A Pointless But Funny Story

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Yesterday, Tahd and I were driving together and chatting idly when I told him about getting two 30% off coupons to Barnes and Noble – a nice thing, except I used to use the coupons to buy Lego sets for Gabe and they’ve started excluding Legos from the merchandise on which you can use the coupons.

“I’m so annoyed,” I told him.  “I got these two 30% off coupons and can’t use them on Legos!”

I know.  First world problems.

He was navigating a traffic rotary at about that moment, so he finished the turn and then replied, “You should sell them.”

I paused.

I thought.

Sell what?  What is he talking about?

I tried as hard as I could, but I couldn’t remember.  What was he suggesting I sell?  I had no clue.  Had I just told him something?  I could not remember what I had just said.

After a somewhat prolonged silence during which I wracked my brain trying to remember what was going on, I chagrined, “I have no idea what we’re talking about anymore.”

He laughed at me and reminded me of what we were talking about.

And told me I needed to get more sleep.  Which is quite true.

Ten

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Gabe, you made me a mommy a decade ago.  A whole decade!  That’s a long time, and I want you to know it’s been the best decade of my life.  You are strong, brilliant, clever, tender, confident, and quick, keeping me on my toes at every turn.  You surprise me and delight me every day.  I can’t wait to see what your next ten bring! Happy ten!

Love,
Mommy

My Wild Thing Turns One!

018So…this happened.

I’m not sure when and I’m not sure how, but my baby is 1 and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it yet!  I’ve been working on some thoughts to Jude about his first year, but I thought I’d better share the pictures from his first birthday party before I blink and he turns two.

001 004Jude is my little wild thing for sure.  He loves being surprised and the thrill of being (gently) tossed in the air.  He’s busy busy busy and needy, but he always comes back for snuggles with mama.  I couldn’t imagine a more fitting theme than Where The Wild Things Are, and – thankfully – Pinterest delivered lots of great ideas!  None of my ideas were original – you can see my inspiration on my Wild Things Pinterest board.

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We served a menu of appetizers, potato soup, crusty bread, salad, and lemonade with a delicious homemade and home-decorated funfetti layer cake and cupcakes (I made 1.5 times the cake recipe and got a small 2 layer cake and 16 cupcakes) that were DELICIOUS!

I think the cake was my favorite detail of the party, and it was also super easy, making it a total win.  After I baked, cooled, and assembled the layers, I did a quick skim coat of icing and then refrigerated it.  After the icing had set, I got to work on the decorating.  I didn’t use any sort of tip to pipe the eyes and nose – just the large opening of my Wilton icing bag.  The pupils and mouth were done with a black gel writer from the grocery store.  The monster’s hair was done with a hair and grass tip like this:

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When I say it’s super easy, I’m not kidding.  You put the tip close to the cake, squeeze the icing bag and pull the tip a bit out and down.  That’s it.  It’s extremely forgiving because it’s a little chaotic.  I practiced a few times on a piece of wax paper, but once I saw how easy it was, I got straight to work.

007I found this Lindsay Letters canvas at Hobby Lobby, and then the kids and I painted some fallen leaves we gathered from our front yard.  Both the older kids love paint, and even though it was a little messy, it was a great way to keep them busy while I got ready for the party.

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I had a copy of Where The Wild Thing Are set up on the table in our entryway so that as our family arrived, they could write a note to Jude in it.  I still haven’t written mine.  It is so hard to think of what to write on such a significant occasion!

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Gabe provided the instructions.

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He almost looks like a little boy in these pictures.  Almost.

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This is my nephew, Bentley.  He and Jude are about 6 months apart, and I hope they’ll be the best of friends!  Bentley has the best smile – his entire face lights up!

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I was feeling pretty lucky here!

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I’m pretty strict about not giving my babies any sweets during their first year, so we were all really excited to see what Jude would do with some cake.

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Given how enthusiastic he is about the rest of his food, I was surprised at how cautious he was!  Eventually, though, he got the hang of it and was pretty excited about the treat!

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Opening presents was more an activity for the older kids.  Jude was somewhat interested in ripping the paper, but I think he would have been happier sucking on some frosting.

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Yes, we have our stockings up.  Don’t hate.

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This gift was the hit of the day.  All three kids loved beating on it!  I joked that I might need to buy two more…

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It was a really lovely party for a sweet, feisty boy.  I’ll be back later with my thoughts on my baby turning one!

Born of Cold and Winter Air

What is the mom of a Frozen-obsessed toddler supposed to do when, on the eve of the first snowfall of the year, she walks into her daughter’s room and finds her sitting in darkness in her crib with the curtain pulled aside, staring out at the snow, saying, “I can’t wait to go walk in it!”

Why, get her out of bed, bundle her up, put a cape on her (like Elsa), and take her outside, of course, pyjamas and all!

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“You go inside, Mom.  I’ll stay out here,” she told me.
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10The light in her eyes is the only thing that made this early snowfall somewhat tolerable!

On Signing Pacts and Needing Approval

I got an email today I’d been dreading.  Our church does this thing where you register your children every fall for their children’s ministry classes.  As a part of the registration, you have to sign a pact saying you understand you and the church are working together to teach your children about God, and to that end, you’re expected to volunteer regularly in the children’s ministry programming.

Last year when I registered, I was experiencing an uncomfortable pregnancy with two older kids and a traveling husband, and the idea of adding one more thing to our already packed schedule made me want to cry.  This year, I’m not pregnant, but I feel stretched just as thin as I was last year and actually did start to cry when I got the reminder email telling me to pony up and register as well as sign the pact.

I just…can’t.  I can’t do one more thing.  I can’t even do all the things I’m currently trying to do.  A good night gets me 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I work 15ish hours a week and commute for school and random other things another 15ish hours a week.  I’m already trying to play keys with their worship band once a month, and to avoid childcare issues, Tahd is playing on a different Sunday once a month.  I skip showers because I just don’t have the time…now I have to volunteer more?  Not to mention, I spend nearly every waking hour with my children.  Actually with my children.  As in, one of them is physically touching me.  I don’t want to be touched by other people’s children, too.  Like I said, I just can’t.

Last year, I told the children’s ministry people this and they graciously accepted my recusal.  This year, due to my dislike of conflict and disappointing people, I figured I’d just skip the registration process and hopefully avoid any discussion of the matter.  Then, I got the reminder email, so I figured I’d actually have to manage it.

On the way in to worship team practice tonight while I stewed and panicked about the pact, I figured I could pray about it.  “God,” I moaned, “I don’t have it in me!  I can’t do all these things!  I can’t do this thing!”  This time, God talked back.

“I didn’t ask you to,” He stated.

Hm…

“But they asked me to, and now they’ll be mad and disappointed in me!” I protested.  Probably unreasonably, I might add, since they seemed neither mad nor disappointed last year.  But the approval addict in me panics over this sort of stuff anyway.

“But I won’t be mad at you.  And that’s pretty much all that matters.”

Touché!

I came home from worship team practice and filled out the form, and I didn’t sign the pact.  It’s not that I don’t think children’s ministry isn’t important, and it’s not that I don’t want to participate.  I’m super appreciative of the amazing volunteers who give their time to take such wonderful care of my kiddos.  It’s just that I can’t do it now.

Someday, I hope to spend me a lot of time rocking babies in the nursery and singing songs and telling Bible stories with toddlers.  But not now.  And, thankfully, God seems to be okay with that.

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