Sunday, March 27, 2011

Post from Taylor: Matchbox Car

Having a child has opened my eyes to see life through a completely different set of lenses. The advent and arrival of Shepherd has provided a new lens to the view of my relationship with God. In particular, how God loves me as a son and how I can please him as my Father. All my life it has been my dream, goal, and duty to raise a son to be a man of God. I had no idea God would use my dream, my goal, my duty, my son, to transform me into being more of a man of God. Since the beginning of this transformation, initiated by news of Shepherd’s arrival, I have attempted to jot down revealing experiences. Revealing experiences of how God used my relationship with Shepherd, as father and son, to expose His love, His desires, and His most treasured moments with His sons and daughters. So, begins my first blog post and hopefully not my last!
Matchbox Car
As a father, one of the days I have looked forward to for so long was the day I would walk in the door from work and have Shepherd scream from the top of his lungs, "Da-da Da-da!!!!". Then run into my arms to give me a great big huge tiny hug. The funny problem and great disappointment was I expected Shepherd to be jumping with excitement upon my entrance at a week old. So, you can only imagine the anticipation and excitement I had for this great moment in life. You can also imagine my disappointment upon 12 months of Shepherd’s existence when Shep would take a break from his activity to give me a lackadaisical “wut up” nod as I came through the door. Then almost without hesitation, he would quickly refocus his attention on playing with his toy, watching his cartoon, or eating his food.
This routine, much to my chagrin, continued to happen on a daily basis, until that one day. It was truly an unexpected and surprising day in every way. The day was mid February and the temperature was 75 degrees, the sun was shinning with no gray in the sky. I walked through the front door to hear the voices of Julia and Shepherd in the backyard enjoying their release from being imprisoned in the house by long cold winter days. I quietly stepped onto the back porch to see Julia watching Shep bent over in the grass playing with his favorite matchbox car, Buzz Lightyear, Bob the Tomato, and Larry the Cucumber. I whispered in a quiet voice, “Hey!” Shepherd jolted up with both hands high in the air, dropping all his toys upon hearing my voice. He turned around scream “Da-da, Da-da!!!” and then baby sprinted into my arms for that long awaited great big huge tiny hug.
That moment was just as good as I had dreamed for years and anticipated for all twenty months of Shepherd’s life. But that moment became so much more when God allowed me to see it though a different set of lenses. I saw a Creator and His most beloved creation. I witnessed the beloved creation playing with and loving other parts of creation more than the Creator. The view showed God faithfully and continually seeking us by whispering, “Hey!” I felt a fragment of what He must feel when His most beloved creation throws down their favorite matchbox car, their Buzz Lightyear, their Bob the Tomato, and their Larry the Cucumber to run into His arms for that great big huge tiny hug. I can’t imagine what our God feels when we glorify Him over His creation, when we worship the Creator instead of creation. It made me wonder, reflect, and ask what was my matchbox car, Buzz Lightyear, Bob the Tomato, or Larry the Cucumber? What did I worship and value more than listening to my Creator, studying my Creator, praying to my Creator, spending time with my Creator, or just simply glorifying my Creator? I encourage you to ask the same question.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

My little Leprechaun says Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Friday, March 18, 2011

March: What's new with Shepherd?

Shepherd is so much fun right now! He is really starting to talk and his silly little personality is really showing. Here is a list of what is going on with him right now:

1. Loves cars and trains
2. Love animals, animal books and making all of the animal sounds
3. He is getting his last 2 year old molar right now
4. Still a great eater, and eats his veggies
5. Loves cookies
6. Can count to seven, but forgets to say number three
7. Every color is blue right now
8. Rotates his pacifier in his mouth without his hands
9. Calls his pacifier a “buyer”
10. Says please and thank you on his own
11. Wants to help mommy with any chores especially laundry, cooking, and making the bed
12. Wears size 18 month-24 month, and 6.5 shoes
13. Weighs 29 lbs, and 33 inches tall
14. Still drinking Almond Milk due to being lactose intolerant
15. Starting to really play with Paisley (our dog)
16. Calls Taylor Da da and me Mom (no momma or mommy, just mom)
17. Loves to try and make silly faces, but he is really just squinting his eyes (we laugh really hard and he thinks it is hilarious)
18. Love riding his daddy’s back and loves to wrestle with dad
19. Loves going to the church nursery and seeing all his friends
20. Loves babies! Any time he sees a baby he takes his little hands and tries to tickle the baby and screams, “baby, baby, baby!” I hope he reacts the same way when his little brother arrives.

Shepherd and his baby

Shepherd and Dad playing in a tent

Baby-Moon to Washington

On February 18th, Taylor and I had our last little get-a-way or “Baby-Moon” before #2 arrives. We flew out to Spokane, WA to attend Matt Arnold’s wedding. Matt and Taylor were good friends in college, and I knew Matt because he was also good friends with my sister. We stayed in a beautiful old hotel in downtown Spokane. We enjoyed great restaurants, fun shopping, and I even enjoyed an afternoon at the Spa.

31 weeks prego!

Beautiful Bride and Groom!

Valentines Weekend

Taylor and I have a fun little tradition for Valentines Day. Every year we rotate who makes our Valentines and Anniversary plans. So this year Taylor was in charge of Valentines Day and I will be in charge of our anniversary. (6 years of marriage on April 30th, wow!) We love to make a big deal about these celebrations and try to really surprise each other.

This year for Valentines Day, Taylor did a great job! He surprised me with a weekend getaway that included an amazing marriage conference, a fabulous hotel stay, sleeping in, and a yummy brunch! The marriage conference was awesome and we both walked away having learned something that will change our marriage for the future. My parents kept Shepherd for the weekend and he had a wonderful time with them.

Mimi and Shepherd attending Alexander's 7th birthday

I can't believe my nephew Xander is already 7! Shepherd cried in the pool until his grandmother took off his life jacket, then he truely thought he could swim and loved the water.

2011 Snow Storm

Snowmaggedon, Snowpocalypse, Snowly Moly, Snownami 2011, Snow-a-thon 2011, Snow-a-pallooza, Man vs. Snow, Snowtorious B.I.G., SNOmg.

I’m not sure what name you gave it, but we received a crazy snow of 24.5 inches one day in February. It was unbelievable! Taylor got to stay home from work and we enjoyed a morning of cooking all kinds of yummy treats and then an afternoon, playing in the snow. We cooked corn chowder, no-bake cookies, and key lime pie. (Yes, it was an odd combination of food but that is what I was craving!) Shepherd was such a good helper in the kitchen and he enjoyed playing in the snow, ok, maybe he just enjoyed eating the snow.

Shepherd is helping clean the dishes

Corn Chowder, my favorite soup!

Shepherd is choosing the recipes for us.

Taylor making key lime pie

No Bake Cookies are wonderful!

Great neighbors shoveling our snow

Snow is so tasty!

Trip to Chicago

The first of February, I traveled to Chicago with my mother’s best friend Christy, to go see the Oprah show! It was an absolutely amazing trip and we had a great time. This is Oprah’s last season to produce her show and we were so lucky to get to have this experience. Jennifer Hudson was the guest and she gave an amazing performance.

Christy and I in front of Harpo Studio

Enjoying Fondue after the show!

Christy at the museum

Best fried Jamie and I after an amazing meal, Bandera's

I actually made National Television!

Crazy Arkansas Weather

We had some crazy weather this January! One weekend, it was seventy degrees and beautiful, and then two days later it was freezing with 6 inches of snow.

Taylor, Shepherd and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and visted the outdoor mall in Rogers. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch on the patio at PF Changs and actually got a little hot. Was that really January?

Shepherd dumped out his berries in his pasta, he might have created a new recipe, Asian noodles with berries, yum!

Two days later we enjoyed real "Snow" cones! Orange flavored! Shepherd loved it!