Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Words About Christmas 2010

We took pictures on Christmas, of course, but I honestly just don't feel like messing with uploading them now! :) So, instead, here is an attempted brief recap of the best Wilson Christmas yet!

-Christmas Eve Day: Eric's dad, stepmom, and younger sister came to visit us. We went out to lunch, exchanged presents, and just had fun talking and laughing together.

-Christmas Eve Afternoon/Evening: I cooked for the evening's dinner while Eli and Eric played. We visited our neighbors, made a cake for Baby Jesus, and opened the drawer on the advent calendar that had the Baby Jesus piece in it. We all got Christmas pajamas, and, after reading the Christmas story, singing happy birthday to Jesus, and eating cake, we tucked a very excited little boy into bed for the night. (He woke up FIVE times during the night because he was so excited!)

-Christmas Eve Later-Evening: Phil and Kelly came over for our annual Christmas Eve fancy steak dinner. The food and drinks were AMAZING, if we do say so ourselves, and we so enjoyed this time with each other! We said goodbye late in the evening with very full bellies and very full hearts! I cleaned the kitchen while Eric put together Eli's big Christmas gift from us- a tractor! We put out the gifts and soaked up the candlelit view of the tree. We fell into bed late but still couldn't sleep because we were just so happy and excited!

-Christmas Morning: Eric and I read the Christmas story together before Eli woke up and spent time reflecting on Jesus' birth. (And I will again highly recommend Walter Wangerin's Preparing for Jesus- an amazing, life-changing book on advent!) Then we paced the hallway outside Eli's room because we couldn't wait for him to wake up! :) I finally couldn't help myself any longer and woke him up at 8:30am. He was so excited to see his tractor! It's a big John Deere pedal tractor that has a front-loader and a wagon and everything is pretty realistic. He loves all his other (small) gifts, too, but the tractor definitely took the cake! We opened our gifts together and ate cinnamon rolls and were so very thankful to be just the three of us in our little warm house. We couldn't have been more happy or thankful!

-Later Christmas Morning: We headed over to my parents' house with everyone else for the big Bergstrom Christmas. It was so much fun, and the kids were all so happy and well-behaved! We had a blast exchanging gifts and watching the kids play, and we ended it all with a big brunch, complete with my mom's traditional raisin bread.

-Christmas Afternoon: We napped and rested and played with new toys! Perfection!

-Christmas Evening: We went to my Uncle and Aunt's house for the big family get-together with all the cousins, etc. It was a blast, as usual.

-The 26th: We spent the day with Eric's mom and stepdad and had another wonderful day celebrating.

It was a fantastic Christmas! After several years of spending Christmas day running from one get-together to another, we determined that we were done with exhausting, stressful Christmases! We wanted a calm, restful day with plenty of time with just the three of us, and we got just that. And by doing it this way we got to spend great quality time with each of the "sets" of family we have, spread out over a few days instead of packed into one day. It was a perfect, special, wonderful holiday that we'll never forget.

Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As a child, it seemed like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas dragged by. Now, as an adult, as an adult with a child and a "Christmas" to put on for my family, there seems to be not enough time at all between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while Eli laments the links still left in his paper chain counting down the days until Christmas, I am thankful for each and every one of them left! There is just so much to do!

That said, I am so very excited to finally give the gifts that I have spent weeks purchasing, so excited to see Eli's face when he wakes up on Christmas morning, so excited for him to open that final drawer on the advent calendar and find the Baby Jesus for whom he has so eagerly waited. I'm excited for Christmas Eve dinner with Kelly and Phil, for cinnamon rolls as we open presents in the morning, just the three of us, for visits with precious family.

But most of all this year I am excited for the wonderful work the Lord has done in our hears to prepare us for Christmas. Advent, though practiced "loosely" in years past, has become so real to us this year, and Eric and I both feel like the Lord has truly been preparing our hearts as we wait to celebrate the birth of our King. And Eli has understood so much of it as well, which makes it all the more special to me and Eric.

I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas, filled with the joy of the Lord and the peace that Jesus brought to earth with his birth. Diety stepped into humanity; eternity burst into time; mercy spoke into legalism; peace was offered between holy God and sinful man. Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel was born at Christmas, and, without Him, Christmas is just another meaningless act we perform. Without Him, all of life is meaningless, to be sure. I pray that each of you knows Him and learns of Him more deeply this Christmas. Because, as cliche as it may seem to say, Jesus is the best gift ever given, and the only gift that will last for eternity. All other gifts pale in comparison with the gift of salvation from an eternity separated from God. May we all embrace what Jesus has done for us and fall on our faces in worship as we celebrate the day of His humble birth.

Blessings to all of you, with love!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Diaper Man

Eli has been showing all the signs that he's ready for potty training. His mother, on the other hand, has been avoiding it like the plague. :) I just can't seem to get myself psyched up for days of accidents on the rugs!

Anyway, I was talking to a friend about how we were going to potty-train our toddlers (she has a daughter Eli's age), and she suggested talking it up for a while and then using a similar tactic to the familiar "pacifier fairy." You know- the fairy comes and takes all the pacifiers away from a child and leaves a surprise in return? Well, this January, the Diaper Man is coming to the Wilson house. :)

It's adorable to hear Eli talk about it...

Me: Who's coming after Christmas?
Eli: Diaper Man!
Me: And what is he going to do?
Eli: Take all the diapers away!
Me: And what do you get?
Eli: Under-woo! (underwear)
Me: And then what happens?
Eli: Go pee-pee and poo-poo in potty!

We have this conversation about ten times a day. :) He's pretty excited about it, and I'm gearing myself up for it, too. The only problem is that he's confused the Diaper Man with everything that happens at Christmas. He knows all about Baby Jesus being born and what we do on Christmas Day, and he's heard a little about Santa (we're trying to downplay him, though), but he's thrown the Diaper Man in the mix, too. We'll pull a link off of the Christmas chain, and I'll comment on how close to Christmas we are. Eli will then say, "Diaper Man coming!" It's amusing. We're trying hard to take emphasis away from the Diaper Man now, though, but he's still lodged in Eli's brain as part of Christmas.

So, this year, we have Baby Jesus, Santa, and the Diaper Man. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Baby Jesus Born!"

This is what Eli says when we ask him what happens at Christmas. I have loved this Christmas season as I watch my toddler begin to understand what it all means. We have tried to be really purposeful with what we talk about and read, what we play with and sing about this month. We really want him to soak up the meaning of this season, to remember the truths that are illuminated through holiday traditions. Because, while he is too young yet to comprehend the meaning of the Son of God taking on human flesh to bring God's miraculous mercy to sinful man, he is definitely not too young to know that Jesus loves him, and that Christmas is when we joyfully celebrate His birthday.

We have an Advent calendar with 25 tiny drawers. I filled it this year with Scripture, family activities, service projects, and the characters from a tiny manger scene. Eli truly delights in opening a drawer every night. He gets excited when Eric reads to us the day's Scripture passage ("Daddy read Bible!") and loves to set up the little manger scene. Today he was playing with it, setting Mary inside the little stable, and he said, "Mary wait Baby Jesus." My heart just leapt, hearing my precious son articulate his understanding of what Advent is all about. Truly, we are waiting for Baby Jesus. We are preparing our hearts for the coming of the King- the humble, infant King born in the lowliest of places, breaking through time and space to bring the holiness and mercy of God to earth.

Eric and I have been reading Walter Wangerin's Preparing for Jesus, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Every day of Advent there is a devotion, a passage of Scripture to read, and a prayer. It has been so amazing to experience God's work in our hearts to deepen our understanding of what it means to wait for our King. We are so excited for Christmas morning, when we'll open the 25th drawer of the Advent calendar and find the tiny Baby Jesus, He for whom we so eagerly wait. Because, as cliche as it sounds to say it, the only reason we have to celebrate this season at all is that Baby Jesus was born.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Obligatory Thanksgiving Weekend Post

Alright, here goes...

On Thursday morning Dallas woke up to rapidly dropping temperatures, high wind, and rain. We were registered for the 8-mile Turkey Trot, but we decided that morning not to run it, since Eli would have been miserable in the jogger while we ran. We want it to be a fun family Thanksgiving tradition, and Eli certainly wouldn't have had fun. So, sadly, we didn't run this year. We had already done several 8-mile runs in the previous weeks, though, so we still feel proud of ourselves for working up to that distance!

We ate french toast and got ready to go to Uncle Albert and Aunt Kathy's house in Justin. A perk of not running was that we got to actually look nice when we showed up versus showing up sweaty and nasty from the long run. :)

As always, being at the White's house was so much fun. It's the classic Thanksgiving there- lots of family, kids running around, tons of food, so much love and laughter and joy... it was just perfect. They even had a bounce house set up out back for all the kids. They all spent hours out there in the freezing cold while the adults all stayed inside drinking cider. :)

We went back to my parents' house for dinner with my sisters and their families, all of my cousins and their significant others, and my aunt and uncle. It was another big, wonderful meal with much-loved family, and we finished the night with crazy games, as usual. Eric and I completed the night with late-night turkey sandwiches, wine, and the Family Stone, as per our tradition.

On Friday we drove to Oklahoma to be with Eric's mom and stepdad for yet another Thanksgiving meal. It was fun to be with that whole side of the family, and Eli did so well on the long car trip. We are so thankful for wonderful families to be with during the holidays!

On Saturday morning we went to the Christmas tree farm to cut down trees with the Heinzs, another Christmas tradition. We stopped for donuts and watched the kids devour breakfast, and then it was on to the farm. Eli had been talking about this for the entire week... "BIG tractor pull us in hay wagon!" It was, as usual, such a fun time with some of our favorite people in the whole world, and the weather was perfect. It was the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season!

On Saturday my mom had the kids over for cookie decorating, though it was hard for the boys to focus because my dad had the train set up and running. :)

On Sunday we went to church, and then we dragged our exhausted-by-the-long-weekend selves back here for some much-needed time at home! Eric worked on putting lights outside, Eli took a long nap, and I spent time cooking and baking. And then we topped the day off with hot chocolate and tree decorating.

And with that, the Christmas season begins! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends as well!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

As I sat down to type out my "Things I'm Thankful For" list, I was reminded that there is no blessing too small for which to offer thanks. Because, really, all the small things aren't so small after all. And they all add up to the fact at every good and perfect gift is from the Lord (James 1:17).

So, for red maple leaves blowing around me, for the feel of Eli's hand in mine, for our cozy little house, for my beloved husband, for a crock pot of soup, for health, for time, for all the blessings abundant in this life of ours, I am thankful.

And most of all I am thankful for Jesus Christ, my gracious and merciful Savior, who gives the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's been a long while between posts, but things have been great around here lately. We're just enjoying the fall, preparing for the holidays, and having fun! The picture is of carving pumpkins at Halloween (duh), and it's honestly the last photo I've taken with my camera in the past few weeks!

So that's it for this enthralling post. :) I hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Family Camping Trip

Twice a year everyone on my side of the family goes camping all together. It's always such a blessing to spend this much time together, and I'm always reminded of just how blessed I am to have such an incredible family!

This year we went to Martin Creek Lake State Park in East Texas since our favorite state park is closed for rennovations. Martin Creek was a great substitute! The lake was so pretty; there were beautiful hiking trails; there was a fun playground for the kids; and it was small enough that we just walked everywhere, which I love.

The kids had a blast playing outside together the whole weekend. On Saturday night the power went out in the cabins due to a big, loud, gorgeous rainstorm, so Eli, Cooper, and Jacey (Kelly and Phil and kids had gone home by this point) stayed up until 11pm running and playing in the cabins by lantern light. It was really memorable and fun, once we got over the hassle of having no electricity! :) (It came back on around midnight.)

It was a fantastic weekend of hiking, swimming (in October!), playing games, fishing, feeding ducks, and just being together outdoors. We are so thankful!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Fest

On Saturday the city had a "Pumpkin Fest" at the lake right down the road from us. They had a bunch of booths with games for the kids, candy, balloons, etc. Eli's favorite parts were the "choo-choo" that went around the lake and the pony rides. There was also a group there with a bunch of turtles, lizards, and ENORMOUS snakes. Eli, who adores all animals without partiality, was enamored with the snakes. I couldn't even bring myself to touch them, but Eli kissed each one of them and was really sad when we had to walk away. I fear the day when he asks me for a pet snake! :) Anyway, here are a few pictures...

Eric, Eli, Timothy, and Phil on the train ride. The younger boys are cooperating for the picture far better than the older boys. :)

Eli on the pony ride:

Inspecting a turtle with Pop-Pop:

It was a really fun, fall-y afternoon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We went with Sarah and the boys to the Arboretum's pumpkin patch on Wednesday. I love it there, and we had a good time letting the boys run around and play. Here are a few pictures:

And, for comparison's sake, here's Eli at the same pumpkin patch last year:

And the year before:

I can't believe how much my tiny baby has grown! I'm going to keep trying for the same pumpkin patch picture every year, to see how he changes every year. He'll love it when he's 15! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cooper Lake

Last weekend the three of us headed to Cooper Lake to camp. We had such a fun, relaxing time. The weather was perfect, and I don't think we could have been happier to be outside, away from everything, enjoying being together.

On Saturday afternoon we found a great little fishing spot, and Eric and Eli fished for hours while I sat under a tree and read. It was one of those "freeze time" moments- perfect weather, gorgeous scenery, listening to Eric and Eli talk and laugh and reel in fish, reading a great book... perfection!

It was a fantastic weekend all around. Some pictures...

Fishing with Daddy:

Super excited about roasting hot dogs:

Eli caught and reeled this one in on his own!

Swinging at the playground:

We love a good s'more!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Times are Good

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future." Ecclesiastes 7:14

I think that as a believer aware of the "in this world you will have trouble" promise of Jesus, I have tended in the past to gloss over the truly good gifts the Lord gives to me because I am fearful of the "trouble" that inevitably lies ahead. I am a worrier by [sinful] nature, and I have spent much of my life worrying about what may or may not happen in the future. I have long realized this sin in my life and have had lessons to this end beaten into my hard head by the Lord more times than I can count. And while there may be hundreds of "more spiritual" reasons why we as believers shouldn't worry, I am realizing now more than ever that worry robs joy from otherwise beautiful, happy moments. And this is reason enough for me to try my darndest to live in the moment, free from worry.

Because, for as much trouble as is in the world as a result of sin, there are still abundant gifts from our good, creative, loving God. And He wants us to fully enjoy them, unhindered by anxious thoughts.

I love the above verse from Ecclesiastes; I find it to be infinitely wise in its simplicity. Are times good? Then be happy! Enjoy the goodness! Revel in the beauty and life that surrounds you! And when times are difficult, remember the God who makes one day as well as the other, the God who is always the same regardless of circumstances.

Saturday was a day to revel in. The fall weather called us outside, and we had one of those days that was just perfect in its simple beauty.

We began the day with our "long runs" of the week, Eric with his ipod, me with my dear friend Sarah. It was the first cool-weather run we've had in a very long time, and 5 miles is much easier in 60 degrees than 90! :)

After that we headed to a cute little cafe close by that recently opened. They had a bounce house set up, surprisingly, and Eli and Eric put it to good use. They both had a blast. (Forgive the poor picture quality- the only camera I had with me was my phone!)

Then it was off to the feed store to by a bale of hay to help decorate our front porch for fall. They have ponies there for the kids, and Eli, who adores all animals, was super excited for his pony ride.

From there we went to the book store, where we leisurely browsed the aisles- my favorite thing in the world.

And then it was on to buy pumpkins and mums to complete our outdoor festive decorations.

In the afternoon we baked cookies, played outside, and went to the park with the whole family, and then we topped it off with a family dinner once the tired, happy kiddos were put to bed.

The day was all things good. A time to rejoice in, to thank God for. And we were supremely happy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We're Going Camping Now...

Bonus points for anyone who can finish that line. :)

This weekend we went camping with our dear friends the Vavras. We ended up at Cedar Hill State Park after learning that our original destination was booked solid. I'd never been to this park before, aside from going for the hiking trails, and it was pretty nice. We got a campsite right on the lake, and the boys loved splashing in the water and throwing bread to the ducks. They even caught a few fish!

Despite the fact that it rained for a good portion of Saturday, we had a blast. Less hardy stock would have given up and ran for home, but not us! :) All of us just needed to be away from the busyness of everyday life and enjoy family and friends. And the boys couldn't have been happier!

It was a fantastic weekend, and we're looking forward to several more camping trips this fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Today I have been married to my best friend for three years! I couldn’t be more thankful.

We got to get away for the weekend while my parents kept Eli and gave him the royal treatment. We so enjoyed the little break in the midst of the busyness of life and just had a blast being together!

I love being married to Eric. I love his selflessness, his humor, his humility, his integrity, the way he fathers Eli, his creativity, how hard he works, and his devotion to the Lord. He is the most rock-solid person I know, unwavering in faith, integrity, and humility in even the toughest of situations. I am endlessly thankful for the blessing of our marriage and for the family we have together.

Happy anniversary to us! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010


We spent the last week in Maine with my grandparents, who live there. It was PERFECT! I could write many very lengthy paragraphs about it, but I'll try to keep this short and sweet. :)

We started off early on Wednesday morning with a 5:30am flight, and we got to Maine in the early afternoon. We spent the afternoon on my grandparents' boat, and it was so much fun! Eli has never been on a "speed boat" before, and he LOVED it!

On Thursday we went to a place called White Lake State Park. It was one of the prettiest places I've ever seen! Mountains, perfectly clear water, sand, 75 degrees- PERFECT! Eli loved playing all day there, and so did we!

On Friday we drove to Boothbay Harbor, where, after walking around the gorgeous little seaside town for a while, we rode a boat to Cabbage Island for a traditional Maine clam bake. We ate lobsters, clams, and all the stuff that goes with them- it was a messy, delicious meal! Eli even ate clams and lobster!

On Saturday we headed to the beach. It was another gorgeous day, and we loved spending all day in the sun and water, building castles on the beach and body surfing in the waves.

On Sunday after church we spent the afternoon on the boat, which, again, was just perfect!

On Monday Eric and I took a long (and very steep!) hike while Eli hung out with my grandparents, whom he loves!, and then we all went to Diana's Bath, a natural rock/waterfall playground with freezing cold mountain spring water. It is a beautiful place, but I was a nervous wreck watching Eli scramble around on those slippery rocks! Fortunately he escaped with just skinned knees. :)

And after a relaxing morning at home on Tuesday, we headed back to Texas, leaving the gorgeous 75-degree Maine weather and trading it for 110-degree Texas heat. We were pretty sad to leave, but we are already planning our trip for next summer!

We are so, so thankful for this perfect week with our little family and with my wonderful grandparents, who made the trip so perfect.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I always want to start out a post with the words "I've been such a bad blogger lately," but then I realize, "Who really cares?" If being a bad blogger means spending more time with my kiddo at the Aquatic Center or pushing choo-choos on the floor, then I'll take the title of "Bad Blogger" any old day.

That said, here is a quick list of what's going on with us. This way when I read back through these entries years from now, I'll at least have a foggy idea of what we did with the summer of 2010. :)

-Water... Between my parents' pool and the local Aquatic Center, we spend most afternoons in the water. I honestly have run out of all creative ideas when it comes to afternoon activities. Eli wakes up from his nap and starts listing all the outdoor ideas he has for the afternoon... "Bike?" ("Too hot, baby.") "Boppies?" ("Too hot, baby.") "Frisbees?" ("Too hot, baby.") "Zoo?" ("Too hot, baby.") "Pool?" And off we go... There is just not much else to do with an outdoors-loving toddler during a Texas summer. Eli has gotten really comfortable in the water, wearing swimmies on his arms so that he can swim in the deep water. He loves the Aquatic Center, too, going down the big slide all by himself, straight into my waiting arms.

-Friends... We've enjoyed so many really fun, meaningful times with friends this summer. We are so thankful for the friends God has given to us, and we have loved the slower pace of summer that has allowed us to enjoy plenty of time just sitting and talking and sharing life with dear friends.

-Running... Eric is training for a marathon (which might be reduced to a half-marathon, joints depending), so running is a big topic of conversation around here. We watch documentaries about marathoners with tears in our eyes- that's how obsessed we have become. :) I've been running again, too, and, though a marathon or even a half is far out of my reach, I might just make it to a 10k sometime this fall. Look out! :)

-WORK! Yipes! Work has been a little daunting lately for me. Summer is always a busy time for us, but this summer has felt a little crazier than normal. And, while I adore my job, I really dislike the hours I spend away from my Eli. I'm super-thankful for Eric's flexible job, allowing him to compensate for the extra time I've needed to put in lately.

-Brunching... Summer is just a good time for eating brunch out. We're big fans.

-Preparing... We leave for Maine in 2 weeks! I am beyond excited about our first big family vacation together. But my anal self is also a little stressed about packing for all of us for a week, and fitting it all within the weight and size requirements imposed by the airlines. :) And a two-year-old on a 5:40am flight is also daunting. This will be the ultimate test of Eli's good-natured, unflappable compliancy. :)

And with that, I'll call it a night. I hope that each of you is enjoying the summer as much as we are. Much love!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Weekend So Far... As a List

-Yesterday Eli and I cleaned the whole house, taking frequent breaks to play. I love it when I get the [rare] opportunity to clean the whole house in one day, instead of in spurts throughout the week. I am such an anal clean-freak, but I love going into a weekend with a clean house! :)

-I baked an upside down apple cake in an iron skillet (PW's recipe). I don't like desserts that fall into the "warm fruit" category, but Eric adores things like this. It was a fun recipe to bake, and I can't get the linky thing to work on here, so if you want it, go to Pioneer Woman's site. :)

-We got takeout and watched a movie on the couch, as per our usual Friday night "home date" tradition. I fell asleep and missed the last half, also a Friday night tradition.

-Eric and Nick ran a 10k this morning as part of their marathon training plan. It took them an hour. My husband amazes me. When he got back, I jogged 2.5 miles without stopping- a post-college record, for sure. It's no 10k, but I was still proud. :)

-We went to Richardson Bike Mart so Eric could drop off one of his wheels for a reapair. Eli had never been there before, and it was like we took him into Heaven. The kid adores bikes (like his Daddy!), and to be in a place with thousands of bikes all right there in front of him was just about the best thing he could imagine. He touched just about every single bike in the store and kept walking around saying, "More bikes! More bikes!"

-We ate brunch at our favorite place- the Pancake House. All three of us looooove this place.

-Eli swam with PopPop and MomMom while Eric and I went to a wedding this afternoon. It was lovely!

-I baked "pillow cookies" (basically a cookie with a brownie center) for our family get-together tonight and did laundry while Eric and Eli went for a long bike ride.

-And now all the chores are done, all the baked goods are baked, all the miles are run (ran?), and we're ready for a calm, quiet, restful family Sunday, just like we like 'em.

I hope your weekend so far has been delightful as well!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Little Things

It's the "little things" that add up to happiness, I think. Little things like...

-Watching Eli sleep at night, all curled up on his belly with his hands underneath his face, bottom in the air, little feet crossed just right.

-A visit with an old friend who is more like a sister.

-A daily, sleepy kiss goodbye from Eric as he leaves for work every morning (at 4:30am!).

-Seeing pictures of a friend's precious newborn baby, and knowing the sheer joy that awaits her as she raises her new daughter.

-A cloudy afternoon.

-The way Eli says "frisbee"- "beebees."

-Peaches from a local orchard, both in and out of homemade cobbler.

-A gooooood new book and a glass of vino verde.

-Laughing at an "oldie but goodie" movie with Eric.

-Conversations with sisters.

-Quiet moments with the Lord before the day gets going.

Wow- when I stop to list all the "little things," the list really gets going! Let's do this more often...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For Eli's Daddy

Dear Eric,

I always wanted to marry a man who would be a fantastic father. I eagerly anticipated the day when I could watch my husband play with my child. I imagined what a "family hug" would feel like, two big people and one little person, all wrapped up, so many words communicated in one big embrace.

And now? Now I look out the kitchen window as I clean up after dinner, and I see you pushing our son in a swing on the swingset you built for his first birthday. Now I get to watch as you teach him how to throw a frisbee, and I get to witness his excitement and yours when he "rips it" just as you taught him. Now I get to hear about your Thursdays together, about trips to Home Depot and the motorcycle store, about bike rides and toy rocket launches. Now I get to listen as our son laughs uncontrollably as you tickle him and wrestle with him. Now I get to see the giddiness with which he runs as he looks for you during one of your many games of hide-and-seek. Now I get to see how delighted our toddler is when you let him hold the fishing pole, let him "drive" your truck, let him "shave" when you shave- do you know how much he wants to be just like you? Now I get to hear you read him books and tell him stories, listen as you teach him about things big and small. Now I get to witness the sheer joy on our boy's face when he hears you open the door, when he sees your truck pull in the driveway- "Daddy home!" Now I get to listen to your prayers for his heart, for his salvation, for his character, hearing how you value the eternal in your son far more than anything temporal. Now I get to look on, watching you hold him, kiss his cheeks, stroke his hair in gestures of such deep, selfless love that literally take my breath away at times.


Now we have everything. Everything. We have each other. A family. You and me and our precious miracle of a son. You are building a relationship with Eli that will last for a lifetime. Your time, your love, your selflessness, your guidance, your example, your discipline, your words, your hugs, your relationship with the Lord- all of these are the tools that are shaping him into the man he will become.

And I hope and pray with all my heart that our son turns into a man who is just like his father.

I love our "now." And I love you.

Happy Father's Day (a couple days early),

Monday, June 7, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Eric kicked off his birthday weekend with a 62-mile bike race in 102-degree heat with his good friend Nick. I'd rather get a pedicure and drink a mojito, but it wasn't my birthday. :)

After he got home, we got to have a little "getaway" that I surprised him with! We left Eli in the expert, spoil-him-rotten care of my parents, and we had 24 hours all to ourselves! We saw a movie, ate dinner at Blue Mesa, crashed for the night at the Hyatt near Northpark, and ate cheesecake in bed. :) We also slept for 10 straight hours- I think the first time we've done that since before Eli was born! We reluctantly checked out the next morning and went to brunch at the Pancake House- our favorite breakfast place. Then we got to browse around Richardson Bike Mart for a while without a toddler knocking over all the bikes, which is certainly a treat! :)

Eli had a fantastic time with my parents, which I'm so thankful for, and we had a much-needed time to just rest and be together. It was perfect!

Today is Eric's actual birthday, and tonight he got a feast of fish cakes, roasted asparagus, and sweet potato fries. And I made him an Italian cream cake for dessert- the one time a year I make this time-consuming cake. :) He is so worth it, though!

Happy, happy birthday to the greatest man I know- my husband!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Under Construction

Forgive the mess of this blog from time to time- a good friend of mine is working on helping to redesign the banner, etc. Until then, things might look a little sloppy! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010


This afternoon I sat outside watching Eli play with his cousin Timothy. They climbed up and down the play cube, went up and down the slide, dug in the sandbox, and tossed sand all over the ground. They splashed and played in the little pool and laughed with abandon. Eric came out to watch the two boys while I cooked dinner, and I got to look out the kitchen window at my dream come true:

My beloved husband playing with my treasured son and my sweet nephew, the dogs running nearby. A green yard, a hot Texas sun, a kiddie pool filled with cool water. Laughter and two-year-old babble, giggles and splashes, dirty feet and wet clothes.


Tears filled my eyes as I looked outside at this simple scene. I am overwhelmed with the blessings of the Lord. This is what I have always wanted. I pray for a heart that fully realizes the abundant gifts the Lord gives to us and for a spirit that is calm and quiet enough to revel in the simple, beautiful blessings of everyday life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On the Mend?

Eli has been sick for a full week now. Whatever this virus was that spread its way through the church nursery, it kicked Eli's tail! It was a nasty one. But I'm pleased to say that he slept through the night without too much coughing for the first time in a week! He's still asleep, actually!

I'm hoping that he wakes up cheerful and hungry- two qualities that have been missing in him since last Tuesday! The poor guy has lost a whole pound, and he's been so clingy and sad and whiny. I miss the real Eli!

In other news, he's talking so much now. He's putting words together all the time now, which is fun to hear. I kind of thought he'd never talk, but he's making some progress, slowly but surely. :) Here are a few phrases I hear about 4,000 times a day (He's nothing if not incredibly persistent!):

-"Beast out!" (meaning, "Please let our 100-pound ball of energy puppy out of her pen so that she can knock me down and lick my face until I drown in dog slobber.")
-"Bike please!" (meaning, "Take me for my 5th bike ride of the day, because I never, ever, ever tire of riding in the seat on the back of your bike while you huff and puff your way up and down the hills of the surrounding neighborhoods."
-"MomMom's house!" (meaning, "I want to visit MomMom and PopPop because they always give me candy and let me do whatever I want. That's what grandparents are for, right?")
-"Where's Daddy?" (meaning, "Daddy should be home at all times! What's up with this job thing that he goes to every day?")
-"DeeDee please!" (meaning, "I need my blanket so that I can cuddle up in your lap with it and remind you that I'm the absolute sweetest, snuggliest little boy in the whole world.")

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eli's 2nd Birthday

We celebrated Eli's birthday on Saturday, May 8 with a party in our backyard. All of our family- both my side and Eric's- were able to make it, as well as a few close friends. The kids had a blast playing together, and the adults enjoyed talking and eating and being outside in the gorgeous weather.

Eli has been sick for the past few days, and I felt badly that he wasn't "in his prime" for the party, but he did pretty well. He got a bunch of really nice gifts, his favorite of which include a tricyle, a sandbox, and a little table and chairs. He rides his tricycle around everywhere- the kid is obsessed with bikes!

I made a cake that looked like a lion for Eli. He loves all animals, and lions are his favorite. He was excited to see it and roared right on cue. :)

It was a great afternoon celebrating our sweet birthday boy. His birthdays are emotional for me, because I can't ever forget how far he has come. I remember so clearly the first time I held him- he was hooked up to a ventilator and all kinds of tubes and wires. He was the tiniest baby I'd ever seen, so fragile and sick, and we honestly didn't know if he'd make it or not. And yet here he is now- a healthy, vibrant, energetic two-year-old. He is our miracle! We are endlessly grateful to the Lord for the way He has cared for Eli.

On Sunday morning I went in to kiss him at 5:04am, the time he was born. We gave him a little present on Sunday morning, just so he'd have something to open on his real birthday, and we ended our family day with a little cupcake with two candles. (Sorry the picture is so blurry! I dropped our camera the other day and it hasn't been the same since! Time for a new one, I guess!)

I loved that his birthday fell on Mother's Day this year, too. Eli is the greatest Mother's Day present ever! Eric surprised me with having my engagement ring re-set, and it's gorgeous! I also got flowers, a super-sweet note, a massage, and a looooong Sunday afternoon nap. It was a perfect day. :)

And now I have a two-year-old! Let the fun begin! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2 Years Old

My dear, sweet Eli,

Today you are two years old! I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed, how you have grown from a baby to a boy right before my eyes. And, while I am so excited to watch you grow and change and learn all about the world around you, I must admit that part of me wants you to stay little forever! Part of me wants to freeze this 2-year-old moment- I love who you are!

You are a joy, Eli Dane! I mean that with all my heart. You are the most compliant, cheerful, eager, interested, fun little kid I've ever known. I just love being with you! At two, you are into climbing, splashing in water, pushing or riding anything with wheels, throwing rocks in water, going to the zoo, playing with your cousins, riding the little cars (which you call "Boppies"), watching Barney (which you call "Daddoo"), playing with Daddy, bike rides, being tickled, and holding your blanket (which you call "Deedee"). You are learning how to talk and are just starting to put words together, though we can't always understand what you're saying. :) You're a ham, too, when you want to be, and you are always making us laugh with the things you do and say.

You are the sunshine of my life, Eli. Your smile and laugh light up everything around you, and feeling your little hand grab ahold of mine is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I love you with all that I am.

You had such a rough start, sweet boy. But you fought and fought and worked so hard to overcome so many obstacles and get where you are today. You went from my tiny, little, 2# 13oz. preemie to my big, healthy, energetic, 20# boy! I am so proud of you!

I wish you the very happiest of birthdays today, my precious boy, with prayers for many, many more. You are our MIRACLE, and your Daddy and I pray every day that you will soon come to love and serve the God who has held you safe in His hands since before you were even born.

I love you with all of my heart, Eli. I am so, so proud of you. Happy 2nd birthday, Pumpkin!


Sunday, May 2, 2010


Whew! This weekend has been a whirlwind of activity, but it has been so much fun!

On Friday the three of us drove to Waco to meet up with my dear college friends Matt and Jenn and their precious kids. Jenn and I were roommates in college, and they still live and work in College Station. We see far too little of each other, so this weekend we both drove to Waco, the halfway point between here and there, and met up at the zoo. The kids all had a blast- the zoo is really nice, and they have an amazing play area that entertained all of them for what seemed like hours!

After the zoo we had a picnic in the park. There was a splash pad right there, so the kids played in the water for the longest time. We had such a good time, and I am so thankful for our dear friends! (And, of course, I failed to get a picture of all 6 kids!)

On Saturday we went to a reunion for the Baylor NICU babies. I was surprised at how emotional I got when we were on our way. Just the thought of where Eli was and how far he has come was enough to bring me to tears. We are so thankful for the doctors and nurses that the Lord used to care for our precious boy, and we couldn't be more grateful to be the parents of this sweet little miracle!!!

Baylor did the whole event up so big- it was perfect for little kids. They did a huge cookout, had tons of bounce houses and games, and we just enjoyed being outside at the Landry Center, which is gorgeous!

After the reunion we went to a birthday party for one of Eli's church buddies, C.J. All the kids had a blast on the slip-n-slide, and all the adults just enjoyed talking!

And as if a napless day in the sun, running around, and playing with his friends wasn't enough, we let Eli stay up way past his bedtime to enjoy a big cookout at my parents' house on Saturday night. My grandparents are in from Maine, and it was so fun to have the whole family together for dinner, a fire, dessert, and plenty of talking and laughing.

Needless to say, we put a very exhausted toddler to bed last night! He almost didn't even wake up in time for church this morning!

We had such a fun weekend with family and friends. I hope that yours was great as well!