Entering Year 2

Amid all the fall celebrations of pumpkin carving, corn mazes, and preparing for Halloween, someone in our family celebrated a birthday.  Emerson turned 2 on October 25!  Yes, we have entered the Terrible Twos (which is a misnomer in my opinion since I actually think the 3’s are worse) and they hit during her birthday week with a bang.  I remember saying to Ed over the phone “What happened to our child?” to which he replied “She turns 2 this week.”  Oh yea, how could I forget?

We celebrated with a very low key celebration at the park which involved playing at the park, Chick-fil-a, pink cupcakes, presents, and a few close friends to celebrate.  It was the perfect party – both for her and me!

I am so thankful for this sweet kid in our life.  She makes every day an adventure, but one I couldn’t imagine us not having.  She is independent, a dare devil, rough and tumble, so silly, constantly in motion, smart, stubborn, and yet so very sweet.  We can’t go through a day without hearing both “mommy, hold me” and “No, I do it”.  She is always smiling, joking, and laughing – so full of life!!  She cracks us up all the time and Kinsley repeatedly says “Mom, she is going to kill herself (notice the adventurous side)” or “What are we going to do with her (because of the silly things you do)?”  While her sister trembles in fear about riding a rollercoaster or climbing on something that goes up high, she wants to do it again and again!  Her favorite things are eating (literally anything), playing with Kinsley (since she thinks she is as big as her), swinging outside, being tickled, and watching Strawberry Shortcake and Mickey Mouse (for the 5-10 min she sits down).

Here’s to you our birthday girl!!  Excited to see what the Lord does in your life and how He uses you to make a difference in the world!


Busy Weekend

This weekend was a really busy one…but really, really good.

Friday night, we had project reunion in Raleigh with the students and staff from New York City at Boylan Bridge Pub.  Food was okay, service was okay, atmosphere was great (they have an amazing view overlooking Raleigh), company was amazing.  It was a late night for the girls, but we all enjoyed every bit.

Then, Saturday morning, we went yard saling as a family (I think this is the first time we have all gone out together in a while).  We got a few good deals and then headed home to get Bruno ready for his obedience class.  Bruno officially graduated from his training classes this past week!  While he has improved quite a bit, the classes felt like a joke and a waste of money, which was really saddening to us.  It felt like every week they sent us home early and said that they couldn’t really practice it there with him and we would have to work on it at home.  Part of the reason we started the class was that he needed lots of help interacting with other dogs but when there are no other dogs in the class, that messes things up.  Either way, they graduated him and we have a certificate to prove it.

That night, Ed and I took up some sweet people at our church on their offer to watch the girls and went on a date.  Ed let me pick the movie and I choose the Nicholas Sparks movie “Best of Me.”  I hadn’t read the book, so I had no idea what to expect.  That being said, I liked that it was romantic, but was a little disappointed that it was promoting the idea of a married woman sleeping with someone from her past.  I get that her marriage stunk, but encouraging affairs and daydreaming about past relationships is not okay in my book.  Definitely not a Biblical view, but a worldly one.  Needless to say, I didn’t want to tell Ed, but I was disappointed in the movie and felt like it was a waste of a use of my “romantic movie date night card.”  The time with Ed and eating dinner together was definitely a redeeming part of the night 🙂  I am so seriously thankful for people at our church who love on us and offer to serve us by watching our girls for us to spend quality time together, especially when our families aren’t close…I love seeing the body of Christ in action and don’t know how we would do life without it, for so many reasons.

Then, Sunday afternoon/evening, we began our trek to the state fair.  This is our fourth trip to the state fair and while it feels to us like the “same old, same old”, the girls LOVED it!!  Kinsley kept raving about riding the swings at Coney Island this summer, so that is the first place she wanted to go.  Needless to say, that was her favorite part of the night.  She even ventured on another rollercoaster (despite her horrible experience riding it by herself last year), this time with Ed beside her, and actually liked it.  Emerson was also able to ride quite a bit and, not surprisingly to us, nothing scared her.  She loved every minute!  We loved looking at the balloon exhibit (made to look like a ferris wheel, garden, and many other things), decorated vegetables, the animals, and the huge 1400 pound pumpkin!

Here are a few pictures of the girls, enjoying the night:


A little blurry, but this was the after effect.  Needless to say, we were all feeling it today and needed a good day at home while Daddy was at work to recover.  Mommy had lots of coffee and pumpkin spice creamer 🙂  And, make note of this if you think we have it all together, I realized last night at the fair that the girls had not had baths since last Tuesday – yes, 5 days!!!  So, tonight, we had a nice long one to make up for it – with lots of bubbles!!

Finally, an Update

It has been forever since I have posted.  Truth be told, our life has been pretty uneventful other than the normal – messy but exciting ministry, preschool, chaotic life with two littles, and loving life with friends.  But, in the spirit of promising to keep you updated, here are a few highlights:

Baby Blake Update – I had my monthly appointment this past week and had to take the glucose test.  I always dread this drink based on what everyone says about how bad it is, but, if I have to be honest, its not that bad – tastes like fruit punch to me.  I was sure I would fail the test and have to go back for the three hour test (because that is just how this pregnancy has gone), but I passed the first time around!  His heartbeat sounded great and they measured me to make sure my uterus is growing, which it is.  While I consider this a good sign, the midwife was sure to caution me that my uterus could be growing even though he isn’t, so we would have to wait until my ultrasound in two weeks to be sure.  I also got fussed at about my weight gain this time around (meaning the last four weeks since I had been in).  I knew I had gained, and she counseled me that what “goes on my lips, shows up on my hips”.  I would love to say this has been encouraging me to eat better the last week, but who am I kidding?

The Girls Update – Emerson is speaking up a storm these days and makes sure to repeat everything we say – yes, everything.  She is also adjusting more to her sister being at school two days a week and loves to go on walks with me during that time.  Kinsley is still loving school and has been doing well with behavior (if you know anything about our past struggles, you would know this is a BIG deal – I was honestly scared she would be the kid to get kicked out of preschool).  It has also been fun to see her learning to interact and play better with other kids, to see her learning fun things like fire safety and calling 911, and to hear her singing songs and talking more about Jesus.  Funny story – Ed has been teaching her our address in case she ever has to call 911 and instead of saying “East Academy” she says “East A Cavity” – seriously adorable!  She is also still enjoying dance (though I am not sure it is something she will continue on with next year) and was thrilled to be picked as the “line leader” last week (every kid gets a turn and she has been anxiously awaiting hers).

While I was gone out of town on our women’s retreat this past weekend, Ed took the girls to the Fire Station for their annual open house.  The girls loved riding in the truck, squirting the hose, and getting all kinds of goodies (who knew pink fire hats existed?!?).

Us Update – I had a great time at our annual church women’s retreat.  It was great to be surrounded by so many fun and godly women and to spend time studying the names of Jesus.  And who can pass on having meals fixed for them and not having to clean up afterwards?  It is my goal every year to see a bear, and this year was a no-go.  I opted out of hiking and choose to sleep instead, so I knew it would be hard to see a bear from inside my room.  What can I say – sleep won out for the pregnant lady.  I also started discipling a girl at Campbell and that has been a real highlight for me so far.  It has been a while since I have been able to make a commitment to disciple someone, but something that has been heavy on my heart, so I am glad that it is happening now!  Things at Campbell have been going really well (see our latest newsletter for some of what has been happening), so that has been a highlight for me the last few weeks.  Ed’s mom came to visit for a few days and to help while I was at the Ladies Retreat, and it was fun to spend time with her (and restful might I add). I also got to shop at a consignment sale this past week with her, which is always a rush and a huge highlight – things you need for half the price of buying it new – definitely a highlight!

Ed had jury duty this past week and with me leaving for the women’s retreat, we were really concerned he wouldn’t be able to take care of the girls (hence his mom coming in).  He ended up being released after just one day, which was a blessing because he has so much on his plate.  We also had a big event this past week, a fellowship dinner in Fayetteville to raise money for our campus account.  It was the first one of its kind at that location and over 140 people attended.  We were able to see a good bit of money come in for our campus account, which was definitely an answered prayer.  All in all, Ed has been extremely busy and though the first six weeks of the fall are over, things are not slowing down any.  Please pray for him as he balances so many responsibilities and tries to do everything well!

Dog Update – Bruno has definitely made himself at home and is getting more and more comfortable in our place.  He has been going to obedience classes – they haven’t quite met our expectations and the price tag we paid, but he has learned things like sit, drop, and look at me, which is a good start.  I no longer want to kill him everyday so that has to count for something, right?  The girls love him and I couldn’t imagine our family without him.  Well, maybe I could, when I see his hair on the floor and remember that I didn’t think a boxer shed that much – I am way too much of a clean freak for that.

We pray that you have been doing well too!

The Results Are In

This post is way, way overdue.  So, last time I wrote, we were awaiting test results and didn’t expect them until the end of last week.  Well, surprisingly, we got an early call last Monday morning (versus the end of that week) with the test results.

And, we were very excited to learn that the test came back negative meaning there are no chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, or Trisomy 18.  While we would have been accepting of whatever the results were and thankful to the Lord, we are very pleased that he is healthy and the single umbilical cord is just a freak thing that God orchestrated and not a sign of something else.  After debating for so long about whether to do the test or not, we are so glad that we decided to do it and grateful for the peace of mind that this test has provided.  Now, he just has to continue growing and moving.  And I have to pass that dreaded glucose test – I am sure that I will fail it and have to take the 3 hour version – thats just the way this pregnancy has been going. 🙂

In other news, we had Fall Retreat this weekend, which was a really eventful weekend, both because of the way the Lord moved but also seeing our girls share a bed for the first time.  Lets just say we had interrupted sleep both nights.  Despite having a bed rail on her side of the bed, Emerson managed to still fall off the bed by going over top of her sister and off of the bed.  Then, Kinsley woke up the second night at 2 am screaming about frogs.  Yes, I said frogs.

Earlier that night, when we were at the church where we had dinner, Kinsley and Emerson saw two tree frogs on the outside of the window and were amazed by them until they went outside and saw them start jumping around.  Despite trying to catch the frogs and show the girls that they were harmless, they were both screaming bloody murder.  So, at 2 am that morning, Kinsley started screaming “There are frogs all over Ariel.  There are frogs all over my blankie.”  We tried assuring her that there were no frogs but she kept going “The frogs are everywhere, they are all over the room.” And she was terrified.  So, after much ado, she and Ed switched beds and she spent the next few hours hanging onto my neck like it was her last lifeline.  She did keep talking about the frogs even after switching beds but we kept assuring her that the frogs were outside and we were inside.  Needless to say, I, nor she, will ever feel the same way about frogs again.

After returning from Fall Retreat, we decided to take the girls to Claire’s to have their ears pierced.  Kinsley has been talking about it for a long time now but hesitant about doing it because she was afraid it would hurt too much. We even showed her a Youtube video of a little girl getting her ears pierced to show her it doesn’t hurt but a second.  Then, after Kinsley saw that Johana, her cousin who just turned 1, had her ears pierced, she was sold and there was no turning back.  Emerson just wanted to do what her sister wanted to do.  So, without further ado, here are the before and after pictures of their ears!