Dear August

"The end-of-summer winds make people restless." -Faulks

August is to my fall what March is to my spring. A time of deep cleaning, renewal and rekindled dreams.

I love watching the weather change during this season. Late summer storms bring on hints of fall as the leaves swirl around, and the colors begin to change.

This August has seemed particularly charged. A bit much for my ENFP heart. I feel overwhelmed by everything around me. The world is a broken, shattered place in desperate need of a Savior to fill voids that have been left wide open.

Last year, I took the entire month of August off from social media. It was good. This year, I've had so many work projects that use social media, that I haven't had the privilege to do so. Instead, I figured I would spend the next few days keeping my calendar dialed down a bit. I want to choose simple and quiet over noisy and busy. Savor the coming fall. Ready the house for a season full of holidays and birthdays. Maybe I'll even bake a pumpkin pie. Just because.

Book Love: $10 Great Dates

When I saw "$10 Great Dates" available through Bethany Publisher's blogging program, I jumped at the chance! I love a good book that encourages romance and dating long after vows have been said. While the idea of cheap date ideas is nothing new (just check Pinterest), I appreciated the fresh perspective offered by Larson and Arp.

Each date is themed. For example, one of the themes was "Just Dessert". The idea was to get all dressed up and head to a favorite area in town. Spend some time window shopping then indulge in a yummy dessert at an upscale restaurant. That way, you can enjoy the ambiance without the price tag. A few of the other themed dates included "Buck List Date", "Surprise Me Date" and many more.

Some of the other features included tips on preparing for the date, conversational pointers, and ways to keep the price under $10.

A fun, quick read that should appeal to couples of all ages and spectrum's. Many thanks to Bethany for allowing me to review this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Oh, Parenthood!

When I married Josh, I felt like I was marrying adventure itself. If you know him in real life you would know what I mean. He has more energy and gusto for life than should be humanly allowed. Friends tell me they get tired just watching him live out his day to day life. It's been an adventure alright, and I'm so glad that we get to do this parenting thing together. 

Then we found out we were becoming parents. And a whole new adventure was set before us. Eight months later, Evie made a early and quick entrance into the world. We've been a bit love struck ever since. I think we have both fallen into the rhythm of parenting pretty well. Oh, don't worry, we know we aren't perfect parents. We don't have a perfect child, but all those imperfections remind us of how much we need God in our life. It's funny how God can use such a little package to remind us of how fragile we are as humans.

Then there are those sobering moments when I realize...I'm a MOM. It still shocks me that I carried her and delivered her and she is.

I remember sitting in the hospital bed, when everyone had left, and they brought her to me. She was so tiny and so beautiful. It was overwhelming to think how I've been entrusted to raise her, nurture her. It's a life changing experience. I hope that understanding never leaves my heart.

Today, as I was changing her diaper, and putting a clean one on, she gave me the biggest grin. It was if she was saying, "Thanks mom, thanks for taking care of me". And it made me giggle like a school girl. I didn't know changing dirty diapers could bring so much joy.

I didn't know parenthood could bring so much joy and fear bottled up in the same package. As much as I wish, I know that life won't always be perfect. I won't always be a perfect parent. I wish that I could be 100% all that she needs, but that's not how it works. She needs more than I or Josh could ever give her. She needs Jesus.

I've come to realize that I have years of praying and grace dipping ahead of me. I hope I can share with her all that Jesus has is to me. He will always be there for her and never fail her. I want her to know how deeply she is loved by her creator. And that He will be the only unchanging thing in her life.

I am so thankful for our daughter, and for the gift of parenthood. 

Evelynn's 2 Month Update!

Well, here we are at two months. A blink of an eye. I already miss the newborn stage in some ways, but keep reminding myself that each stage will be filled with so many new milestones! She is such a joy in our lives. I think we've both fallen in love with being her parents. :)
  • She weighs just a smidge over 11 lbs. I love the chunky look of her cheeks. Kinda makes you want to kiss them all day long. Almost all her newborn clothes are packed away now, and she is wearing 0 to 3 months, with a few 3 month items here and there. Still in size one diapers.
  • She is steadily learning to hold her head up for longer amounts of time. She found her thumbs this last month, and it's pretty cute watching her hunt for them.
  • She still hates having her diaper changed, but usually grunts instead of full blown screaming, ha! She has started enjoying baths, and seems to like watching the water "rain" in front of her.
  • When it comes to entertainent, she loves her play mat, watching lights, ceiling fans and fast paced jazz music. She also loves watching daddy make faces and snuggling with mommy in the morning. At least, she smiles at us during those times. Sometimes I sing nursery rhymes and that makes her "laugh" (you know, the silent big smiles).
The one thing that surprised me over the last two months, was the amount of clothes that we lacked. I really thought we had a lot, but alass we've had to stock up on quite a bite more. Since she wore newborn for almost two months solid, we had to buy quite a few extra pieces. I also didn't have 0 to 3 months, so I was able to stock up on a few pieces at a local consignment sale. I don't plan to buy much more, since a lot of her 3 month items work. Has anyone else dealt with the "in between" sizes for baby clothes? What was your solution? 

Book Love: Jonah and the Great Big Fish

In this cute, cartoon like book, children will hear the re-telling of the Bible Story "Jonah". It illustrates the importance of obeidnce to God, and that even when we make mistakes, God is just in offering us second chances and forgiveness. I love that the moral of the story is apparent, and well distinguished. A great tool for teaching the importance of listening to God throughout our daily life.

While the colorful pages may draw the attention of little ones, the actual story line would be well suited for pre-school and early elementary ages. It would also be a great addenum for Sunday School or Bible Study curriculum for kids.

Many thanks to Book Sneeze for my copy in exchange for an honest review! You can learn more about their blogging program by visitng their site here