I like it when the bible says about the birth of Jesus, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all men” – and so this is the time of year when we “celebrate” that. As best we can we try to integrate that into our festivities & traditions, but if you’re like me, you quickly forget, or don’t necessarily know how to do that. I easily get distracted by iTunes and surfboards, and my own wish list, more like a grown up toy list: D-SLR Camera, and a GPS Navigation system, etc. Before Christmas I went to Best Buy pretending to shop for Katie, but I was really there looking at toys for myself. Stuff. We want stuff, so we convince ourselves that want is an understatement, we say we need it. Whatever it is, can leave you bankrupt once you get it, because it didn’t deliver the ultimate. After a couple of minutes, or days, or months, the shine wears off and you need something shinier.
So we come back to Christ and His birth. The ultimate Gift that delivers; in Him there is no letdown or disappointment. If there can be Peace on this earth, if we can walk with our Savior, if we can know Him, and experience His shine, a shine that doesn’t fade, then there is a God to give Glory to.
Some things we give Glory to God for:
::a healthy & happy family. We are enjoying a sweet season of life (with the addition of our son Judah), blessed with God’s great provision & love for our family.
::hope & peace – life can throw curve balls and stress is real (those aren't blond highlights in my hair), but there is always hope & peace in our Lord now and in the life to come.
::My wife & son - I don't deserve either of them. In them is a display of God's grace for my life.
::His Son. the sacrifice in sending His Son, we can never fully grasp its weight. I now have a son, and my mind CANNOT conceive of giving him up for anyone, let alone the undeserving.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This morning the three of us were lying in bed, Joey and I trying to coax Judah back to sleep for just 10 more minutes. Historically this only leads to a super early family play session, but it's worth a try for the slight chance that he can snuggle up and go back to sleep. I finally decided to get up as he's basically hanging from our head board, talking his head off. While I was getting a sweatshirt on Joey told Judah to clap, and he did. He's never done that on command before. He also gives kisses (open mouth, teeth and all) when asked. Now, clapping is no event to devote an entire blog to, but what I'm so stoked about is that we're starting to communicate. He's understanding more and more of what we say to him. The thing that bewilders me though is that we clap together maybe 3 times a day, whereas I tell him NO like a broken record and he looks at me like I'm an alien. He soo busted now, no more Mr. Niceguy. Especially as he's going through yet another phase of biting everything and everyone. Somehow biting has become an expression of excitement. The unfortunate part of teaching him not to bite is that I can't remember what to say to him consistently as he's gnawing on one of my limbs. Sometimes it's "no biting", "don't bite me", "stop biting", or my favorite, "holy crap that hurt". The cat's out of the bag Judah... I know you're teachable now.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 7:28 AM
Monday, December 3, 2007
Joey's been working a ton lately, so a Saturday family date was in order. With a baby it's hard to find fun things to do as a family. I love hiking, but Joey's never really taken to it, so I was excited when we came to an agreement on hiking Madonna Mt. after a light lunch at Subway. I had to run a quick errand so I sent Joey to Long's to get a birthday card for my dad. Once there, Joey proceeded to buy Judah a $7.00 Elmo balloon. No surprise as anytime I take Joey to the grocery store we end up with a bill big enough to pay the mortgage. When we get to Madonna Mt. Joey insists on bringing Elmo along for the ride. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. Judah loves being outside and riding on daddy's back was a bonus. Unfortunately, Elmo had a run-in with some wild, bushy sticks and didn't make it back to the car in one piece. All in all, the day was wonderful and we really got some good quality time. Love my boys!
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 9:54 AM
Our boy has been working a mullet for the last few months so we decided that we had to nip it in bud... literally, before he actually looked like he was from Bodfish (my hometown). This was a difficult decision for me as I have had a really hard time letting Judah grow up. It's like his first step into boyhood and he's not even a year yet. Well I gave in and I saved every strand that I could, here's our little boy's before and after...
BEFORE. Can you see a potential rat tail?
AFTER. I'm starting to get used to it. What a handsome young man!
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 9:13 AM
So I confess that I bit off a little more than I could chew with this one... Marlene and Jose are an awesome couple that we met while hosting a home group here in Nipomo. They met while working together in social services in Santa Maria. Marlene began sharing with Jose about the Lord and they soon began a friendship that centered around Jose's search for some meaning in his life. One night after home group, Joey had it on his heart to go on a prayer walk around our neighborhood. He and our friend Matt went out and they met Jose on the street taking out his trash. They proceeded to invite him to our home group and he displayed a sincere interest. Little did we all know, Marlene had been urging Jose to find a place to fellowship and learn more about Jesus. This was an amazing answer to their prayers. A few weeks later Jose showed up with Marlene. Over the next few months their friendship deepened and Marlene took him to one of Greg Lowry's Harvest Crusades where Jose gave his life to Christ. They soon began to fall in love, and the rest is history. They were married on November 24th at the Kaleidoscope Inn in Nipomo.
I agreed to do their flowers thinking that it was going to be a small task, little did I know they had around 300 guests and Marlene's vision for her flowers challenged me creatively and with the sheer volume. We had feathers, beads and kissing balls; all things that I have never used before, which was really fun. The most stressful aspect was that my wholesaler wasn't delivering on Friday due to Thanksgiving so I had to get all the flowers on Tuesday, for a Saturday wedding. SCARY! Everything held up very well though and it was beautiful. We love you guys and are so happy for you!
The bride's bouquet: white roses, calla lilies, lisianthus, stock, ranunculus, and dark blue bella donna delphinium. I used chocolate brown ostrich feathers and strands of beads for the finishing touch.
Marlene was such a beautiful bride! Sorry Jose, I didn't get any photos of you.
I love the Kaleidoscope gazebo.
Funny story about the vine balls. I searched on eBay and all sorts of craft sites for a large vine ball, but could only find small ones. So what you see is actually the vine pumpkin that my mother-in-law gave me for fall decor. I cut off the stem and the leaves and you couldn't even tell.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 8:10 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Judah's bug is hanging on for dear life. Either that, or he has decided to operate a full-fledged hunger strike. We're going on day 7 of his strange new eating habits. Every meal/snack makes me anxious, but the nurse on the phone keeps telling me that as long as he's hydrated we're doing ok. Part of me wonders if they just don't want to see us because holiday starts tomorrow and they've got to be swamped. But the other part of me is challenged to trust the doctor and our good God and just be patient with the little guy. As we speak Judah has been sitting in his high chair for about 20 minutes picking at cheerios, banana and a blueberry muffin.
The whole sick thing has caused me to do several things that I have been trying avoid. 1) No refined sugar... that flew out the window in desperation to get something into him. 2) No Videos/TV... he's in love with Tiny Love's DVD Magiq. Shockingly he is alive and happy.
A couple of discoveries... as the gang on Seinfeld discovered, the muffin top is definitely the best part, even Judah agrees. I have a problem... Joey and I went on a date the other night and he had to tell me that we weren't allowed to talk about poop. Now if someone has to tell you not talk about poop there's obviously something wrong.
Pray for us!
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 11:09 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
UGH... Being sick sucks! So any of you lucky enough to not be battling the stomach flu right now are stoked. Joey and I got hit with it on Monday night. It was kind of this unfolding mystery as to what it was that we got. You see, Joey offered to make dinner on Monday night as I was scurrying to take a long awaited shower before Bible study. He made killer turkey burgers, I couldn't believe it but he even made grilled onions to top them off. Those of you who know Joey well, know that he doesn't cook. When I was pregnant with Judah we ate cereal and quesadillas for the first 4 months, so this was an event. By the time I got home from Bible study Joey had already "been sick" and I was quite nauseous. I decided that it must have been the turkey. So after spending the night alternating bathroom trips we decided that Joey should stay out of the kitchen. That was until we discovered that most of the attendees of Lucy Anselm's 1st birthday party were also sick. Mystery solved, and sorry honey... you're a great cook and you're so not off the hook now.
Pray for little Judah, he's battling the runs and isn't happy about it. If he doesn't turn the corner tomorrow I think we'll have to go in to see Dr. Thomspon. He's refusing most food and liquids as of today. But he's a tough kid and still has a smile on his face.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 8:21 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2007
We have had a wonderful week together as a family. As we're all recovering from a cold, Joey is doing business locally this week which has made for a fun-packed week of family time. We took Judah to the Avila Barn on Tuesday. He was very interested in the animals, but when the sheep started bleating like crazy he turned his bottom lip out and in the cutest way possible whimpered, so we headed to a quieter bunch of donkeys. Joey and I decided to indulge in some homemade ice cream and something came over me and I just had to give Judah a bite of my pumpkin cone. His first response was a sour face, probably because of the cold, but then he wouldn't leave me alone... so much for keeping him sugar-free. But it was so fun to see the delight on his face. Halloween was also enjoyable, as you can see, we have the cutest snapping turtle in the whole world. Judah loved seeing all the kids in their costumes who came to our door and was such a good sport with the whole costume thing. We had a blast and look forward to more holidays to come.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 3:38 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Our good friend Ken Kienow blessed us with a family photo session a few weeks ago. We had so much fun in downtown Guadalupe, who knew that this quirky little downtown had so many interesting photo opps. We had planned to head to the beach, but after a dramatic confession of Joey's dislike for sand (yes, he is a surfer), we decided on a more urban setting. Check out Ken's blog if you're interested in his work, he is currently building up his portfolio, and is looking for interesting subjects.
Originally uploaded by CC Ken
Originally uploaded by CC Ken
Originally uploaded by CC Ken
Originally uploaded by CC Ken
Originally uploaded by CC Ken
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 10:56 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Lately I've been thinking that I'm a little uptight. Now, those of who know me well are probably thinking, 'hello, you're just realizing this now...' But anyway, I really think that my uptightness is robbing me of some simple joys of motherhood. I'm a routine-loving planner, which doesn't necessarrily jive with having an infant. Judah does better on a schedule which is also a motivation for that part of my personality to thrive. But, as we all know, children have a mind of their own. Judah has been teething for about 2 months it seems, so everything is negotiable at this point. Not sleeping through the night anymore, not liking to take a nap unless he parks it on mama's chest, following me around the house whining like a little puppy dog, deciding every other day that he wants to wean himself. All of these new things challenge me every day and bring to light the fact that my flesh is alive and active. I've been feeling lately that I need to make a choice in those very short seconds before the monster inside me responds; to either resond in love or in frustration. The old idea of turning lemons into lemonaide keeps running through my head and challenges me to change my perspective, to pray for love, and to be present in every moment that I have with my son. I don't want you to get the feeling that Judah is a naughty boy, because it isn't true, his mother just has issues. With that said, here is how I would like to look at things...
Great, you want to nap on me... I'd love to snuggle with you for an hour.
SO you're bored with all your 2 billion toys and you want to be in my shadow... I'd love to stop what I'm doing and play with you.
I see that you've suddenly decided that your crib doesn't provide the most comfortable sleeping arrangement... I would love to snuggle you in bed with me even if you punch me in the face every hour.
So spitting food in my face and throwing your spoon seems like a good way to communicate that peas are yucky... so I'll laugh and enjoy you being you because secretly I hate peas too.
All this to say that I don't want to look back in 10 years and have memories of things that I wish I had done, or the mom I wish I had been. This stage in his life is going to fly by and I want to know that I lived it to the fullest, enjoyed Judah as much as I could, and loved him with my life. I don't want to look back at his babyhood and just think, wow that was hard, but I want to say out of the truest place in my heart that it was amazing and touching and so beautiful to watch my son grow into the man he will be. I love being Judah's mom, for real!
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 4:11 PM
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Judah and Avery in the Aicklen-mobile.
Big smile! His hair is crusted with a gallon of sunscreen.
Judah rolled over in the sand, which took 3 weeks to completely vacate his ear.
Beach siesta after his first day playing in the sand and ocean.
Avery and Grandma Kim.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 7:57 PM
Judah's first day at the pool. He liked it ok until daddy dunked him...
Natalie and Judah at our hotel in Denver
My Pawpaw (no, not Papa) was enthralled with our little guy. It was so sweet to see what a little light Judah was to him.
Yes, that is a real lion, and no, it's not alive. Judah didn't mind though, he loves kitties.
Durango gave Judah lots of kisses. Judah followed her around the whole time we were at my grandparents.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 7:36 PM
Friday, September 7, 2007
We've been in Denver on vacation for about a week now and let me tell you, it has been an interesting one. Joey has a trade show in Denver that started on Wednesday so we had about 4 days in the city before work. Several interesting things have transpired.
Judah decided the week before we left that he wasn't into sleeping through the night anymore and instead preferred to use his nightimes screaming for no apparent reason. Teething? Separation anxiety? I have no idea, but it carried into our vacation, so I was about as sleep deprived the first 3 days of vacation as I was when Judah was a newborn. The ironic thing is that we were staying with some good friends in Denver, 2 separate couples, both expecting their first children. I just have to chalk it up to God wanting to teach us all a little something, but I was a blubbering mess. Those of you who know me at home haven't seen that side of me since I got past the baby blues, but it was as if it was happening all over again. So needless to say, I think I scared them both a little bit, or at least spurred on some interesting conversations. Sorry Nate and Natalie, Dave and Lana! Judah was a charmer as usual so I probably looked like a crazy lady.
We then took off to Windsor, CO where Joey dropped me off at my grandparents' home. We were there for about 2 hours when my grandma came in a got my grandpa. She had begun hemoraging and he rushed her off to the ER. That was the last time I saw Mimi for this trip. She spent the rest of the week in the hospital undergoing awful tests and a surgery to remove half of her colon... fun. I had a great time keeping my Papa company. He's a WWII vet and I was able to ask him tons of questions about that, which absolutely fascinates me. Papa and Judah were great buds by the time we left and I cried as we drove away. Every time we come out here I never know if I'll see them again. I know it sounds morbid, but I love them so much and it just kills me that they won't be able to get to know their only great-grandson because of how far away we live. How special though that they have at least met him.
We have 2 more nights here and will be seeing one of Joey's college buddies and his old pastor. I'm looking forward to coming home, but thankful that we were out here to support my family during a difficult time and the time spent with friends has been great. We will have pictures to follow.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 4:42 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Being a parent has given me some new insights into God and his role as my Father. I've only just begin to really apply it to my relationship with him and meditate on it as I go about my day as a newish mom. First of all, God delights in his children. I never knew delight until I had a child and it only grows as my son begins to know me and love me. I delight in Judah's love for me, just as God delights in our love for him. When Judah chooses to be in my presence, there is no feeling to describe it. He is beginning to cling onto me out of what seems to be affection, security, and trust. How it must please and bless our Father when we cling to him and choose Him out of all the other idols in the world. How sweet it is for him when we run into his presence and just sit at his feet. I have yet to experience the sinfulness of my child, but I can just anticipate what God will teach me about forgiveness, grace, mercy, discipline, and unconditional love. I've always been a child, so thinking on God and these attributes as a child you almost miss half of the equation. But now as a mother, I get to almost walk in God's shoes with my own child and learn more about the heart of my Abba.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Katie is the catalyst behind our humble blog. A few times she has encouraged me to "blog" something, but to date I hadn't been moved to write anything on a blog addressed to no one in particular.
But tonight is right. I just want to brag about katie if that's ok with you. She doesn't know I am doing this, as she is long asleep, worn from a day of taking care of Judah & I. She is an amazing wife & a hall of fame mother. She really just loves Judah & I so very well, so selflessly everyday. And we certainly don't make life easy for her, like when Judah decides to scream at 3 AM (almost every night) for no reason at all, or when I show up late (as usual) to a dinner party we are hosting, or forget to take the trash to the curb for trash day (every week), there's katie continuing to love, continuing to be patient. Judah & I talk a lot about how lucky we are. The first thing I told him in the delivery room after he was born was that he has the best mom in the whole world. He knows it. His face says it all when he sets his eyes on her.
But katie doesn't even know it. She wants to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend. She is always evaluating and wanting to grow in any weak areas. But tonight is about strengths; which for katie include singing, painting, designing, baseball sliding, cooking, and a myriad of other things you may not even know about her. I am so proud of her and thankful.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
So yesterday was my follow-up appointment with the dermatologist for my lip. He came into the room and says, "Good new, it's a Blah, Blah, blah (three really big words that I totally can't remember nor do I understand), which basically means that we don't know what it is, but it's not a pre-cancer nor cancer." So guess I left a little confused becuase that's really all he told me, it's not dangerous at all, maybe like a birth mark type thing or something. The problem is, I still don't want it on my face. He froze it to see if that would be enough to regenerate some new skin, but I'm not too optimistic. We'll see... all this to say, praise God that it isn't anything serious and I won't go through life with half a lip. Thanks for prayers and everyone's concern.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 8:25 AM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 10:42 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Anybody that has seen me lately might have noticed that my lower lip is a bit swollen and yucky looking. I had a biopsy taken last Monday of a sun spot that has graced my lip for quite a few years. The doc wasn't too concerned and thinks it's probably just a pre-cancer and that it will be easily removed. We get the biopsy results back on Monday and I'm really not too worried about it, but keep thinking about the fate of my poor lip. It seems that most of my fears are more about my own vanity than anything else. Just thinking about having to walk around with a puffy, peely, yucky lip makes me sad and embarrassed. Then I tell myself, 'seriously Katie, if that's all you've got worry about, you're one blessed lady'. I guess I'm really thankful that God is protecting me from more serious fears, but pray for me that I can take this as a great lesson in humility and grace. I will update with results and would appreciate prayer that it really is nothing.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 4:33 PM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Nana got Judah to blow kisses. A move we have yet to duplicate. He loves being in Bakersfield because he gets lots of naked time.
Judah's throne. He loves playing on our bed more than anywhere else in the house.
One of Judah's first adventures in solid foods! The bib was a gift from our friend John Cashman.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 7:37 AM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Ever since Judah was born he has enjoyed music. It seems to calm him down almost immediately when he's upset or lull him to sleep when he's tired. So Joey and I have perfected a repetoire of songs that we sing to him. Joey's selections include a June Carter Cash song about heaven, Amazing Grace, and a Damien Jurado tune. My favorites are Jesus Loves me, How Great is our God, and a Lori Schafffer song called Welcome. Since Judah is our first child we have a very limited knowledge of traditional children's songs and lullabies so these are Judah's special lullabies. The song Welcome is always the last song that I sing to him before bed time and nap time, hence I sing it about 4-5 times a day. Joey and I laugh that there are some great lessons for mom tucked into the song so I will share this beautiful ode to little boys and what I've learned from it.
by Lori Schaffer (Waterdeep)
Welcome to this dusty land
Where you will cry lots, but we'll all understand. (1)
Things may not turn out sometimes like you've (2) planned,
That's alright our little man.
Welcome outside of you mother's womb
Well I know that it's frightening but now there's more room.
Just think of all of the great things you'll do,
Just by you being you.
Welcome to us, oh our little song,
You're one part your daddy and one part your mom.
We're gonna help you grow up to be strong,
But for now little guy sleep on (3),
But for now littlle guy sleep on.
The first nugget is that he will cry lots!! and I'm supposed to understand, he's just a baby, that's what babies do. He's not going to die and I'm not a horrible mother.
Two, the second line should read 'things may not turn out sometimes like WE planned'. Like when I really want Judah to take a 2 hour nap so I can work out, sweep the floors, take a shower and eat lunch. Then 15 minutes later, just after I've brushed my teeth and put on my workout clothes he wakes up.
And third, there will be a day when he will sleep on. It's always funny when I sing that last line to him as I lay him in his crib and he smiles up at me. Sometimes the smile is followed by a lung exercise and sometimes he lies in bed and plays for like 30 minutes, but he will sleep on... eventually.
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 8:42 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I've found that I so enjoy being able to keep up with family and friends via the blogging world that I feel that I need to begin my own contribution. Actually it's turned into a total guilty pleasure surfing the web/blogs after Judah's gone down for bedtime while Joey's checking all the sports updates. But the truth is, I'm totally tech. challenged so I never thought that I could figure it out. But Joey gave me a quick tutorial and I think I can at least get started.
I've begun reading a bit since Judah was born and I've found it's almost become a necessity to remind me that my brain still works and enjoys topics other than baby poop, sleep schedules, and what the heck is going on with Judah (which I ask nearly every day about some phenomenon that he is or isn't doing). Writing, I feel might be another blessed outlet for such thoughts and ponderings. But I'm sure that Judah will take up much of my blogging time as well because let's admit it, he's pretty darned amazing and definitely the most exciting thing happening in my life. Well someone is screaming after a 15 minute nap (and no it isn't Joey), so duty calls. Looking forward to this new relationship!
Posted by Joey, Katie, Judah and Annie at 5:01 PM