Monday, September 30, 2013

Hanging around

Friday, September 27, 2013

For the love of all that is holy and good...

We have warriors in our midst.  We have heroes and heroines.  Among my favorites are one of my besties who fought for our country in Iraq, William Lane Craig and Gregory Koukl who battle on the front lines of the Great Conversation to defend the Christian faith with reason and evidence, my dear dear husband who is as we speak raising up the next generation of thinkers to do the same, and countless others who further our world, our cause, and our purpose.

I too am battling today.  Though it may be small, it is significant.  I am on a quest to protect The Afternoon Nap (TAN).  Much like the aforementioned warriors (yes, just like hem), I have undergone sleep deprivation, extensive study and research, prayer and petition, and continue to fight the good fight.  

My current mission?  The quest to find the chirping smoke alarm and beat the (expletive) out of it.  Or perhaps replace the battery.  Either way.  The chirp WILL be exterminated!!  It will not derail TAN!!

Wish me luck, fellow soldiers, and godspeed in your daily quests.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Loving the fall!

My sweet boy has made me love the fall again. We enjoy our evening walks and chai tea lattes and I can't wait to go to the pumpkin patch!

Every autumn boy needs some good overalls and Babies R Us is having a great sale on these denim Oshkosh ones!!  They say $15.98 but when you check out they're $7.99!  Woohoo!  Guess what you'll be seeing Jonah in for the next year of his life ha!  We also scored some great corduroy ones.  I love dressing my baby boy. :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baby Jonah is 1 month old!!

It's been a busy day with a tired mama and no naps...what's up with that, Jo?!  I guess he wanted to stay awake to party! So I don't have much to post, or energy with which to post it.

Can't believe it's been 4 weeks since our magical night.  We visited the OB today for the last time as part of this journey and it was so joyful for Jonah to meet his nurses who took such good care of him and to hang out with our beloved doctor again.  What a special part of our lives they are. 

Jonah weighs 9.6 pounds, has outgrown a newborn outfit (sad face), is feeling chubbier and longer, extends his legs straighter, looks toward the person talking, gives out sweet sweet smiles on occasion that may be related to gas but Howard said I could go with they're real to make my day more interesting, and he still loves looking at the iron stars above our bed.  I think he knew today that my reading had to do with the book I was holding, but again - could be one of those make it more interesting things.  And to be fair and just and balanced in my report, my son does pull his own hair, cries, and repeats.  

He is absolutely precious and we can't get enough.  I'm shocked he's here, he's ours, and we get to be his parents.  We love having him close to us and can't wait for more interaction.

We love you sweet sweet Jonah!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top 2 Tuesday: Podcasts!

Again, love of my phone compels me to share 2 of my favorite things to listen through it (besides Howard calling to check on me : ).  

The first is the Denton Bible Church podcast:

Howard attended this church up by Dallas when he played for UNT.  He just loved the pastor, Tommy Nelson, and I do too.  I wish we lived close enough to attend!  Every time I listen I am challenged, inspired, edified, educated, and I always chuckle.  What a gift he has for teaching the word.  BONUS:  he's manly.  Yep, as a female I too appreciate masculinity in the church.

The next one is the Dave Ramsey channel on iHeart Radio.

OK, so not technically a podcast, but very easy to get to and use.  Dave is a Christian teacher in an overwhelmingly understudied and under discussed area of Christian living: money.  Did you know that the bible mentions money more than it does love?  Dave's message is that we are to  be obedient to scripture by being excellent stewards of God's money that he's loaned us for this earthly life.  I love that Dave focuses on the HOW and the daily practical application of that calling.  

What do you tune into?

Monday, September 23, 2013

First tear ;(

Jonah shed his first tear last night.  It was the saddest thing.  It just sat there on his right cheek like a little signal to us saying "I'm in the world now.  I'm here.  I'm doing this."  I didn't get a picture of it because his daddy wiped it away, a moment I love more than a photo.

In most ways, in fact all the ones that aren't selfish, I think that Elijah has it better than Jonah.  Eli is safe and happy.  He never knew and never will know pain.  He doesn't have to go through this earthly obstacle course to meet his maker.  He's already with him.

Jonah will shed more tears and feel more pain.  I already hurt for him for what this world will put him through.  And I pray that no obstacle entangles him so much that his reasoning weakens.  As long as he is a good thinker, I am confident he will land at Truth.

Friday, September 20, 2013


It's really hard to be 20 something ... especially late 20 something ... and not have a peer group to fall into.  There is definitely a Mommy Club and I have of course waited years to be a part of it.  Today Jonah and I broke into it at playgroup (actually we broke into it when I was pregnant with him...I know...excited much?)  It was so much fun!  Makes me wonder how Sarah (of Sarah and Abraham) felt when she went to her first playgroup at 90 something...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top 2 Tuesday: Books!

When your baby does nothing much else but eat, there's a lot of time to read.  Sometimes I'm too doggone tired, but usually I can get through a couple of chapters on my phone.  Let me just take a second to say how much I LOVE my phone.  I don't know how cave women did without an iPhone.  Or people in the 1990s. It's amazing anyone is here today at all.

OK, so right now I'm reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  The C.S. stands for Clive Staples.  I would have used my initials too.

This book is so delicious.  The setup is a correspondence between a senior devil and a junior devil, but the real stage is one which Lewis uses to reveal his insight into Man...what makes us stronger or weaker spiritually, where our faulty thinking and spiritual blind spots lie, and generally how we are designed - what we are purposed to become and where we can be led astray from that.  It's simply amazing.  It's an easy read for so much profundity.  That's just Lewis for ya.

This summer I read Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle.  
What an adorable tale.  This mommy blogger turned author is hysterical and real.  This is a true can't put-it-downer.  I've already read it but keep going back for snippets.  It's just that good.

I hope you enjoy these current top 2 faves!  Feel free to share what you're reading in the comments section below!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Insert blog here

So Friday was supposed to be 'photography Friday' and I would post all the fun little at home photo shoots I've had with Jonah.  

Today was supposed to be something inspirational.  And alliterational. Like Meaningful Monday.  My hair was going to be washed and dried while I posted and my outfit was going to be super cute - yes, something I could blog about and give you shopping links to.  We were going to be your typical, run of the mill, perfect normal mommy blog.

Well that's not happening so get over it.  Let's face it:  I am a kitchen and nothing else.  The only reason I can write to you about this is Jonah is asleep on my chest.  I have approximately 2.3 minutes before I'm sure he'll wake up acting like he's never eaten before in his life.

Really, he doesn't scream or even cry for food.  But he does have the best puppy dog face EVER.  I mean we are in serious trouble here as parents.  And of course it's the angle I never saw coming.  The powerful, stare-you-down-melt-your-heart-into-a-million-pieces puppy dog face.  It's absolutely irresistible.

So, pretend that there's a real mommy blog here.  In the meantime, I'll be getting back to being a real mommy.  Of a newborn.  In an outbreak of whooping cough.  Where I'm pretty sure someone on house arrest sees and talks to more people than I do.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sips with the Kidlet: No. 3

Location: Rocking chair in nursery
Drink: Milk (can't show a picture)

Jonah, you are two weeks old today!  How do you feel?

I'm sorry - one moment.  I'm trying to make that shape you do with your mouth when you say "two" and "old."

Well you're doing a great job of it.  So are you sleeping at night?

Oh yeah.  I usually hang out with Mom until 11.  Get up at 2.  And I'm back down until 6.  But you should see me sleep during the day.  There's the real talent.

What are a few of your favorite things?

Besides the obvious 2, I assume.  I love my swaddle blankets.  They velcro so I can't break out of them.  I like knowing where my boundaries are.  I also really like my crib!  And I don't just mean the whole house.  My actual crib rocks!  And I don't mean it actually rocks.

And how are

Whoops sorry.  Gotta go.  I'm simply done with this.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Top 2 Tuesday: Mommy Must Haves

 When I was little my parents would ask me to count backwards from 10.  I'd turn around and say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.  I maintain to this day I knew exactly what I was doing.  I was simply preparing to marry a philosopher!  (And no, Dad, this did not take place 'last year').  

So in the spirit of counting down, I'll try a new tradition here at The Joy:  Top 2 Tuesday!  Why only 2?  Because that's what I have time for.  Because it sounds cute.  Because it's my blog not yours.

Today's top 2 are my current favorite mommy must haves!  Obviously I'd like to list Howard and Jesus as my top 2, but those are a given. Actually the baby is probably the number one mommy must have, cause he makes you the mommy... but let's not wax too philosophical today. 

Drumroll please...

#2 mommy must have:

Tazo chai tea latte.  No, you don't have to be a mommy to use this highly addicting stuff, but when you're holed up in your house and can't get to Starbucks, this magic potion does the trick!  You just mix half this and half milk and microwave.  DELISH.  And it comes in decaf for you nursing mamas!!

One more drumroll...

#1 mommy must have:
The angel care video / movement / sound monitor.  Oh how I love this thing.  My friend Krystal told me about it and I'm so glad she did!  Nonni bought it for us and we use it ALL the time.  It monitors baby's breathing and an alarm goes off if he stops.  The video is crisp and bright and streams during nighttime darkness too.  There's sound and it even has a two way option if you want to say something to baby.  The screen display shows temperature in the baby's room as well.  It just brings such peace of mind.  And I love that I can see baby moving and waking up before we reach full on screaming mode.  We'll use this for a long time - even in toddler years because it will let us know if Jonah leaves his bed!  Heck...we'll use that feature till he's 18.  

We are all about Big Brother here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I did it

I cannot believe I gave birth.  I mean seriously - every time I look at Jonah I'm like, "That was IN me?!  That came OUT of me?!"  After veritable decades of anticipating this monumental task, this completion of my own womanly war story with which I will join the ranks of mothering females everywhere to tell for centuries to come, it's over.  Just like that.  It's now in the past.  And you know what?  It was a piece of cake!  I can't believe it was so easy.  Being sick for 6 months of this pregnancy was much, much harder.  Having Jonah taken away to the NICU after his birth was much, much harder.  And no experience nor recovery, physical or emotional, comes close to the hardship of losing Elijah.

I'm very blessed that all went so well, both the delivery and current recovery.  It's not like that for every woman, and I was reminded of this when I read Jonah the story of Jesus' birth the other day.

We've been using this precious Bible given by Howard's aunt for his story time:

And in it we came across the story of a woman who was told not only would she be pregnant before she were married (hey mom and dad - guess what...funniest thing happened last night... heh heh) but she would be birthing not merely royalty, but holiness.  

This was the summer of the royal baby of course and it's been fun to have a baby in the midst of it.  It's sort of like when I was 4 and watched Bush's inauguration.  His granddaughters were having hot chocolate and chicken nuggets so Mom made me hot chocolate and chicken nuggets.  Duchess Kate had a baby boy so I had to too.  

Anyway, there've been lots of comparisons like funny web articles about how Kate's pregnancy is different from yours, the peon, and my doctor joking he'd reserve the entire labor and delivery wing of the hospital for me. The morning of Jonah's birthday I was walking outside the hospital and saw this sign someone posted:

"Her Royal Highness Queen of Boltonshire was safely delivered of a daughter at 4:21 today, August 27.  Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."

Thought that was hilarious.  All the jokes just draw attention to the fact that we women aren't royalty, that we are regulars who put up with the mundane hardship and normalcy of the simple life.

I'm not sure we've got that perspective quite right.  Let's take a look at Mary.  I'll never read this story the same again.  Ever.

So first of all, 9+ months near-labor Mary is put on a donkey by her husband Joseph.  Why?  Because they have to get some paperwork taken care of for a census.  I would have been like "count this buddy {insert obscene gesture here}!!"  But Mary gets on this donkey and rides to a town where Joseph forgot to make a hotel reservation.  His one job, seriously.

So Mary is then put in a BARN with ANIMALS.  I was worried about the smell of my labor and delivery room and brought supplies to make sure it was scented something lovely.  Can you imagine what that place smelled like for Mary?  I mean the woman is already nauseous - can we not also test that theory with animal poo?  On top of that she isn't looking at a fresh unread copy of Southern Living for a focal point either.  No, she's looking at -yep- you guessed it.  More donkeys.  Nothing like a barnyard birth to make you feel like a woman.  

I can only imagine what Mary must have been thinking (or at least what I would have been thinking which is why I'm guessing is part of why God didn't give me the immaculate child to carry):  "This was NOT in my birth plan!!"  "No you don't understand, this baby really IS royalty!!"

So then it's time.  I'm sure Joseph really knew what to do and was a great comfort (ha!). I mean think about it.  He was a virgin.  Did he even know where the baby would come out of?!  He probably thought it was like an Alien situation - straight through the belly button.

What if Jesus had been breech?!  Could Jesus have been breech?  Hm.  Not something I've ever come across in Howard's plethora of resources on Jesus' perfection.  Note to self: add exploration of Jesus' breechness to the Great Conversation.

OK - in a barn, with animals, with a clueless Joseph, and no epidural, no doctor.  I'm pretty sure I would not have looked like this (nor have been able to sit like this) when it was all said and done:

And I'm pretty sure Joseph's face wouldn't have been that put together, either...if he were even allowed near me at all.  Seriously buddy, Priceline.  It's a click away.

So the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, comes into the world in this most lowly, opposite of what we'd expect way.  I cant really grasp the full meaning of this humble entry, but I know this: that is so Jesus.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chubby lovey & cocooning

Jonah is back up to his birth weight!  A full 6 days ahead of schedule!  The doc was very happy this morning!

In case you haven't heard, whooping cough (pertussis) is making a comeback.  It's the worst it's been in 50 years and several areas in the country have moved from outbreak status to epidemic.  Adult carriers often don't even know they have it (and only 8% of us keep up with our vaccinations), but it can be deadly for an infant.  The doc confirmed this morning that we need to keep cocooning until 8 weeks of age, and given Jonah's NICU stay would need to do that even if there weren't an outbreak of whooping cough. We have been so thankful that our closest friends and family have been happy to get vaccinated for baby Jonah.  If you're around infants at all, get your TDAP shot today!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What a trouper

Jonah had 2 appointments in the big city today.  All is well with his health, so big yay!!  Mommy and Daddy are exhausted.  We are so thankful Daddy is off work this week to take us to this stuff.  Jonah is exhausted too but he's getting it taken care of:

An equally precious sight:

Happy 1/52 Birthday Jonah!

Happy Lifeday Elijah!

Today is the day Elijah Howard began his life, one year ago.  It truly honestly seems like last week that we found out he was with us.  We love our little bug and think about him and talk about him often.  I love that we honor his personhood from conception by celebrating his true start date of existence.  Don't worry, we won't start throwing conception parties for Jonah, ha!  But I do think it's important we live out the statements of belief we make.  

It's raining today.  How fitting.  Elijah was such a downpour of goodness and nourishment to our souls.  He was such a blessing.  We love you little superman!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our hope

We pray that our son is a sign to this world of the truth of Christ, and that God would use him, teach him, and mold him in the service of his will.

Matthew 12:38-40

New International Version (NIV)

The Sign of Jonah

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Our diaper bag...

Howard has a baby.  This pic says it all haha!  Don't leave home without your diapers, fresh onesie, and metaphysics!

Got milk?

Our first outing!

Going to the doctor!

Monday, September 2, 2013