High Five for Friday - Claire Edition

Today is my baby's birthday. She's 2. TWO. How did that happen so fast?? It honestly feels like just yesterday I was in the hospital in labor... Last night, I kept remembering that experience. I kept looking at DH and sayin stuff like "at this time 2 years ago I had just started to push..." DH went to bed earlier than me, but I ended up being awake at 12:04am, which is when C made her appearance back on this day in 2010. I will never forget the intensity of that moment and the moments immediately after. Maybe one day I'll blog about it.

Having a daughter completely changed me. I've said that before. I look at the world totally different now. I try to see things from her perspective. I remind myself constantly to be calm and patient, that everything is new and exciting to her. She has taught me to find joy in even mundane things. She can make me smile when smiling is the last thing I feel like doing. My heart aches when I'm not with her. I literally feel like a piece of myself is missing. I never knew it would be like this. So wonderful and devastating all at the same time.

Every day she's a little more grown up. She learns so fast, its really amazing. I know all too soon she won't want to give me kisses when I drop her off at Grandma's in the morning, and she won't want me to rock her to sleep. And she won't run to me when something's wrong.

So I savor all those little moments with her now.

I treasure every time her little arms wrap around my neck. And every time those little lips pucker up to kiss mine. Every time she comes to me and says "Mama, hold me."

The only thing I regret not doing with her is starting a book to record the funny things she says. I always tell DH and other people and think I'll always remember it, but I don't. I'm going to start writing this stuff down, though.

I blogged recently that her newest thing is "Mama, my milk's not workin!" when she's drained a breast. At this point it feels like she's never gonna wean, and that's okay for now. I said I would breastfeed her until she decided she was ready to stop, and that's still the plan. When she was younger she never wanted to nurse from both sides in one sitting. Lately, though, she'll drain one side, tell me her milk doesn't work, then say, "Mama I want 'nother milk." And we'll switch sides. She's still so eager to nurse, like she really gets excited about it. Of course, she's always been like that. When she was an infant, she'd shake her head from side to side really fast while she was zeroing in on the breast. It was hilarious. I hope I never forget all the little moments we've shared while breastfeeding.

She's only 2, but she knows her ABCs, and she knows what sound each letter of the alphabet makes. We can hold up a letter and she'll name it and the sound. She can count to 10. She knows several colors. She understands things I never dreamed she'd understand at this age. She is constantly amazing all of us with her intellect. I know every parent thinks that about their child, but C is really special.

I feel so blessed that God decided I get to be C's mama. I pray that she always knows how much she is loved.

So for today's High Five for Friday post, I won't do a typical list of 5 good things that happened to me this week. I won't even make a list of 5 things I love about my daughter (like I originally intended to do). I'll just say that I'm grateful that she is my daughter and give a virtual high five for her birthday and her life. ( :

I'm linking in with Lauren at from my grey desk. ( :

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Christmas card display

I follow a lot of blogs faithfully. I'm not big on commenting (which I have vowed to be better about - and I really have gotten better at it), but I'm a major lurker. ( :  I absolutely love looking at my reading list and seeing what new things bloggers have to say. I wish I could remember which blog I got this idea from, but I am sad to say I've forgotten. Probably I Heart Organizing. I get a lot of inspiration from her!

Anyway, some time last week I saw a post about creative ways to display Christmas cards. Normally, I just set mine up along the mantel and around the bookshelves on either side of the mantel. Which works just fine, though it does tend to make the living room look pretty cluttered. So this year I decided to try somethin different.

My inspiration was from a blogger who hung a piece of red ribbon down the front of a door and attached her cards to it with clothespins. I thought it was a really cute idea, but I don't have any doors that I keep shut that are in the living area of our house. And I wanted to be able to see all our cards when we are in the living room, which is where we spend most of our time. So I adapted the idea for our living room!
And once again blogger has so nicely rotated my picture for me and won't let me fix it. :( 

But hopefully you get the idea. You can't see it, but I had some leftover gold ribbon that I hung using a command hook thingy, and used clothespins to hang up the cards. DH was looking at me like I was crazy while I was setting everything up, but even he liked it when I was done. I'm pretty pleased with my little project. It took about 10 minutes and cost nothing since I already had what I needed on hand. If we get any more cards, though, I'll have to start another ribbon on the other side of the living room!

Advent and other musings

Well, we missed a few days of Advent celebration. Whoops! We had a very busy couple of days, and when we weren't busy, C wasn't in the right mood to sit down and hear a bible story. I sort of feel like an Advent failure since we haven't done a single craft from Truth In The Tinsel. But then I remind myself that its okay. I knew it would be tough this year with C so young. And like I've said before, she's not really into crafts yet (other than scribbling with her crayons - or a pen if she gets a hold of one!). I did look up a recipe for salt dough ornaments last night, though, and I think that's something we can do together that won't be too hard for her. That will have to be a weekend project, though, since them babies have to bake for 2 hours!

We did read from the Bible last night. C was sort of paying attention. When I grabbed my Bible, she grabbed hers and laid down beside me with it. Every few words I read she'd repeat, like she was reading along with me. It was precious! I hope she'll hear these words enough that one day she'll know the stories by heart.

We'll be celebrating her 2nd birthday this coming Sunday after church. I'm so excited for her birthday, but its such a bittersweet event for me. Every day she's another day closer to pulling away from me, which I know will happen eventually (hello teenage years). And every day she's another day farther from being the tiny newborn I held on my chest. *sniff* At our church, once a month we do a "birthday offering." We sing a hymn and if you have a birthday in that month, you go up to the front and give some money, which is donated to an orphanage. My husband has to take C up there because apparently it will be my tradition to completely loose it when C goes up there! Last year, as soon as he picked her up, I started crying, and it was the same this past Sunday. I couldn't even watch her put the money in the plate because I had so many tears in my eyes! I never used to be such a softy, so this is still strange to me. Next year she'll probably walk up there by herself, and I'll probably bawl even harder. Who knew I'd end up so in touch with my emotions? And I wouldn't trade it for anything!!

This is part of a series of posts about Advent, using the e-book Truth In The Tinsel. Check back here for an updated list of links of my posts.


High 5 for Friday!

I haven't done this in a while. Not sure why, since its pretty fun to think back on my week and pick out the highlights for a blog post. Most of the good stuff happened last weekend, but I'll count it since this weekend hasn't started yet. ( :

1. Last Saturday, I took C to her first parade! She loved it. We met up with my friend Angela and her baby Ashton, who is super adorable. He just turned 1 and C used to be smitten with him, but now she thinks he needs to stay far away from her, which is hilarious. Anyway, my mama and my cousin also met us there. We all had a great time. After the parade, we played in the park, which was also fun. Saturday was a great day. C and I were busy the entire day, but we loved it. ( :

2. Sunday, DH and I took C to have her pictures taken. These are technically her 2 year shots, even though she's not quite 2 yet. We like to do them early so we can give prints as Christmas gifts. We use Erica at Erica Letchworth Photography and she is awesome (and if you go to her site, you'll most likely see pics of me, DH, and C!)! Erica's been taking pictures of me and DH since we got engaged. She did our engagement pics, my bridal portraits, family pics of me, my brother, and my sisters, my wedding, my maternity pics, and all of C's milestone pics. We love her! I haven't seen any sneak peaks yet (Erica is super busy with Christmas fast-approaching), but I know they're gonna be totally awesome. First, because Erica is the best photographer I've ever seen, and second, because C was in a great mood and had so much fun during the shoot. (Normally, she's pouty during a photo shoot, and we can't get smiles out of her.) I brought a bunch of balloons, we had bubbles, and her rocking horse and I cannot wait to see the results!!
3. After the photo session Sunday, we got our Christmas tree! We normally don't put it up quite this early, but I was ready, so I convinced DH. There's just somethin about a live tree in my house that really gets me in the Christmas spirit.

4. This week I started an Advent celebration. I've never observed Advent before, but I stumbled across Truth in the Tinsel and I couldn't resist. This is definitely a tradition that we will continue!
5. This is my cat Jordan. He just makes me happy.

This week I'm linking up with Lauren at from my grey desk blog. And I think its safe to assume that the button I attempted to post below was done incorrectly! I am so blog-posting-illiterate! ( :

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Advent Day 5

Flexibility is the name of the game when you have a toddler. Luckily, I was already easy-going before I had C. She has certainly made me even more so, though! I like to just roll with the flow, ya know? (hehe) Anyway...! I knew when I started Truth In The Tinsel that we wouldn't do all the activities in the book, and I knew C probably wouldn't listen to most of the scripture readings, but that's okay. Exposing her to it is important to me. At some point, its bound to stick in her brain, right?

Last night, she didn't want any part of Advent. I started by asking her to sit with me on the couch while I read to her from the Bible, but after about 5 seconds she was up sayin "I be right back!" Take 2: I laid on my stomach on the floor and asked her to join me. She lasted a little longer in that position, but she still got up, sayin she had to get her Bible. (She has a board book Bible that she absolutely loves.) She brought her Bible back to me, laid down, and proceeded to sing "Jesus Loves Me." How could I argue with that?? So I gave her a quick toddler-speak summary of the scripture for the night. I'm not sure if she actually listened to me, but that's okay.

I'm still planning on going tomorrow to get some craft supplies, so maybe we can actually make some of the cute ornaments in the book!

On a completely unrelated topic...I just had to share this. I am (proudly) still nursing C, and plan to do so until she decides to wean (or before she goes to school...haha). She's not showing any signs of quitting yet! I'll blog more on this topic soon (I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate so I'm really shocked I haven't blogged about it before). But I guess I'm making quite a bit less milk than I used to. She's started asking for both sides lately, and she's never done that in her entire 2 years of life. This week, when she runs out of milk, she pulls back, looks at me and says "Mama, my milk's not workin!" It is so CUTE!! Even DH laughed, and he's not crazy about the fact that she's still breastfeeding. Had to share that adorable tidbit. ( :

This is part of a series of posts about Advent, using the e-book Truth In The Tinsel. Check back here for an updated list of links of my posts.


We started our Advent celebration!

This will be quick since I'm on my iPhone. Yesterday I found the e-book "Truth in the Tinsel" and purchased it to start a new tradition with my daughter. Last night my husband left to go on a fishing trip and I took C to my mama's house to decorate her Christmas tree. My brother and I do it every year together. Anyway, so last night we got home late and C was too tired to do anything but pass out!

So I decided to start the advent celebration tonight. C is almost 2 but she's not really into crafts yet. She likes to color/scribble, but that's about it. I don't have any art supplies here yet anyway. So tonight we caught up on the scripture listed in the book. It was quite a lot for a toddler to sit through, and she didn't sit through most of it but I kept reading. After I do finished each passage I gave her a short summary in toddler-speak. She liked that part! Hopefully this week I'll get to a store and get some art supplies and I can help her do some of the projects. But for now just talking about Christmas and Jesus is great.

The second "lesson" in the book talks about Jesus being the king. C didn't know what a king was, so I told her it was kinda like a princess. After that, I told her to say "Jesus is king!" Like she said "Jesus is the light" earlier. Well, she smiled and said "Jesus is the princess!" I cracked up. Not quite right, but I think she got the idea that Jesus is special. ( :

I can't wait to see what else this month has in store for us! This is definitely a tradition I will continue with C and any other children we may have.

This is part of a series of posts about Advent, using the e-book Truth In The Tinsel. Check back here for an updated list of links of my posts.


Advent - better late than never

I have never celebrated Advent. I've never really understood what it was. I'm still learning, but what I'm gathering is Advent is a time of celebration and anticipation leading up to the birth of Jesus. Its a time to slow down and really reflect on and enjoy this season. Awesome. I can totally get on board with that!

Now that C is almost 2 (in 18 days - yikes!!), I feel like she's old enough to start learning the true meaning of Christmas. I've said from Day 1 that I didn't want her growing up thinking that Christmas is just about getting a ton of presents. Today I stumbled across an e-book called Truth in the Tinsel. I purchased it right away, once I realized what it was. Its only $7.99, so it doesn't exactly break the bank, but its full of projects to do each day of Advent - and the best part is, these projects are for toddlers and little kids! I just finished the download and printed it off (so I can have quick access to it at home), and I haven't read any of it yet, but it looks fun. Every day, there is scripture to read with your child, a project to do together (simple, fun things that shouldn't be too hard for a toddler to do with help), and then some ideas for discussion on the topic. I'm so excited to start!

I know we're three days behind already, but that's okay. Better late than never, right? ( :

In hopes that I remember to blog about this experience, I'm linking up with Truth in the Tinsel in their advent experience page!

This is the first in a series of posts about Advent, using the e-book Truth In The Tinsel. Check back here for an updated list of links of my posts.

See my posts about our Advent experience:
 Days 1-4
 Day 5
 Day 11