Tuesday, December 20, 2011
And then he got offered two tickets to the KU game that same night.
Of course I told him he needed to go! That kind of offer does not usually fall into our laps - and we LOVE KU Basketball!
So, my sister and her hubby said they would watch the boys. Jonah had been asking to have his first "spend the night" at their house, so the plan was to send both boys with their jammies/pillows/etc., but I would be prepared to pick up Reuben at bedtime should he need to come home. He's never spent the night anywhere without me! He is still my baby boy ... my cuddler.
So, I left my book club a little early to head back into town and give Adrienne a call. She didn't answer. About ten minutes later she texted me that "all was well and both boys were asleep". I came home to an empty house, and went to bed with no little voices saying goodnight, no night light on in the room across the hall, no fear of hearing stirring from the bunkbeds.
And, it was weird!
I'm extremely grateful to Adrienne and Micah for even being willing to probably get a not-so-great night sleep in order to make two little boys grin from ear to ear, and to allow both Eli and I to get some time with friends! And Eli claims a "new era" has now entered our lives (he's totally starting to plan for our anniversary next month!), but it was still strange not to have my little boys at home with me. = ) As much as the bedtime can somtimes be a tug-of-war time, I missed those little faces resting amidst stuffed animals.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
One of my favorite "warm-up" comfort foods right now is Polenta. A fancy name for cooked cornmeal! But, it is SO good! And so healthy for you! It makes a great base for all kinds of toppings, or can sit in its own right as a tasty side dish.
Earlier this week I created this dish as a meat-free dinner. I had basic ideas in mind when I went grocery shopping the day before, and then just went with what sounded good as I cooked away! It was ready in close to 20 minutes - gotta love that!
POLENTA TOPPED WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS
2 c. water
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
salt / pepper to taste
Bring 1 1/2 c. of water to boil. Mix 1/2 c. of water with cornmeal until smooth. Slowly whisk into boiling water and return mixture to boil - it will become thick! Thin to desired consistency with milk (for creaminess factor). Add in salt, pepper, and cheese to taste. Keep warm over low heat and stir often
1 large onion
2 large green peppers
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 c. favorite vinaigrette (store bought or homemade)
Julienne cut onions and peppers. Heat oil in large pan and cook garlic 1 min. Add onion and peppers and cook until soft. Salt and pepper to taste, and stir in a little of that vinaigrette for extra flavor! Serve over polenta.
Y.U.M. Eli loved this dish too - and it kept us very full all evening! Simple to make, and can be transformed a number of ways!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
because it just seems that it is a cheery time of year.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Mid-October: Grace = 17ish weeks; Me = 12ish weeks
Grace and Isaac are expecting a baby girl to arrive mid-March (the first girl grandbaby for my parents). I will have a sonogram on December 15th - and IF the baby cooperates, Eli and I hope to find out whether we are building a basketball team, or a girl will enter our Bushel of Brooks! It is wonderful to share this journey with Grace - she is going to be an amazing mother!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Seth and I were the first Brooks to cross the finish line! Woo hoo!
You can see Eli with the blue bandana on - just crossing Jonah's finish line with him and helping him get his medal!
The four of us after ALL the fun was over!
After the race and post-race showers, we headed back to my in-laws to cook and prep a delicious dinner while the guys headed out to do some clay pigeon shooting. It was a fun day, filled with lots of times to remember, and left me full of Thankfulness!
Monday, November 21, 2011
As the message was shared, I thought back to the week before, and several times during the week when it was tough to stay positive, when I ended up frustrated at an unchangable circumstance, or lost patience with the boys, or felt discouraged in relationships. I cannot change my circumstances, my house, the trials I have to walk through - but I can make my attitude make the difference.
These scenarios came to mind:
- I L.O.V.E. my two little blondies ... but they can drive me bananas at times! But how often, even when they have disobeyed or pushing mine/Eli's/each other's buttons, do I stop to thank the Lord for them? So many months of praying for a baby before Jonah was born - each day I must stop and thank God for them, amidst the challenges of raising a child. An attitude adjustment for me means that God will give me a different focus, a different way to cope, a different way to help them find a better solution.
- Sometimes I feel discouraged at work - I feel like I missed some enthusiasm in a class, or should have said something, or who knows! Instead, before the last two classes I taught, I spent some time thanking God for my job, for all the ladies who have inspired me at work, for the opportunity I so craved - and He gave it to me! It made class so much more fun!
- My house. My sweet little house ... that I honestly just wish was a little bigger! I can't wait for the day when I have a living room and dining room that I can host people in! And in my heart, I probably gripe WAY TO MUCH about this. Hello! How many people don't even have their own home, or even a roof over their heads? I have no right to complain. Today, as I woke up, I spent time just giving thanks for my home. Our home. It is cozy, it's warm as the weather turns cold, and God has blessed our family here. Heck, the new baby might sleep in a dresser drawer or something - BUT, I am grateful.
I have so many more. If I can be thankful in all circumstances, at all times during the day, then I can't wait to look back in two weeks and be awed at how different those two weeks will feel compared to times when I thought I just needed "buck up and get through" tough days. And seriously! Who wants the alternative?
- and so many more.
I wouldn't want to be around someone who was stuck in those ruts - why would I want to be like that???? So, today, as once again I was sick in the bathroom early in the morning, I decided instead of begging God to have mercy on me and make me better, I thanked Him for this baby. We're so excited to meet this little one, to add to the silliness around the house ... once this baby is in my arms I will put aside the months and months of being sick.
When I stop and think, it's incomprehensible how many blessings there are in my life. How much I have to be thankful for! Now if I can make it a part of me enough that I don't have to stop and think, but it becomes who I am ...
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
We visited, laughed, planned ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and just enjoyed a couple of hours to catch up with each other. And my sister-in-law, Grace, and I got two more pictures together (we are five weeks apart in our pregnancies!), which I'll post soon!
Eli and I often remind each other how BLESSED we are to live in Lawrence, where the majority of our siblings all live, our parents live (both sets still married to each other), and we don't have to travel to spend time with them. Yes, it may not be that way forever. People change jobs, move - heck, we were planning to move to Latin America for goodness sakes! But, this time in such close proximity to them is a gift from the Lord ... and we don't want to take it for granted.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Reuben sat beside him and they worked away on pictures while I finished getting myself ready for church and putting away a few things in my bedroom. They were coloring peacefully together, so I took the moment to enjoy some peace myself!
Jonah called me back into the kitchen to show me his pictures. Three that he had pretty carefully colored inside the lines and taken time with. One, he said, was for his Children's Church teacher that he adores.
The other two???
"I colored these two for God. I am going to save them and take them to Him when we go to live with Him in heaven."
Sweet boy. He loves to talk about God, and how God loves him and listens when he needs to talk to Him. And this was what he could imagine would mean something to his Lord. = ) We tucked them away carefully ... this makes me so excited for discussions about the true meaning of Christmas!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
She just turned 1 year old last weekend, sports the sweetest smile, and is venturing to walk on her own. My boys absolutely adore their cousin, and work their hardest to get her to giggle and laugh at silly antics.
And my sis-in-law gave us a cute little bug to take pictures of Monday at the Harvest Party at church. My boys? I could not get a good picture of them in their costumes on Monday. Sigh. Maybe next year I'll be better - I'll blame it on the fact that Eli and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off since their was our first year running the show. = )
My family is hoping that when I have my sonogram in about a month, that maybe Tirzah will get a baby girl cousin to grow up with. Grin. I, personally, will be thrilled with a boy or a girl ... if it's not a girl, though, Tirzah might get more spoiling from the boys and I!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I stumbled across this website and found this recipe for Pumpkin Sherbet. Okay, so I have been calling it ice cream, but since it doesn't use cream, half and half, or butter, it really does resemble a sherbet-type consistency a bit more than ice cream. BUT, you cannot complain about the stats (and mine was lower in calories because of using Almond Milk and less sugar)! I modified the recipe a bit to suit what exactly I was looking for. Here is what I did:
2 1/4 c. Almond Milk - unsweetened
Monday, October 24, 2011
Reuben riding "ALL BY HIMSELF"
As always, I come home excited to return!
Friday, October 14, 2011
I have a fall candy love: candy pumpkins.
I know, there isn't much to them besides probably straight sugar ... but I love them anyway! And, they only sell them once a year, right? So, I indulge and get a bag or two in October. And since all things chocolate make me violently ill, this might be the only sweet indulgence that I have been having of late.
And Reuben decided to join me at the table one day to share a few = ) Much more fun to share with someone!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Proud little helper...
Friday, October 7, 2011
I love this picture - such excitement in their faces! Jonah and his best buddy from preschool.
We DID try and get Reuben to smile! This was as best as it got ... = )
Bright sun and wind didn't give great pictures - but we had fun!
We love the pumpkin patch so much, we may make another trip before October 31st!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
I feel like I need to apologize to every single woman that I know that has ever been pregnant and had any morning sickness symptoms! My pregnancy with Jonah had a few days of not feeling great, but overall, was pretty good! I kept working full-time, was super excited, and everything (at least as far as I remember!) felt pretty good.
Reuben's had some more rough days. Of course, I've sort of blocked them out. But I've looked back at things I wrote ... and I wrote that I felt pretty sick during the first trimester!
And then, fast-forward to present: OH MY.
This third pregnancy has given me a big 'ole slap in the face! Although most mornings are okay, nearly every day is steady decline. Nausea gets worse, and I often end up in bed or on the couch. Basically out of order. I started taking anti-nausea medicine as soon as it got bad, and have continued to do so. But then this week the throwing up started. And it didn't seem to matter if I had taken medicine or not. Some days I haven't even kept saltines down. Good grief!
It is tough. I hate feeling sick, but I hate being sick. Not able to wrestle around with the boys. Not able to cook dinner, get into projects, go on a date with Eli. Exercise sounds like a joke most days. And there is nothing I can do. Fight through the moments. Ask the boys to snuggle by me as much as they can tolerate. Gratefully accept my family's help any time they have offered it. Sigh.
Not that I haven't believed other women and their claims of morning sickness. But, my compassion level should have been exponentially higher! To feel like this - and for such an extended time - has been hard to get through. It's hard to think that it could go on.
I miss my friends. It feels so isolating to be here alone most of the time! I miss laughing with Eli and boys and being silly with them. I do my best to muster all I have for my hours at work ... and then am often wiped for the rest of the day. It is lonely on the couch. The nausea is almost as mentally exhausting as physically. You start to wonder what is wrong with yourself. You start to feel like you're going slightly insane.
And so, I hope I never downplay another's morning sickness. Give them all the love and support one person can give. And, by faith, remind them that it won't last forever - because it sure feels like it sometimes!
Friday, September 16, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
We headed out to some friends' house in the country (ahhhhhhh, no city noises, no misquitoes, just breezes and quiet ...) for some BBQ and hanging out! We were the only couple with kiddos, but Jason and Audrey said "of course" the boys were welcome to come. They didn't need any pushing: Audrey said that farm kittens would be in abundance!
Since Eli is allergic to cats, there will never be any kittens that get to reside in our home, so the boys and I are used to the fact that we just get to play with others' friendly cats when we get the chance. And who can resist sweet little kittens? (Besides Eli - who also professes a strong dislike for cats as well) The poor kittens got their share of being toted around, chased around, snuggled tight, and kissed. Although they most likely breathed a sigh of relief once the boys were being loaded up in the van to head home, it was one evening that is still being re-lived by Jonah and Reuben to anyone who will listen!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Thankfully, their dog made it out safe, and my sister-in-law was at work, and my sweet baby niece was at Grandma's house. No injuries. But really scary.
Moments like this always cause me to look around my house. What if it were me? What if it were my boys' room that was now non-existent ... their special toys, blankies, photos ... gone.
What would I do? Would I be crying? Or would I just be hugging Eli, Jonah, and Reuben as tight as I could, thankful that we were just still okay?
I can't predict that - but I can be thankful. Thankful the Lord protected all of them, and be reminded that daily He has and is protecting me. And it is a reminder to me that the "things" in my house can't be what I treasure. I love memories - I love "stuff" that reminds me of a memory and there is a part of me that loves to store away things and keep them forever. But I am not guaranteed that ANY of that will be around for another day. What really matters? My relationships. My relationship with God, with my family and friends ... and even acquaintances in whose lives I can brighten a bit with a smile or kind word.
For my family's sake, I wish the events of today were reversible. But I won't take for granted the reminder to keep my own priorities in life straight.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Reuben came down with one of his cheezing breathing issues following a cold (every two months it seems we deal with this!), so we were up with him all last weekend in the night during coughing fits. We've kinda figured out good tag-teaming methods so that we each at least get some stretches of sleep! I was super excited once Monday rolled around, because I could see that he was pulling out of it ... breathing treatments were going well and I knew we had rounded the corner.
Then Wednesday: somehow a ridiculous amout of chiggers found Jonah. Unfortunately, I think it was in his preschool's yard. By Wednesday evening he was itching like crazy ... and in places that you don't really want to itch! We were up with him every couple hours because the itching was literally keeping him awake. S.O. G.L.A.D. that we had anti-itch cream in the hall closet!
And I thought that might end our nights' awake. We put Reuben down last night as normal, let Jonah sleep on our floor in case we were still putting on cream in the middle of the night. But Jonah slept hard and long - not a whimper from him. But at 3:30 a.m., Reuben was crying. The kind of crying that means his ears were hurting. Didn't want to be laid down flat. He would finally fall asleep ... 10 minutes he would be whimpering "Mommy, ooowww!" I took the first shift ... and Eli wonderfully took over at 4:30, and I was back for the next round at 6:00.
Overall, the week has been good. Jonah has enjoyed seeing preschool friends again - in some ways we have had a full and fun week. But I can't wait for just one night of good sleep! Tonight???? I hope so ...
Friday, August 19, 2011
I love love LOVE playing outside with my boys. They completely crack me up with their antics ... and I relish in seeing them play together as friends more and more. Although summertime is fun ... I will admit that I am excited for a more "set" schedule in our days - A.N.D. fall has so much to look forward to! Pumpkin Patch. Fall Scented Candles. Fire Pits. Camping. Apple Pies. Baking. Costumes. Colorful Leaves. Cooler Temperatures.
Ahhhhhhh, it's a bittersweet goodbye to what has been such a wonderful summer.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
But the past two days this guy has been a.t. m.y. s.i.d.e. And not just wanting to be BY me, he walks around trying to put his head on my hip so that we are "in contact". It works if I'm standing still, but when I was trying to clean the kitchen, and he kept trying to walk right by my leg with his head in contact with my body ... it was a little much for me!
Jonah, Jonah, what are you doing?
Just being with you, Mommy. - big innocent eyes
But can you get your head off of me???
But Mommy ... I love you. - made them more like sad puppy eyes.
In other words, he's exhausted, doesn't know what to do with himself, so therefore, this seems to be the best option? Ahhhhhhh, time to scoop up and take to the couch for a book and a snuggle. Not that it seems like it works in terms of getting him to relax, but I figure better to take advantage of the moment in which closeness with Mommy is desired, right?
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Not that he was ever chubby to begin with ... NOOOO, instead our doctor was always ordering us to feed him more and any full fat things that could be found to attempt to bring his weight up! = ) But, you know, that little baby/boy roundness is going away. He's getting taller, talking more (as in: Mommy, don't pat my bottom when I was tucking him in last night), and his face is thinner. I don't want it to happen!
When I was putting him to bed, he decided that his hand was extremely interesting and was holding it up to the light, studying his little fingers. And I kind of choked up - looking at those little chubby fingers, knowing that they are fading away and my big boy is coming through. Two years old. I look back and pictures of Jonah when he was two, and it the same thing. The baby face caught in the middle of growing, still a little round, but saying goodbye. And it is no fun. Not that there isn't more to enjoy. But, I'll never get this little two year old back ... the one who suddenly turns to squeeze my neck and kiss my cheek when singing him bedtime songs, the one who looks up when I walk in the door and says: Mommy, where been you?
As the I do it s become more prominent, I'm loving all the hold me s that I can get from this little guy. This little two year old.