Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7: Part 1

If you have never taken the time to read anything by Jen Hatmaker. Stop now and go! She doesn't know this yet, but we're totally BFFs. Hilarious, convicting and real, I love just about every word that comes out of her mouth! Linz got me to read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I'm halfway through and find myself reading pages out loud to Tevie because they're just so good. 

So, we have decided to embark on her little experiment to rid our lives of excess. Month #1 is food. I think we would all agree that Americans in general have/eat an excess amount of food. I think this month is to help bring into focus just how blessed we are in the choices we have. So for the month of August we will eat seven things:
Peanut Butter
Green Beans
You will note that coffee is not one of my seven foods...
I'm not sure how to deal with that just yet. In fact, I can feel tears welling up in my eyes as I consider that idea. This experiment begins on Wednesday, so like any rational caffeine addict I have started weaning myself from coffee...

Ha! Nope. No weaning. I figure why deprive myself before I have to, you know? So, Wednesday I will go cold turkey from my hot, half-and-half lightened, agave-sweetened, Starbucks-enabled, 2+ cup-a-day habit. I figure that's a smart approach. Then, as Jen says, I can blame any mood swings or irrational behavior on my condition

Stay tuned for more and go buy yourself a copy of 7.

Saint Louie

The day after Dane's First Birthday Extravaganza we headed to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals lose to the Dodgers. Oh well, you win some, you lose some, right? STL is one of my very favorite cities. I love the architecture, the food and the atmosphere-- I also have some great memories from our time living in Missouri and spending our summers at old Busch Stadium.

We got to do some sightseeing and make special memories. 
trying to get Enus Slaughter to look at him. ;)
no trip to STL is complete without a photo with Arch.
In our best effort to keep things classy, we took our one year old on the Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour. :) We did not, however, let him enjoy the two free beers you get at the end of the tour. I would recommend the tour if you have the time. It's free and packed with loads of history--AND free beer! ;)

i love how comfy he looks in the Moby. :)
Dane really wanted to hold the Clydesdale.

Uncle Ryan and Auntie Brynn

the famous clocktower
when Papa and Granna are around, Dane pretty much gets whatever he wants.
 Of course, the reason for our trip was the STLvLA game. Papa J spoiled us with seats in the Champions Club-- air-conditioned (which was necessary being that the game-time temp was 102) and all-you-can eat and drink!
pre-game photo
framing this. love these boys.
kisses for mama
another framer. love.
silly faces.
Dane became something of a legend among the waitresses in the Champions Club. He knows how to work those blue eyes and silly grins. Our waitress brought him a special birthday cupcake and we sang "Happy Birthday".

 A family photo.
 Papa J and Granna took a very tired boy back to the hotel room so we could enjoy the end of the game. He fell asleep in Papa's arms.
 And no trip would be complete without a souvenir t-shirt!
We also raided the Cards Team Store. This is one of the many things Papa spoiled the boy with. He'll be ready to cheer the Cards on in the post-season when the weather gets cool!

Monday, July 30, 2012

oh, conviction

Lately, the Lord has been convicting the snot out of me. It may be news to you, but I'm in bad shape...like, I'm not perfect-- but please don't tell my husband. He would be devastated. ;)

This summer I'm studying Kelly Minter's Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break. And I didn't know how much my heart needed to be broken. A section of what I studied today really has me thinking. 

Nehemiah says that the Lord put it in his heart to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. After the wall is completed, Nehemiah says that again the Lord put something in his heart: bring the Jews home. After years in captivity and then being released but many choosing not to come home, this was no small feat for Governor Nehemiah. In Chapter 8, the people have returned to Jerusalem and have gathered to hear the Word of God read, maybe for the first time in a corporate setting in many, many years. Nehemiah 8:5-6 says:
 "...as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground."
As he opened it. As he carefully unrolled that scroll to read the Words of the Lord, the people rose to their feet in anticipation. Not after a rousing chorus of "How Great is Our God", not after an awesome sermon, not after a cool drama. As the Word of the Lord was opened to them they couldn't contain their excitement, their eagerness or their praise. They blessed the Lord and worshiped Him before they'd even heard a word off the page. And I walk out of the building complaining about the boring sermon and the songs we sang. Ouch. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Party Time!

HELLO FROM PINTEREST! So excited to see this post getting repinned! :)

Perfectionists should never throw parties.

I don't know what I would have done without the TEAM of family members helping make Dane's first birthday party the best first birthday in human history. My sister-in-law used her insane craft skills to create some cool pieces, my mother-in-law chose all the photos for the photo display, my sister jumped right in on food prep and my Gramma saved the day when I stuck my big fat finger in the cake on the way home from the baker's. And my Mom... there are no words for her. She rocks. She cooked, she cleaned, she put up with my freaking out. I love her.

Tevie graciously overlooked the Hobby Lobby bags and piles of junk for a couple days...

I mean, creativity needs to room to spread, you know? When party time came, we left no surface undecorated. 

A good friend created the awesome invites and the baseball theme spread from there.
 The favor bags said "Thanks for celebrating Dane's Rookie Year"-- peanuts and Cracker Jacks, of course!

My parents brought their camper to house everyone. My parents, Gramma, sister, brother and brother-in-law were all in town for Dane's big day!
I can't say enough about the awesome baker who made the cake. Or about my Gramma, another awesome baker and cake decorator, who swooped in to save the day when I wiped the "e" right off the cake. Oops!!

With temperatures above 90degrees, we kept fans going and placed the tables under a big tent to provide some shade. We also kept the fresh lemonade and iced tea coming! I saw the photo idea on pinterest and knew I had to do it for the party. The pictures were in chronological order from birth so guests could see how much Dane had changed in his first year.
 And what baseball-themed party would be complete without a concession/hot dog stand?
Tevie, his Dad and brotherJess spent a whole Saturday building this beauty. It wasn't just for this party though (though Dane's Pappy would have built it just for him!), it will also be used in Jess' wedding next month.

 A smiley birthday boy!
 Then there was cake!!

We chose a baseball theme because the day after the party we headed to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals take on the LA Dodgers. Dane shares the same first name as my Papa Perry and as you also know if you've read this blog for any length of time, they also share the same birthday. Since the Cards (our favorite team) were playing the Dodgers (Papa's favorite team) on their birthday, it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate such a special day. Papa would have been 94, and I guess Jesus wanted to give him a birthday present because he let the Dodgers win. :) 

Included in the invitation was this little card:
We met the founder of this ministry, Ronnie Kaluya, while he was studying here in Kentucky. Dane was spoiled by his grandparents and aunts and uncles with a water table, a new carseat, and a few new toys-- he didn't need additional things. So instead we encouraged our friends to support a ministry close to our hearts. Would you believe that Ronnie and his wife Ronah were in the States this month?! They even stopped by the party for a while to eat with us and visit with Dane!
We pray often that our sweet boy will have kingdom impact. Watching his family and friends gather around him on his special day and commemorate it through giving to an anointed ministry filled my heart with so much joy. I can't wait to see how God continues to use our little man. 

Happy FIRST Birthday, Perry Dane! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Year Check-Up

Dane measured 32.5inches long (99th percentile) and weighed in at 23lbs 8.4oz (60th percentile). At his nine month check-up the doctor said he wouldn't surpass 22lbs unless he took a huge growth spurt. We have watched this boy seemingly grow in front of our eyes! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

letter to my one year old

Perry Dane--

I don't even know to where to begin. How on earth are you already a year old?
It doesn't seem like a year has past since your daddy and I got up early on the morning you born to getting ready to go the hospital. I can still remember how anxious and excited I was to meet you. I remember feeling your soft skin, counting your sweet fingers and toes, staring into your perfect eyes and being completely overwhelmed by the love I felt for the tiny 8lb 10.5oz human in my arms. Last night as I nursed you to sleep in our hotel room in St. Louis I prayed a prayer of thankfulness for this wonderful year... and, ok, I cried a little because it was the last time I would nurse my baby, because today you officially become a toddler!

This year, you were the ring bearer in your Auntie Brynn's wedding, you've been to Charleston, SC; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; Jupiter, FL; Charlotte, NC; St. Louis, MO; and a few other places. You took your first plane ride(s), you swam in the ocean, you played with your great-great-grandmother, you had your first bleeding boo-boo and you've filled our hearts with more than love than we can possibly ever express to you. 

On your first birthday you are able to crawl, cruise around the furniture, feed yourself pretty well, drink from a sippy cup, and jabber everything but "mama" (turkey!). You sleep in your own bed at night, but sometimes wake up for middle-of-the-night snuggle and occassionally end up in our bed before the sun rises. You have FOUR teeth and #5 just broke through! You aren't walking yet but we still believe it will be ANY day! Uncle Jess and Aunt Meagan sure hope it's before their wedding in September so you can carry the rings down the aisle!

Today we will celebrate your birthday at your first St. Louis Cardinals game. They are playing the Dodgers-- your Papa Perry's favorite team. And since you share his name and birthday, it was only fitting that you see his favorite team play your favorite team on such a special day.

You are the most exhausting thing we've ever done, kid. We worry about you and the decisions we make for your life. We also pray over you like you can't imagine. In fact, your mama has been known to fall on her knees beside your bed and pray for God's protection over you as you sleep and for His anointing over your whole life. Your name means "traveling church official" and we pray you use that charming personality and heart-warming smile to bring God glory and have mega Kingdom impact. 

Saying we love you to the moon and back just isn't far enough. We pray you never doubt the depth of our love for you. 

Happy, Happy FIRST Birthday, Daner. We love you!
Mama and Daddy

Monday, July 9, 2012

beach bums

We just returned from four great days in Tequesta/Jupiter, Florida. We soaked up lots of sun and enjoyed tons of yummy seafood and ice cream. We even got to visit with my uncle and aunt and their two precious babies. I'm kicking myself for not getting any photos of that! 

Dane loved the sand-- well, he loved eating the sand. :) We ended up spending a lot of time in the pool because that was a little more his speed. Dane's Pappy and Gran loved and him and mommy and daddy got to spend some time working on their tans-- which was very much appreciated! 

We decided to drive through the night so Dane could sleep. He ended up sleeping in my arms most of the way-- but he WAS asleep and that made the entire drive seem to go smoothly. He woke up during a midnight gas stop and refused to go back to sleep. So we strapped him in his carseat to watch Monsters, Inc. Uncle Jess, who was driving at the time, said that he stared at the movie for nearly an hour before giving in to sleep! 

We meet Gran and Pappy, who had flown down to the condo a few days before, for breakfast before hitting the beach. He was rested and ready to play!

loving it!

hang on to me, daddy!

beach time with pappy

i did not account for the extreme humidity to fog up my camera lense!

Gran spent a lot of time floating on the waves.

our beautiful view

Auntie Meagan's last trip before officially becoming a Gooden!