Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baking Banana Bread

At 2 1/2, Emma Brooke has become quiet the little baker. One of her favorite activities is helping me bake or cook. If she hears me in the kitchen, she runs in there, asks me to get her apron, and says, "I want to help!" We've baked several loaves of banana bread for our neighbors and Bible study teachers. Sometimes it would be easier and quicker to just bake by myself, but I want her to learn, and I don't want to squelch her little desire to help.

I love my little baker!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Confessions of a Failed Blogger

OK. I confess (as if you didn’t already know)—I’m a failed blogger. I haven’t written here in 9 1/2 months. Yes, I know that’s almost a year! But…I have somewhat of an excuse. I had just found out I was PREGNANT when I posted last February, and I was fatigued, a little overwhelmed and looking for something to give up. So blogging went out the window.

Baby Maggie's 6 1/2 weeks old now, so maybe I'll try posting more often....or at least once every 6 months. :)

Here’s what we've been doing over the past 9 1/2 months:

1. Attended Beth Moore’s Esther Bible study at a local church. It was good, but, for now, I’m a little Beth Moored out.

2. Took a mini family vacation to Edisto, S.C., compliments of my best friend/college roommate, Brantley, her husband, Josh, and Brantley’s parents, Pete and Brenda! It was fun, relaxing, and probably the best vacation we’ve taken together since our honeymoon.

Brantley and Brenda have co-authored the Bellman Bear books, a children’s series that teaches about other cultures. Check them out!

3. Let myself go:

Just kidding. I was P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T!

4.Got bigger:

5. And bigger (Here I am with Brantley at her baby shower! Luke is one week older than Maggie!):

6. And bigger!

7. Celebrated Emma Brooke's 2nd birthday with a strawberry-themed joint party with her friend Ellie (who is one day older)!

8. Took a two-week trip to Mississippi to see family and friends.

9. Stopped in Atlanta coming and going to visit with friends.

10. Spent a few days in July at a cabin in South Carolina with extended family, compliments of my Uncle Ray and Aunt Karen!

11. Tried to potty train Emma Brooke…emphasis on TRIED. I'm not sure when we will pick up trying again.

12. Spent two days in Asheville celebrating our 5-year anniversary.

13. Swam in the neighborhood pool, A LOT.

14. Worked out to Leisa Hart’s prenatal workout dvd. Loved it!

15. Spent many late nights writing for several local newspapers. My favorite stories included one on a woman who found some long-lost letters her father had written her from Vietnam, one on a two-time domestic abuse survivor, several on families who have adopted and several stories on mission trips. I also wrote a reflective column after Maggie's birth.

16. Taught 3 homeschooled brothers Spanish.

17. Picked lots of blueberries!

18. Transitioned Emma Brooke to the "big girl" bed. Believe me, we would have kept her in the crib if we could have, but our little monkey was climbing out of it every chance she got!

19. Became addicted to Sweet Cakes Bakery (Will and I now call each other cupcake "connoisseurs") but (go figure!) I was then diagnosed with gestational diabetes and consequently spent the last 3 months of my pregnancy eating A LOT of eggs, cheese, peanut butter, and almonds. That’s what a semi-vegetarian preggo chick has to do to get in all that much-needed protein.

20. Read Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free by Nancy Leigh Demoss with a mentor from my church.

21. Studied up on natural childbirth by reading a bazillion childbirth books (or so it seemed). Some of my favorites were Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, The Birth Book and Dr. Oz's You: Having a Baby. I also watched these two documentaries to prepare: The Business of Being Born and "O" Birth. I hate the full name of the last movie, but it really did help!

22. Attended a home organization class, Home Matters, at a local church.

23. Started attending Community Bible Study. The ministry has in-depth studies for women all over the world, and I had first heard about it from friends in Mississippi. I feel blessed to be able to attend one here. We are studying Acts. They also have a GREAT children's program where Emma Brooke is learning memory verses! I love it!

24. Awaited the arrival of my precious baby girl….who finally came on her due date…Oct. 23!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's been up?

Well, it's been over a month now since a real post, so I thought I would take a few minutes to update on what we've been up to the past few weeks.

Here's a quick rundown of our last month:

  1. I started tutoring two afternoons/week at a local elementary school in December. I have mostly been working with 3 kindergarteners and one 1st grader--all boys--in reading and math. This has kept me busy, and I am thankful for Mom for keeping EB during this time.
  2. In January, I started teaching 3 homeschool students--all boys and brothers--Spanish! I have really enjoyed this new job! The boys are really well behaved and seem to be enjoying our lessons so far. Will and I met their parents while visiting churches. I teach at their house twice/week--right before I go to the elementary school to tutor.
  3. One of my New Year's goals was to e-mail my former editor to tell him I'm back in the area and interested in freelance writing. I was a little nervous about doing this since I hadn't written in so long, but I was pleasantly surprised when he quickly wrote back and offered me a job! We did not feel a full-time job was in the best interest for our family (EB is my full-time job!), but I have been freelancing for the Herald Weekly, the University City Weekly, and the Mt. Island Weekly--all North Charlotte area papers--ever since my contact with my editor. I've written several school news features, a business feature, and a human interest feature on a candlelight vigil commemorating the anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death. I have truly enjoyed this transition back into journalism.
  4. The three of us spent a weekend with my parents when a "big" snowstorm hit. We planned to get "stuck" because I really wanted to enjoy the beauty of the snow on their 6 acres instead of from our view of the townhouse parking lot. We stayed with my parents for 3 nights, enjoying the warmth of their woodstove, the taste of homemade soups and chili, and, of course, the pleasure of their company.
  5. Will and I traveled to Rome, Georgia for a marriage retreat with our church two weekends ago. This was a refreshing time of time together and teaching on God's plan for marriage.
  6. Mom and I have been attending Beth Moore's Esther Bible study at a local church that hosts community Bible studies for women from all different churches. The program offers an excellent nursery, and Emma Brooke has enjoyed making new friends there.
  7. Emma Brooke and I occasionally attend storytime at the library, which she absolutely loves.
  8. Emma Brooke and I are still attending a weekly playgroup for Hispanic moms and children.
  9. I finished reading Sink Reflections and Choosing Forgiveness. Reviews to come soon!
  10. I finished my quilting class, but I haven't finished my quilt. I need to carve out time to go to the store to get the ladies to help me. I have a one-day binding class to attend in April. I haven't had a lot of time to sew in the last month, which is sad, but I'm hoping to carve out some time soon!
Whew--I need to update more often, so I don't have so much to write at one time!