Tuesday, January 25, 2011

10 Years of Billy & Kate

Today officially marks 10 years of our relationship.  Ten years ago, after several months of close friendship (as in, "yes, for the 100th time, I swear we are just friends"), I got a phone call from Billy.  I was staying at a hotel in Tulsa, for a weekend of Oklahoma All-State Choir events.  Billy called to "ask me out" as we said in those days.  One of the best moments of my life.  I was 16 years old, Billy was 15 about to turn 16 in 2 weeks; we've been a couple ever since.  The rest is history.  High school graduation, college, engagement, marriage, a dog, grad school, and now a beautiful daughter.  I can't put into words how much I love my wonderful husband, my best friend.  I'm so thankful that he loved me 10 years ago, but even more that he loves me still!  Can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring!  Here are some pics from high school for your enjoyment:

Our first "date" (youth group outing)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Six Months Old

Maryn had her 1/2 birthday last weekend!  What a blessing the last 6 months have been!  We went to the doctor today for a check-up (and vaccines...sad).  Everything looks good & she continues to grow.  She weighs 14lbs, 13oz (25th percentile) & is 25.5in long (30th percentile).  Lots of big milestones lately, as you have seen in recent posts.  She's sitting up well, trying out food, & becoming much more vocal.  She still isn't quite sure what to think about food.  We've been giving her rice cereal around lunch time & a veggie in the evening.  So far, she isn't showing very much interest, but we're trying not to push it & just let her experiment with new tastes & textures.  Most of it gets spit back out, haha. I think she actually stores everything like a chipmunk in those big cheeks of hers & then spits everything out at once! She's still sleeping well at night, although lately she occasionally wants to wake up earlier to eat, around 6:30am or so.  But unless it's a day I go to work, we both go back to bed after that feeding & get up around 9am.  She nurses/takes a bottle 6 times a day usually.  One great thing we've noticed is a mysterious lack of spit up these days - only very small amounts every 4 or 5 days!  That esophogeal sphincter must be developing well!  ;)

Stuff Maryn likes: Graycie, books, the exersaucer, zerberts, reaching for things she can't have, her thumb (she's always biting it, & occasionally sucks on it), the church nursery (she just loves watching the big kids), Old MacDonald, her feet, baths, arching her back & throwing her head backward when she gets mad (yikes), Sophie the giraffe, shaking her head "no", her squeaky hippo, hooting like an owl, grabbing hair (ouch!), and watching Daddy make her stuffed Tigger dance.

Six months does mean that it's time for Maryn's surgery, so please be in prayer for her & for us.  She is scheduled for surgery in Grand Rapids, MI on February 4th at 7:30am (the date was changed).  We are very nervous, & it will be so hard to let her go back for the surgery, but we know the Lord is good & loves Maryn more than we ever could, and we are trusting him to care for her & heal her.  Of course we'll keep everyone updated when the surgery occurs.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Food

Most of you know that I'm uneducated and unskilled in all things domestic.  So it may surprise you to hear that I recently undertook the task of making homemade baby food.  I never thought I'd be that person either.  But the idea of never really knowing what's in Maryn's food bothered me - preservatives & such.  Plus, there are so many easy fresh foods that babies can enjoy, some you don't even need to cook like bananas & avocado.  So I was motivated to at least give it a try.  I got an electric food mill, a steamer basket, and ice cube trays made the perfect size for single servings of baby food.  So far so good.  I have batches of carrots, peas, green beans, butternut squash, apples, and pears in the freezer - plenty to last quite a while.  Easiest thing I have ever done in the kitchen (although once she moves beyond single ingredient foods it may get a little more complicated).  And I honestly thought it was fun; I just kept imagining my baby enjoying the "fruits of my labor".  :)   They all tasted quite good, too.  Maryn is still getting the hang of rice cereal, so she has only tried the squash as of yet.  It's so easy - grab a cube from the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, & feed to baby!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally anti-jar food.  I even bought a few organic jars to have on hand, which I'm sure will be used, especially for travel or when I'm in a pinch.  But for the most part, I'm going to do my best to stick with the real stuff.  Here are my resources: this website & this book.


Butternut Squash


Freezer bags of homemade goodness :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No Business Like Snow Business

Sorry for the cheesy post title, but seriously, when people here in Michiana talk about snow, they mean business.  Ever since we got back from Oklahoma, it seems it has been snowing non-stop.  Last week we got over 3 feet, and it's still snowing now.  They do a pretty good job with the roads, but sometimes getting out is still a little nerve racking.  We have purchased down coats, snow boots, a special ice scraper-snow brusher combo thing on a long handle, and, most recently, a snow shovel.  One day this last week Billy had to shovel out a path in front of the garage so I could get the car out to go to work.  The snow is inconvenient, but at least we have a warm, cozy home when things are too bad to get out much.  That is until the power went out for 24 hours this week...during a snow storm.  Everything in our apartment runs on electricity - heat, stove, etc.  That was...(ahem) fun.  We were fine until it got dark, and then it got really cold, and really boring.  We bundled Maryn up in warm pjs, blankets, mittens, and a hat, and we played 20 questions and read aloud from the Chronicles of Narnia by flashlight (electric torch according to C.S. Lewis).  So we made the best of it; it was actually kind of nice to have a day with no internet, no TV or movies, no video games, and no phones (we wanted to preserve the batteries in case of emergency).  I just hope it doesn't happen again any time soon.  :)  As for the snow, native residents tell us it will be on the ground at least through March.  Sigh.

Walking out the front of our apartment
Our garage is third from the left

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm posting a few videos today in honor of Maryn's half birthday (I'll get to the 6 month old post later). Lots of new developments in our 6 month old's life! Here's a video of her latest trick: shaking her head "no". She does it ALL the time, over and over. I don't think she knows it means "no" but it's hilarious to ask her questions and see her respond by shaking her head. Like, "wanna take a nap, Maryn?" "Nooo!" "Are you ever going to grow up to be a cranky teenager who tells us she hates us?" "Noooo!" Hahaha.

First Food

Maryn had her first taste of food last week: rice cereal. We actually missed the first bite on the video, but it's still pretty funny. She's doing better now. :)

Sitting Up

We took this video a week or so ago; she gets better every day!  While she sits, she is enjoying her favorite Christmas gift: Sophie the giraffe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Date...

...since Baby entered our lives.  When we were home for Christmas, my mom offered to babysit for a few hours one evening so we could go to a movie.  We were unsure at first, we had never left her except for an hour in the church nursery on Sundays.  And she had never been given a bottle by any one other than Billy.  Our hesitation didn't last long, we knew she'd be in capable, loving hands.  We cautiously walked out the front door.  As soon as we were outside, no baby in tow, we paused and looked at each other.  Then Billy grabbed my hand and we ran as fast as we could to the car, laughing the whole way!  We had a blast!  Looking forward to many more dates to come!

We saw The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia) in 3D

So happy to be alone!

Our First Family Christmas

Our first Christmas with Maryn was so much fun.  And the years to come will be even better when she knows what's going on!  We are so blessed to have a beautiful daughter to buy gifts for and with whom to share the story of Jesus our Lord and Savior!

Maryn's first Christmas ornament

Our little tree and stockings

Under the mistletoe with Daddy

Kissin' Momma

Readin' a book from Momma & Daddy

So excited about Beauty & the Beast!

Actually the only thing she got really excited about was crunching & eating the wrapping paper!

Christmas in Oklahoma

We had an amazing (but too short) time in Oklahoma over the holidays.  Maryn was a great traveler!  You'd think she flew on a plane every day!  And once she got over a little stranger aversion on the first day, she was so happy to (re)meet all her relatives!  And I'm pretty sure they were thrilled to see her.  :)

Maryn's only cousins - Kaylee & Wyatt

With all the women on my Mom's side of the family

Billy's Memaw - Maryn's great-great grandma

With Billy's mom, Nana

With Papaw

With Mamaw

With Billy's Grandma Dean, another of Maryn's great-great's

Waking up Uncle Scott on Christmas morning; unfortunately I didn't get any pictures with Aunt Hannah.  Not sure how that happened!  Maybe because she's always behind the camera.

With my Dad, Maryn's Grandad

And finally with my Mom, Maryn's beautiful Nona
We love our families so much!  We can't wait until we can make another trip home!

Saturday, January 1, 2011