Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful Thirty

Many of my friends have posted a new "thankful for..." on their Facebook status daily for the past month, in honor of Thanksgiving.

I did not take part in this for 3 reason: 1) I know I would forget to post every single day. Then feel like a failure once I remembered. 2) If I did post daily I would probably forget what I had posted the day(s) before. Leading to... #3) I would inevitably just repeat myself daily :-/ Sorry people...

SO, here are my Thankful Thirty:
(In no particular order; Some good and heartfelt and some ridiculous, but I am thankful for nonetheless)

1. I am thankful for Jesus dying for me.
"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19: 30 NIV
I'm thankful to know that there is a God, my personal creator, who loved me enough despite all my imperfections to send his one and only Son to die for me. With that, I have hope for tomorrow and faith that one day He will come back for me and wants to be with me for all of eternity.

2. I am thankful for my husband.
He is a man of great love, strength, determination whom I respect and cherish more than anything in this world. He works long hours everyday to provide for our family so I can stay home with our baby. He spends the hours he has home studying to finish school to obtain a better place in his career. Hadley and I actually don't get much time with him, but it's because he loves us and only wants the best for us.

3. I am thankful for my sweet sweet Hadley girl.
She is my joy. She is everything I wished for and more. She is the happiest baby with such a sweet calm spirit. Everything is so exciting to her and that makes our lives more exciting. She is so interested and so eagerly wants to learn about everything she sees or feels. I can't imagine my life without her. We are so blessed God has entrusted us with such a precious life.

4. I am thankful for my Mother.
She was the person who "never met a stranger." She was welcoming to everyone she came in contact with every day. She was a friend to many and so precious to hundreds. She showed strength in times of great affliction. She displayed hope when hard times seemed unending. She showed true honesty when she knew things wouldn't last or became grim.
Sixteen years with her will never be enough in the whole scheme of life.
But sixteen years was enough for me to know how to be a great mother to my baby.
Sixteen years was enough to know that I had the best.

5. I am thankful God has a plan.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
I am so thankful that God has a plan and that I do not have to worry about it. There are times in life that your world seems to be crashing down around you. There are also times when you feel like your are on the highest point of the tallest mountain. I'm so thankful that during either of those times, God knows. He knew where we would be at that very moment in time. I am even more thankful that as years pass and it almost feels like there was no point of that trial or little "glitch" - it's then that you see God's hand conducting your every move.

6. I am thankful for my grandparents.
It is no secret that I wasn't exactly a "planned" baby. When my Mom found out she was pregnant with me she moved back to Oklahoma and lived with my grandparents. We/I lived with them my whole life growing up. I remember one time when I was younger I was in the kitchen with my Grandma and I said something about how this lady (I honestly don't even remember who) "accidentally" got pregnant. She corrected me and said "No baby is ever an accident. Sometimes they are just surprises." It was then that I realized the same could have once been said about me. But I never once felt like an "accident" baby. So much so that I didn't realize what I had said about someone else. The point I'm getting at here, seeing as how I'm now rambling, is that my grandparents have given so much up for me. They raised their kids. But when I came along they went back to "parenthood." Then when my Mom passed away, they didn't have their own time to deal, process, and grieve accordingly. I was still there. I was still young. I still needed "raising." Once again back to "parenthood." I'm so grateful for having them. Sure, at the time, I took them and what they did for me for granted. But at the same time, although not an excuse, I was a 16 year old who just lost my Mother and didn't know how to cope, myself. Throughout my life, there has never, ever, been a time where I was lacking anything. They made sure I always had everything I needed. OK- they made sure I had what I needed and more. My Grandma will be the first to tell you I am a spoiled rotten brat and a half ;-) She told Lee one day, "It's ok. I know how it is when Heather has her mind made up. If she wants it there is going to be no other way." Oh geez. But to them I will be forever indebted.
7. I am thankful for my in-laws.
My husbands family is so much different than mine. We are very much the same religiously/morally/how we were raised. I mean we are very different in the actually family sense. I was an only child to a single parent. Lee comes from a family of 4 with both parents. Learning how to function in a family with siblings has been completely mind boggling to me. It still blows my mind sometimes. [For example: (and I know I say this all the time to them) It is the craziest thought to me that to have a sibling means that someone else calls your Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad. Your Mom and Dad are not your own. CRAZY!] It has been interesting figuring that all out, but it has been so great as well. I have never known such friendship as the friendship a sibling brings. There is no disagreement, fight, distance, or anything that can ever truly separate them. They are blood. They will always be there. But I can't say in-laws without mentioning Lee's parents. I am so thankful Lee comes from such a welcoming family. There was never a time I ever felt "out of place" with them. They took to me as their own and I don't think they ever thought twice. There are times I laugh at things Lee's mom does or says because sometimes I honestly believe she forgets that I'm not really her daughter. I am because I married her son, but I'm not her blood. She forgets that because she has a heart as big as the sun and her love beams to every person she meets. (That was the corniest analogy I've ever made in my LIFE, but you get the point. PS- I hate corny!) 

8. I am thankful for the examples of marriage.
Lee and I have both been tremendously blessed to come from NON-DIVORCED families. This is so rare these days. My grandparents are still married (50+ yrs). His parents are still married (30+ yrs). His grandparents are still married (50+ yrs)...So on and so forth. This is such an example that this can be done!! With 1/2 of all marriages ending in divorce now this gives us (and should encourage most!) that marriage "Until death do you part" is attainable.

9. I am thankful to live in America.
I am so lucky to live in a country that we are free. Free to live where we want. Dress as we want. Eat what we want. Worship who we want. And the list could go on and on for days.
10. I am thankful for our house.
When we were first married, Lee's Great-Grandpa let us live in his house since he could no longer live there. This was the biggest blessing to us and probably for our marriage. It was cheaper on us so while we didn't have jobs or didn't have lots of money we didn't have to worry too much about finances. Don't get me wrong, we still struggled financially as any young married couple do. I just mean the roof over our head wasn't a big concern anymore. We were fortunate enough that after two years of renting the house, his Grandpa agreed to sell it to us.

11. I am thankful for my aunts.
I am thankful for my Aunt Marie and my Aunt Deanna. They, combined, remind me so much of my Mom and help to always remember things that I seem to forget about her.

12. I am thankful for Katie and Jenna.
They have been my friends for as long as I can remember. We grew up together in church. They have been my friends through good, bad, really bad, really good, and long distance. We have fought sometimes more than friends should, but we have never ever lied to each other either. Sometimes our honesty gets us in trouble, but I know I can always count on them for the truth. They keep me grounded in who I was and who I am now and how far we've come.

13. I am thankful for Kim.
Kim is Katie's mom, but was also one of my Mom's best friends. Kim is apart of some of my funniest memories growing up. But she is also apart of some of my saddest memories. But they are memories nonetheless. My point is, she has always been there. And when my Mom passed away she was still there. She stepped in as a Mother figure to me. She knows stories that I never knew that she can tell me now. She is the piece of my Mom that I will have forever.
14. I am thankful for Rachel.
Rachel has been my friend since we were four years old. She is my only friend who at times understands me. We have more things in common than we would like, but it was all apart of God's plan. It's crazy because we were best friends when we were little, good friends in high school. But when we graduated and went to college we never spoke again. Then there was sweet Angela Claire. That little baby brought our friendship back together and closer than it has ever been before. I will never forget the day Rachel told me her and her husband were expecting this little girl. I will never forget how I felt the first time I held that little girl and looked at her precious face. And I will always, always remember how happy I feel when I see OUR little girls together. 
15. I am thankful for a car to drive.
I am thankful that transportation from point A to point B does not have to be a concern. I am lucky to have a car that functions great (for now and hopefully awhile!!).

16. I am thankful for having been able to attend a Christian college.
I am grateful that I was able to attend a Christian college. I have my Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology. I know Psychology is typically a very secular subject. It can be twisted and turned every which way into being nothing good at all. I was able to see a "brighter side" and the Christian perspective to Psychology because of was taught by Christian professors.
17. I am thankful for our camera.
I am thankful for our camera so that we can catch the funny/cute moments of Hadley as she grows. She changes so fast every day!

18. I am thankful for food.
I am thankful that in America our biggest questions are, "What's for dinner?" or "Do you want to try that new restaurant?" Instead of other countries that worry about if and when they will get to eat again.

19. I am thankful for caffeine.
I am thankful for the boost caffeine gives the next morning when your bouncing baby girl wakes up in the middle of the night and is hungry and ready to play.

20. I am thankful for the Internet.
I am thankful for the Internet and the connections it gives us. With the Internet it is amazing how we can keep in touch with people...lots and lots of people! We've come a long way since snail mail!!

21. I am thankful for clothes/blankets.
I am thankful that we have clothes to wear and blankets to cover up with during the cold winter months ahead. Although, I'm thankful for clothes in all seasons and in all months ;-)
22. I am thankful for pictures.
I am thankful for pictures because they are physical, tangible pieces of the past. Picture really do speak 1,000 words.

23. I am thankful for grocery stores.
I am thankful for grocery stores when this lady right here forgets things or everything from the previous grocery trip. I am thankful Wal-Marts are open at all hours of the day.

24. I am thankful for the baby monitor.
I am thankful for the baby monitor so that I can sit here and write this while Hadley is in her bed taking a nap. I love that baby monitors now have the option of the video monitor so we can hear her and see her too! It keeps me calm.

25. I am thankful for a dishwasher.
I am thankful for a dishwasher to fully clean the dishes better (and probably quicker) than I ever could.

26. I am thankful for a washing machine and dryer.
I am thankful for a washer and dryer because let's face it- we like anything that makes life easier for us. American fail...I know. But grateful either way :)

27. I am thankful that there are still kindhearted, decent people in the world.
I am thankful that during my mad dash to the store earlier (ya know, the store that I was thankful for earlier) a lady who had a cart full of stuff herself came over to my car and said, "Let me take that cart for you. I saw you walking and you have a little baby with you. I'll put the cart away so you don't have to leave her." Bless that sweet woman's heart. I'm not going to lie. I got in my car and cried for about 2.356 seconds. Some people still care!!!!

28. I am thankful for the willingness of family.
I am thankful for family that is so willing to help out. With Lee working so many hours, I spend most days alone with Hadley and it gets hard. There is always family around the corner (literally) to help out at any time.

29. I am thankful for hytech cell phones.
I am thankful for hytech cell phones because with Lee being gone most days and long hours cell phones keep us connected. We are able to send pictures, talk, text, and now FaceTime/Skype. My, my, how times have changed!
30. I am thankful for pen and paper.
I am thankful for pen and paper because I can't remember anything anymore! :) If I don't write it down, then it doesn't exist to me. I'm losing my mind.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

5 months: little love letters

*You did not have a check up this month so I'm not sure how much you're currently weighing.
*You are wearing 3-6 month sized clothes usually. You can wear the occasional 6-9 months clothes. And sometimes I sneak in a 0-3 month top ;) My little baby!

*You are still taking 6 oz about every 5 hours.
*You've now been eating rice cereal for a month. You have really started to like it. You are even starting to recognize your bowl and spoon and get so excited to eat when you see it.
*Last week we introduced green beans. My Oh My. Green beans did not go over well at all. You didn't like them. In fact, you hated them! You hated them so much that not only did you spit every single bite out...You threw up, literally. I think the texture was a little different for you. We have decided to make your baby food instead of buying it. When making your own baby food the texture is always different that store bought. It's more grainy. After the terrible first experience I decided to add cereal and formula to the green beans to make it more familiar. Problem solved...almost. I mean, you take the green beans better than you did, but the first few bites are always a struggle. I'm hoping you'll like them eventually :-/

*You are still sleeping through the night most nights. Since the time change you've been waking up about 4 am to eat. Then after your bottle you go back to sleep until about 8:30 am.
*When you wake up in the mornings you don't wake up crying. In fact, you wake up not making any noise. You wake up, look around, then you laugh and play with your toy hanging on your bed. So usually you wake up at 8:30 am, but aren't ready to get out of bed and eat until about 9:30 am. You let Mommy get a few more minutes of sleep. Sweet baby love, you are!
*You are getting really regular about taking your afternoon naps. But typically, if we are out and about you refuse to nap. Luckily, you never really get fussy- nap or no nap.
*About 8 o'clock at night you're ready for you bath and to hit the hay. This has always been the part of your day that is consistent.

*You haven't had any major developments within the last month.
*You have started scooting around a lot more. You do an "army crawl." You use this crawl to get around where you want to go. By no means does it get you too far like crawling would, but you can "army crawl" to different toys if you want them.

-Play time:
*Within the last month you've become more interested in just laying on a blanket and rolling around. You like to be free of your "jungle play mat" and be free to roll and scoot every direction you want to go. You are more interested in practicing your "army crawl" than being confined to the play mat.
*Your favorite toy is your teething ring. There are parts on the ring that are a hard plastic. When you bite them you scream. It hurts your little gums! But when we give you a different and softer ring you scream. You only like this specific one!
*When we are out and about we carry your teething ring, a rattle, and your baby doll. You think you need to hold and play with all 3 at one time. It's funny.

*You had your first Halloween this past month. You dressed up as a ballerina. You were the cutest ballerina I've ever seen! You were so excited to dress up in your tutu. It was so funny because you acted almost like you knew something was going on. You knew that wearing this outfit meant something special. You went trick or treating with your cousins Addy and Ally. The entire way we were driving to their house you laughed and squealed. You were so excited for this holiday!
*You experienced and slept through EARTHQUAKES this month!!!! This was the craziest thing any of us have ever experienced! I hope to never feel them again.
*We went to Kansas this month. This is the first time you've ever been out of Oklahoma. AND you got to meet lots of your family from Missouri. They were all so excited to meet you. You were so friendly and reached for everyone to hold you.

-Funny/Cute Moments:
*One cute thing you've started doing is when Grandma or Punkin hold you, you grab their face and you say "Awwww." You only do this with Grandma and Punkin. I don't know if you do it because you're mimicking what you hear them do or what, but it is so cute and sweet none-the-less.
*And one funny thing that has happened this past month happened just this week. Me and Daddy went to the kitchen to grab something to eat. You realized you had been left behind, alone, in the living room. Next thing we know you're crying. I look in the living room and you had army crawled your way half way to the kitchen. We both started laughing so hard. I'm sorry baby, but it was just so cute and hilarious!! You were just trying so hard to get to the kitchen. You just want to be involved.

My sweet sweet sugar bear, I love watching you change and grow every day. You really do seem smarter and bigger every day. I'm so privilege to get to stay home and care for you every day. Times get tough when you get fussy, refuse to nap, or are teething, but there is nothing that I would rather be or could imagine myself doing. You're my joy!

I'll love you forever and ever. I promise!