday to my pal Al!!!! And thanks a ton for coming to visit!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An excellent post for new mommies and those looking forward to being mommies

I read this blog regularly, and today's post just spoke exactly what I tried unsuccessfully to convey to a friend a few days ago. Such "important" decisions concerning the early parts of parenthood are really not as important as you think they may be. Really, how many of you know about your earliest years. Did your mom breast feed? How long? Did she have drugs when you were delivered?

I didn't know the answers to these questions until it became an issue to me personally.

So, read it and do a reality check if you are stressing over some big decision right now.

p.s. My Stantonio is back home safe and we are all very happy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Little Jacob, Little Jacob

So some of you may be wondering what happened to Jacob's 2 month update. Other's (like me) are thinking 2 months?! That can't be. But it's true. Our little man is growing up. Today, is what I was waiting for though. Today, he got his 2 month check-up including 5 shots. Owie! Apparently, for once, something in our house is normal. Jacob is 12 lbs. 3 oz. and 23 inches long. That puts him right at the 50% mark in both weight and height. And he has a head size that's right on the 50th percentile as well. So, if you line up all the 2 year olds in the US according to weight, height or head size Jacob would be right there in the middle.

Jacob is a baby now for sure. He coos and smiles. He looks around. He can follow you across the room and hold on tight to whatever you put in his hand. He's sleeps pretty good. Most nights I can get about 4.5 - 5 hours in one stretch. Most other times he goes about 3 hours between feedings. If we bottle feed him, he eats about 4 oz. at a time. He's an excellent snuggler and loves to take mid morning naps with Mommy on the couch.

Appearance wise, he's starting to become more of a balance between the two of us. When he was born we thought he was very Schluterman looking. But, now I see so much of Chaselyn in him and I know Chaselyn looks very much like her Daddy. But then again, maybe I'm biased. I think it's hard to say if someone looks like you. I'll post pictures soon. (I'm currently unable to locate a transfer card.) I've added pictures of my two babies in the same outfit both at 2 months. Jacob seems bigger because of the angle and because of the padding. Chaselyn had an actual bassinet bumper, Jacob's is a full size crib bumper wrapped around. Aren't they great!

So that's it. 2 month olds are pretty amazing, but they don't actually do much.

p.s. Most of you who read this blog also gave us some wonderful gifts for Jacob. I apologize for not getting the thank you notes outs. I really hope to have them done and shipped by Monday.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

10 minutes with Chaselyn


0:00-10:00 - Simply amazing!