Thursday, December 31, 2009

Countdown to 30

Tomorrow is the first day of 2010. This is the year I turn 30. I've had 2010 in my mind since I was a little girl, knowing it was the year I would turn 30. And I remember thinking about how far away it seemed, and how OLD I would be at 30. I thought surely I would be a grandma by then and that my parents would all be living in nursing homes. Ha! Well. The almost-30-year-old version of myself now can't BELIEVE 2010 is here, and of course 30 doesn't seem that old anymore. My parents aren't even close to living in nursing homes. My grandparents aren't even living in nursing homes.

I don't even have to wait very long for my birthday. The big day is January 22. I've been counting down for at least all of 2009... approaching this milestone with a little bit of excitement and a little bit of dread. I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to embrace it, or if I'll shed a tear or two over it. It's not that I feel OLD, or feel like my life is coming to an end or anything... I just have a bit of anxiety. I graduate from seminary in May. And I think at that point, my "grown-up" life is supposed to begin. And at this point, there are many unanswered questions about our future. We have no idea what's next on the horizon for us. We're asking a lot of questions.

So maybe if some of those questions had answers, I'd be more excited to embrace 30 than I am today. Something about being 30 brings an expectation for having things a little more figured out. In your twenties, you can still chalk it all up to being "youthful".

But tomorrow will come, whether I'm ready for it or not. I'm going to choose to see 2010 as a year full of possibility. And I'll choose to figure things out one day at a time.

So hello, 2010. Hello, 30. I hope we can be friends.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

When all else fails, call the dog.

This morning we were all asleep. About 10 minutes before my alarm was to go off, Eisley woke up. When Eisley wakes up, we don't always rush right into her room to get her out of bed. We generally have her stay in her crib at least until a certain time of the morning. This morning that was about 15 minutes from when she actually woke up. This is what we heard coming from Eisley's room, as we laid there:

Mommy. Mommy. Mommy? Mommy!!


Daddy. Daddy? Daddy! DADDY!!!


more silence.


Here are my two girls. Great friends. Partners in crime. And apparently, Eisley was sure that this morning, Riley was the one that would come rescue her from her crib.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Recommendation

You should see this movie. It has been on my "to watch" list for a couple of months now, and Billy and I finally had a chance to see it this past weekend. For those of you who know that Billy and I are now eating less meat in our diet than we used to, and are rolling your eyes right now that I would suggest this movie to you-- stop rolling them. It's not a movie that tries to convince you to become vegetarian. This movie is not anti-meat in any way, shape, or form.

It is a movie about the importance of knowing where your food comes from-- on being educated on the major food companies and their business practices, how they treat their animals and employees, and about how we, as the consumer, really do have a lot of power in dictating what products our grocery stores carry. The movie is about being informed.

I know for me personally, I think about what we eat in ways I never had before, now that we have Eisley. But whether or not you are a parent shouldn't matter-- we should all be more aware of what we're consuming and the effects this has on our health.

So put this in your Netflix queue, go to Blockbuster, or see if your local library carries it. See this film and start thinking a bit more about what you're eating!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A first in 16 months

Today I overslept. I overslept because Eisley overslept. I don't need to go into the history of Eisley's sleeping patterns. I've posted several times about it. In short, she's a great sleeper, but an early riser.

But today, we overslept. Because Eisley is the way she is, I've given up altogether on setting an alarm clock. I haven't set one in months. So today I woke up at 7:30 (and this was still before Eisley woke up). I woke up at 7:30 and have to be in class at 8. Before that, I have to shower, get dressed, get Eisley ready for the day, with snacks packed for the sitter, etc.

I've never gotten ready so fast in my life. I got ready in such a hurry that I got to the babysitter's house and hadn't managed to grab Eisley's milk or food bag, which included her breakfast.

I am thankful for Eisley's sitter/our friend, who always has yummy and healthy things around her house to eat and said she would very happily make sure my child gets fed today.

Whew. I think that this pattern of Eisley sleeping a little later than she used to is actually going to stick. I need to wipe the dust off the alarm clock, so my hands won't get dusty when I hit the snooze button...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Totally Tube-ular!

They work!! The ear tubes work! Eisley has had a runny nose off and on for about 2 weeks now (it started out because she was teething I think, and now she has a sinus infection. We went to the doctor today and got a prescription, so the infection should clear up in a couple of days)-- and besides the fact that it's kind of a drag having a runny nose for days on end, we've discovered that the ear tubes are working.

Pre-tubes Eisley would have for SURE had an ear infection by now, after 2 weeks of this much drainage. But today the doctor said her ears were completely dry and free of fluid. Yea! I also got to look into her ears with the doctor's otoscope (is that what the tool is called that is used to look inside ears?) and see the tubes- kinda cool. They are made of plastic and are bright blue. Somehow I thought they were white.

Anyway, Eisley feels fine-- the sinus infection hasn't slowed her down even for a second. And we are very glad to free from ear infections...for now. I know there's always a chance she could still get one. But so far I'm feeling hopeful.

In other news (sorry), Eisley is using the big girl potty on a semi-regular basis. We are not actively potty training her or anything, since she's just 16 months old. But for the past couple of weeks she's been telling us that she needs to potty BEFORE she actually does anything in her diaper. So we thought, "Hmm. Why not see if she'll use the potty?" And she totally does. Not every time or anything, but a couple of times a day at least. We are very proud of our big girl and look forward to the day we eventually get her out of diapers for good.

For Thanksgiving, my brother and his family, along with my sister, all came to Wilmore to spend the holiday with us. They got here on Wednesday night and left on Sunday morning. It was a real joy to have them here! When we moved to Kentucky, my niece Kayla was 15 months old-- and now she's 5 years old! My nephew Logan wasn't even born-- and since our trips to Texas are so infrequent and such whirlwind trips, it was nice to actually have some real time together where I got to really love on my niece and nephew, and for everyone to get to know Eisley. The best part was getting to Eisley with her cousins. She grew up so much while they were here I think, because she was just so intent on being one of the big kids. She followed them around and did what they were doing, she laughed with them and chased them and let them chase her. She jumped on the bed with them and played in the kitchen with them, and just had an all-around good time. They left Sunday morning before Eisley woke up, and when Eisley woke up, she went running down the hall, expecting to see her cousins still there. She walked around saying, "Go-Gee? Go-Gee?" (what she calls Logan) and then had one single tear running down her face when she couldn't find him. It was the saddest, most precious thing ever.

Here's a picture of all the kids together:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Go Big Blue?

Four years ago, when we announced we were moving to Kentucky, I remember a warning I received: Kentuckians are crazy about basketball. They go nuts. You've never seen anything like it!

When we moved here, I suppose I found that to be sort of true. I compared it to Texans and our love for football. For Kentuckians, it was the same sense of commitment and passion, but for basketball.

But I didn't necessarily think anyone was CRAZY about it. Until now.

For the past 4 years, the University of Kentucky men's basketball team has not enjoyed the level of success they were accustomed to for many years. The last National Championship came in 1998, and people have been discontent with lack of success over the past few seasons. We moved here during Coach Tubby Smith's last season as head coach. I remember the news stories about his leaving, and I did think at the time, "What's the big deal?". But of course it was a big deal. Smith coached here for 10 years, and was the one that coached the wildcats to their 1998 National Championship.

Then came Billy Gillespie. He came here from Texas A&M University. I am guessing that this was his problem all along. Kidding. Sort of. His tenure was filled with disappointment and scandal. He lasted just 2 seasons.

That brings us to now. We are 3 games in to the season, under Head Coach John Calipari. Kentucky is today ranked #4 in the nation and there is an excitement about Wildcat Basketball I haven't seen before in the 4 years we've lived here.

Excitement is an understatement. A severe understatement. I now understand the warnings we received before we moved. The crazies are out. It's all Big Blue all the time.

The sheer craziness of the Wildcat Craze became most evident to me last night as I watched the news. The Big Story last night on the local news? You know. The leading story? The one deemed most important by the powers-that-be at the news station? The UK win last night at Rupp Arena, against Sam Houston State University.

The second, less important news story of the night, was about a strip mine explosion. Yes. An explosion. That sent rock falling into people's lawns and onto their houses and through the roofs of their cars.

I guess since no one died in the explosion, that made it easier to make the Cats' win the big story of the night.

Go Big Blue!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spring Forward, Fall Back

This most recent time change-- the one where we "fall back" an hour, used to be one of my most favorite days of the whole year. I mean, what a gift! An extra hour of sleep? Especially since the time change happens on a Saturday night, and I've got church/work super-early on Sundays. I've always loved Daylight Savings Time.

Until I had a kid. Clearly, whoever came up with the idea didn't have a child. This time change has totally messed up our sleep here at our house. Eisley still hasn't adjusted. Her internal body clock just does what it does, and has no regard for the time on the clock.

She was an early riser anyway. We were lucky if we got to sleep until 7. Now we're lucky if we sleep until 6. Oh, she still isn't allowed out of bed until 7. But there's a whole hour in there where she's awake and talking (and by the time 7 rolls around, she's generally pretty irritated that we haven't come in her room to get her). Our house is small. The walls are thin. There's no sleeping through her early-morning chatter. We keep thinking that like we've trained her before to sleep past 6, we'll be able to do it again. But now after a couple of weeks, I'm not so sure.

Anyone have any tips/suggestions for getting her adjusted to the time change? Adjusting bedtimes hasn't ever really seemed to work for us.

We may just need to face the fact that we may have to wake up at 6 for half the year, while the other half of the year, we wake up at 7. This is just less than fun because it's sometimes just not possible for me to adjust MY bedtime to make up for the lost sleep. Sometimes I have to stay up late to get the homework done. And there's no sleeping in to make up for it. Ever.

Your turn. What ides do you have?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Warning you: Boring Update!

2 things...

- A few days ago I wrote about possibly having Rheumatoid Arthritis. Interestingly enough, the bloodwork came back negative for RA. That is good news. However, as I type this post, the joints in my hands ache, and my feet do, too. Not sure what is causing that, but I have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in a couple of weeks, so we'll see what other possibilities there are.

- Eisley's procedure to get the ear tubes on Thursday went well. No problems at all, and she's doing just fine. The only thing is that twice a day, for a week, she has to have these special ear drops. That in and of itself is just fine-- except, she has to lie still for 4-5 full minutes after the drops go in, for EACH ear. If you've met my daughter, you know why that is a particular challenge. She is far too busy to be still for any length of time. We're managing okay, but there are occasional fits of anger about it. But now she's getting the hang of it, and will lie down in one of our laps, while the other sits in front of her and reads a book to her (it has to be a REALLY interesting book!) to pass the time.

I'll leave you with a picture of Eisley-frog from Halloween (though if you've been on facebook, you've surely seen Eisley-frog by now):

Monday, October 26, 2009

My (potentially expensive) Mistake

3 blog posts in one day. And all about Eisley. Oops. Sorry to all of you who are bored by that sort of thing. But I also know there are a few grandparents out there who are really enjoying these glimpses into Eisley's life!

Eisley is currently on an antibiotic (surprise, surprise) for ear infections. It's an antibiotic that has to be refrigerated (most do). This morning, I gave Eisley her medicine, and really I meant to put the medicine back in the fridge. I actually thought I had. But it was not until 5:00 p.m., when I got home from work, that I realized I had only set it beside the fridge. Not in the fridge. Sigh.

I called the pharmacy where I had the prescription filled-- not our regular pharmacy, but the one next door to the doctor's office. I had it filled there because I was trying to avoid making one more stop with a cranky and miserable child, so I got it filled there b/c it seemed most convenient at the time. I called because I wanted to make SURE it wasn't okay to give the meds to Eisley after they'd been sitting out all day. Of course it wasn't okay to give them to her. And I called to figure out how to get it replaced. I wanted to see if there was any way we could get it refilled quickly so she wouldn't have to miss her evening dose. I asked if we could get it replaced and picked up at our REGULAR pharmacy, which is in our town instead of in Lexington where the doctor and the other pharmacy are located.

That wouldn't be easy. It would require authorization from the doctor for a refill. The doctor's office closes at 5:00. It was 5:20. Plus, OUR pharmacy closes at 6 p.m. The pharmacist told me he'd make some calls and get back to me. He said he would do what he could to make it work.

He called me back to say that the pediatrician's office wouldn't take his call. So he left the pharmacy and walked next door and found someone to let him in. He found a doctor and got the authorization. Then called the refill in to our pharmacy in Wilmore. He then called me and said, "Kelly. Your pharmacy has the prescription. You can pick it up now." It was only 5:30 p.m. Talk about fast! And how generous for him to have gone through all of the effort to help me! I am beyond grateful.

The only problem: it's only been 4 days since the prescription was filled the first time. This is WAY too soon to be calling in a refill. My insurance company wasn't going to like this. And indeed, they did not. I was informed that I would have to pay for the whole thing, instead of just the $10 co-pay. It's a prescription that costs about $100. For the generic version of the drug (Plain ol' Amoxicilin just doesn't work on my baby's ears. We have to go for the strong stuff).

But this is why I like small towns and our small town pharmacy. I love the pharmacist here. He's great and always makes a fuss over Eisley when she comes in, and always remembers our names. He knew who we were when the other pharmacy phoned in the prescription, and knew who I was when I walked in the door tonight.

And he said he would find a way to make it work for us so we would only have to pay the co-pay. I was prepared to pay the $100+ dollars, but he said that wouldn't be necessary, and that he knew of a way to work it out for us. Whew.

I am grateful for this blessing and for grace being extended, even when I deserved to (literally) pay for the mistake I made! So thankful for generous and helpful people today!


Thursday of this week is a big day in the Lawson household! Eisley is going to have tubes put in her ears! This has been a long time coming. She has been treated 8 times in 2009 for ear infections-- 7 of those 8 times were double ear infections.

Eisley apparently has really tiny ear canals, thanks no doubt to her mommy's genetics (sorry, kiddo!). These tiny ear canals don't allow her ears to drain very well, so any time she is teething, has a cold, or anything else that would cause a runny nose, that fluid just builds up, causing an infection.

Looking forward to getting some relief for that girl. Ear infections are miserable! I grew up getting a lot of ear infections. I am glad for the invention of the tubes and their availability to us now for Eisley. I think it is the best choice for her. I just can't bear the thought of her going through another winter with back to back ear infections. It was miserable for all of us last winter. And she's already had two ear infections in the past month!

So Thursday morning first thing she'll go in for the procedure. It should be pretty short- 10 minutes or so, and we'll be home within an hour or two of the procedure probably! Keep her in your prayers-- the only thing is that she has to be fever-free for the procedure. So pray she doesn't get another ear infection before then!

The Strangest Thing

This is a little ironic, considering the subject of my last blog post. But the strangest thing happened last night in regards to Eisley's sleep.

Last night we put Eisley down at her regular bedtime, 7:30 p.m. We did all the regular stuff in the routine-- putting pjs on, reading a bed time story, etc. Usually she's asleep 10 minutes after we put her down. The only thing that was different about last night is that we had people over at our house. But we've set up Eisley's room in such a way, and we have some white noise in there that she always sleeps with, that even when we have a house full of people, you can't really hear anything in her room. It's quiet in there. Plus, we've had guests over a lot while Eisley has been in bed, and it's not ever been an issue. She sleeps right through it. Mostly, like I say, because she can't hear it.

But last night, as we were playing a game with our friends, we kept hearing Eisley make noise. She wasn't yelling out because she was upset. She was just making noise, and whining a little. I went back there to see what was going on, and she was just sitting up, and smiled, and said "Hi! Hi!" And laughed. The time? 8:30 p.m. I thought, "well you know, maybe she's just having a hard time going to sleep tonight." (I confirmed that you couldn't hear any noise in her room, aside from a very dull murmur only every once in a while. It was 98% quiet in there). So I laid her back down. I did this again at 9 and at 9:30. What? Finally at 10, we were like, "Well. Let's just get her up. She's not happy in her room and she's not sleeping, so maybe we should just let her get up and wear herself out." So we did.

She was running around, entertaining our friends until they left at 10:30, laughing and talking, and playing. We put her back down at 10:30 and she was awake until at least 11:15, when she finally quieted down and went to sleep.

What the heck? Did she sneak a Mountain Dew yesterday afternoon somehow? She was HYPER!

And you might think, since she stayed up almost FOUR hours past her normal bedtime, she might sleep in just a LITTLE this morning. But nope. 7 a.m. on the dot she was up.

This could be a very cranky day... Here goes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sleep. Sweet Sleep.

Many of you have heard me talk off and on about how Eisley is an early riser. She's up for the day, ready to go, well before 7 a.m. every day. I have friends whose babies of the same age as Eisley sleep until 8. I have a friend whose daughter, born on the same day as Eisley, has to be woken up at 9:30 in the morning or else she'll just keep sleeping. I keep saying to myself (and others), "Oh, if Eisley would just let me sleep past 7, I'd be one happy mama."

Don't get me wrong, she's an excellent sleeper. She falls asleep on her own at night without any drama. All we have to do is put her in her bed with "baby", and within minutes she's asleep. She goes to bed by 7:30 p.m. every night, so Billy and I've got the whole evening to ourselves (We've experimented with different bedtimes, but regardless of the bedtime, she always wakes up between 6:30 and 7. Sometimes earlier). I LOVE that she's such a good sleeper, and really has been, since she was about 5 months old. I love that she sleeps for 11+ hours at night without interruption. I love that she takes a 2+ hour nap every afternoon.

But something even more wonderful than ALL those things has happened over the course of the past 7 days. For 7 days in a row now, she's slept until at least 7:30. One day she slept until 8:15 and on another day she slept until 8:45! This morning, when we needed to leave for the babysitter's house at 7:40, I actually had to wake her up to go. Now. I don't want to go so far as to say that this is the new "norm", lest tomorrow morning she be back to her old ways. But I will say how much I've enjoyed this past week of "sleeping in". Seriously, it's amazing how more rested I feel, with just an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning.

I love to sleep. It may be psychological, but somehow, if I get to sleep past 7, even if just for a few minutes, I feel like a completely different person in the morning than when I wake up prior to 7.

So thank you, my precious daughter, for granting us at least a week of sleeping in. I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Even if tomorrow, she's back to waking up at 6:30, that'll be okay. I've had a great week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Secretly, I'm 94 years old.

I'm obviously not 94 years old (though I WILL be 30 in 3 months, so that's close enough). But today I felt like it.

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world, is/was my grandmother, Doris Collins. She was my mom's mom, and I have such fond memories of her. She died in 1996, when I was 16, but oh the memories we made before then! After my parents' divorce, we lived with her for a couple of years. I got to stay at home with her while my mom went to work, and my big brother went to school. She taught me to read. She taught me how to tell time. Later, after we moved away, I would spend weeks in the summer with her, watching musicals and working crossword puzzles with her. Her house was such a happy place for me to be!

However, there is one thing I remember about her, that does not bring me great joy. And that was her struggle with arthritis. I remember her arthritis (especially in her hands) causing her a great deal of discomfort, and it really limited what she was able to do. Because of her arthritis, she eventually ended up having a double knee-replacement surgery.

Well. Today I went to the doctor to discover that I am most likely headed down this same road. I've been having some pain in my hands and feet off and on for the past few months (years really, but it's been minor), and based on my symptoms, and the doctor feeling the joints in my hands, his gut feeling was that I do have rheumatoid arthritis. Just like my grandmother. They did some bloodwork to be sure, and ordered some x-rays as well.

As I talked to the doctor today, I found myself getting very emotional about it! This emotion really surprised me. I know in the grand scheme of things, this is minor. I could be dealing with something much worse. I am not. But still. Arthritis? At 29? Immediately, I pictured my grandmother's hands. I got all teary-eyed thinking about how much pain her arthritis caused her. I don't want that.

That's not even for sure what's going on. I'll find out for sure when the bloodwork comes back and I get my x-rays done. If it is rheumatoid arthritis, then really I do know it'll be okay. Seriously, I feel so silly for even getting emotional about it all. If it is RA, well... so be it. They'll put me on medication to keep it under control and to keep further damage to the joints from happening. The doctor didn't seem to think at this point that very much damage has occurred. So that's good!

In the meantime, the doctor put me on a daily anti-inflammatory, that should help with some of the pain I'm experiencing now.

In unrelated, and more exciting news, the best and most wonderful thing happened today. Eisley was playing here at home this afternoon, and she stopped playing, walked over to me, and gave me a kiss. I didn't ask for one. I didn't prompt her in any way. She just gave me a kiss. And then went right back to her playing. And then she did it again a couple of more times in the afternoon. My heart was just overflowing with joy!!!

I mean, how could it not be? Look at this face!

photo by Carissa Martin

Monday, September 21, 2009

Death of My Blog

Yes. I am very well aware of the fact that my blog has been sitting idle for some time now. Just a post every now and then, usually that lacks substance.

I think it's Twitter's fault. It's more likely that I haven't blogged lately because now that school is back in session, my life is insanely busy, and most days I'm just lucky to keep my head above the water. But Twitter...

I've been on Twitter for well over a year now, and over this past year, my frequency of blogging has decreased. I like Twitter. I tweet regularly, follow some great people on Twitter, but the problem is that now, instead of having more developed thoughts, I tend to think most of my thoughts in 140 characters or less-- abbreviated thoughts about my life. I think thoughts in the form of, "How would I tweet that?" It's ridiculous. I know.

Don't judge me. I'm not knocking twitter. Twitter has helped me be more direct in my language. And I enjoy keeping up with my friends on Twitter. Surprisingly, Twitter does not necessarily make for superficial relationships and connections like you might think, though of course that DOES happen. Just not necessarily. For example, I now know things about my friends that I didn't previously know. I know what their day-to-day life is like. And when I see them in real life, I have great conversation starters. In a weird way, Twitter has, in SOME instances, helped foster deeper relationships with some friends than I had otherwise.

So I'm not knocking Twitter. But I'm also not telling you to join. Do what ya want.

But I am admitting that I've completely neglected my blog. I miss my blog. I want to return to it. And hopefully some day soon, I will. I'm starting a list of possible blog topics. I'm taking some GREAT classes this semester, that have given me LOTS of ideas!

Stay tuned. Thanks for tuning in in the first place. I'll leave you with this picture of Eisley in her lifejacket. We took her out on Billy's kayak recently and had so much fun! She looks so grown up now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I unfortunately don't remember to give birthday blog shout-outs to everyone I know and love. But today I have one...

Happy Birthday today to my dad, Cary John Efurd! Dad, you are truly wonderful and I love you!

I talked to my dad this morning on the phone and I asked him what he was doing today to celebrate. His response came as no surprise-- he said he was spending the day working. And that's one of the things I admire about my dad. He has always been, and I know he always will be, a hard-working man. He has taught me, by example, the importance of working hard at whatever you're doing, and giving it your all.

Yes, he is hard-working. And sometimes, Dad, it's okay to prop your feet up and relax. But even though he is hard-working, family is also very important to him. I've never questioned his commitment to our family. When I was growing up, I lived with my mom and stepdad, and my dad and stepmom lived in the Dallas area (they still do). And even though we were a 2 hour drive from each other, I still always knew my dad loved, supported, and was committed to me. He drove to Tyler for my cross country and track meets and other events. I loved spending weekends and summers with he and my stepmom Debby.

And I've never wondered if my dad is proud of me. He tells me at least 10 times every time we speak that he's proud of me for just being me.

The other thing my dad said about his birthday today was that this morning he had picked up a homeless man walking along the highway, and gave him a ride to where he was going. It turns out that this man shared the same birthday as my dad, just one year apart. I could hear in my dad's voice how excited and blessed he was to have spent the morning with this man he did not know. My dad talked about how blessed he was by the car-ride conversation and how excited he was to have been given an opportunity to extend Christ's love to him on his birthday, and to buy this man a birthday dinner.

This is so my dad. If he sees someone walking along the road that needs a ride, he picks them up. Now of course you can argue that this is incredibly unsafe. It probably is. But what I also know is that this is who my dad is-- generous and giving. And he always believes in the good in people and lives his life without fear.

So... Happy Birthday, Dad! I'm glad you're my dad!

Here's my dad "Papa", with Eisley at Christmas. My dad is usually the one BEHIND the camera, so it was difficult for me to find a picture OF him!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stop Having a Boring Tuna, Stop Having a Boring Life

I don't know why. I've seen this commercial SO many times, and it's been on for a while now. But I can't stop laughing about it. Every time I see it, I laugh right out loud. So if you want a good laugh, watch Vince:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Spoke Too Soon

In a previous post, I bragged on Eisley for being such a good eater. I talked about how much she loves her veggies. Seriously. As an infant, she would eat pretty much anything and everything-- brussel sprouts, kale greens, green beans, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.

I am quickly learning that with Eisley-the-toddler, it's a whole new ballgame. A sometimes more frustrating ballgame. Mealtime has recently become a challenge. Everything goes to the floor. Foods she once loved. Sweet potatoes go flying. Green beans go flying. She'll eat 2 bites of peas, and send the next bite flying. She'll take 2 more bites, and then throw more on the floor. 3 nights ago, we had an all-out battle of wills over zucchini.

The next night she absolutely devoured the squash I made for her. She ate more of it than I did. I tried to explain that squash and zucchini are cousins, and that it really made no sense for her to eat the squash but not the zucchini. She just looked at me and smiled.

She's so much into exploring and discovering these days. A friend offered some encouragement by reminding me that at Eisley's age, she may love the food we've offered her, but she may be way more interested in figuring out gravity or seeing our faces when we disapprove of her sending the food flying to the floor. So we'll hang on, wait it out, and trust that one day our good little eater will return.

In the meantime, I apologize if the next time I see you, I'm covered in Eisley's food.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

She's One!

I think she liked her cake.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

It's not Eisley's birthday yet. But it will be on Saturday. And we've got family coming in to town and I know me-- I probably won't actually have the time on her actual birthday to post anything more than a photo and a birthday wish. So we'll call this birthweek instead of birthday.

In one of my craft projects for her birthday party, I was looking through all the pictures we've taken of her over the past year (it's a lot of pictures!). She's changed so much and she's in such a fun stage right now. Taking my inspiration from my cousin Christin, who made a similar post about her Bailey-girl, here are a few things I know about Eisley as an (almost) one-year-old:

- She's very busy. She doesn't slow down much, and is always on the move. I literally cannot think of a time since she learned to crawl, that she's stopped to sit or relax. If she's awake, she's moving. Exploring. This also means she's not much of a cuddler/snuggler, which is sometimes sad for Mommy and Daddy, but she sometimes lets us sneak in a quick snuggle or two. I think she knows we need it.

- I can't say that she's either a Mommy's girl or a Daddy's girl right now. I honestly think she's quite content to be both. Which is great fun for both Billy and me.

- She very happily obliges if you ask for a kiss. She'll move her lips toward your face-- and her "kisses" are always very slobbery.

- She's walking very well these days. It's so funny to see this little person toddling around the house, climbing on everything and opening every cabinet she can find. Just in the past week and a half, walking has become her preferred mode of movement, and even when she falls, she stands right back up to keep walking. When she was just learning to walk, a fall usually meant she'd switch to crawling.

- She's incredibly expressive. Oh, that face of hers! I love it so much! I love her smiles, her laugh, her looks of delight, surprise, anger, confusion, and joy.

- She's strong-willed. She knows what she wants and she does all she can to get it. Nothing stands in her way!

- She can scream... loudly! Anytime we take something from her she's not allowed to have, she yells in anger. She does throw the occasional temper tantrum. In order to not reinforce this behavior, we typically do not react/respond to her screams, and we certainly don't give in to what she wants as a way to get her to stop. But this is all very difficult to do-- because even her angry scream is incredibly hilarious and cute, and I actually find it quite endearing. I'm not sure the rest of the world thinks it's as charming. But I guess that's what moms do, right?

- She is an excellent eater! She LOVES her vegetables. The other day I had made her some pasta with broccoli and carrots. She one by one, picked out all of the broccoli pieces and ate them as though she were eating a candy bar. She smiled at each one before eating it. She then picked out all the carrots and ate them, and wasn't too pleased to discover all that was remaining was her pasta.

- When she's DONE eating, she holds food over the side of her high chair and makes sure we're watching before launching it to the ground. Her newest thing is to mock us as she does it, saying, "nuh uh. no no no." Hmm. We're working on stopping this-- but for now, Riley the dog is quite pleased. This means extra food for her!

- She's an early riser. She's a great sleeper, but she's an early riser. She always has been. She loves the mornings and the morning is her happiest time. She is wide awake and ready to go for the day between 6:45 & 7:00 a.m. (Hey, it used to be 5:30 a.m. but we've finally trained her to sleep a little later!)

- Her first word was simple: "hi". And it was so cute the way she would say it. She would only ever whisper it, and it was always accompanied by a wave. She's now moved on to saying it a little more audibly. She also says "bye bye" and she calls her little baby doll, 'bay-beh'. She also says "mama" and "dada" to Billy and me, but not always to the right person. :)

- She LOVES to dance!!! Give the girl some music and she's all wiggles! One of her teachers at school brought in a special CD last week, with Eisley specifically in mind-- the music's got a good dancing beat! Sure enough, within 2 seconds of hearing the music, she was shaking her hips.

- She is adored by her teachers at school, and this makes Mom & Dad very happy. We know she is well taken care of.

- She loves to play peek-a-boo. She thinks it's SO hilarious to hide behind a blanket or anything at all really, and wait for you to say "Wheeeeeere's Eisley?" Then she'll come out from behind and just laugh. But a lot of times she'll only cover up ONE eye, so she can see you AND "hide" at the same time. It's hilarious.

- She loves to "help" us unload the dishwasher. She can be somewhere else in the house, and if she hears you open the dishwasher, she comes running. Always.

- Her most favorite toys (this week anyway) are an old cell phone and crayola markers.

- Her favorite song is the alphabet song. It always has been. She loves pretty much ANY music, but somehow, she's always gotten so excited about the ABCs.

- She is generally pretty comfortable around all kinds of people and she isn't shy. Which is great, because this girl has a great big family that loves her!

- She is a constant reminder to me, of how wonderful our Creator is. She is so wonderfully and uniquely made.

- She's 100% wonderful in every way possible. I am totally in love with my precious daughter.

Happy Birthday, sweet Eisley!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Supermom, to the Rescue!

Thought these action figures were pretty funny. They are Supermom Action Figures. Real dolls. They exist. I am mostly writing this post, because someone (in jest) today said to me, "I'm disappointed you haven't kept up with your blog lately! You're ruining my supermom image of you!"

Of course I'm not Supermom (though I would hope that Billy and Eisley would tell you I AM a super mom). But I can pretend, right? Look at me, rushing right to my blog whenever I heard those words! Ha. No, I am not here to defend myself as someone who really can balance everything in my life with ease. I'm here, because being reminded that I haven't kept up with my blog really made me miss my blog.

So hello, old friend. Today I share with you a confession:

I absolutely hate, probably more than anything, automated phone systems. I hate them, hate them, hate them. Forget about my frustrations about not ever getting to talk to a real person whenever I want to. That's a different post for a different day. I mostly hate that no matter how clearly I try to speak, they never understand what I'm saying.

One particularly challenging thing is that I work in the Versailles, KY. It's not pronounced like the town in France. No, it's pronounced "Ver-sales". I often, while I'm out and about running errands for whatever church event is coming up, need to call stores in town to see if they have a particular item. In order to get these phone numbers, I use a handy free Google Service, Goog-411. It's free information. But it's also automated. I'm often tempted to just call someone else to have them look up the number for me, just so I won't have to have a run-in with the automated system. And actually, of all the free information services I've used, Goog-411 is the best/easiest.

I used to get so frustrated, trying to look up numbers in "Ver-sales". They never recognized the town name, and they would spit out options for other towns and I would eventually get so mad I'd be screaming at the automated "person" on the other end of the phone. Yes, I know it's a fake person. But screaming made me feel better. And screaming at a fake person, is better than screaming at a real person...

So then I tried looking up numbers in "Ver-sigh", KY. And sometimes that didn't work, either. More screaming.

I finally figured out that you have to say it like "Ver-sigh", but you have to put a very specific emphasis on the first syllable. It works. I get my number, and I no longer have to scream.

But looking up a flight number on American Airlines' automated system is even worse. They've even made me cuss (C'mon, you've probably done it, too). It's a system I've not yet figured out completely. Perhaps I'll always scream at them. The only thing is that when you say the flight number louder (you know, uh, for...clarification), you usually end up getting a flight number spit back at you that's even farther off from the real one.

The point of this entry? There isn't one. I just realized today (thanks to Goog-411) how much I really and truly can't stand automated phone systems.

Press "pound" to end this post.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009


My friend (and boss) Mike told me today, "Kelly. You know what surprises me? You are WAY behind on your blog!" So Mike, here's your update. I've got a lot going on in my mind right now it seems but nothing clear enough to blog about. And to be honest-- if you read this blog, chances are, you're probably on facebook, too so there's not too much I could write that wouldn't be something you already know! But here goes.

My baby turns one year old in less than a month. I'm sad about it, but excited, too. I really can't believe it's already been a year. I love taking part in her amazing little life. I still can't get used to how cute she is some times, and I still really can't believe that Billy and I have been entrusted with her care. Yes, I am very aware that this all sounds very cliché. But what can I say? It's all true.

Here's a picture of her from our recent 4th of July trip to Chicago.

We had a great time in Chicago, visiting my uncle, aunt, and cousin, as well as our friends Josh & Candace, who we know from college (Billy knows Josh from high school, though and they were best friends in high school). Josh & Candace are a part of the Reba Place Fellowship in Evanston, IL. Our day spent with them was much too short, but gave us a lot of things to think and pray about as Billy and I continue to have conversations about where God will lead us once I graduate from seminary next May. We stayed with my uncle Stan while in Chicago, and well... it was truly a vacation! Some people just have the gift of hospitality... Stan and Tanya definitely do! We felt very well loved while we were there. Hospitality. It is a dying art. It was great to experience such generous hospitality while with our family, and to be challenged to give generously ourselves.

We returned late Sunday night, and on Monday I got to spend the day on the lake with the church pastoral staff, on a staff formation day. We relaxed together, fished together, talked, and laughed together. It is these shared experiences that really strengthen us as a ministry team. I like these folks I get to work with! Here's a picture of my big catch from Monday. Ha ha. Okay, it wasn't a big catch at all, but it was still fun!

Fear. I've been thinking a lot about fear this week, since the last session of the bible study I've been doing this summer. I've been thinking about my fears (And it seems there's so much more to worry about now that I'm a mom). Anyway, this week I've been thinking about all of that, and really praying for God to move in my heart, to move in my soul. And to free me from fear. Worrying/fearing. That's no way to live. Love DID find me, afterall. And there is no fear in Love.

Friday, June 19, 2009

May 13th. Really?

May 13th. That's the last time I blogged. But here's what I've realized-- facebook, picasa, tumblr, twitter, and a blog-- that's a lot to keep up with. It's ridiculous really. I tend to think in 140 characters or less (you Twitter folks know what I mean) these days, and blogging sometimes seems like a chore. But here's what's happened since May 13th:

- I finished up another semester of grad school. I graduate next May.
- We watched some dear friends graduate from Asbury.
- We said goodbye to some dear friends who have moved away, either just for the summer or for good. (This also means I have shed a lot of tears.)
- I made preparations for Vacation Bible School 2009.
- I sent my husband and daughter off to Texas for a couple of days, so Billy could be there for his grandmother's funeral.
- I kicked off our week-long Vacation Bible School, and got to enjoy having my sister here to help me with it. She leaves tomorrow and I'll be sad about that.
- I have rejoiced for 5 kiddos at VBS this year saying "yes" to Jesus for the first time, overwhelmed by the power of God's love in their lives.
- We have watched Eisley grow a couple of new teeth, and we've watched her get awfully close to walking. Not there yet, but soon maybe.
- I've started participating in a new women's bible study here at church. Loving it so far-- it's nice to have conversations with adults!
- I've completely neglected my blog. But I'm enjoying life, so I don't regret it all that much.

Until next time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Conversations with Grant

My cousin Jessica recently started a blog. And it's one of the BEST blogs I subscribe to! The blog is basically a series of conversations that Jessica has had with her 6 year old son, Grant. Grant is hilarious, insightful, and at times, incredibly profound. I know you may not know Jessica or Grant, but if you want to add some humor in to your day, go ahead and add her blog to your Google Reader.

Click here to get to the blog. And here's a great story from today that I just had to share:

Grant brought me one of his dry erase boards and asked me to draw a picture of a bug. I was in the middle of cleaning house before 30 or so people arrived for his big birthday event, so I quickly jotted something down and handed it back to him. And so the conversation begins…

Grant: What’s this???

It’s a spider.

Grant: It only has six legs?

Mom: What? Oh. Sorry. I was in a hurry. Just pretend it’s a make believe special spider.

Grant: (exasperated!) How can I pretend that? It’s not a spider if it only has six legs.

(At this point, I stop what I’m doing because I feel an after school special moment coming on. Grant has very little understanding for those who do not do things the correct way (his way)…imagination or not.)

Mom: Grant, it’s just a pretend spider. It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the great thing about pretending and using your imagination. You can chose for something to be whatever you want it to be.

Grant: (exasperated again) Mom, I know how to pretend. I just don’t see the point of pretending something incorrectly.

Mom: Just give me the spider. (I draw two more legs)

Now, knowing my son as well as I do, I know that this is not the end of things. And I was right! Two days later on the way to school...

Grant: Mom, do you remember the other day when you drew that spider with only six legs?

Yes Grant.

Did you just not know that spiders have eight legs?

Mom: No Grant. I am aware that spiders have eight legs, but, honestly, I was in a hurry.

Oh. But you understand that it wasn’t really a spider until you put the other legs on right?

Yes Grant. I understand.

Ok. Good.

Oh Grant!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Today did not get off to a great start. Here's a recap of the crazy morning at the Lawson household:

6:45 a.m. I wake up and shower because there was a potential for me to have to take Eisley to the doctor this morning. They start taking calls at 7:30 so I wanted to be up and ready to go if I needed to take her in. Eisley wakes up at 7, so I had 15 minutes to get showered, dressed, and make up on.

7:00 a.m.
Success. I'm dressed, ready for the day, got Eisley out of bed, fed her breakfast and waited until 7:30 to place my call to the doctor's office.

7:30 a.m. I called the doctor's office, made an appointment just in case, and left a request for a nurse to call me. If the nurse called me and we determined I didn't need to bring Eisley in, then I could cancel the appointment I had just made. If the nurse said I needed to bring her in, then I would have to try to find another appointment, which at that point, all the other parents of sick babies would have called and snatched up all the good appointments for the day.

8:15 a.m. Nurse called. I gave her a rundown of all of Eisley's symptoms she'd had over the weekend. Nurse determined that Eisley had just had a virus, she's over it at this point, and she's good to go to school today. Whew. That's what I was hoping for. I needed to go to work today. Had staff meeting at 10:30.

8:30 a.m. Eisley got tired. I put her back to bed for a quick nap.

9:15 a.m.
Eisley woke up and I got her dressed for the day.

9:30 a.m.
I tried to leave for work. Only to discover that my keys were locked in my car.

9:32 a.m.
I called Billy to see if he could come let me in my car (he has a spare key). He reminds me that he had gone into work this morning with his carpool buddy and that his car was at home so he had no way of getting to me.

Great. The car seat was also locked in my car, that I had no way of getting in to.

9:35 a.m. Called my co-worker to see if he had left for work yet. He was already at work. Which is a 25 minute drive from where we live. He suggested that I call his wife Brandie to see if she could give me a ride, and that they probably have an extra car seat I could borrow.

9:36 a.m. I remembered that I had an extra (albeit, broken) key to Billy's car that was at home. So I called Brandie to see if I could borrow a car seat. She said she would find one and bring it over.

9:45 a.m.
Brandie came over and installed the car seat for me. We left for work. Eisley cried nearly the whole drive.

10:20 a.m. Got to work. Opened the backseat of the car to discover that Eisley had spit-up EVERYWHERE-- all over herself and all over the borrowed car seat. No wonder she was crying. She was sitting in mango & oatmeal spit-up.

10:25 a.m.
Dropped a spit-up covered Eisley off at her school (which is at the church where I work), realized there's spit-up all over my shirt from where I'd been holding Eisley, and I smell because of it. Yuck.

10:30 a.m. Staff meeting started, and I'm exhausted.

The rest of the day is kind of looking up despite it's chaotic beginning. Too bad I can't squeeze in a nap. I've got so much homework to do today it's scary.

I better get back to it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Three Moms

Sunday is Mother's Day. The other day I asked Billy if he thought Eisley knew Mother's Day was coming up. He said, "Oh, I'll be sure to talk to her about it. She probably forgot." Ha.

This is my first Mother's Day as a mom myself. I don't have any idea what kind of shenanigans Billy and Eisley will be up to to celebrate. But it will no doubt feel strange to be celebrated on Mother's Day. We did celebrate last year, since I was pregnant, but we kept it low-key. This year, my baby is here in the flesh. I received my very first Mother's Day card in the mail today-- it was from my aunt D in Texas. Thanks for thinking of me, D! I love you.

It'll be kind of strange to make the transition to be one of the ones celebrated on this special day, instead of just being one of the ones doing the celebrating. I've got lots of people to celebrate. There are many who have been like moms to me at different points in my life. And then there are my three moms (Does anyone remember that show "My Two Dads"? It's like that, but with moms. And there are three instead of two). Each of my moms is special and wonderful in her own way. They have all taught me so much, helped me grow, and have, most of all, loved me unconditionally and showed me how to love my own daughter. Thank you! I love you all! Happy Mother's Day. I wish I could be in Texas to celebrate you in person!

My mom, Jimmie Ann Floyd, with those she most adores-- her grandchildren

My stepmom, Debby Efurd, laughing a bit with Miss E

My mother-in-law, Diana Lawson, with her one & only grandchild

The first time I met my daughter. It was indeed a proud moment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nine Months

Here's my girl at her nine month check-up today. This is such a fun age, which made for a fun visit to the doctor. She's got loads of personality, and she was really hammin' it up for everyone today-- waving at everyone, cruising around, laughing, etc. The band-aid on her toe is from when they pricked her toe to check the iron levels in her blood.

So without further ado, here's her new stats:

Weight: 19 pounds, 3 ounces (54th percentile)
Height: 28.5 inches (78th percentile)
And her head size I don't remember, but she's in the 93rd percentile there. Must be her big, smart brain!

Hard to believe she once was this little:

This is Eisley at 2 days old. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 and 3/4 inches long.

We love our growing girl!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cart

I guess it was about a year ago that I read a blog post by my friend Ashley. I was pregnant at the time I read her post. It was about shopping carts. She had explained that now that she's a mom of 2, she had become that person (sometimes!) that doesn't return shopping carts. On occasion, she has been known to leave her shopping cart in the parking lot. With two kids, a parking spot far away from the cart return, not able to leave the babies in the car to return the cart-- it's easy to understand why she'd occasionally have to just leave it there. When I read her post, I thought, "Hmm. I wonder what I'll do when Eisley arrives."

Well Ashley, I'm there. I have always been adamant about returning shopping carts, and I secretly judged people who didn't return their shopping carts and felt it appropriate to leave them wherever they wanted. No longer will I cast judgment.

It's a struggle. Do I unload the groceries, buckle the kid in, and then return the cart, leaving my child unattended? That never seems like a good option. I do at least have the option of unloading the groceries, taking Eisley with me to return the cart, then returning to the car to buckle Eisley in and go home. That would be so much more difficult with 2 kids. Sometimes it's exhausting shopping with my one 8 month old. Shopping has to be planned around feeding and nap schedules, and believe it or not, Eisley's getting pretty darned good at being grabby at the store. So to muster up the energy and effort to return a cart? Sometimes that's laughable.

Now I always try to park as close as possible to the shopping cart return. I get so excited when there's an open spot near the shopping cart return-- by my excitement, you'd think I'd won the lottery.

But 2 days ago, something great happened. Someone saw me with Eisley, saw me with the groceries, and saw me with the cart. That day, I had been unable to secure one of the coveted spots next to the cart return. This gentleman saw me and said, "I'd be happy to return that cart for you if you'd like."

He had given me a real gift. I thanked him. It's not impossible for me to return my own cart. It's just easier when I don't have to.

Next time you're at the store, and see a mom juggling kids and carts and groceries-- and you're in a position to offer a helping hand-- it may just be one of the great gifts of her day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was busy but great. Billy's parents were here, along with his brother Bryan and we had a great visit. And of course I loved getting to experience another "first" with Eisley-- this time, her FIRST Easter. I must say, Easter is my favorite day of the whole year. Jesus conquering death?! What's not to celebrate?

Here are a couple of snapshots from the weekend (Eisley's gorgeous Easter dress was a gift from my mom, Eisley's Mimi):

Here we are at church, our first Easter as a family of 3

And here's Eisley at the church egg hunt

And here's the whole family at church

Friday, April 3, 2009

What We're Up To

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I get stuck in the routine of my life, and get to thinking that routine would not be very interesting to others. But here's what we've been up to:

- Eisley is 8 months old now. Still a crawling machine, and chasing the dog around the house is practically an all-day everyday occurrence. It's pretty entertaining. She's pulling up on absolutely everything-- anything and everything is, to Eisley, something to hold on to while she stands-- the toybox, the laundry basket, the couches & coffee table, the dog, the bookshelves, etc. And this week, she's cutting her bottom two teeth finally. Not sure how long it takes them to grow all the way in, but I can see them just barely coming up through the surface of her gums. She's quite a cranky teether, and I guess that's okay. I can't imagine that cutting teeth would feel good.

- This week I've been on Reading Week-- commonly known to many as Spring Break. But around here they just call it what it is-- Reading Week. I've not gotten nearly as much reading/school work done as I had hoped. Now that Eisley is mobile, I can no longer plop her down with her toys and get work done. I'm instead chasing her around the house. I'm slightly frustrated about the lack of work I've gotten done this week, but not so overwhelmed by it that I still can't get it done before class resumes on Monday. Tomorrow, Saturday, I will be spending all day at the library while the dad stays home with the baby.

- Billy's parents are coming in a week! They're coming from Texas, to spend Easter with us. And not only are his parents coming, but Uncle Bryan (Billy's awesome brother) is coming, too! I imagine a Chickenfoot game or two will be played while they're here. That is, if they're up for a rematch against the champion of our LAST Chickenfoot game together-- me.

- I have a new blog. It's okay-- you can roll your eyes. And you don't even have to add it to your google reader-- but you can if you want. It can be found at It's a companion to this, my main blog-- and mostly it's a couple of Eisley videos and some quick photos and quotes that don't really "fit" on this blog. Do any of you twitter? I do. And I got so tired of mix-ups on Twitpic (a photo hosting site for Twitter), that this tumblr site just seemed easier. Plus, it's really quick and easy to upload videos on that site, so there you go. Not sure if I'll keep it going or not... I'm still trying to figure out if I really need both sites...

- I am afraid Eisley may soon be dropping her morning nap. Eek! What will I do? I count on that time! She has been taking a 2 hour nap in the morning and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. And sleeping 11-12 hours at night. During those nap times-- well, that's when I get homework, blogging, laundry, cleaning, etc. done. The past couple of weeks, her morning nap has been pretty inconsistent, and now I'm lucky to get 45 minutes out of her. I will keep trying to get her to nap then as long as I can (and she really does need what little sleep she DOES get in the morning), knowing that it might not last for much longer. Luckily, the afternoon nap is still solid!

- I have been pretty disappointed in The Office lately. There. I said it. Not a lot of laugh out loud moments anymore. Don't judge me. I'm a HUGE Office fan. I LOVE The Office, and I still, as often as possible, try to watch at least one episode every day (Laughter is good for me). But this season has disappointed me a bit. But I will stay committed and will continue to tune in. And how excited am I about the new show, Parks & Recreation? Super excited!

- Easter is my favorite day of the year. And I am excited that it is just a week away!

- Many (most?) of you probably saw the video I posted on YouTube and on Facebook entitled "Eisley vs. the Avocado"-- in it, Eisley offers a VERY dramatic reaction to her first taste of avocado. She HATED it. We've tried avocado since then. It still makes her gag. What's the deal with that? I LOVE avocado... and it's not like it even has a very strong taste. I've mushed it to the smoothest consistency I can...and today I even mixed it with yogurt (she likes yogurt), because 'they' say that avocado and yogurt are very good together and that babies generally like that. Nope. She still gagged. So who knows. We'll keep trying. 'They' also say to introduce foods to your baby 10-15 times before ruling a food out as a true "dislike"-- because their tastebuds are still developing and changing, etc. We'll keep giving it a try-- but I'll be so sad(maybe embarrassed?) if my child does not like avocado.

- Eisley does, however, like cauliflower. And broccoli. And asparagus, parsnips, green beans, carrots, butternut and acorn squash, bananas, plums, apples, pears, and just about anything else you can think of. Just not avocado.

- I am now a HUGE fan of ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef. Last night we made some KILLER turkey burgers-- they were so flavorful and grilled to perfection. It's rainy today, and I'm thinking about making turkey chili. Perfect weather for it and I want to enjoy it one last time before it gets hot outside and it's no longer chili weather.

- I am already planning Eisley's 1st birthday party and I am SO excited! It's going to be so much fun and I can't wait. I think we may have some family come up from Texas to celebrate with us, which will be fun.

Love to all.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aunt Kat

In my mind, my sister will always be 8 years old. I guess that's because that's how old she was when I moved out of the house and went off to college. I can still see my sister crying and chasing after my car on the day I left. Heart-wrenching.

In reality, my sister isn't 8 years old anymore. Today is her 20th birthday. 20 years old. I can't believe it. The fact that she's 20 really just reminds me that on my next birthday I'll be 30. How is she 20?

She was born on March 28, 1989. It was a Tuesday, and it was raining. She was born in Texarkana, where we lived at the time. To celebrate her arrival, I did several cartwheels and other gymnastics stunts in the lobby of the hospital. I added it to the growing list of places I'd done my gymnastics tricks. My granddad had a funny way of saying, "Kelly, why don't you give us a little cartwheel?" And like any granddaughter that adored her granddad, I'd always oblige. Did you know I've done cartwheels in the Nieman Marcus department store in Dallas? I don't think the security guards were too pleased with me...

It's an interesting thing, being 9+ years older than my sister. We've spent a whole lot of energy just getting to each other over the years. She's in Texas. I'm in Kentucky. I feel like I've missed out on a lot of her life, just because we haven't lived in the same town for more than 12 years now. But I don't know that I'd trade it. Oh yes, I'd give ANYTHING to live closer to my sister and to have attended more of her drill team competitions and dance recitals. But I love that's she's 20 and I'm 29. I think our age difference has made for a very special, very unique relationship. I've changed her diapers. I've watched countless hours of Barney the Dinosaur with her (Kat, don't out me on this one, please!). I helped her learn her first dance recital dance... I've watched her grow from a tiny little baby, into a strong, talented, beautiful woman-- who is full of insight, wisdom, and love-- and who always offers an important perspective on life, faith, and politics. I try to offer my big-sisterly advice from time to time. But really she doesn't need it. She is forever teaching me.

I am proud of my sister, and I am honored to cal her 'friend'. Truly. She's a wonderful sister and a wonderful sister-in-law to Billy, and she's a fabulous aunt to her nieces and nephew.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Kat! You are loved!

P.S. Come see me this summer!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A conversation

Yesterday I arrived at church and sat behind my friend, Joe* (name has been changed to protect his identity). Joe is in his 70s, and is a jovial, fun-loving grandpa kind of guy. Below is a snapshot of our awesome conversation from yesterday.

Joe: Kelly, you know, I went on YouTube the other day to look at that video of Eisley eating those avocados. That was real funny!

Me: Yeah, she didn't quite like those avocados. I'm glad we were able to capture it on video.

Joe: Well then I got to looking at other stuff on YouTube. You know. I just can't believe the stuff that's on there. I mean, I can type just about anything in there that I want and find something! I've found videos of music groups I haven't thought of in years. And guess what. I typed in "People falling down", and you wouldn't believe the videos that came up! I watched this guy falling out of a boat and another guy falling down the stairs! I just laughed and laughed.

Me: Yeah, you can find just about anything on YouTube.

Joe: Kelly, I usually go to bed at 9:30 every night. The other night I was on YouTube just looking up stuff and all of a sudden I realized it was midnight! The whole house had been shut down and the lights were off, and everyone went to bed without me! I hadn't even noticed!

Me: Joe! You got sucked into the black hole that is YouTube! Watch out!

Joe: The internet would be a great thing without all of that bad stuff that's out there. You have to be REAL careful with what you type. Someone told me the other day they were looking up something about the White House and a pornographic site came up!!!

Me: Yeah, Joe, you have to be sure to type whitehouse.GOV and NOT anything else. It can get risky.

So I told Joe some of my favorite YouTube classics to check out next time he was on. This conversation was a real bright spot to my morning. I wish that somehow I could convey tone and inflection a little better. If I could, I know you would for sure be laughing as hysterically as I do everytime I think about my conversation with Joe.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandmom Diana!

Today I feel like the worst daughter-in-law in the world! Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday, and when I talked to her on the phone yesterday, I didn't even acknowledge it! I had been thinking all week about her actually, knowing that March 19th is her special day. But I never made it to the store to get a card, and I never made it to the phone myself on the 19th, to wish her a happy birthday. And because Eisley can't drive or read or write for herself, she did not receive birthday greetings from her one and only grandchild. I don't know what happened! I am usually quite organized about these things. So, Diana-- I'm sorry! We love you.

I so appreciate my mother-in-law, and I hope that you all have as terrific a mother-in-law as Diana. She is kind and supportive and wonderful and gracious. She is so encouraging to me, and I am grateful that the Lord has allowed me to share life with her. She is 100% in support of my call to pursue full-time ministry--even though that meant leaving Texas with her son (and now her grandchild of course lives here, too!) to move to Kentucky for 4 years, while I attend seminary. I know that she prays for me every day and for that I am grateful. She has accepted me as her own daughter-- and I feel just as much as "one of the kids" as her own two children, Billy and Bryan. And Diana is of course, the one that introduced to me the concept of "birthweek". So Diana, I hope you'll accept this blog shout-out, as a continuation of your birthweek celebration.

She is a wonderful grandmom to Eisley, and I've included a picture of them together, below. So... happy belated birthday, Diana! We can't wait for you to get here for Easter!

* A special note-- I have a WONDERFUL family, and someday I hope to provide more family shout-outs like this to the rest of you. I just wish I were more organized about it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Angel

This is just a sneak preview of one of the photos from our photo shoot this weekend with my treasured friend Carissa Martin, of Written in Black & White Photography. Carissa is truly talented and I am honored to call her "friend". Carissa, her husband Scott, and their daughter Evelyn live in Omaha, NE so we don't get to see them too often. They used to live just one street over from us here in Wilmore. Scott got a great job teaching at Boys Town , so they moved.

This past weekend, we got to spend some time with them. St. Louis, MO is about halfway for each of us, so we met there and had a weekend of fun. It was good for my soul.

I can't show you ALL the photos from the shoot... I myself don't have all of them yet, but Carissa was gracious enough to send me a few before the rest of them have made it through the editing process. I also plan to have some of them printed to give to Eisley's grandparents and great-grandparents for Easter. So you'll just have to patiently wait to see the rest. But I couldn't resist sharing just this one photo with you, Eisley's adoring fans.

The past couple of weeks have been very big for Eisley, our forever-busy little girl. Just 2 days after she turned 7 months old, she took off crawling-- she's incredibly fast by now, and has no trouble getting to where she wants to go. I am forever chasing her around the house, keeping her out of trouble. I am convinced that for the months she was immobile, she scoped out all of the dangerous places in our house, took note of them, and made plans to head straight there once she learned to crawl. She's a spunky little one-- she knows what she wants and doesn't let anything stop her from getting it. In fact, yesterday at school she reached up and pulled a package of peanut butter crackers out of her teacher's hands. She pulled so hard that she ripped the packaging open!

And yesterday. Yesterday, Eisley started pulling herself up to standing. She's been working on this for a few days, and has SORT of done it before, but yesterday I'd say is the day she started intentionally doing it, and doing it with ease.

She seems to be moving through all these physical milestones much too quickly for me, and I wish I could make it slow down. It is so much fun to watch her grow and learn new things, but it happens so quickly, that it seems there's never a moment to just enjoy it. I'm trying to, though. Every new stage is more fun than the last.

I love my little wild woman. She barely sits still, so I love this sweet photo of her. She may not sit still long enough for me to just behold her-- but this sweet photo comes close to that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Love Found Me moment

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21

I am praising God today for another Love Found Me moment. You know, those moments where God comes to find you and you know without a doubt that it is him.

Today God moved. I am a grateful recipient of his grace today, and I am reminded of the very big love that he has for me. I am reminded that he knows my name and I am reminded of how much he cares.

I am sure you are wondering what is going on-- and maybe the past week's events is a story I'll put down in writing at some point.

But mostly I just want to share with you how great God is. Over the past week, there have been many prayers prayed on my behalf by others, and many prayers prayed by me, for a financial situation relating to my schooling to be resolved.

Those prayers were answered, only they were not answered at all like I anticipated. It is so much better than what I was praying for! Which is why I referenced the Scripture above. God has provided for me today in a way far greater than I knew to even ask for-- in a way far better than I would have imagined.

I am grateful that Love continues to find me.

Past Few Weeks

Eisley has been dealing with ear infections off and on since February. It's miserable. She's miserable and we are tired-- so we are miserable, too. Here's a recap of our journey (so far):

February 2nd-- Eisley is sniffly and coughing, and generally not feeling well
February 3rd -- First visit to the doctor. Doc says it's just a cold, that the cough is just her trying to clear out the drainage caused by the cold. Nothing to worry too much about
February 4th -- Another visit to the doctor-- this time for the already scheduled 6 month check-up; She weighed 15 pounds and 10 ounces at this check up
February 13th -- Sniffles and cough still not gone. Third trip to the doctor this month. Cold has led to double ear infection
February 13th -- Begin prescription of amoxicillin
February 23rd (ish) -- Worst night Ever. Eisley is up all night, crying/screaming, tugging at her ears. Running fever, etc. This is also the last day she is on her antibiotic
February 24th -- 4th Visit to Doctor (3rd for ears). Ears have not gotten better. Amoxicillin was ineffective. Double ear infection still there!
February 24th-- Eisley gets a mega antibiotic shot-- rocefin, plus begins Round 2 of antibiotics -- this time she is put on Omnicef
February 26th -- Worst diaper rash I have ever seen in my whole life appears, as a result of this antibiotic; Doc calls in prescription diaper rash cream.
March 5th -- Eisley finishes up antibiotic, obviously feels better, back to her normal self, sleeping again at night; Mom & Dad are overJOYED!
March 5th-- To celebrate feeling better, Eisley crawls for the first time- she's SUPER fast and totally into EVERYTHING!!! On her first day of crawling, she went straight for the electrical outlets. She also pulled the baby gate down on herself (I told you she was fast)... TWICE!
March 6th-- Took Eisley to the doctor's office (5th time this month) for a recheck on her ears, to make sure she's back to healthy; We got a good report! Ears looked great. Whew.
March 6th -- My mom arrived in Kentucky for a visit
March 9th-- Eisley did not sleep well at night. Uh oh. This is the first sign that she's not feeling well. I hoped I was imagining things.
March 10th -- Mom's last day of visit; Eisley runs a fever AGAIN and starts tugging at her ears... AGAIN.
March 10th -- Grabbed last appointment of the day at Pediatrician's office (6th visit this month), after dropping my mom off at the airport; Ear infections are back!! Got prescription for 3rd antibiotic-- Augmenten. Preparing for a recurrence of the horrible diaper rash, etc.

As of now, Eisle seems to be feeling better. Her sniffles are gone, and we're hoping the ear infection are, too. We go back next week for another recheck of the ears.

I asked the doctor at what point we get to have the discussion about whether we do tubes or not. We're not having that conversation quite yet. Cold season is almost over, at which point she'd not likely get another ear infection. We're watching to see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm sure our health insurance is hating us right about now. Six visits to the doctor in 6 weeks, including 3 prescriptions and a shot... that's a lot of money!

Here are a couple of pictres of our sweet girl from last week. Isn't she cute?

Bathtime is fun

Playing with her favorite toy puppy (who she does not love as much as her real puppy, Riley)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I don't listen to the radio.

I very rarely listen to the radio. The other day, however, my iPod battery died (not sure why I am SO bad at remembering to charge it). I turned on the radio to see what was on. And I was reminded yet again why I don't listen to the radio. It's because I have to stumble on songs like this. Interestingly, the second I heard the opening lyric, I knew it was probably a Kid Rock song. Boo. I am not a fan. Here are the lyrics to the song I heard yesterday. It's a Kid Rock original.

I got my Cat Scratch Fever eight-track
My best friend's in a gun rack
I'm a lowlife
I owe everybody money
I think racist jokes are funny
I'm a lowlife
I got a dirty mind, a gutter mouth
I'm makin' time, I'm goin' out
With your wife

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife

I got kids I never seen
And their momma's seventeen
I'm a lowlife
I take strippers out to breakfast
You can add that to my checklist
I'm a lowlife
Ahh the landlord called the rent is due
I spent it all on a Kiss tattoo
I Rock n Roll all night

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
Livin' the highlife

I'm watchin' porno on the TV
Wonderin' why she'd ever leave me
I'm a lowlife
The object of my affection
Asked the police for protection
I'm a lowlife
The romance is gone, I'm doin' fine
Me and your mom had a real good time
Just last night

Cuz I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife

I make black music for the white man
Keep cocaine upon my nightstand
I'm a lowlife
Ain't never hung out in the Catskills
But I've been to jail in Nashville
I'm a lowlife
I've got a dirty mind, a gutter mouth
I'm makin' time, I'm goin' out
With your wife

I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
I'm a lowlife
Livin' the highlife

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


*Note: this is a particularly pointless post. I am well aware of that fact.

When the television show "Friends" debuted in 1994, I was 14 and my parents thought that Friends was slightly inappropriate for me to watch... something about Joey the man-whore and Ross' ex-wife being a lesbian. So the Friends craze began and I was not on board.

It wasn't until Season 7 when The One with the Holiday Armadillo aired sometime around the holidays while I was at my aunt & uncle's house. I can still remember the day. I was watching with my fabulous Aunt D and I don't think I had laughed as hard as I did at that episode, ever before in my life. No joke. I became an instant fan, and made it a point to catch up on all previous seasons.

Somewhere in the middle of Season 9, Billy and I were married and had the pleasure of living across the street from my cousin & friend, Christin, and her husband Spencer. They were (and are) total Friends fans. We spent every Thursday night together watching Friends and laughing, and okay-- crying when the last episode aired. Man, those were good times. As a side note, we more recently got together every Thursday night with friends to watch The Office (hat tip to Jeremiah & Lindsay for introducing us to the joy that is The Office), but somewhere in Season 4, we all got pregnant or adopted babies, and now our kids' 7:30 p.m. bedtimes don't allow us the freedom we once had to watch TV together.

Anyway. Many of you who know me, know that I could probably hear any quote from The Office and tell you what episode it is from. I could tell you all the stories and sub-plots that go on in that episode. And you'll know that I also try to make time to watch at least one episode of The Office every day. Call me crazy. I just like to laugh, and The Office never fails to make that happen.

But just recently, my daily TV time has been given to Friends. I only own one season myself (so sad), but recently borrowed another season from a friend of mine, that owns all 10 seasons on DVD. Plus, it still comes on in syndication on TBS and a couple of other channels, and whenever possible, I usually tune in. Turns out, it's still hilarious and STILL makes me laugh. My first love is still The Office. And when I watch my daily episode of Friends, I sort of feel like I'm cheating on Michael Scott and the whole crew of The Office.

But I LOVE it. So, if there are any Friends fans out there-- tell me your favorite episodes! I've compiled a list of my top 10. However, these 10 are in no particular order. They are just my 10 favorite episodes:

1. The One with the Holiday Armadillo, Season 7
2. The One with Chandler in a Box, Season 4
3. The One Where Eddie Won't Go, Season 2
4. The One Where Ross Got High, Season 6
5. The One with Unagi, Season 6
6. The One with All the Resolutions, Season 5
7. The One with Joey's Fridge, Season 6
8. The One with the Nap Partners, Season 7
9. The One with The Rumor, Season 8
10. The One with Princess Consuela, Season 10