Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thank You Notes

Thank you, South Texas, for forcing me to spend money to make it Autumn. 

Thank you, random coloring pages given to us by some man at the Farmer's Market dressed in green and leaves and twigs for being in my car when the candy store said they didn't have any tissue paper and I know they did.

P.S. Thank you, self, for not cleaning out the car.

Thank you, Oma and Opa, for watching Jonah so I could go out with a man named Howard.  We had a nice time.  I think we'll go out sometime again.

Thank you, Jonah, for being on a COMPLETELY different diet than I am.

Really, it's so fun to drink a protein shake and plea bargain with you to eat one bite of anything breaded, cheesed, buttered, and sugared.

Thank you, Jonah, for saying, "Home" instead of "um," and "OK" like an adult, but in really odd places in the conversation.

Thank you, Jesus, for friends.

Thank you, Howard, for teaching Sunday School and allowing me to learn so much from you.  Today your lesson made me realize that while we often try to remind ourselves that suffering will work out in the end, we can also take a step back and realize that God didn't have to include us in this story at all.  So the fact that we're in the middle of it means we're in it.  That in and of itself may not be immediately fun, but is a profound blessing.

Thank you, Nonna and Bearpaw for these precious boots that were made for walkin to church (well, to the car that drove us to church and then the walk from the car to the building).

Thank you, Lord, for our jobs, our town, our family, our friends, Jonah's teachers, 
and Fall (or the opportunity to copy your Northeastern work).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Where the Wild Things Went

Jonah and I camped and kayaked on the Guadalupe this weekend thanks to kind friends extending an invite and more kind friends loaning us gear!  My little camper did so well!!!  I can't believe it!  We had SO much fun hiking, kayaking, setting up camp, making s'mores, playing football with big boys, and sweating our ever loving souls right out of our bodies.  The best part (besides all the tender "Hi Momma" moments) was waking up to trees and birds.  I quote Jonah upon waking: "Twees?  Biwds?"  It made my heart so happy.

These were the days I dreamt of when I opened that blue cupcake two years ago.  As much fun as we had, he was thrilled to be back at preschool this morning and ran to his teacher!  
And so we move from bouquets of wild flowers to bouquets of sharpened pencils...ahhhh.  Both so sweet!! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Birtday.

I am taking a break from party planning to jot down some memories from this week.

Yes, I idolize my child and he is at the center of my life and we hang images of him throughout our home to honor him and sing praise songs to him every day.  Why do you ask?

So, back to my break from Jonah to tell you about Jonah.  He started preschool this week and we couldn't be happier with how it's going.  He loves it, and we love it so much that if he didn't we would second guess him before the school.  It's that good.  

Aside from trying to solve the mystery about who Abigail is and why he should be nice to her, I heard the sweetest recollection from him about his day.  Last night as I was putting him to bed I was going through the events of the day with him (he loves this and gets really still and pays close attention) and when I got to the review of snack time and the lesson at school, he pointed to himself and said, "My name Jonah."  Then he pointed to me and said, "My name Mama."  


They've been talking about names and family this week and I hadn't even brought that up in our review of the day.  I think Mamas and Papas are the best teachers, so to hear that he is learning and growing even though we're apart during the day washed me over with peace.

I'm prepared for the peace to be fleeting if his made-up girlfriend Abigail dumps him tomorrow.

Howard and I aren't back at work yet so I've been working a little on decorating my classroom and a lot on Jonah's birthday party (ies).  It helps to work out the missing of him.  I'm about to go make 'healthy' cookies for his school party tomorrow but before I do, you have to know that I was working so hard on this chalkboard sign this morning.  I got carried away and had so much fun representing all the things Jonah likes.  Howard even so sweetly surprised me with my favorite lunch because he saw the sweat I am pouring into a 2 year old's birthday party where he'll only care about the M&Ms.

I was proud and took pics.

Before the addition of Larry the Cucumber:

Larry was added:

I went and did some other things and walked back through the kitchen again, and it hit me. 

I misspelled "Birthday."


I'm not redoing it.  

Jonah tells people all the time "Happy Birtday" as a sign of affection.  So there you go, Jo.  Happy Birtday.  

It's probably best you have other teachers in your young life, after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Big Hug, Summer!

The day is done and summer too.

So much we saw and did (and threw).

A trip to Tulsa and twice to the beach, to the pool and swim lessons where we learned to kick feet.

Frozen yogurt and cookies and popcorn galore.  Every day was an occasion.  Don't forget s'mores!

Lots of firsts this summer did see, like riding rides at the toddler park and the start of climbing trees.

Now it's off to school, but when our days are through, we'll meet again for playtime, for snuggles, and for YOU.

(In case the above wasn't clear, the snuggles are for Jonah - not you, the reader.  Please don't come to our house asking for snuggles.  That would be really weird. Thanks.)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Now & Later Lasagna


1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 16 oz jar Tomato Basil Pasta sauce (I like HEB brand)
1 package oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 package sliced mozzarella 
1 package grated Italian blend cheese

Ramekins or non-paper oven safe cupcake liners and muffin pan

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with non-paper cupcake liners (I used Reynolds foil liners).

2. Brown and drain the sausage.  Keep in pan and set aside.

3. Add a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of each liner.  Add the rest of the jar to the sausage and stir over warm until heated through.  Cover and set aside.

4.  Break up noodles and start layering noodle, 1/4 mozzerella slice, grated cheese, sausage mixture, until all ingredients but a little grated cheese are used up.

5. Top with remaining grated cheese and bake for 30 min at 350.

6. Serve some now and freeze the rest!  Reheat later in the oven or pop out of liner to microwave.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Dance at the Dienger

Today we visited the newly restored cafĂ© in town, the Dienger, and had a ball...quite literally.  After being drawn to a particular "pitching hat" in the men's clothing section, Jo and I found an excellent book (a Mark Twain board book adaptation), exchanged warm hellos with friends, and then made our way to the bakery counter where Jonah picked out a chocolate croissant (decisively, I might add - it's genetic), and then proceeded to take both of my hands in his.  Flustered from trying to order and pay and keep my almost two-year old from practicing batting swings on the glass display windows, the glass serving pitchers, the glass trinkets and doo dads, and the glass everything all of a sudden seemed to be made of, I decided to divert my attention from the cash register all onto him, because, after all, if he's taking both of my hands he might have a sticker poking him or have just made a mess somewhere, or have seen an important dog or airplane.  

But no.

It wasn't about a mess

or a dog 

or a plane.

He took my hands because he wanted to dance.  Yes, dance.  Not the silly way we dance to the seasons song on Baby Einstein - no - actually dance.

He held my hands in his and said "dance, mm hmm," and he led me in a ballroom like sway right there in the middle of the Dienger, right in the middle of our order, right in the middle of a wonderful life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Same Song 42nd Verse

I've written this post before.  It's the one where I lament about my lack of time and energy and mental clarity but also say I wouldn't trade anything for the intentionally spilled milk at the end of a long, thematic learning day including an astronaut suit and a matching cookie from the bakery even if it means changing my clothes and the sheets just when I thought I was about to punch out my timecard after a 12 hour shift and 1 private bathroom break and the pool being closed because someone (I will hunt you and I will find you, and then I will lecture you) brought glass into it and it shattered and I got the sweetest hugs and heard the sweetest mispronunciation of words and felt a huge victory at figuring out "baby toes" means a request for "Veggie Tales" and a huge defeat at learning vegetables think the people of Ninevah slapped each other with fish and trying to read the correct version of Jonah to my son of the same name and feeling defeated that my not-even-two year old had a much stronger preference for Jamberry but remembering my swelling pride in the achievements he reached earlier in the day and wanting a break but not wanting to be away but feeling like I'm never alone because I'm never alone, and trying to lose the baby weight from aforementioned almost two year old and wondering if I should start faking a late-announced pregnancy and sudden birth and carry around a baby doll to act like it's baby weight from a more recent baby but knowing that plan derails when said baby doll doesn't get any bigger, or move, or gets left in the hatchback while I run into HEB for the FOURTH time since Sunday and we still are low on milk and I wonder how is that even mathematically, physically possible but figure it's due to the fact that I can't start using my new planner until Friday so I have things written down on my phone and my old planner and August dates in my new one and no, you may not throw a real baseball down the stairs and yes, I am sure we will get a dog someday because we all seem to need something else to take care of and we might as well test out those awesome vinyl floors we are saving up to get because I decided I love real wood too much to put hand scraped Tobacco Road Acacia in a track house that is storing what was originally the genius idea of Christmas in July to make the fall semester easier on Santa but is now a bunch of Amazon boxes of Daniel Tiger paraphernalia when I am the only one here now who likes Daniel Tiger.

Yes. It's that post.