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.