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Top 30 Signs You’ve Turned 30!

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1.  Your hair dresser refers to your “natural highlights” more than once at your last hair appointment.

2.  Your mind thinks of only one thing when you hear the words “nip,” “tuck,” “augment” and “lift.”

3.  There really might be something to those anti-cellulite creams….I mean, they wouldn’t sell them if the didn’t work, right?
4.  You’ve found a wiry white chin hair.

I think Seth is looking for one of those stray hairs here

5.  You can’t see well enough to pluck the chin hair on the first attempt without already pricking your chin a few times.
6.  You can eat a large meal one day and truly feel full enough to skip a few meals….or a few days.
7.  And what about those wrinkle creams?  Those have to work- have you seen the magazine ads?  34% improvement in skin elasticity seems to be substantial.
8.  You can’t remember the last time you exfoliated or deep-conditioned your hair because showers (for a stay-home mom) are now fast and furious.
9.  You’ve got more stuff than you’ve ever had in your life, and less time to actually sit down and enjoy it.
10.  Your child now insists you play the role of “the grandmother” when you are playing together in her room.  And you beg to be the dog instead.
11.  “You don’t look a day over 25!”  See there- they’ve upped the ante….it used to be 20!
12.  Kids on American Idol say they grew up listening to certain songs/artists; you can recall a time and place when that album hit Billboard’s #1.
13.  And for that matter- you throw in the towel.  “So You Know You Can’t Dance!”
14.  You found an old t-shirt from college that you can’t bear to throw out and lament that it is more than a decade old.
15.  Sunscreen is cool.
16.  You seriously contemplate not taking the fashion train to the grocery store this time.  Do I really care if I see someone I know?
17.  Without a doubt, you know which ear you hear out of best.
18.  Your body begins to shut down around 10 pm.
19.  Should I save up for some new clothes or a new microwave?  Man, that’s a tough call….
20.  There are certain foods you just shouldn’t eat anymore.
21.  Stress at 21 was a joke….how many hours did I waste worrying about stupid stuff?
22.  Fit flops….now why didn’t I think of that and how fast can I get a pair?
23.  The word “practical” crosses your lips now more than ever.
24.  Your doctor just flat-out says, “Well, you are getting older.  And we need to keep an eye on that blood pressure.”
25.  You desperately try to hang on to teenagers’ music, but you are starting to feel a bit disconnected.  YOUR music is now thrown into the broad category of a certain decade.
26.  What exactly is the meaning of “krunk?”
27.  When reading a text message from people 10 years or more younger, you feel as though you’re trying to translate hieroglyphics.
28.  Shorts hit the knee now.  IF you even own them….
29. Life is a blur until coffee hits the brain.
30. Women in their 20’s hear the verse Proverbs 11:22 a lot; People my age cling to Proverbs 31:30.
Happy Birthday, dear self.  I’ve had a good laugh (and hope you have too)!
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Random Thoughts….Belated Update!

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How many times do I sit down and think, “I should really post an update…but I’m too tired and once I start writing, I won’t want to stop.”  Here I am though- Ella is up to something upstairs and Seth is sleeping.  Let’s see how much I can update you in 5 minutes:

Seth and Daddy at the heart doctor appointment

-Seth had a cardiologist appointment two weeks ago today (thus the “coming out of sedation” picture on the blog earlier).  He was born with two small holes in his heart- better known as heart murmurs- a PDA and an ASD.  (All you cardiologists out there will know what I’m talking about!)  Anyway, they gave him some “happy juice” for a sedated echo to check out the little dude’s ticker and glory to God!!!, both holes are closed and everything is working well!  We praise God for this- and give Him all the credit for healing Seffy’s heart.  The cardiologist mentioned he has one small leaky valve- the “tricuspid valve” to be exact….and that we should come back in at age five for another look.  According to him and stuff we’ve read- it’s not a big deal at all and should never affect him long-term.  Thank you, Lord!

So happy that Ella is obeying so much better.

-Ella is responding well to discipline.  After working through Dobson’s “Strong-Willed Child” with a fine-toothed comb, I began to parent differently.  I know that each kid is unique and responds better to certain things, so with some trial and error, she no longer has me pulling out my hair and looking for the great escape route by the end of the day!  I’ve thrown in the towel on the clothes (she won’t wear them at home) and food (if you want to eat it, great- if not, we don’t care).  “Pick your battles!” say all the experts and while Joel and I truly thought we were picking our battles, it turns out we were still picking too many.  Anywho- I think we’re turning a corner here and the majority of our day together at home is pleasant- hec, it’s fun!  Another huge praise God!

-Seffy started crawling!  Can you believe it?  Therapists told us not to expect him to crawl until he was about 18 months old, but look who decided to do it in the last week of his 10th month!  Go, Seffy, Go!

-“Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma!!!”  are the sweetest words I’m hearing right now.  Yes, Seth is looking at me and saying “Mama” (or at least his form of it)- both daddy and Nanna agree with me that he knows what he’s saying and understands it is my name.  And they told me he wouldn’t start talking until he was two….

Baby sign language?  Yep.  We’re doing that too.  I sign several words to him:  eat, more, drink, thank you, in, out, play, please.  Guess which one he’s starting to sign?  EAT!  But of course!  At a whopping 20+ pounds, food is at the top of his list and he was quick to pick that one up.  The boy scarfed down two whole pancakes for dinner the other night without a drop hitting the floor, his chair or his bib.  Nice fine motor skills, brother!  Your OT is proud…and he’s just mastered his first sippy cup last night.  On to drinking from a straw….

-Cognitively, my therapists have told me that Seth is really smart.  I just can’t tell you how that makes my heart swell.  In one conversation, a therapist told me that one of the greatest misconceptions of children with DS is that they are not smart.  Quite they contrary, while they may learn differently from others and have some form of cognitive delay, they can be brilliant just like any other child.  “And this little guy,” raved the OT, “is at the top of the curve.  He is one smart cookie.”  There are no words.

-Joel made it home from his tour-de-Europe.  Amsterdam, London and Paris- what a tough life!  He would call from Paris and rave over the crepes, while I was home eating PB&J.  Aw- I don’t begrudge him one minute of it- Joel works hard and the Lord is blessing him for it.  He had a great trip and brought home presents for me and the kids.  Thanks, daddy!

-Our Aussie friends, Jamie, Gillian and baby Violet (well…..Toddler Violet now) are coming in town for a visit April 19th through the 26th.  We can’t wait to see them as it’s been about 2 years since we were with them last.

-I joined a local group, “Moms of Kids with Down Syndrome” and found a neat group of women to walk through this journey with.  We laughed, exchanged stories, encouraged one another and just celebrated every little thing each of our kiddos can do.  There was a sweet spirit in the group and though I don’t think everyone was of the same faith, I felt that I could freely talk about the Lord and what He’s done in our life.  I see that this is part of my ministry and I will boldly accept the challenge.

-Our nephew Tate has a big walk for “Autism Now” this weekend.  While the kids and we won’t be able to join them in San Angelo for the big event, we’re pulling on our T-shirts and hitting the neighborhood for a good walk to support the awareness and research as it relates to helping kids affected by Autism.  We love you, Tate, and you are important to us!

Tate is holding Seth in this picture

-Ella loves to play “house” now and she’s always the mom, I’m the kid and Seth is called, “Baby Joy.”  I can think of nothing more appropriate.  Ella’s imagination is vivid and I’m starting to hear her sing when she’s playing by herself.  It is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. She is a sweetheart big sister and enjoys finding ways to make Seth laugh and, of course, tell him what to do!  He’s thrilled to be around her most of the time.  They love wagon rides together around the neighborhood and a favorite game is for Ella to build a wall of pillows around Seth and see if he can escape.  According to his PT and OT, this is a GREAT game for his physical development.  Ella may just grow up to be a therapist!

-Sarah painted verses in both of the kids’ rooms.  They are perfect and I’ll post pictures soon!  Ella’s is Psalm 104:33- “I will sing to the Lord all my life.”  Seth’s is Exodus 15:2- “The Lord is my strength and my song.”  I LOVE walking in their rooms and seeing the Word of the Lord that we pray over their little lives.  Now if I can find something for their bathroom….”wash me and I will be whiter than snow???”

-I LOVE our new home and neighborhood and little town.  Everything about it feels like home to me.  I met the neighbors behind us, who are actively involved and on staff at a big church in town.  They have kids the same age as ours and are neat folks.  Another blessing!

That’s about all I have time for right now- we’re doing great!  Thanks for your interest in our family and thank you for letting me brag on Seth- I just can’t help it.  Joel and I commented just the other night- had we known how wonderful this little guy would be and how fascinating the journey, we would have had no anxiety or stress at his birth.  We would have just loved every minute of it as we did Ella’s.  BUT!  We see the purpose of the Lord….and we’re SO EXCITED to celebrate his first birthday just one month from today.  I can’t believe all he’s accomplished and all of the “statistics” and “odds” that he has beaten.  Every day is a blessing and every little thing he does, we celebrate!

Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!


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I’ve Been Tagged!

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My friend Sarah tagged me to blog 6 random things about myself.

Here are the tagging rules:

1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, DO IT and pass it along

1.  I have a "stay-home-mom" uniform.  Truly, I wear the same basic
thing every day with variation in color only….it is a ribbed tank top
from Old Navy with yoga capri pants and flip-flops.  Ask Joel, hec, ask
anyone who comes to my house in the middle of the week unannounced.  To
complete the look, my hair is in a ponytail and I have on no makeup. 
No, I don't put on makeup to go to the grocery store or Target or to
run errands.  Why bother?  I have two small children under the age of
3….people look at me sympathetically already.  Why pretend that I
have it all together?  By time daddy comes home, mascara will be
smeared down to my nose, my hair will have stiff "spit up" crusts in
it, and my shirt will have who knows what from whatever was consumed by
the children since breakfast.  The uniform just works.

2.  I wore a back brace in high school.  I have scoliosis and
wouldn't you know it?  A back brace was prescribed my first year of
high school…PUBLIC high school….I went from being a uniform-wearing
(maybe that's where it came from?) eigth grader in a small, 18-person
class, to a public high school filled with clothing options, mandatory
gym class, completely new peers and a back brace.  It was terrifying! 
I wore that thing 18 hours a day my freshman and sophomore year.  It
went from my neck all the way down to my hips; I wore a man's
undershirt underneath the thing to prevent chaffing!  My back pack
often got caught on it; it was impossible to slouch; guys would jam
their fingers trying to flirt and "poke" me in my stomach; I creaked
when I walked; slumber parties turned into "let's try on Em's back
brace and lay on the floor to see who can get up the fastest."  Did I
also mention that I wore braces and had an interesting jaw contraption
that looked like shock absorbers in my mouth?  I was the bionic woman
for roughly two years. 

3.  Everyone reminds me of someone I already know.  I inherited this
trait from my mother.  Truly, when we meet a new person the
conversation goes, "I looked at so-and-so today and you know who they
remind me of?  SUCH-AND-SUCH!  Yep, just like them!  Except that their
hair is different and they speak with a Southern accent.  Don't you
think?"  There you have it.  Now, let me share my newest one with you. 
Here goes…..I looked at Sarah Palin today and you know who she
reminds me of?  BONNIE HUNT!  Yep, she looks just like her!  Except
that her hair is brown instead of blonde and she wears glasses.  Don't
you think?

4.  I am addicted to dessert and have gotten pretty creative when
there's slim pickins.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  My
standards are frozen chocolate chip cookie dough, ice cream, brownies
or some kind of pie.  So, let's say the cookie dough is polished off
and momma needs to go to the grocery store.  Step into my pantry….got
chocolate chips?  Sugar?  Oatmeal?  Waffles?  Bread?  Cinnamon?  Canned
or fresh fruit?  Peanut Butter?  Ok, good.  There are several options
here.  Why not make a mini-cobbler with the fruit- top it with brown
sugar, cinnamon and butter…sprinkle with instant oatmeal and
microwave.  Melt the chocolate chips with some milk to thin it out and
pour it over a toasted waffle that is spread with peanut butter.  Or,
if you have vanilla ice cream, that would work too.  Why not make a
piece of cinnamon toast or try your hand at home made sugar cookies
instead of the Pillsbury kind?  ….And throw in some chocolate chips. 
If you have those little guys, you're well on your way.

5.  I can't dance.  Really can't.  Wish I could- aspire to be cool
and smooth about the whole thing, but it is lacking.  Joel won't go
with me to take lessons, so I'm afraid I'll always be the girl at the
table eating her second piece of wedding cake instead of droppin' it
like it's hot out on the dance floor….

6.  I am very silly- borderline crazy.  Not surprising my toddler is
as well.  Not crazy in a bad way, but wild-and-crazy in a
people-don't-always-get-it thing.  For instance, I write songs for my
children about everything.  Yet another trait I inherited from my
mother.  It can be about anything: eating, sleeping, driving, bathing,
animals, friends, etc.  Let the titles speak for themselves (thank you,
Nana, for writing some of these and passing them along):
"Have a Little Drink Bear"
"Riding in the Big Car with My Mom"
"A Punkin is a Punkin"
"Witches aren't Real" (from the Halloween repetoire)
"Night Night Song"
"Zebra Song"

Here are the people I'm tagging:

1.  Mariana
2.  Amanda
3.  Gillian
4.  Amy
5.  Becky G.
6.  Becky K.

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God was merciful

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A picture to prove that a dad can get two ready for church on Sunday
morning and have them look reasonably presentable. We used the timer
to get this shot. I think Seth is even smiling.

Dad got 'em ready for church

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What dad is thinking about

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Early days with my little guy

1. I’m grateful for Seth’s continued good health
2. I’m grateful for Emily’s tremendous outlook on the entire situation. She is definitely demonstrating godly character as she depends on the Holy Spirit for strength. She is living out what Paul says in Romans 5:13.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

3. I still have a feeling of loss when I think about the things Seth and I may not get to experience together due to some of his potential limitations. I can state it this way:

I have a pretty good idea of things that he and I will probably miss out on. I’ve looked forward to doing some of these things with my son years before I became a parent. However, I’m also sure I don’t yet fully understand what Seth and I WILL get to experience that we would not have otherwise. I confess that all of this thinking is quite selfish in some ways and reveals a lack of trust in God’s plan. So, when I get over feeling sorry for myself, I redirect my energy to praying that Seth would know Jesus and be a righteous man. What could be more fulfilling for a dad than this!

Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.


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Hard to Discipline When….

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Like any typical toddler, Ella needs to be disciplined every once and a while……last week as I was sternly telling her to keep her toys in the sandbox rather than giving them to Rosie to chew on, Ella looked up at me and immediately turned her frown to a smile, moved in just inches from my face, and said, "Hi Mommy!!!"  How could I help but smile and laugh?  She has started trying to play the "cute" card now during discipline.  That just makes it harder!  Side note- last week, she started forming two-word sentences on her own, mostly linking "hi," "bye," and "more" to words and people she knows.  Her favorite thing to say is, "Bye-bye, Momo."  (Translation:  Goodbye, Elmo……I said it once when turning off Sesame Street!)

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God is good!

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Thank you so much for your prayers and words of comfort!  God is so good and what a great reminder that He is in control of all things.  He promises us to never leave or forsake us and I know that His angels were surrounding us then and now.  I’m so grateful for the safety of our sweet Ella.  I was ready to fight to the death to save her should the situation have required it….praise God it didn’t.  Here are a few verses that have given me comfort these past few days:  “And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor ANY OTHER CREATED THING, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:28,38-39  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7  “We also glory in trials, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4  “for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.”  Hebrews 10:34       Love you all, Em

We are thankful

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