Monday, October 24, 2011

15 Months

Well, it's time for a Maryn update.  Can't believe she's already 15 months old!  I feel like I just wrote her 12 month update!  One thing is becoming clear, Maryn is a very verbal girl.  She likes to talk.  Loudly.  All the time.  To any one who will listen.  Her vocabulary is rapidly growing (book, ball, bye-bye, night-night, banana, apple, water, shoe, sock, keys, up, snack, baby, one, outside, diaper, Elmo, George, Momma, Dadda, Graycie, Elliott); of course, most of these words aren't perfectly enunciated or anything - she requires an interpreter still, but we know what she's saying.  Her favorite is still "Hi!" which she says constantly at home and anywhere we go - it's her first word in the morning.  Now she also says, "Hi, babe!" or Hi, Bay-bay!"  I guess because we say "Hi babe" or "Hi, baby" to her all the time.  It's so funny.

She also LOVES for us to read books to her (her current favorite is Pat the Bunny).  She probably drags a book over to one of us and says, "Boo?" about a million times a day.  And she throws an outrageous fit if you say no.  Speaking of which, fits are another new development; these include screaming, crying, hitting, stomping, and momentary despair.  Yeah...we're working on it.  She is getting better at following simple commands, which is nice ("Sit on your bottom", "Bring me your shoe", "Put it in the trash", "Get your milk" etc).  But this means she is also getting good at disobeying commands, like, "Bring that to me" followed by a crazy, giggling, maniacal run as fast as she can away from me.  I can't help but laugh most of the time.

Of course she's walking (nearly running) and getting into everything.  She has learned to get down from furniture like the couch, but she can't climb up yet, so that's frustrating to her.  Curious George is still the most loved toy.  If she can't find him she goes from room to room calling for him ("George? George! Geeeooorrrggge?!").  She loves her ride and push car, her grocery sack, her baby doll, her blocks, her Noah's ark animals, and of course, our cell phones.  She also likes to go outside and see the trees, leaves, grass, acorns and possibly a dog or a cat ("Woof! Meow!").  Currently, she is also obsessed with socks and shoes - we find both ours and hers all over the place because she is always dragging them out.  Another favorite thing is several times a day, she puts a bag over her shoulder and says "Bye!" and walks toward the front door or down the hall; then she comes back as if she was gone a long time and says, "Hi!".  So cute.  She also loves to talk to herself in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door while I get ready in the mornings.

She's still a pretty picky eater.  She does have a new found love for fish sticks which is pretty funny.  But thankfully she's gaining weight; at the pediatrician's a couple of weeks ago she weighed 18.8 lbs!  Which is up to the 4th percentile - yay, back on the chart!  The day before she turned 15 months old, she completely weaned herself - at that time we were only nursing once a day.  So that's been sad and very freeing at the same time for me.  She still has a little bit of iron-deficient anemia, so we're giving her an iron supplement; she's slowly increasing her meat intake, too, so hopefully we'll be able to get off the supplement in a couple of months.

I swear she gets cuter every day.  She's just growing up too fast.  She's learning so much and changing so quickly that it's getting really difficult to adequately write these updates; I could never include it all! Here are some highlights of the last 3 months:

13 Months
14 Months
15 Months
She loved her pool this summer
She always sleeps on George sweet
Sesame Street videos are our source of sanity
She loves saying that she's one
George and Pat the Bunny
Loves her car
Fall pics

Wearing Daddy's shoes
Fish sticks!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So, as I mentioned recently, I have yet to write a post on our church.  Which just seems so ridiculous to me for so many reasons, but I think it's because I just have too much to say.  When we were planning on moving, we knew that the most important thing we needed to do was find a church, a body of believers that would be our family.  We found Fulkerson Baptist Church in Niles, Michigan on the Nine Marks website, and began reading everything from the church website, following the pastor's blog, and listening to sermons.  From what we could tell, it seemed like everything we prayed to find.  Of course, you never know until you actually visit a place, and meet the people.  After 2 or 3 visits, we knew we were home.  Here is a picture of us on the Sunday we joined, along with several other families; we are on the very far left, with Maryn:

We absolutely love our church.  It's on the smaller side, which means there are plenty of opportunities to serve.  There are lots of young families like us, but younger and older generations are also well represented, and worship alongside one another.  The preaching/teaching is seriously amazing - we can't get enough.  We love the pastor, the other elders, the music, the rest of the leadership; we love the people.  We love the theology, the mission, the vision, the passion of this church.  

In the last couple of months, we have begun to transition from getting to know people and enjoying being blessed by the service of others, to beginning to get more involved and serve in various areas, which has been such a joy.  We have had opportunities to help on the worship team and in the nursery.  Billy recently became a deacon, and is very excited to be a servant within the church's ministry to the widows, orphans, and the poor.  I recently formed a new communications team to figure out ways to better inform the body about church events and announcements - I love the people I get to work with on this!  We also have recently joined a newly formed small group (our first small group was getting too big) and are really enjoying getting to know the people in our group.  Maybe our small group deserves its own blog post!  :)  

I recently read the book Radical by David Platt.  In it he says: "We need community in order to follow Christ radically.  I am convinced that one reason many of us have not taken radical steps in our giving, for example, may not be so much because we love our possessions as it is because we fear isolation.  If the radical, simple living we see Jesus talking about were more common in the church, it would be much easier for us to live simply as well.  But we look around, and everyone else has nice cars, nice homes, and lifestyles characterized by luxuries, so we accept that this must be the norm for Christians.  We may get convicted about our way of living when we look at the Bible, but then when we look at one another, we assume it must be okay because everyone else lives this way.  If we are going to live in radical obedience to Christ, we will need the church to do it.  We will need to show one another how to give liberally, go urgently, and live dangerously....In the process we will learn to depend on one another according to God's design."

We are very blessed, because Fulkerson Park does not fall into the category described above.  It is full of individuals and families who are living radically for the gospel of Christ.  People who give their time and money abundantly, who adopt orphans, who fight for the weak and the unborn, who selflessly love their neighbors, who work hard and sell possessions so they can go overseas to a dangerous place to reach the lost, who use their intellect to write books and go to school and teach for the glory of God, who use their trade skills to serve others and show God's love, who live very simply on small budgets so they can dedicate their lives to ministry, who drive beat up mini vans because they love kids more than luxury and status, who give up Sunday afternoons to care for those in nursing homes, who sacrifice and give when someone in the body or someone they know is in need, who pay for books for seminary students in Africa, who regularly and hospitably open up their homes to others, who spend hours planning and organizing ways for children to have gospel-hearing opportunites as well as their care so parents can have those opportunities also, who give up the American dream for the sake of a better Kingdom.  I could go on.  We are not worthy to be named among them.  In this environment, Billy and I are doing lots of growing, we are challenged, and we feel loved.  Isn't it amazing the way God works through local faith families?  We didn't even know these people existed just over a year ago, and now we feel one with them.

Curious to hear our pastor, Brian Hedges?  Here he is answering a question on  

And here's our church website:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Birthday

I turned 27 just over a week ago, and I realized that birthdays are different once you become a parent.  The highlights of my birthday were 1) getting to go back to bed to sleep longer (until 9:00!) after I fed Maryn; 2) taking Maryn to see Curious George at the library; and 3) going on a date not even caring where we were going because I was just so happy to be alone with Billy.  I. Am. Old.  But loving it.  :)

Seriously, I had a great day.  Here are the highlights:

Beautiful flowers from my husby
Curious George: she was scared at first...

But ended up loving it.  She kept wanting to go back to say hi.

Vera Bradley bag!

Billy thought I was crazy when I requested lemon bars.
But being the sweetheart that he is he made them anyway.
And then a few days later came....the SURPRISE date!!!  Billy arranged for a babysitter (love you, Brette!) and had me come home from work early.  We ate at a cute little Italian restaurant downtown and then he took me to see Brian Regan live at the Morris Performing Arts Theater (where we saw James Taylor)!  It was such an awesome surprise.  We love Brian Regan (seriously, you should watch anything you can find of his - hilarious).  And I've never seen a live comedian before.  It was so fun to do something different on a date.  

So thankful to the Lord for my family, and the gift of another year!