Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Feast your eyes on this

I realize that really the only reason people (such as my grandparents and parents and aunts/uncles) read this is for pictures of Jayci. I mean, they could make it a little less obvious. Every time our parents see Jayci they're all: "ohmygosh, she is so cute. what a little doll! isn't she a doll? i could just eat her up. dont you need to leave for a little while so we can babysit? i think we used to have a daughter. what was her name again? i think it rhymed with mecca. oh well, all that matters is that she gave us this beautiful, darling granddaughter." Sheesh.

Since I aim to please on this here blog, here are some recent pictures of the little doll herself for your viewing pleasure.

Also, I have been feeling extra crafty lately so I whipped up (ha!) a few little headbands for Jayci. They only add to her cuteness.

I mean, could you just die? Those cheeks, those eyes.

Really. This is a little ridiculous. How could anyone be so cute?

Please enjoy the cuteness at your own risk.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pouting Pets

Well Happy Monday y'all! How was your weekend? Mine was fantastic, thanks for asking.

Although, to be completely truthful, I am flat TIRED. For some reason I thought that by the time Jayci was almost 7 months old, I would be sleeping for longer than 2 or 3 hour stretches at a time. But alas, I am not. Add to that the fact that we had 3 very loud rowdy kiddos from downtown spending the night on Sat night - and we had a busy and not-so-sleep-filled weekend. Fun though. In fact, I have some video GOLD for you sometime. Just as soon as I remember how to get it small enough to post online.

Luckily, Sunday was a whole lot less eventful and full of fighting than last Sunday. But that might have something to do with the fact that about 15 kids were suspended for fighting last week. On the topic of Sunday school, Adam and I have some big plans in the works. We are hoping and praying it will work out, and we will keep you posted.

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is Pouting. Luckily, Jayci is not a pouter yet. Seriously, the girl doesnt cry/pout except when we're driving. And it's hard to take a picture of your baby in the backseat while you're driving. Hard AND probably not safe. Well, she also cries when we try to put her to sleep. But I'll be darned if I am going to wake her up further with a camera flash. I'm just not going to do it.

So anyhoo - I have about 2 or 20 thousand pictures of Jayci, and not a one of her pouting or crying. But then I found this shot of her from grandma's house. It's with a point and shoot camera (although I guess my fancyee camera could be considered "point and shoot" too since that's all I do with it. Point and shoot), and it's not technically probably a very good picture. Which means this "award-winning photographer" (I call myself that since I got tenth place once), her dreams of stardom are probably all for naught this week.

So without further ado, here's what we have come to affectionately refer to as "Sad Widdle Clown Jayci Face" (I know, we're so clever and funny)
Instead of an adult category this week, they have a special PET category over at I Heart Faces. Lately, Jayci is obsessed with our dogs. I enjoy it because they keep her entertained for hours. This shot of Jayci and Charli (The slightly-mentally-handicapped dog)is again not technically very good. I realize that Jayci is seriously blown out. But Adam said he liked that because it "keeps the focus on Charli." So based on my hubby's vast photography expertise, here's my pet entry this week.

*As always, visit I Heart Faces for some fabulous photography! :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life According to Jayci

I know I may be overloading you on the videos lately. But hello? I finally figured out how to downsize them enough to post them on this here internet. Because nothing is better than having a fancy HD camera when all you really want is to take videos of questionable quality so you can post them on your blog.

Anyhoo - Jayci wanted to talk to you y'all a little bit today about what is like being 6 months old. So without further ado, I give you the cutest baby in the world (seriously no bias here).

*note: although it may look like it, she does not in fact have a bowl cut. And I apologize because I just realized this is probably the most boring video ever for everyone besides Jayci's grandparents. But a video of her sleeping would probably enthrall them too.

Lets Talk About Being 6 Months Old from Becca Stanley on Vimeo.

Translation:
"Hewwo to all my fans and fwiends. Oh and gwandma and oma. I Wove you!

I am six monfhs old. Mom took me to the doctor just a wittle while ago and she said dat I am getting weally big! I am fourteen pounds and ten ounces - dat's huge pwetty much. And I am bery tall too. But I dont fink we should talk about the doctor any wonger betause I did NOT have fun. Everyfing was FINE until she twied to make me dwink that yucky medicine. Dont worry, I am WEALLY good at getting my way and i have refusing food, dwink and other fings down pat. I just arch my back and blow spit bubbwes. It works gweat. The doctor even said I am stubborn. She has NO idea all the twicks I have up my sweeve.

Speaking of sweeves, don't you just WOVE this shirt? I am so fashionable.

Somefing else I wove is eating. I wish mom would huwwy up and give me some fwuit. Word on the stweet is dat dey taste WAY better dan all the begetables she's been giving me. So far I have been eating wice ceweal, oatmeal, peas, cawwots, sweet taters, and gween beans. Oh and squash too.

Next I will tell you how to get out of your swaddle. It's a new twick I wearned and I am BERY good at it. All you gots to do is awrch your back WEALLY big, den wiggle your arms and POP - you're out! And den you can take your paci out of your mouf and dat way you wont fall asweep. Ever. I wove not sweeping. It stwesses my mom out and den she acts WEALLY funny.

I also wove when daddy frows me in the air. And when dey tickle me. Oh and when I got to go on da swing. Dat was fun too. I basically wove anything dat makes me feel scared or lose my tummy. Daddy is way more fun dan mommy for dese sorts of fings. She's a wuss. But dat's ok betause she has da milk, so i forgive her for being a wuss.

Oh wook! Mavewick! I wove da doggies. Dey are so fun to poke, and den dey wick my face. Which is sort of yucky, and mommy yells at dem. But I dont mind.

And now I need to eat dis fing right here, so I gotta go. Have a nice day! I wove you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chick-fil-a and Diet Coke

I feel like I need to apologize to Chick-fil-a and Diet Coke that they got left off my Favorite Things list earlier this week. Trust me, it's not for a lack of love, and all because of a lack of brain functioning at full capacity. No matter how hard my day is or how yucky things are going, Chick-fil-a and a diet coke can make it all better (amen).

I might be a little behind on the boat with this one, but I would like to share this video. It sums up my sentiments toward Chick-fil-a perfectly.


Plus it made me laugh, and that's another one of my favorite things.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Public Service Announcement

It has come to my attention that some of you don't know what I am talking about when I mention "my kiddos."

Now, this is a completely different issue than the fact that many of you dont know what I'm talking about when I ramble on about various and sundry issues. That can't be helped.

I can, however, help explain to you who our "kiddos" are. Also, I have been working on putting 'my story' together (whatever that means) for several people who have asked me for it. So I might post that on here sometime soon. But dont get yourself too excited. It might be a while. Oh and it might also need to be several posts, what with my penchant for long-winded-ness and all.

What was I saying? Oh right, the kiddos.

When I talk about the kiddos, I am referring to the many sweet, crazy, funny, wild, silly, fantastic kids who live in the low-income housing areas of Atlanta.

Our involvement with them all started two years ago when we worked at Camp Grace. There, we fell in love with our kiddos - and since then our involvement and work with them has only grown. We still work at camp every summer (Adam is the head counselor for the boys and I, well, I just hang out with the kids) And Adam is leaving his job as a teacher next year to cultivate a mentoring program through Vision Atlanta as a way to follow up with the kids who attend camp. The need for follow-up is great, particularly because MANY of the kids make decisions for Christ at camp, but then return to environments that are harsh and difficult, and most certainly not conducive to growing in their baby-faith. You can read more about what we're doing and how the mentoring program is progressing on our other blog (visionatlantamentoring.blogspot.com)

The way that Vision Atlanta works is primarily as a "bridging ministry" and our goal is to connect inner-city ministries and needs with resources and people from the suburbs. So ministries which are already established in Atlanta (and other low-income areas of Georgia) bring kids to camp, and their time there is sponsored by people, churches, and businesses, in the suburbs.

One of the ministries that brings kids to camp is called Metro Kidz. After our first year of camp, I began volunteering with Metro Kidz (because I loved their ministry and the work they're doing downtown with the Dream Center is amazing).

Two years later, I am on staff with Metro Kidz and help run the after-school sidewalk Sunday School program on Tuesdays, visit the kids at their homes on Saturdays, and help run Sunday school on Sunday mornings. We usually have between 50-100 kids at our programs each week. And if you've read any of my blog before, or if you follow me on Twitter, you know that things can get pretty crazy. But I'll tell you what, I just love every minute (well, most minutes).

There's my long-winded-ness again. I cannot escape it. I apologize to my four loyal readers. But this video from Metro Kidz makes my heart melt every time I see my kiddos' faces on it. And I even make a guest appearance. The cowboy hat? That's because it was our Halloween Metro Kidz, not because I am in the habit of wearing cowboy hats (not that there's anything wrong with wearing cowboy hats per say - but I am Canadian and we don't generally wear cowboy hats . . . )

Anyhow, the video. Here it is

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Flashing Here

I was so excited to get 10th place last week at I Heart Faces(which means I barely squeaked by in the top 10 lets be honest . . . but still). I'll tell you what, though, this week's entries are gorgeous. So I considered just quitting while I was ahead. But I dont usually do that - so here's my pictures for this week (if for no other reason than my family likes to keep up with our lives).

The theme is No Flash this week at I Heart Faces. . .

So here's my kid's entry. Jayci rode a swing for the first time yesterday, and she LOVED it. I figured she would since she is somewhat of an adrenaline junkie . . . she had her arm in the air like superman and she was squealing the whole time :-) It was adorable.And I also figured Why Not? So here's my adult's entry this week! These are my seriously gorgeous sisters. I'm not kidding, they definitely got the good genes. This one's from our Puerto Rico trip.

Don't forget that you can check out some seriously talented photographers over at I Heart Faces.

I Need a Weekend to Recover From My Weekend

Um so I just realized my title makes it sound like I had some sort of WILD and crazy weekend partying it up. Unfortunately, my weekend was a little wild and crazy but without the partying . . . Some of the wild and crazy was good, and some wasn't so good - but that's life right?!

So Friday night was an unexpected surprise - some of our closest friends came to visit from Florida. It was such a treat to see them -- we haven't been able to visit with them or talk to them as much as I'd like since they've moved. They used to live a few houses down from us. In fact, they were one of the reasons we moved into this neighborhood - unfortunately, they moved out shortly after we moved in. Hmm, maybe our stalker-ish ways drove them away?

Anyways, we ate at our favorite Mexican joint together (and really, that's basically heaven - Mexican food and diet coke with dear friends!) and caught up a little. It was a quick trip though - so luckily we are going to stop in and see them on our way to the beach in a few weeks.

Saturday we had breakfast with our small group. And there were sausage cheese balls - which I adore. Because anything with cheese? I love it. Then we went downtown to visit our kiddos and brought four girls back to our house for a girl's night. Lest you think I am brave enough to handle 4 middle school girls from the projects on my own, let me assure you that I am not. Four of our fantastic counselors (and my dear friends) from camp this summer spent the night too (Adam wisely took the dogs and the baby and bunked at his parent's house for the night).

We had a fantastic time. Seriously, the girls acted like KIDS (a rarity) and giggled, did hair (well I didn't because I am convinced you need at least three hands to braid anything), watched movies and played games. We even took them to Chili's, because I love me some Chili's and pretty much everything they serve. Plus none of them had been there before, and most of them didn't even really know how to act properly in a restaurant as far as ordering and, you know, using utensils and NOT your fingers to rip apart your grilled chicken and broccoli.

All in all, it was a fun night without enough sleep -- I remember distinctly heading upstairs because I am an old fart at about 2am -- and then being woken rudely by one of the girls at about 3am - because it was COLD and didn't I have another blanket? Unfortunately, the only remaining blankets were upstairs in the attic. So, bleary eyed, I yanked down the ladder and gingerly tiptoed through the attic looking for blankets, hoping against hope not to see any creatures of any type. After that, I slept for a good solid 4 hours or so. As it turns out, my body is getting remarkably used to functioning on less than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. . .

I was encouraged, and excited to go to church. I even ventured to make cinnamon rolls for the kids before church, AND we made it on time (OK OK so I burnt the cinnamon rolls - whatever).

I dont even know what to say about church on Sunday. I will say this though; Two girls (Arnesha and Sharonda - one of whom spent the night at my house) got in a huge fight, and we had to hold back one of their mothers to stop her from beating up the twelve year old. Mature right? I cant help but wonder how we will EVER help these kids learn not to fight when their parents set such STELLAR examples . . . Oh and the mom was yelling that the whole thing was her daughter's mentor's fault - and she NEVER should have listened to Becca. . . Needless to say, it was disappointing and frustrating after investing so much in these girls that they would get in a fist-fight at church. Oh and the fight caused mass amounts of chaos among the ranks, and pretty much the room was just a mess of 75 children yelling and fighting.

Days like that make me feel like: This is NEVER going to work, why should I even bother trying? A mentoring program is a terrible idea. Who thought of that? Dumb. Things are never going to change. I should definitely just throw in the towel. . .

Have I mentioned that I have a tendency to believe lies and get discouraged easily??

On the upside, I had a good talk with one of the girls while I was bringing her home to her mom. And I even remembered to speak God's transforming TRUTH to her. Usually, I get so flustered and try so hard to say the right thing that will change them - that I forget just to go to His Word . . .

Needless to say, we're not ACTUALLY giving up - although that's not to say I didn't consider it. For about 4 seconds before realizing that I could never leave these kids. In fact, Arnesha's mother's behavior only served to reinforce the idea that we MUST do something. These kids deserve better. They just need to be taught how to stop the cycle of anger and violence rather than perpetuating it.

Oh and because I figured I needed to hear me some TRUTH, Adam and I ended our weekend by going to Passion City Church. And despite the fact that it was 2.5 hours long - the worship and Word transformed my heart.

I just realized that this is practically a novel. I apologize to anyone (all 2 of you) who actually read the whole thing!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just a Few of My Favorite Things


My sweet real-life and bloggy friend Candace of Mrs. Southern Belle awarded me the Kreativ Blogger award. And if you haven't read her blog or checked out her Etsy Shop, you totally should. She is one talented chica.

I would like to thank my daughter and my crazy dogs, without whom I would have nothing to write about. . . .

But seriously, I was happy to be awarded :-) And here are the rules: list 7 things you love, and then pass on to 7 bloggers that you love. Be sure to tag them to let them know that they won!

7 Things I LOVE

1- My baby and hubby. Because I felt guilty leaving them off the list. But really, it's just a given that I love them right?
2- Reading and Books. I LOVE it. If I had more time, I could pretty much read all the time. And on the same note, I could spend all our money at Barnes and Noble. Easily.
3- My kiddos downtown. I have heard that some of you aren't exactly sure who my "kiddos" are. So here it is: "Kiddos" refers to any of the various kids we work with and minister to in inner-city Atlanta. Oh and have I mentioned that I love them?
4- My sisters. Despite the fact that they are WAY cooler than me, they are still my bestest friends. Which is something no big sister would guess ten or fifteen years ago when pulling their hair and pushing them down the stairs. Not that I would ever do anything like that. . .
5- My DVR. Because quite honestly? I'm not sure how I lived without it.
6- CHEESE. Particularly in any kind of Mexican fare.
7- The internet. I cannot thank Al Gore enough for inventing the internet. I'm not sure how I could parent without google. Or how I could make it through the long days working at home and taking care of a new baby without my bloggy and facebook friends :-) Oh and how else could I know that my fear of birds is technically called ornithophobia?

And all of you. I love you too.

And Jesus. I love Him most of all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In the Interest of Keeping Things Real

I'm not kidding or exaggerating when I say that I flat-out CANNOT get things together. Ever since I was pregnant and left my purse in my cart in the parking lot at Publix, things just keep getting crazier and more out of control. And I dont know if I've mentioned this before, but I like control.

Although i have never claimed to be Susie Homemaker, things have gotten slightly atrocious around here lately. (Warning: my mom-in-law may want to avert her eyes lest she faint from shock and horror)

This is what my house currently looks like:


I even took pictures of the dust bunnies. The ones that are in the middle of the floor rather than hiding respectfully under the furniture. But I wont post those because I have my limits people.

As you know, yesterday was Jayci's 6 month birthday. And around here, that's a cause for celebratory cake. Nevermind that she can't eat it yet. It doesn't take much to be a cause for celebratory desserts around here.

So yesterday I set about making some cake. And here's how it turned out:

I may have forgotten to grease the pans and slightly significantly over-cooked them. I attempted to salvage them by breaking off the burnt edges and figuring I could cover all the ugliness with icing. However, when I set about spreading said icing over the cake, I may have forgotten to let it cool long enough, so it was pretty much the opposite of pretty.

To borrow a phrase from BigMama, I am the ghetto Martha Stewart.

Luckily, I am nothing if not resilient (that may not be true, but I need something to hold on to right now). So I simply made my disaster into yummy cake balls (A la Pioneer Woman). Because when life gives you crappy baking skills, make cake balls. At least that's what I always say.

Unfortunately, even my cake balls are slightly ghetto. But at least they taste good, and that's really all that matters.


Oh and one more thing:

Yes that is my Christmas tree in the backyard. Just keeping it real y'all, just keeping it real.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Half-Birthday to Jayci!


Dear Jayci,

Today you are 6 months old. I truly cannot believe it. Yesterday, I went to the hospital to birth you. Ok so it wasn't actually yesterday, obviously, but I feel like it was.

I wish I had the ability to put into words how I feel about you, how you have changed me, how much you've taught me, and how amazing the last 6 months have been. But words elude me right now. I am sitting down for the first time all day, and feel nothing but an exhausted gratitude: for who you are, for your sweet little smile and cute little cheeks. For your daddy's eyes and grin, and his fun-loving and outgoing personality. Because you are not even close to shy. You will go to and talk to anyone and everyone. And it is a delight. I love watching your grin spread and bring grins to the face of our kiddos downtown, of my friends, your grandparents, and especially your daddy and me.

You came out that way: a happy, smiling baby. And since that day 6 months ago, somehow, you have grown into this little person. Complete with a personality and an obvious sense of humor. And though I have loved you from the moment I saw you, my feelings have continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then. The moment you laid in my arms for the first time, and I whispered "I'm a mom." The first time you laughed out loud on my birthday. When you rolled over and grinned with delight at your accomplishment. And just tonight, when I was trying desperately to get you to sleep: I was exhausted (which may have something to do with your refusal to nap or sleep more than 3 hour stretches for 6 months straight . . .) and every time I lay you in your crib, your eyes popped open and you started to wail. After an hour of fighting you, calming you, laying you back down, listening to the cries, picking you back up . . . I finally sat in the rocking chair with you facing out on my lap and cried too. I prayed out loud for strength, for patience, for wisdom, and for Adam to get home pronto. As tears streamed down my face, you twisted around and craned your neck to see what was wrong. And grinned at me. And in that moment, I laughed through my tears, and gently rocked you back to sleep.

I want to remember who you are right now: the grinning, laughing baby who squeals loudly for a crowd, eager to be the center of attention. You are intensely curious about everything. This morning, you spent 30 minutes in your jumpy seat just studying the warning tag. You want to grab everything, study it, taste it, discover it. I love watching you learn, watching you grow, watching you change. But at the same time, I hate to see you change. It's going too fast. Sometimes, I wish I could freeze you right where you are.

But I can’t do that – so I will just do my best to remember you at 6 months. You love to eat rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. You will tolerate green beans, but I can’t get you to open your mouth for peas. Not that I blame you, I gagged at least 10 times just from the smell of them while I was trying to feed you. You haven’t started fruits yet, because we don’t want your sweet tooth to kick in too early (and your sweet tooth is inevitable with daddy and me as your parents!) You roll from front to back and back to front, but only sit on your own for short bursts and with lots of wobbling. I keep trying to get Wyatt and Zoe to peer pressure you into sitting up, but apparently you are impervious to peer pressure. I can only hope you will stay that way into your teenage years.

I have so many prayers, so many hopes and dreams for you. But I have decided that above all else, I am praying that you will be secure in who you are. I want you to know your identity is in Christ, and that your strength, your beauty, your abilities and your everything are gifts from Him. I long for you to be rooted in the TRUTH that you are beautiful, sweet, loving and funny. That you are already an amazing little girl, and I cannot WAIT to see the person you will become!

Love, Mommy :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

And we might be in trouble when she's a teenager

This week's theme at I Heart Face is GREEN. I know you're all GREEN with envy that I was in Puerto Rico last week. And I have a fun picture from our trip of Jayci with her opa while he teased her with his GREEN Heineken bottle. He said he was going to be in trouble for this picture, and let me just say he is. Also, if her eagerness for Heineken is any indicator, Jayci might give us a run for our money when she hits the dreaded teenage years.

The rest of our Puerto Rico trip was uber-fun. We mostly just ate a lot of food. Which, by the way, is what my family does best. I discovered where my habit of frantically stuffing my face when I eat comes from: If I turned my back on my family for a second because I had to give Jayci a bottle or something, the chips and salsa were completely gone by the time I turned back. And that, my friends, is a tragedy. This is why, from a young age, I learned the art of stuffing my face at a rapid pace. It was survival I tell you.

Also, Adam watched my sister's dog for her while we were on vacation. To thank him, she made a delicious, super-rich chocolate cake. Including homemade icing and a salted caramel layer in the middle. . . I may or may not have had a piece with breakfast and another with lunch today. I remain baffled as to why I cannot lose this baby weight. Completely baffled.

Oh and dont forget to hop over to I Heart Faces to see more fun green pictures!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

He Numbers the Sand


As I sit here on the beach with my nearly six month old daughter, there are so many things I want to tell her. So many lessons I want to teach her. Of course she can't really understand me yet, but I fear that when she's older she wont want to listen. So I whisper truth to her, and hope it will take root in the deepest parts of her heart.

Sweet Jayci -

Do you see the ocean? Its thundering waves, gorgeous blues, and darkest depths never cease to amaze me. We cannot even see its edges, and yet God holds it in the palm of His mighty hand.

Do you see the sand between your toes? Every single insignificant grain has been numbered by God. And if He numbers the grains of sand, how carefully do you think He is looking after you? Pretty carefully I'd say. Luke reassures us: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7) Don't ever forget how much you're worth to God (and to me and daddy!)

Do you see the waves? Those same waves that pound the shore relentlessly and powerfully, they're the same waves that Jesus walked on and calmed with just a Word.

Do you see the sun setting over the ocean? The beautiful sky swathed in brilliant shades of pink and orange and cut through with blue-gray clouds? Pay close attention, because this is the only time you will ever see the sky look exactly like that. For as many days as there are, God will make that many beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Just as His mercies are new every morning, so too is the beauty of His creation.

Every time I'm on the beach, I cannot help but be reminded that we serve a Powerful and Creative God. One who both created the world and is intimately acquainted with all it's minutiae of parts. But the thing I want you to remember most is that this awesome God we serve? He is madly in love with YOU. And I pray every single day that one day you will fall in love with Him too. Because following this Creator God is an adventure and journey that far surpasses even the most beautiful and amazing things that the world has to offer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Little Creative Cropping at the Beach


Just wanted to pop in and enter the I Heart Faces contest. The theme this week is Creative Cropping. I cropped mine in the camera and didn't do any cropping in photoshop or anything . . . impressive right? Oh I kid.

The only impressive thing is how CUTE my little Jayci is, and how beautiful it is here in Puerto Rico. Can you tell I'm trying to make y'all jealous? Cause you totally should be.

And so you know, I also considered entering several photos I was forced to "creatively crop" in order to avoid showing anyone my stomach or post-baby body . . . but lucky for you - I decided against it in favor of someone cute :-)



And dont forget to visit I Heart Faces for more fantastic creative cropping! :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Live from Puerto Rico


That's right, I'm writing this from Puerto Rico. And have I mentioned that I love the beach? Cause I do.

We've been enjoying the gorgeous weather and laying by the pool and on the beach. The best part? Jayci's grandparents are here, which means I've actually had a chance to relax. Who would have thought?

Speaking of last night, we had an interesting dining experience, to say the least. After a LONG day of traveling (like 12 hours total long), we thought some food was a must. And since we're in a spanish-speaking country (um i mean US territory . . .) we figured what the hotel described as Mexican/Puerto Rican food was a sure bet. So we went to a cute little restaurant called 'Sugar Cubes.' Now I'm not sure why it's called that, except maybe that was the name of the place when the guy bought it, so he just left it that way. The inside looked like it was just a bar, so we picked a nice table outside and looked over the menus (which were in Spanish). Since I dont speak Spanish, I wasn't sure what was actually, you know, ON the menu. However, I figured it was safe to assume we could order some chips and salsa. So I did. The owner/our waiter informed us that they didn't actually have any salsa, but they were getting us some.

A few minutes later, we see the cook or whoever it was returning from the store across the court-yard. He was carrying a bag with Pace Salsa and Tostidos Scoops chips. Now, dont get me wrong, I love me some Pace and Tostidos. But it's hardly authentic Puerto Rican fare. Plus, I was feeling a little wary about any "Mexican" restaurant that didn't have lots of chips, salsa and cheese readily available. . .

Regarding the rest of the meal, lets just say I do NOT want to see what the kitchen looked like. And my mom got some soup that looked like Campbell's condensed vegetable soup, with a chicken leg floating in it. Yum.

Oh and when my dad tried to order a beer, the owner said he didn't serve alcohol, but we were welcome to run to the shop where they got the Pace and Tostidos and get some. Which made us a little confused about the whole BAR inside. In the span of our dinner, no less than 4 groups of tourists asked to see the menu, and then left without sitting down to eat. Maybe they were deterred by the fact that our quesadillas looked much like the ones I make myself at home. And, have I mentioned, I am NOT a cook at all. Quesadillas are a stretch for me.

Other than that, we're having a fantastic time. See? Here's cute Jayci in her sunhat and cover-up. In case you were wondering, she is far more stylish than I am. Unfortunately she also hates to sleep a lot more than I do. Because me? I love the sleep. Naps, night-time, morning, I'll take it however I can get it. Last night Jayci fought me and fought me and ended up finally sleeping in bed with me. Which is totally fine with me, I just am always afraid I'll roll over or something so i don't sleep well with her in bed with me. But any sleep is better than no sleep, or at least that's what I always say.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In the Literary World, They Call It Foreshadowing

I do believe I promised you a story. So a story you will get.

Now normally, as you may already know, my stories tend to be a little, um, long-winded. But seeing as this story takes place 3 years ago, the details are a little foggy. Which means, lucky for you blog readers, this should technically be short and sweet.

It was a cold March night when we left our fantastic, over-the-top, beautiful wedding at about 10:30pm. From there, we were chauffeured in our Rolls Royce to the Ritz Carlton, where Adam's grandfather generously put us up in a suite complete with 2 bathrooms. We were leaving early the next morning for our honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Do you get the picture here? It's actually a little embarrassing to write down in words the extent of luxury we experienced that night/week.

At our wedding, we had obscene amounts of food. Seriously, we like to eat, so food was a top priority for us. There was macaroni and cheese served in martini glasses, various cheeses(lots of cheese!), crackers, fruits, meats, and then a full-on meal served buffet style. And two cakes. One chocolate and one vanilla. Would you expect any less from us really?

So our catering company graciously sent us back to the hotel with enough of ALL the food for probably 4 people (or just us on a normal day). Considering it was already 11pm and we were exhausted, we weren't our usual ravenous selves. Which meant we had at least 6 large boxes of leftover food.

You better believe we ate the Mac & cheese and cake. But then Adam and I picked up the food, and headed out of the Ritz (we were still dressed up in our "getaway outfits" but not the dress and tux). We walked (through the freezing cold) a few blocks until we found a homeless guy. Explaining that we had just been married a few hours before (for some odd reason, he seemed incredulous), we gave him all our boxes of food and asked him to share with other homeless folks. Now remember, at this point in time, I was more afraid and wary of homeless people than in love with them.

But for some reason, God prompted Adam and I to head out on our wedding night and share the abundance He had provided us with some less fortunate folks. Maybe He was showing us a vision of our future together. And maybe He was just trying to remind us of how MUCH we had and how richly we were blessed.

Whatever it was, Adam and I are nothing if not slow, so it took us a few years to fully appreciate the lessons God was teaching us. Now we just think of it as foreshadowing of where we would be three years after that cold night in March. And we love it. Seriously love it.

Remember how I said it would be short and sweet? Apparently I lied, clearly I am incapable of short and sweet. My apologies.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Anniversary Post

Three years ago today, I was at my wedding. Well since it's almost midnight, I guess I was just getting back to the hotel. What a crazy, amazing day it was. I remember so clearly how rainy and freezing it was before and after March 4th. But the day of? It dawned bright and clear, the wind was blowing but the sun was shining. Granted, it was a little chilly, but it definitely could have been worse. It turns out I was far more relaxed than I thought I would be. Friends and family surrounded me, and I was so covered in prayer and in love. Besides, it was a dream come true marrying my high-school sweetheart. And have I mentioned that the cheesy romance? I love it.

I have so many memories of loved ones (some of whom are now gone) and friends and laughter and food. Lots of food. Because a macaroni and cheese bar? That, my friends, is perfection.

I actually have a funny/interesting story to share from our wedding night (and no, it's not scandalous. geez. Get your mind out of the gutter). But it's late, and I'm tired. So I will share it tomorrow. That's a promise.

I am more in love with my hubby today than I was the day we got married. And I'm not just saying that. I am pretty darn lucky to be married to my man, and don't think I don't know it. So I'd like to share three reasons I love Adam. Why three you ask? Well, clearly, we have been married for three years - and also, I dont have the time or energy to think of more than three right now.

1. He is absolutely, unequivocally, the most fun person I know. And by that I mean that he is not a rule follower like me. I'm the stick-in-the-mud in this relationship. He is also not insecure about himself like I am. Therefore, he has no problem with practicing his "freestyle walking" in the housing projects of Atlanta. He doesn't care about singing and playing air-guitar for his high school students. He will bust out with dance moves like the wash-and-rinse for anyone and everyone. Me? I am not nearly as fun. This is just one reason why Adam's good for me. He forces me out of my shell and helps me loosen up and enjoy myself.

I just realized how boring and terribly un-likable that made me sound. Normally I like to keep y'all thinking I'm cool. Unfortunately I'm not. So there it is. Hopefully you'll still like me and keep reading . . .

2. He has a tender, sweet heart. Despite the fact that in many ways he is "all boy," Adam also has no problem shedding a little tear, even for a good romantic movie like The Notebook. Many a time he has cried with me and for me, encouraging me and loving me even when I totally don't deserve it. Oh and the tenderness also makes him a FANTASTIC dad, which is one of the most endearing and amazing things about him. I think I fall a little more in love with him every time I see him cuddle our daughter and hold her close or whisper in her ear. Sigh.

3. He loves Jesus. Really loves Him. And serves Him with an abandon and faith that is refreshing, encouraging, and challenging. He leads our family closer daily to the Lord. And NOTHING could be more important or more wonderful than that.

Happy Anniversary my love. Here's to many, many more wonderful years together!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Messy in More Ways Than One

For some reason, after every weekend I feel like I need a weekend to recover. Unfortunately, that never happens and I just jump right into Monday morning and start the madness all over again. Weirdly, I am always exhausted. Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that I work every single day of the week and have a 5 month old baby who suddenly decided NOT to sleep through the night anymore. Which, by the way, was a bad decision on Jayci's part.

So Friday night Adam and I enjoyed a much needed date. We had a romantic dinner at Canoe restaurant, overlooking the beautiful, crystal clear Chattahoochee River (um and for those non-Georgians, that is what we call sarcasm). But seriously, it was a delight. Then we were planning on seeing Slumdog Millionaire. Unfortunately, we find it impossible, literally impossible, to be on time for anything - so we missed the show. We saw Madea Goes to Jail instead. And can I just say that it was hilarious? Because it was.

Saturday, we did visitation in the rain (as per usual lately). Then we ran home and fell asleep (all three of us!) until we barely woke up in time for Sat night service at church. We actually almost overslept and, as usual, were late (literally impossible I tell you). But I am SO glad we decided to go because it was an amazing service.

Want to hear about the service? No? Well I'm going to tell you anyways.

It's missions week at church this week, and we did this really cool thing where all the visiting missionaries came up and wrote in paint where they were serving while we sang God of the City. I may have cried. It was a powerful moment, realizing how God is truly working and moving all over the globe. And right in the middle of the song, when we were singing "Greater things are yet to come/Greater things are still to be done/In the city." In that moment, I felt the Spirit stirring within me. And I asked myself: What if He rescued ALL our kiddos? Because He can. And why don't we believe He will?

And then I cried and worshiped and it was beautiful.

Sunday morning, we had church downtown (as usual). And it snowed. Hard. I felt almost like I was back in Canada. Well except that none of it stuck to the ground, but still.

And tonight? It was Missions Marketplace at church. And we were there . . . as missionaries! Whoa. That's all I have to say about that right now. Don't worry, more details are coming. Soon.

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is Messy. And that word just about sums up every aspect of my life lately. Especially the state of my house. But no one wants to see pictures of my dust bunnies. Although I'm not promising not to post them.

So instead, here's one of my little cutie being more than a little messy. Those are sweet potatoes by the way. She clearly loved them.


ps - I apologize because I realize I have already posted this picture. I will try and get you a new one next time. But again, I am not making any promises. I try not to make promises on here that I can't keep. Because I dont want to lose your bloggy trust.

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