Thursday, November 27, 2014


I know that you're thinking that this family picture looks similar to my picture I posted yesterday. I can assure you that we took 49 pictures so I had plenty to choose from. It's a gift and a curse (dependent on who you ask).

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and finally fixing my chalkboard sign that has said "Maddox is ONE!" for the past nine-months [thanks, sign. we get it.]), we sat at our little table, under our little sign and laughed at this sweet boy who snuck bites of homemade cinnamon rolls (from scratch. hashtag high five.) in between pictures.

He's the best. They're both the best.


Give thanks

I'm doing a bible study right now called, "In Everything Give Thanks." It was designed for this season, this Thanksgiving season, but I feel like it was written specifically for me. I started it last week and over the course of one week I've gone through a roller coaster of emotions and circumstances and had all sorts of various things thrown my way and all the while this little voice in my heart whispering, "Give thanks. Give thanks. Give thanks." And so I have been.

I want to be more thankful. I want the greed and the worldly desires in my heart to be replaced with contentment and appreciation. I want to stop looking for more, more, more and start being grateful for what's in front of me and what I've been blessed with. Because it really truly is so much.

But beyond that, I want to stop looking at the things to feel thankful for. Because the things don't matter. I want to cultivate relationships and love and friendships and memories. I want to live a life rich in the intangible things. I can sure get into the neediness of this life. I live just a few blocks from Target and I can sure walk through that store and feel pretty bad about my life. I can whine that I can't afford a candle in every scent ever and the newest plates and dishes and the cutest little Christmas trinkets that I so obviously do not need and I can make a long list of everything I don't have. And that list is suddenly so overwhelmingly, glaringly obvious in the face of everything that I do have. And it overwhelms the goodness of this life, the goodness that I have right in front of me.

I want to be thankful in my greed.
Thankful in my suffering.
Thankful when I'm content.
Thankful when I'm hurting.
Thankful when I'm happy.
Thankful when there's enough.
Thankful when there's not.
Thankful in everything.

In everything give thanks; give thanks in everything.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Maddox Currently

Maddox is currently 20-months and he...

Has chores. He's been obsessed with feeding the dog for quite a while so we let him do it. He gets her bowl and fills it up with food and then follows her around the house and demands that she eat her food. We have to be extra careful and make sure we always lock the container where we keep her food because he sometimes likes to grab handfuls of food and throw them all over the floor and that's really fun for me. He also helps us unload the dishwasher. He pulls all the silverware out one-by-one and hands me a plate or bowl one-by-one and gets really angry when I won't let him empty the dishwasher when it's full of dirty dishes.

Loves puzzles and shape sorting. I've had wood puzzles and a little shape sorter toy for Maddox for an entire year. He showed no interest in them until one day when all of the sudden he just knew how to put the puzzle pieces back into the puzzle and knew that the circle went in the circle hole in the shape sorter. I kind of just watched in amazement for an entire day because I had no idea where he picked this up. But he does it and it makes me really proud.

Dances with me. We always have music on in this house and Maddox and I are usually dancing to it. I picked him up one day and put his arms on my neck and said, "Hold on to me!" And now whenever I pick him up and there's music playing, he grabs my neck and we dance. He also likes when I twirl him around and around and his newest dance move is spinning until he falls down.

Likes to pretend cook.  Maddox prefers to pull all of the pots and pans out of the cupboards and pull a handful of spice jars out and pretend to cook with me. I'm so, so excited for the day when he can really sit on the counter and help me. But for now, I'll take this little pretend chef.

Can get out of his crib. Aye yi yi. One morning a few months ago, Maddox fell out of his crib. We were sleeping and Evan heard the crash and rushed into his room. His crib has three settings for mattress height and his was on the middle setting but the lowest setting was only a few inches below the current position. Evan left for work and I couldn't adjust it on my own and Maddox refused, absolutely refused to take any sort of naps in his bed that day. Probably, he was scared out of his mind but I didn't mind a day of cuddles with my sweet boy. So, that night Evan and I removed all the pieces of the crib so that it's still a crib but the mattress just lays on the ground instead of on the thing that's attached to the crib (good description, L). So, the crib and mattress now move freely of each other and there's just the tiniest space between the crib and the floor but we didn't think that Maddox would try to climb under. No way. Well, turns out he does. He kicks the crib until it has moved and he slides under and can open his bedroom door and he's halfway downstairs before you realize what's happening.

New Words: Bah! (Buttons, as in, buttons on the microwave! Dishwasher! Washer! Dryer! Any. Kind. Of. Button. Bah! Bah! Bah!) Tea. (Tea. Mama's tea, which he is ridiculously obsessed with.) Cah! (Car.) Es. (Yes.) Nunch. (Lunch.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

This Halloween is brought to you by entirely too much candy. Without that candy I seriously think I would have straight up died dead in the middle of the day from being so exhausted and run down.

We did our church's Halloween thing (it's called "Candy Run") for the third time in a row (one and two) and it's so fun. It just gets better and better and it's such a cool way for us to do community outreach and just have a good time and eat a lot of candy.

Evan + the student ministries team did a TMNT-themed zone. We spent two full days setting up the zone (city scapes + the liar + a sewer, two rooms and a hallway total) and painting and cutting cardboard and cutting a giant chunk out of my finger almost immediately and eating way too much candy.

I ordered my costume super last minute from Amazon because I had been planning on just making my own. But then it was the week of and I hadn't even thought of anything so I took the easy way out and just ordered a TNMT t-shirt. My girlfriend Anna mentioned that she was wearing a tutu and so Friday morning I gathered up all my organza and quickly sewed up a tutu (took me ten minutes and no pattern and it was amazing) and that was the extent of my handmade DIY Halloween costume. hashtag thumbs up.

We were a little Raphael family this year and I was even referred to as "Raphael's lady." It was quite hilarious to see all the children come through and name off the turtles they saw and then if one was missing quite literally lose their everloving minds about it. "WHERE. IS. DONATELLO." We would be like, "Eating pizza in the lair!" And they'd be like, "Oh. Okay. Phew." But, my favorite interaction was this little girl, probably 10ish, who said, "My friend Dylan loves you guys! You should see how much of your stuff he has in his room." Chyeah. Because we are THE ninja turtles.

Maddox was also a big hit and everyone commented on the baby turtle and how cute he was. He even was willing to keep his hat and shell on for most of the night which was a big deal because he did not want anything to do with either in our costume run-throughs earlier in the week.

And Evan's costume. Oh my lanta. All four of the guys who wore that same costume (but different turtle, obviously) are Evan's height. So all of them had the problem with the short inseam. I had to make four skirts for the boys to keep everything G-rated because tall boys + short costumes equal not church approp. If you know what I mean.

But all in all, we had such a great Halloween. We're all dead tired and I could hardly stand on my feet the next day and Maddox is fairly certain that his diet should now consist of candy and only candy from here on out but I'd say it was a success. Holidays are just so much more fun when you have a little one to dress up and steal candy from.

Also, funny story: We kept all the candy in giant, giant tubs. At the end of the night only a few pieces were left in the bottom of the tub and Maddox quite literally leaned over and practically fell in just to get those last few pieces. He helped himself to several Dum-Dum suckers and charmed plenty of Evan's collage ministry girls into feeding him lots of candy. I mean, I can't even say no to that face, I don't know how anyone else possibly could!