Tuesday, January 29, 2013

girls weekend: batesville

i told you it was adventure week(s)!  so last week we headed to Louisville for em's first date, which was a smashing success & this past weekend we were beyond blessed to pack up all of our baby wares and head to batesville, in to visit sweet jenna with the majority of our bible study. she got married this past fall and we haven't been able to make the trip out until now.  she basically lives in stars hollow and getting to see her precious home made me so happy.  now when we chat i'll be able to picture her life a little better.  i must say it was a little disappointing to see that her house is about 10Xs more put together than mine and she's been there 4 months vs. my 4 years.  she has things hanging on every wall.  every. wall.

once we were loaded up there was one option, $1 pops for a long road trip.  this is a mcd's summer tradition so i have no idea what's gotten into them, there's snow everywhere.  this is a must-take advantage-situation.  em and i drove separately from the girls because i was pretty much operating on her schedule and we didn't spend the night like everyone else.
she was such a trooper in the car.  two hour car ride and she slept the entire way until we got off the interstate.  screamed for 5 minutes but i'll take it.  the only bummer was that i had one cd in the car.  just one.  this is emmie cheesin' saying "aahhhh, i'm covered in babies!!"
we arrived only minutes before our friends.  we had a leg up on them because their cars were filled with restroom seeking pregnant people.   have i mentioned 50% of my friends are pregnant right now?

sometimes my friends do things like let my baby drink my dr. pepper.  well you know she can't use a straw but she likes to pretend.  immediately following this picture she spit up down my straw.  good thing it was a dollar. :)
we did lots of fun things; went and ate larosa's together, made a dress from a xxl men's tee (thank you jenna and pinterest), had a homemade meal, and best of all just got to visit.  all of our friends lead pretty busy lives and it isn't that often that we all get to be together, sadly.  we may have already plotted our next trip though so maybe we won't have to wait too long for another up-all-night-girl-bonding-festival.  next time i will stay, promise.
for the past 6+ years i've been able to meet with these friends and talk about life & God's word together.  they encourage me like you wouldn't believe.  they have hearts that yearn for the Lord and for people.  each one has so many different gifts and talents and insights.  i'm continually blown away that i get to walk alongside them as we all grow and {hopefully} mature.  seeing their passion and sincere hearts for Jesus has always been such an influential catalyst for me to go deeper, be more reliant on the cross, have genuine faith, be full of joy & the Spirit.  i know that is a true gift.  i am so grateful.
there were a few friends who couldn't make it this trip, we missed you dearly. next time friends, next time.  we'll be together then.  or on thursday {the best day of the week! -lu}

oh oh oh, and i got my ikea lampsuckas!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

happy [half] birthday

happy half birthday my beautiful daughter! 

i can't believe that you are 6 months old today.  if you were able to eat cupcakes i would give you one.  you have a stuffed cupcake, perhaps i should introduce that today.  it seems appropriate.
i was cleaning out my camera and found these pics of us.  we hardly ever get pictures together so even though i'm a hot mess, have multiple chins and your hand is in your mouth i pretty much treasure these.  i'll do a whole post on all the new, fun things that 6 months has brought but that will wait.  for now we'll just be present to witness all your 'big-girl-ness' away from the computer, but probably with a camera still in front of my face.  sorry, i can't help it.  just look at you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

emmie's first date

ok, so she may resent this later but what mother [given the opportunity] wouldn't document their daughter's first "date".  yes, she's 5 months old so maybe it was more of an arranged play "date" but whatev.

me + bean, ready to head to louisville.  it's a long-distance romance.
auntie holly and big sister elle were there to chaperone.  you know we're all about supervision.
little jack man and his gorgeous momma.  that smile and alfalfa hair?  i die.  he literally smiled and squealed the entire day.  he is such a doll.
jack was really trying to woo little ecb.  here's proof.  baby love.
no fear...holding hands just like besties
"i'll never let go..."
"look at those cheeks!  i could just pinch 'em..."
"...and your beautiful hair.  girls like it when you play with their hair right?"
"whoa buddy, this is one great day!" -jack
"good thing i wore my heart onesie today." -em
"and a kiss for the little princess..."
:: best friends ::
undivided eye contact.  until it got weird.  i'm obsessed.
em can go on all the dates she wants as long as the fellas are as gentlemanly as jack, momma gets a front row seat & camera rights.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

all the good things

we're halfway through and this weekend has already been sweet - a little update from our neck of the woods.

last night we had our younglife team to the house for a planning overnight.  i loved people being in our house.  since we have a little babe & ben works full-time now we have people over less it seems but i would like that to change.  i feel more alive when people are in our home - i need that.  i loved emmie getting to play with her aunts and uncles too! 

this morning mikey made us all a very yummy breakfast and we hammered out some business.  i was rewarded for my hard work with a trip to the newly opened anthropologie here in lexington!  i tried to explain to ben why i'd like to go to a place where i can't afford anything - it's pretty enough just to look.  i love that all the pieces have something a little special, love that they're quirky [even though i don't do it much in my house], and love love love to see the displays.  i want like 6 differents bowls, one set of measuring cups, an apron & dotted cups :)  i really really really wanted one picture hanging on the wall for emmie's room.  i don't know if it was for sale.  i bought none of those things.  then a girls lunch sans kiddos.  perfection.  a visit from auntie holly, angie & si along with snuggles with momma and poppa topped off one wonderful saturday in my book.

i'm deeming sunday, get crap done & craft day.  this needs to happen.  i need to make some sweet things for sweet friends and knock out a few things for work. and i just remembered there's no school on monday so we get poppa home for a whole extra day.  hallelujah long weekends!

this is em midweek.  she has a mini-black-eye from a "computer for dinner incident" and when i took off her sleeper her socks were on her chest.  what a mess.
em also took her first selfie this week.  like actually took my phone and took a picture.  i'm not claiming that he had any idea what she was doing, but she really did this herself.  look at that face!!!
in other news, i've been trying to avoid the flu that has taken over our city and pass our time by purchasing extremely inexpensive rugs.  2 or 3 more and our house will be ultra-cozy.  i have some ideas of what i'd like to find, but i'm holding out, hoping to find some flea market special.  they are just such a big investment, i can't swallow the price tag on most i find.  UO let me get one floor closer to warmth.
baby emmie approves!
i know this is completely random but can i just rant for a minute?  ikea.  i love / hate you.  you show me things that i want, i neeeeed online.  they are not available online.  i look at "our store" which is actually two hours away [but i could get some help to make it mine] but it is also unavailable there.  what the what?  that means there is absolutely no way to get it to me.  even if i clicked through every. single. store. to see who has it, they won't ship it to you.  how stinking lame.  they have a pendant lamp that i am desperate for.  arg.  has anyone found away around this?  help!

this week kicks off two weeks full of adventures and i hope to be better than my normal self at documenting those.  be back soon ya'll.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

someone take me...

today is very full...i have places to go, people to see, a babe to tend to.  all of my 'appointments' are things i'm extremely excited about but today feels like an awfully nice day to be thrifting.  maybe i'll ask little bean if she'd like to make a pit stop in a baby backpack?

she's squeaking in her bed...time to get moving i suppose.  i just wish my 'moving' included more nick-knacks & paint by numbers.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

new favorite pic

look at that little bean!  what a little doll.  a friend / photographer posted this for me today and i couldn't help but steal and share here.  this is from my b.i.l.'s wedding - what a princess; she's obviously excited for the nuptials and her tongue looks like a heart, how fitting! taken by the talented roselle photography.

it's freezing cold and icy here in lexington.  people from the coast posting sunshine pics on instagram were making me want to gag a little today.  spring, come soon!  i am so pumped to take long walks with the babe, sit outside for picnics & ugh, when the pools open, gimme a break.  daydreaming about that is getting me through.  hope you're snuggled under a fuzzy bear blanket and drinking hot chocolate til then...that's my plan.

i need a braid.

all our love,
jen, ben & em

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

today is special

i wanted to write 'every day is special' and then i heard ben quoting something [i can't remember] that says 'if everything is special isn't that the same as saying nothing is?' which is kind of true but i really do feel like everyday there is some part of it that makes it purposeful or special.  maybe something teeny, or lots of teenies, or something grand - regardless of the impact or implications, something special.  i don't want to miss those special things here.
today emmie & i went to work together.  that is a first.  i quit working a week before ecb's due date and never went back.  i was asked about a billion times, "so when are you going back to work?" and i always responded "never, i'm retired!" which of course is so freeing and awesome - but now i'm a liar.  an opportunity basically fell into my lap that i couldn't very well pass up - it is perfect & i believe, ordained.  i get to work within the ministry that we've been leading in over the last decade and just take care of some admin / office / accounting for our area.  i will have a couple office hours a week but the majority of my job can be completed from home while em naps or while ben is taking care of teacher things.  i am beyond thrilled that God has blessed us with this opportunity.  i love that i will be able to contribute a little to our family financially but won't have to sacrifice much of our time together - that is so valuable to me.
twins right?
to make today extra-special, ben had a professional development day so that meant more time together!  he got to sleep in and see the little when she woke up.  she is so precious when she first wakes up. and...the school he had to go to today was right next to the office where i was working so we got to have lunch together.  me, poppa & emmie collins - lunch date.  literally never happens during the week.  it was brief but blessed.

so it's only noon and today is already "special."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Monday

written at 8 am, published at 2pm - whoops :)

i have a mini babbling away in her crib, fighting her morning nap with sheer will power and vowel sounds. i know that about this time i should get up and get things accomplished around the house. clean...everything, do dishes, mop etc. but my bed is so warm and fluffy.  it doesn't want me to mop. it wants me to bury my face in the pillow, draw my puffy blankets up under my chin and rest my eyes as emmie rests hers (assuming that will eventually happen). who can deny an invitation like that?

so in the meantime i just wanted to say a quick hello and post pics of my baby's awesome cheeks.
we were at a wedding recently i asked ben if he thought emmie would ever be in a wedding as the little flower girls bopped down the aisle.  as we get older, we know less people who would possibly want our kid throwing stuff down the aisle of their wedding you know.  he said "oh yeah, em's going to have lots of friends."  i was confused and asked him again, he responded the same.  he thought i was asking if emmie would ever be in anyone's wedding, like ever.  hahahaha.  of course she will - she's going to have lots of friends, says poppa.
ecb tried food for the first time yesterday and it was glorious enough to warrant its own post.  be back soon for more!  happy monday.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy New Year

i'm sure everyone was just waiting with bated breath for our new year post.  as usual, we're more than fashionably late.  but we've arrived.  here we are 2013.  here we are.  we had just about the least eventful, most low-key new year celebration in the existence of the world.  and i was just fine with that.  i don't remember new year's eve day but i'm sure it was spent with our little family of 3, living it up and rolling around on the floor.  maybe we watched 14 episodes of gossip girl.  no one can be certain.  in the evening we got to swing by the poston's to visit their little family along with the websters, all whom we love.  we would have liked to stay longer [or all night] but little one was not interested in staying up to watch the ball drop, she was hankerin' for her bed by around 7:30.
ben and i just vegged a little at home, got comfy, spent some good quality time together.  around 11 we looked at each other and questioned whether or not staying up until midnight was really necessary.  we bit the bullet and stayed up if you're wondering.  i wore lipstick to compensate for the fact that i was also wearing sweatpants.  when the clock struck twelve, my car turned into a pumpkin, we toasted with sparkling grape juice in plastic cups [because we like to party] and i got a little smoochie smooch.

it's crazy to think that another year has gone by.  i know i sound all old and cliche but it really blows my mind how quickly our lives are moving by.  we're already twenty-seven.  i feel like a twenty-one year old.  our little bean is 5 months old & has just experienced her first thanksgiving, first christmas, first new year.  we've been married for 4 years now and in this house for 3 - it kind of seems like just yesterday.
happy new year from emmie collins!  those are 12 month pants that are squeezin' her hips.
ben and i talked and dreamed a little about the new year.  we have some relaxation goals [TRIPS!], we have some project goals [spiff up this house], some professional goals [stay employed, be certified to teach, learn my new position], but more importantly some spiritual goals are weighing on me.  i constantly think about how i want to be a woman of the Word, a prayer warrior, a faithful disciple, a wife that builds up her husband, a momma that always points to Jesus & a minister of the gospel to little h.s. girls & my friends but...i fail.  i spend a lot of time thinking about how i wish that were my reality instead of actually taking steps to make it my reality.  someone told me once that if you want to become a mighty woman of prayer you have to start praying.  sounds simple right?  but i think i live a lot of my life thinking that someday i'm just going to morph into those roles instead of putting myself in a position where i will grow into that woman.  i think what my friend said is true of all of my hopes - not just prayer.  i've just got to do it.  i have to make loving the Lord and loving people my top and truest priority.  i still need to flush out practical ways for that to be included in my everyday but i want nothing more than that.  i want to know the Lord for real, not just talk about Him or do things "for" Him.  i want genuine faith & dependence.  i want that to overflow & pour out over my whole life.  i want it to impact my life daily, my relationships, my heart, my family, eternity.
maybe someday soon i'll write about the other dreams we have for this upcoming year.  they all pale in comparison to seeking out the God of the universe [duh!] but they are things that we're excited about nonetheless.  it's kind of fun to dream right?
this isn't from new year's but look how precious!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

christmas + winter break

i'm lacking for words at the moment but i didn't want to wait any longer to document our christmas together.  i may be back to fill in the details, or maybe a few pictures will tell the story. this has been such a sweet season celebrating the birth of our Savior for the first time with our little bean.  having ben home for a week and a half wasn't too shabby either.  here's a snippet of our life...
shaver family christmas.  baby in a sweater and a giraffe photo bomb
ford extended family christmas.  emmie's first day wearing tights
nana & baby :: happy // silly faces
emmie's cousin [only one for now, one more on the way.]  getting babies to look at you at the same time is hard.
my sister-in-law, greta, also took some super sweet shots of them together on christmas morning.  you should probably check them out [here]
we got to go on a date!  we saw our first movie in a theater in about 6 months [the hobbit, if you're wondering].  we also got to go to lunch together and it was bliss.  i wore high heels for no reason and got to spend sweet time together, attention undivided.  ben says "look at how small my eye slits are!"
christmas eve service with my family at church.
ecb's first service was a bit of a fail as ben and i had to take turns with emmie out in the hall the entire time.  the service was mainly musical and the "rejoicing" was a little loud for our little's ears.  we sang to her right outside the sanctuary though.  joy to the world - a newborn king!

this is emmie in her christmas eve jammies.  she was so happy and snuggly. what a doll baby.  i was worried about her sleeping away from home unswaddled like i mentioned but she did so great.  christmas miracle.  we all stayed the night at my parents [my parents, brother + wife + babe, me + ben + em, and my sisssy] and woke up "christmas morning" together.
since we've been married my favorite christmas tradition with ben is to read the christmas story before we get out of bed christmas morning.  it really is the whole reason we're celebrating - i love that we haven't set a foot on the floor without remembering that.  i don't want our family to ever forget that so this year, before we kissed emmie collins goodnight we read to her the christmas story [jesus birth, the shepherds & the kings] and the story of abraham and isaac [which i love because the author points out this beautiful parallel of them to God the Father & Jesus] from her Jesus storybook bible.  then christmas morning we read from luke 2 the story of the first christmas.  just the three of us.  my heart is / was so full.  emmie and i read some together during the advent season but i'd like to be even more intentional next year leading up to christmas and have ben be involved too.
emmie kisses
notice the wardrobe change by morning.  we had an "accident" - good thing she had her snowmen as back up. 
em excelling at present opening.
family shot christmas morning in our jams.  look at that precious little face! 
shaver extended family christmas
on christmas night we went to my nana's and em got one of the sweetest little gifts ever.  she actually received several, thoughtful, beautiful and/or homemade or handpicked items but here is one of my all time faves.  a crocheted princess crown from nana charlotte.  holy cow!  so very special.  if nana will indulge me...i can picture her as a little 3 year old with long locks wearing a crown for years as her little head continues to grow.  so sweet.  my little princess.
we ended the night there and ecb was wiped out but thankfully when she's tired she mainly just gets squirmy and squeaks, doesn't really throw a fit...yet.  we went down the street [we live about a street away from this family] and snuggled in for the night.  our first family christmas as three was a success.  we also celebrated just the three of us as well as a weekend with benny's family and i hope to be back for that version soon enough.  until then, here are some other winter break instas that warm my heart...
finally updated our chalkboard...half our christmas cards fell on the ground [note big gaping hole]  michael's decorative tape ain't cutting the mustard.
"let me show you how i can squish my squish"
"did you miss me?"
"i have an extra set of ears today!"
we hope your holidays were full of thanksgiving & grace.  i was continually reminded of how blessed we are.  we are surrounded by loving and generous family on all sides.  people who care for us and our mini, family & friends that are really special.  we are so grateful.  we are also so blessed by the coming of Jesus, how awesome that we get to be on this side of it!  people lived their whole lives in hopes that a Savior would be sent and we get to live in the reality that He has, and we're just awaiting His return.  we get to know how he lived, what he was like, what his sacrifice on the cross would mean.

to God be the glory.


i hope to be back to this space soon.  i miss being consistent on my ol' blog.

what sweet memory was made this season for you?