Monday, June 30, 2014

See Ya Later, June

Today is June 30th. Tomorrow it will be July. We've made it through half of the year, folks. How is that possible? Things are moving ever so quickly in 2014.

And now that we are entering July, I am in full-speed planning mode for Ellie's 2nd birthday party. We are going to have a small family party here at the house. The theme? Bubble Guppies, of course! As if I had any other option. And, since we do live in Houston, the party will be in the evening. Cause no one wants to pretend to be happy and enjoying the occasion when it's 112 degrees outside with a 95% humidity level. We just aren't doing it around here. The later the party, the better.

I've been scouring Pinterest and there is no shortage of ideas. Some of them are little bit too crafty for me. Some people love a good DIY project, but I am not one of those people. I like things that look crafty but have already been assembled by someone that has a greater eye for detail than I do. Etsy to the rescue!

As I have been typing this, I have just now realized that I need to figure out what I'm going to do about a cake. Seriously, it just hit me. Birthday parties need cakes or cupcakes or something and I have yet to consider that.


In other news, I got a haircut this morning. As a result, I would like to go to as many places and see as many people as possible today since it will never look this cute again. Some people are really good at styling hair. That ain't me.

Anyways, July is upon us and there is so much to look forward to. Ellie's 2nd birthday (as previously mentioned), a road trip to Dallas to see some sweet friends, and Houston Project, our church's mission trip to our city.

All of this will likely be happening in extreme heat. Cause it's Houston. And I can't walk from my front door to my car without needing to change shirts due to sweat stains. Every time we walk out the door, Ellie says "It's hot!"

Yes, baby. It's hot. It will continue to be hot for the foreseeable future. I'm sorry to break it to you, little darling, but this is your new normal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why VBS Matters

I went every year. We did VBS every single summer. I was there in the weeks before VBS, the week of VBS, and the weeks after VBS. My mom was always heavily involved and on the leadership team each year, so I had a front row seat in watching the whole thing come together.

I remember going up to the church foyer and watching my mom paint the backdrop each year. There were four big canvases that would line up right next to each other to make the backdrop of the set for the skits. She'd paint a white primer on top of last year's backdrop and then use the overhead projector to trace the pencil lines onto the canvasses. This was a yearly ritual. I remember over the years the canvasses became so thick with paint after all the layers of paint from each year's backdrop. 

Sonseeker Safari. Son Country Farm. Every year had a theme. And it always had the word "Son". The writers of the VBS curriculum really got a kick out of that same play on words every year. 

Mom was in the skits and also did the puppet show (Rosie and Rusty) (Mom was Rosie) (Jonathan's mom was Rusty) (We got to watch them practice) and Lindsee's mom usually did Opening Assembly. 

It really was just the most fun week of the whole summer. We would be up at the church at the crack of dawn while all the moms set up. And we'd stay late and eat lunch together while they took everything down. 

We had craft time and music time and snack time and I still remember some of the songs to this very day. And maybe even some of the hand motions. And I remember some of the t-shirt designs too. It was all about the t-shirt, y'all. 

One year, on the last day of VBS, we stayed quite late as our parents took everything down and somehow about 20 of us kids got into a giant water fight outside. It involved a hose and about 100 plastic cups and pouring water over each other's heads. We were soaked through our clothes and I remember thinking we were going to get in so much trouble. But we were outside, we were staying out of the way, and our parents just let us go for it. And it was pretty much one of the highlights of my childhood. 

What I am trying to say is, I have SO MANY MEMORIES of VBS. This week, as I've been serving at VBS at my church, all those memories have been coming back to the surface. And no, I'm not nearly as involved or in charge as my mom was... I just am one of the teachers in a classroom of about 18 amazing 4 and 5 year olds. 

They are absolutely precious kids. Each one has a story. Each one has a personality and a future.  And they are learning the songs. Learning the stories. Learning their memory verse. Making awesome crafts. Captivated by the stories of missionaries living across the world. Bringing their little handful of quarters for the Sudanese mission. Making friends. 

Every morning this week I have had to wake up my sweet Ellie girl. Get her dressed. Rush out the door. She eats breakfast in the car. I drop her off in her own little VBS room where she has her own music time and story time and craft time.

This is me and my Ellie in her very first VBS shirt.

She comes up to my classroom with me at the end of the day while we clean up and say goodbye to all our kiddos. And then we drive home. 

And she sits in that backseat and sings the songs. Sings them loud. Songs I haven't taught her. Songs she's learning at VBS. 

"I'm gonna CLAP CLAP CLAP my hands cause God is so good! STOMP STOMP STOMP my feet cause God is so good!"

She claps and she stomps and she sings and it fills me to the brim with the greatest joy. 

Cause we are making memories. And maybe, just maybe, when she's about to be 30... maybe she'll bring her own little girl to VBS at their church. And maybe she'll drive and think about all the songs and the verses and the memories she made when her mommy took her to VBS every year. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This Week Is Not the Boss of Me

Let me tell you what's about to happen here.

I am going to make a plan, Buster. This week is trying to intimidate me with all of the items on the to-do lists and the meetings and the empty refrigerator and the errands that need to be run. But I refuse to be intimidated.

Groceries need to be acquired.

Gifts need to be purchased for birthday people.

VBS supplies need to collect themselves and get sorted by the days they are needed.

Meetings need to be attended.

Meals need to be cooked.

Running needs to happen.

Our Bible study group needs to meet here.

A toddler needs to be fed, bathed, clothed, played with and read to. On a daily basis.

I'll say it again: I refuse to be intimidated.

Sure, on other weeks you might find me panicking and pulling the covers over my head. And probably stress eating some carbohydrates like it was my job.

But I've got a plan of attack:

Step 1: Unpack suitcases from this weekend and start laundry immediately. I'm not gonna let those bags sit on my bedroom floor and stare at me all week. (Task complete)

Step 2: Unload dishwasher (Task complete)

Step 3: Clean kitchen, living room, and bathroom (Task complete)

Step 4: Sit down with laptop, calendar, notepad, and VBS Supply list

Step 5: Meal plan for the week and make grocery list

And that's just for tonight.

I am about to take this week by the horns and show it who's boss.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Exercise Plans

Last night, I set my alarm to go running this morning.

Yes, I do that from time to time. You know why? Because I am a super athletic runner-type who rises at the break of dawn every morning to feel the wind in my hair and hit the pavement and feel the burn and tighten my glutes and things like that. It's just who I am.

Except none of those things.

I am trying to be more disciplined about the exercising but the only way that can happen is to wake up before Ellie and Grant and get a little jog in before they awaken from their sweet slumber. Cause you know what happens when they wake up? They need things from me. They need so many things. SO MANY THINGS. Anyways, I wake up early but I lay out my clothes and running shoes the night before. This way I am not making a ton of noise as I dig through my drawer for my sports bras. Plural. I wear a few of them.

You can only run as fast as your body parts allow you to. You've gotta strap some things down.

I am quiet as a mouse. I'm like a ninja. A little athletic ninja. I am out the door silently, and then I return before they ever realize that I am gone. Sometimes I get back and quietly sit at my breakfast table and drink coffee and make a plan for the day. This, of course, is after I collapse in my entry way and try not to have an asthma attack from my 20 minute jog. (This actually happens. I walk in the house and immediately lay down on my dining room floor and wheeze and try to cool down. It's just like those skiers do at the Olympics when they cross the finish line.)

My thighs are super muscular just like that.

This morning my alarm went off and I realized that Ellie was already awake. This is very unlike her. I laid there for awhile, trying to see if she would put herself back to sleep.

She never did.

So I never went for a run.

And I'd like to thank her for that.

Another bonus of this situation? She woke up so early that at 11:00am she asked to take a nap. Begged me for a nap. And I normally would've made her power through till her actual nap time but we have a late lunch planned today with some girlfriends and she won't get to take a nap till around 2:30 and I am going to let her sleep now so that she won't be an ever-loving terror at the restaurant.

So I didn't run today but I do get to eat Mexican food with some girlfriends in a few hours and I'm all about that.

Today is awesome.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer KickOff

Well, I haven't popped in here in awhile. We went on a fabulous beach vacation in Vero Beach, Florida, and ever since then I've been recovering and putting our lives back together. This mainly involves 700 loads of laundry and trying to get Ellie back on some kind of sleep schedule. 

She had an absolutely fabulous time. 

And so did we!

While we were there we celebrated Grant's 30th birthday. I met him when he was 20 so this is just pure craziness. 

We have a lot more pictures to share but this is it for now. Like, I said, I'm still trying to get my life back together.

This summer has a lot of fun on the horizon! We are taking a couple weekend trips, I'm helping in a VBS room at church for kids going into Kindergarten, we're helping with Houston Project again, Ellie's 2nd birthday next month (Stop it. I know. I can't even really talk about it), and we'll top it all off with my parents 40th Anniversary celebration (combined with Cousin Camp) in Galveston in August. 

In between all that, I'll be melting because it is already 1432 degrees Fahrenheit here. And drinking lots of Diet Coke because I can't quit. 

Happy Summer to You!