Lily is 18 Months!

That’s right! She’s already 18 months, which means we will be celebrating her second birthday in just 6 months. Oh my! What will the theme be this year….?
My little VK, just a few weeks old 

Lily was 6 lbs 11 oz and 19 inches long when she was born. Today at the doctor she was 22 lbs 11 oz, 31 1/4 inches, and her head circumference was 47 cm. She’s 25th percentile for weight, 50th percentile for height, and 75th percentile for head circumference, which is right where she was at her 15 month appt. Dr. B. said that other than her ears she is a healthy girl ūüôā Thankful!

Our day started at 7:45 with oatmeal and bananas. Lily helped me dust a few rooms in the house. By helping I mean she got about 15 wipes from her bedroom and wiped them all over the floor. No need to mop! Then we met Daddy at Dr. B’s office for her appointment. We went by Gigi’s Cupcakes on the way home to get some goodies for our mini birthday celebration. When we got home, I made some pink homemade playdough that Lily shared with the dog. I cleaned up throw up three times before I could get the dog outside. I have no idea how many more times she got sick outside. Lily ate lunch and watched YouTube videos of Aubie. She loves all things Auburn and is always looking for an “aubie” object. After lunch, Lily took a nap. She woke up around 3 and ate a ton of grapes for snack. She shared them with her stuffed Aubie, saying “Aubie eat”. He hasn’t left her side all afternoon. Grapes have become a competitor with bananas as Lily’s favorite snack. She ate close to 40 grapes, no lie. Daddy came home soon after that and played with Lily until dinner time. We ate Lily’s favorite meal, spaghetti, and the yummy cupcakes for dessert!¬†
Here are some pics from our mini celebration: 

Playing with fresh pink playdough…
while Mommy cleaned this up several times. Can you spot the playdough?
¬†Watching Aubie highlights on YouTube. I’ve GOT to paint my kitchen. Yuck!
Feeding Aubie some of your milk


 After you took your picture in the chair you wanted your baby doll to have a turn. 
 Making Minnie/Mickey ears with Daddy!
 Minnie Mouse
Mickey Mouse
¬†The good stuff ūüôā
Birthday Surprise for you, Key Lime Pie for Daddy, and Midnight Chocolate for Mommy (of course).  
First attempt at the mound of icing 
 Upset that it fell over. Everything is the end of the world these days. 

The icing fell off and you weren’t too interested in the cake.¬†
 All done! 
Things were a little messier the first time you ate cake. 
 Mommy and sweet Lily girl
 Daddy and sweet Lily girl
 Making Daddy eat the icing
The leftovers
I thank God for 18 healthy and joyful months. Before I know it, I’ll be thanking Him for 18 YEARS! Time is flying! We love you sweet girl ūüôā

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

This post is not about him. Sorry to disappoint any excitement you had about Mr. Rogers.

My parents, Ben, and Granny Rosie came up yesterday for an early dinner. We ate at Macaroni Grill then came back to our house. Lily, of course, asked to go on a walk as soon as we pulled in the driveway. And my dad, of course, had to grab his camera.

 When Lily is on a mission to get somewhere fast, she swings her right arm like crazy. My mom kept imitating her and Lily thought it was HILARIOUS!

¬†I do believe this is one of my all-time favorite pictures of her ūüôā

 My parents
The whole gang

A Must Read for Mothers

An excerpt from an article I read today:

It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions, but not for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive.    ~Motherhood as a Mission Field by Rachel Jankovic

Here’s the whole thing. Every mother should read it.

Better than Manchu Wok

Okay, a lot of things are better than Manchu Wok. But the whole time I was cooking this meal I was thinking of Manchu Wok because of the smell.

If mall food court Chinese doesn’t sound good to you, then keep reading.

I made Sweet and Sour Chicken tonight. Delicious!

I was a little concerned with the amount of vinegar in the recipe, but the sauce was perfect as was the chicken. This meal is not an easy one to make with a toddler around, simply because you have to dip the chicken in egg and corn starch then fry it before you bake it. It’s just messy and you have to keep an eye on it. But it worked out well for me; my shoes were babysitting Lily while I was frying chicken.

It’s rare that I make a new recipe unless it also comes with a picture. So, to encourage you to make this fabulous meal, here are some pictures.

 The chicken fried in corn starch waiting to be covered in sauce and baked in the oven. 
¬†The sauce: sugar, ketchup, white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic salt. Would also be great on fried rice. I think next time I’ll make this with Splenda to cut back on calories.¬†
¬†The glue that stuck to everything. I should have known that corn starch mixed with any type of liquid turns into some nasty gooey sticky stuff. What teacher hasn’t made oobleck before? Tip for the future, dip in egg and corn starch and immediately place in pan to fry.¬†
Totally unrelated…I was changing the sheets and dusting the guest bedroom today and Lily pulled a bunch of clothes out of a space bag. They are still sitting the in the floor. The door is shut. Out of sight, out of mind.¬†
 While I was cooking the rice and steaming the broccoli, Lily was attempting to dress herself. It kept her occupied for at least 30 minutes. 
Finished product…so good I had to go back for seconds. And I had enough of everything to have leftovers later this week!

Why I Don’t Complain

I do complain. I do. I’m one of the worst.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning.
Philippians 2:14

I don’t always follow that command. But I do when it comes to Lily. You won’t hear me complaining about Lily. Slap me in the face if you ever do. Seriously.

She is a gift. For a reason that has nothing to do with anything I have done, the Lord decided to give her to Brent and me. Did He have to? Absolutely not. He chose to.

The Lord fearfully and wonderfully made Lily. She is a precious gift. May the gratitude never wear away. I don’t complain because I have no reason to. The job is tough, yes. But never tough enough to be worthy of my complaints.

I think the same thing can be said for marriage. You won’t hear me tearing down Brent or complaining about him. Again, slap me if I ever do. ¬†I want to protect his reputation. I want others to think highly of him as I do. ¬†Like Lily, he is a gift from God. To complain even in the slightest thing is to show God that I don’t appreciate His gift.

I want my life and my attitude to show my grateful heart for His blessings. I will have reason to complain when I have nothing left to be thankful for. Regardless of how difficult, stressful, weary, painful this life may be, I will always have at least one thing to be thankful for–I was once far off and have been brought near.

Today was definitely a bad case of the Mondays. I have to remember that a rough day with my loved ones is far greater than my best day without them. I choose to not complain about my rough days.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Top Ten for Father’s Day

Top ten reasons why I love my father (in no particular order): 
1.  He has never put his career above his family. 
2.  He makes the best chocolate milkshakes.
3.  He follows and trusts the Lord wholeheartedly.
4.  He is the most musically talented person I know.
5.  He is selfless.
6.  He taught me my purpose in life: to know God and make Him known. 
7.  He was/is involved in my life. 
8. ¬†He is my hero and I’ll always be his little girl.¬†
9.  He has had the greatest influence on my knowledge of God and a Biblical worldview. 
10.  He loves my mom as Christ loves the church.

7th Grade skating at Delta Flight (Dnow weekend at Philly). Gap Anorak anyone? THE jacket to have!
Before my 8th grade banquet with those awful teeth. Surprisingly he never really embarrassed me in my adolescent years. 
We’re all crazy

My fav pic together…dancing and singing to “My Girl” on my wedding day.¬†
Top ten reasons why I love Lily’s daddy (in no particular order):
1. He is patient.
2. He is selfless.
3. He puts God first so that he can be the husband and father that God desires. 
4. He loves spending time with Lily.
5.  He is slow to anger.
6.  He is forgiving and loves unconditionally.
7.  He is a fun father and finds laughter in every situation. 
8. ¬†He doesn’t worry.
9.  He willingly and joyfully helps with whatever Lily or I need.
10. He leads our home spiritually and wants to see our children know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

I can’t forget to mention my other fathers!

The man that raised my husband, my father-in-law. He is a hard worker, loves his family, and fears the Lord. He is a fun-loving grandfather and Lily absolutely loves being with him. I knew him before Brent and I became an item and I honestly used to be jealous of the girl that would one day be Brent’s wife and Mike’s daughter-in-law (because in middle school I had a HUGE crush on Brent). He is such a family man and I’ve always liked that about him. Thankfully, Psalm 37:4 is true and I don’t have to be jealous of that girl because it’s me ūüôā

Pop…my mom’s dad. He is a hard-working selfless man. His lays down his life for his family. He finds joy in providing for and taking care of others. He loves the Lord and has a servant’s heart. I am so thankful that Lily has had the blessing of knowing him. She adores him.

Pop Pop…my dad’s dad. He went to meet Jesus on April 18, 2007, a little over a month before my wedding day. Lily is named after his mother, Lillian. What a great man he was! Like all the other men I’ve mentioned, he was also a hard worker. He was an inventor and loved to fish. He LOVED my grandmother. He called me “shug” and I can still hear him kissing me on the cheek saying, “Love you shug.” He had a great sense of humor. I know without a doubt that he would have fallen head over heels for Lily the moment he met her. And likewise with Lily. I miss him greatly, but I am so thankful for the investment he made in my life and the memories I have of him. I will see him again and I look forward to that day!

The Lord has blessed me with wonderful fathers in my life. I know that I don’t deserve the Lord’s goodness to me, but I am humbled and thankful that He placed men in my life that seek the Lord and follow His ways. Happy Father’s Day!!!

Lily Lately

WARNING: Long post ahead!

Dear Lily,

Oh my goodness what fun you are at this age!!! I absolutely love spending the day with you! You are such an easy toddler. You play really well and rarely get into things you aren’t supposed to get into. The only time you are unhappy is when you haven’t gotten enough sleep. I make sure that doesn’t happen too often. You are staying up late since it’s summer and the days are longer. You are in bed anywhere between 8 and 9, which means you normally sleep until 7:30 or 8 ūüôā Your days are filled with running errands with me, meeting Daddy for lunch, playing outside, playing inside, etc. You love your wagon and baby pool in the backyard, but your favorite thing to do outside is simply walk around. You look up at me, reach out your hand, and say “wal” and we walk around the yard…for very long periods of time! Haha! Taking rides in your stroller is also a favorite. You don’t say a word–just quietly enjoy the scenery. You are doing such a good job at communicating with us. You can use words for almost everything you need/want. And if Daddy or I get it wrong, you very clearly tell us no! You repeat nearly everything we say or do, which has definitely encouraged us to quit saying things like crap and stupid! You are one smart little girl. You are great at figuring things out, taking on a challenge, solving problems, and working with your hands. I can tell already that you are going to be an advanced learner. Daddy and I joke that we are going to think your siblings are just plain dumb, when really they will be pretty average, haha! By the way…no siblings yet! Enjoy being an only child for a little while longer, Lord willing!

So that Daddy and I don’t forget, here are some recent highlights:

The biggest milestone lately is that you are finally walking! You began walking on April 25. You were standing up while holding onto a big ball. The ball fell out of your hands and there you were standing without holding on to anything! I thought for sure you would just sit down, but you didn’t. You took your first step! On April 27th ¬†(the day of the horrible and very scary tornadoes that ripped through our community and state) walking became your main form of mobility. I guess since you spent so much time in the hallway that day you realized there was nothing better to do than practice your walking.¬†

Talk on the phone to Ella. You ask for Mommy’s “hey”, then proceed to have a conversation that begins with “Hey Ella”. Seriously. You talk for real, with the phone up to your ear, sometimes you even hold the phone between your cheek and shoulder, and have a nonstop conversation with Ella. By the way, Ella is your BFF from daycare. I’ll have to take you back to visit her.
You love to play with paper. You also love to clean with “wice” which would be wipes. You ask for one every time your diaper is changed.¬†
If we ask you to dance, you either bounce up and down or twirl. You think twirling is hilarious. Usually by the third time around you are dizzy and can’t walk straight.

You use your walker like it’s a stroller and put your stuffed animals in it and walk them around the house. And of course, you tell them to “sit” just like Mommy and Daddy tell you!

You have a thing for shoes. Every time our closet is open, you go through all of Mommy and Daddy’s shoes. You are great at picking out matching pairs, handing them to us, and insisting that we put the “shoosh” on! You also like to try to put your own shoes on, but you haven’t mastered that yet.

You are such a little helper, especially in the morning when Daddy is getting ready for work. You like to walk around the house and hand him things like shoes, pants, his phone, paper, etc.

You recently discovered how to walk backward and you think it’s fantastic!

You have two food groups: milk and goldfish. You drink milk like all the cows in the world are dying tomorrow. We go through a gallon and a half each week. That would be the “Wright” in you! You ask for goldfish nearly every time we sit down to eat, but your mean Mommy says they are only for snack. You say the word fish with extra emphasis on the “sh”.

You love bags…any kind. You are really into carrying bags around the house and packing things in them. I see many purses in your future!

I think my favorite new thing you are doing is nodding your head yes. You won’t say the word, but my goodness do you have the whole nodding thing down! You move your head all the way up, all the way down, your eyes stay focused, and your eyebrows go up and down. It’s a very deliberate nod. And what’s so funny is we can ask you question after question and you either say no or nod yes, but never vice versa.

As long as you can keep your mind of goldfish and you aren’t sick, you are a great eater! You love Salsa Chicken, baked squash, lima beans, black eyed peas, cookies, applesauce, jambalaya, peanut butter, rice krispie treats, sweet tea, broccoli with cheese, ¬†and so much more.¬†
Elmo is still one of your favorites, along with Mimmi (Minnie or Mickey) and Dordo (Dora). You have finally started saying Elmo instead of Melmo…but sometimes you say Elmof. Where did the f come from?

You love reading your Bibuh ūüôā So much that we need to buy you a new Bible soon because many of the pages are ripped or torn out.

I’m hoping you will be musically inclined. You love the guitar and can point one out anytime you see one. You are just mesmerized by guitars! You also love to sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with motions and “Wheels on the Bus” with all the beep beeps, wah wahs, and swish swish swishes. You also love Bingo and you try so hard to spell the word.¬†

Speaking of beep beep, you say it when someone or something is in your way.

You are getting some more teeth on the bottom…two on either side of your front two teeth and one, maybe two, in the back! Yea! You can start really chewing once those come in!

You are saying “all gone” with your hands wide open when something is gone.

You are great at intentionally making messes and saying “messshh” while looking at Mommy and Daddy to see what we are going to do about it. Unless you are making a mess that will be impossible to clean up, we just let you make the mess because we know when it’s all said and done you will ask for a wipe to help us clean it up.¬†

You love love love to play on the “choch” (couch). You can climb on it and get down all by yourself.

You are a great walker and are getting closer to running every day! I absolutely love to watch you walk around. You get that right arm just a swingin’ and your little legs going as fast as they can…too cute! One of your favorite games to play is hide and seek. You close the door to the hallway, say “bye bye”, and quickly walk to your room and sit on your chair while we come to find you.

Another game we play is “night night”. Mommy or Daddy pretends to be asleep, snoring and such, and you not so gently pat us on the back to wake us up.

You are in size 4 diapers and in 12-18 month clothing.

You’ve kinda sorta began using a spoon/fork on your own. You haven’t figured out how to hold it correctly and you sure do make a mess, but at least you are trying!

You ask to get the mail every day when Daddy gets home. It’s routine now…Daddy gets home and the two of you walk to the mailbox.

You say “shoowee” when we change your diaper.

You say “hot” and blow on your food before you eat it.

I know this is a lot, but like I said, I don’t want to forget any of this. You are so much fun and constantly make us laugh. Here are some recent pics.¬†
¬†We went to Mentone for Mother’s Day and this is one of many failed attempts at a picture together.¬†
¬†Just got off the phone with Ella…
¬†Granny Rosie came to visit you for Mommy’s birthday!
 So did TBone, Nona, and Ben. 
¬†Family pic on Mommy’s bday.¬†
 Generation picture, minus Tbone. 
¬†Outside with the mail. Why don’t you pull some weeds while you are standing there?
¬†Gorgeous blue eyes ūüôā¬†
 Another failed attempt at a pic with Mommy
¬†Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
¬†Your first slumber party! These sweet girls (Z and E) were the ONLY girls in Mommy’s class this year, so they obviously became BFFs. Z left this week with her family to move back to India to be missionaries. Her precious mother kept you in the nursery at church a lot. They loved you ¬†and we miss them!¬†
 Z and E loved hanging out with you. We made pizza, homemade cookies, played dress up, played outside, and watched movies. They also played in your room with you. It was like you were their age and they were your friends from school that you invited over. It was hilarious! 
 Laying around on the couch with Z and E
 Bringing the mail back to Mommy 
 Such a big girl!
¬†Mom and Pop came by one day to take us out to lunch. You loved having them here. They left while you were napping and you woke up asking for Pop and were upset to find that he was already gone ūüė¶
 Showing Mom how to put on your shoes. 
 Playing with your train that your great aunt Nancy gave you for your birthday. You love to pull it around the house! 
 Pretty blue eyes 
¬†You look so grown up here! I can’t believe that we are 6 months away from having a two year old in our house!¬†
¬†So excited about your veggies: lima beans, black eyed peas, Nona’s baked squash, and Sandra’s mac n cheese. YUM!¬†
“Umm totally like ok whatever Mom”¬†
 Elmo on your shirt and and Elmo in your hands. 
¬†I can’t get this pic to turn around, but this is a picture of a picture. It’s your daycare class. If the picture were turned around, you are on the bottom left, Ella is in the middle in the lap of the girl with the red shirt, and Mac is on the bottom right. Your teachers are Sam (“SaSa”), Amy, Ms. Marie, and Chasity (not pictured). You had great teachers that took such wonderful care of you! Mommy is thankful for them! They cried when you left ūüė¶ Mommy plans to take you back this summer to visit.¬†
¬†Helping Mommy sort through the sale ads and find deals! You love shopping with Mommy each week at the grocery store. As soon as you see the cart, you say, “WWEEE!” ¬†Mommy has become skilled at getting goldfish, milk, and Dora yogurt in the cart without you noticing.¬†
Eating applesauce with a spoon…aka…dumping it all out on your tray with a spoon nearby.¬†
WE LOVE YOU LILY!!! God has been so good to us. We look forward to many many many more days spent with you ūüôā¬†