Saturday, March 31, 2012

note to self

I apologize for the bit of negative focus in the last post. I tend to be a "glass half empty" kind of girl which I do not like about myself. So for the steep price of $1200 our pictures might be recovered. We are going to pass on that offer and say goodbye to the lost images. But I feel like I have a better perspective on the whole thing. I can focus on what is lost or how many awesome pictures we still have and get to on this sunny afternoon one day this week.

Mark had his camera out and was capturing life unedited. I have to chuckle at myself as I protested these shots after he took them. So I took out my loose ponytail and puffy vest and looked more like this...

and this...

I think I looked better in the first couple of pictures....when i was just being myself and not trying so hard. Trying hard causes unnatural things!

So here is my note to self (you can listen in): Relax and be who you are. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Stop trying so hard! True beauty comes from being at a place of rest. So relax and be yourself!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

memories are worth a thousand pictures, right?

   So in the beginning of March we took a trip south to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit our good friends Ryan and Denise. We also celebrated Hope's birthday down there and used the time to have a little family vacation before the baby comes. We had a great time. The weather was beautiful. The fellowship sweet. The memories plentiful.

   Some of the highlights of the trip were: going to Marbles kids museum, riding the carousel at the park in Raleigh, eating at Five Guys for Hope's birthday, party of 9 at California Kitchen, finding a car seat at the consignment sale after having a dream about a car seat, having our picnic lunch paid for by a stranger, and seeing NC State where Ryan goes to college.

   Well, I was in the middle of downloading like 30 pictures from our trip onto the blog when the portable hard drive slipped off the chair I was sitting on and then stopped working. We tried a bunch of times to get it working but to no avail. We gave it to a friend who knows computers and he could not get it to work either. Our hard drive is currently on the way to California to get diagnosed. The hard drive had seriously thousands of images on it. I could cry just thinking about it. I am praying that it is something that can easily be recovered. But if not I guess we learned a lesson about backing up our pics...

So here are a few pics from our trip...the ones I downloaded before the fateful hard drive crash.
On a side note this little miss is potty trained! I am so proud of her!
Hayden was a gracious little host sharing his house and toys with four kids

Four on the couch watching "Curious George"

Headed for a morning at the kid's museum

"Buckwalter Builders" at work

Well, there are a few snapshots from our trip.I am hoping our pictures can be recovered...but if not we have the memories we made to take with us...memories are worth a thousand pictures, right?

Here's to memories, road trips and backing up your pictures! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

big sister in the making...

We hung out with the Buckwalter clan on Friday night and Hope was loving her two little cousins who are both about 8 and 9 months old. She wanted to hold and hug and kiss them. Makes me exicted to watch her become a big sister soon...

And aren't these two little girls just the cutest! Again it makes me eager to squeeze and love my little baby girl in 6 weeks or less.....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

short leash mama...the long and short of letting go.

  I wrote this Thursday afternoon as a way to process my thoughts about owning a dog and trying to figure out why Fighter triggered so much emotion in here it is a little bit of dog therapy.

 So after I wrote my last post on how great it was going with Fighter I had kind of a little meltdown about owning a dog. She is still an overall great little pup but I think what has been triggered in me is my own issues. I realized I am at times afraid of the little thing. I will scold Hope for being scared of the dog but still at times when Fighter jumps up on my legs or I don't know how to calm her down I get panicky and actually afraid. In my mind I can rationalize that "I am a grown woman and this is a little dog" but my feelings tell me otherwise. Mark will laugh at me "What do you think she is going to you? " Maybe.
   I have been trying to walk Fighter everyday to the bus stop which is a 1/2 mile walk round trip to get her used to walking on a leash and being around the kids and me. The last couple of days she has been misbehaving on the walk and I find myself wanting to keep her on a short leash but it seems the more I try to control her and keep her leash short the harder it becomes to control her. I was thinking about the correlation to parenting and how at times I do the same thing with my kids. And I realize what really triggers the fear response in me around the dog is when I don't know what she is going to do or  I feel like I can't control her. I realized the same panic button is pushed when I feel out of control with my kids or I feel like I can't get them to listen or behave. So how do I not be a "short leash mama", trying to control every move?
   I need to relax and give a little freedom and grace. If the dog is not perfect all the time it does not mean I am destined to have dog like the one out of the movie "Marley and Me". And when my kids act out or talk back it does not mean that they are going to turn into total brats. I guess training a dog is kind of like parenting children as much as I resist that idea. I think both push on insecurities in me that I am not doing a good enough job, doing the enough of the right stuff etc and then I melt down and feel like a failure because with those kind of voices in my ear I have lost God's perspective.

   So I have gotten into a little more than I bargained for with this little puppy but hopefully I can not only overcome my fear of dogs but become a better mama in the process too...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a walk in the park...

 So far so good with the newest addition to our family. I was skeptical and had my doubts. But Fighter proves to be a good little puppy. Sure she sometimes jumps up on the kids and I still have my freak out moments but overall it has been an okay adjustment. Sunday afternoon we took her for a walk at Silver Mine Park and we got stopped every couple yards by other walkers "oohing" over her and stopping to chat with us. Everyone commented on how well behaved she was. This was encouraging for me to hear. I have no idea about puppies or dogs but after the walk in the park and watching "Marley and Me" I am realizing we have a pretty good little pup....
See any family resemeblance? Ha Ha :)

Ha! Ha! HA!

Monday, March 19, 2012

the best nest...

So while reading a children's book to the kids this morning I got convicted. I have often shared my love/hate relationship with living in an old rented farmhouse. I have also shared how it is all about my perspective and what I choose to fix my eyes on...the flaws or the beauty, the blessings or the things that are less than perfect. 
So in the story "The Best Nest" the mama bird says she hates her nest and wants a new one only in the end to realize her old nest was really the best. She says, 

"I used to hate it. But a mother bird can change her mind. You see....there's no nest like an old nest for a brand new bird."

Yes, that brought conviction to my sometimes bad attitude. I really do think this old farmhouse nest will be perfect to bring home my brand new little birdie. I have been having fun rearranging Hope's room to welcome our newest addition. I am not quite done (am I ever?) but I have been enjoying creating a space for little baby girl. And taking these pictures this morning helped bring perspective and appreciation for our current nest...
I can't wait to bring her HOME.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A girl and her dog....PART II:)

Mark writing here...I hijacked Heather's blog to bring you this update of "Fighter and Me."  Here is a shot I captured of my awesome wife today as she took Fighter for a stroll.  She is doing a great job loving on this puppy and I thought it would be great to share it.  I will save the pictures of Fighter rolling around on the ground with her and licking her face for a bit step at a time:)  Hope you enjoyed your Sunday.

a girl and her dog....

I'm dreaming of a moroccan pouf...

So I have been thinking about ottomans these days. I was on a pillow kick for a while but have moved on to ottomans. I have seen cool burlap covered ottomans that I love and have been working on making one out of an old footstool I got from my grandfather's house and a coffee sack. So I guess that is why I dreamed of ottomans Friday night. In the dream I was working on my coffee sack footstool but I had also bought a Moroccan pouf. I have seen these pouf ottomans in a lot of magazines and blogs. They are kind of all the rage in the decorating scene. So I woke up kind of chuckling about my dream. Who dreams about Moroccan leather poufs?
Mark worked all day yesterday so I ran errands with the kids and on the way to the grocery store saw a sign for a yard sale. DETOUR. We all climbed out of the car for a quick look around. And what should the first thing I see be but a white round leather ottoman with the price tag of $1. I could not believe it. It was not quite the Moroccan pouf of my dream but it was pretty close and for a much nicer price tag (the real poufs run from $100-$400). 
Anyways...I was blown away by the Lord and his little love notes once again! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fighter and Me

   So I have always been a self described "non-animal lover". Mark always jokes that he knew that I was the "one" when picking me up for a date I kicked away a cat that was trying to rub against my shin. I don't say I "hate" animals because that is too strong of a word but I am not a huge fan of furry four legged creatures, especially dogs who jump up and lick you and rub against your leg. The truth of the matter is not only am I not fond of dogs I am actually afraid of them.
   The fear began when as a toddler I decided to run away from home. I crawled under the gate of my fenced in backyard to freedom only to be toppled over by a dog who proceeded to hold me down and lick me repeatedly. That was how my mother found me that fateful day on the road crying hysterically and the rest is history.
   And this week history is being rewritten because.... we have a dog. I can't even believe I am typing these words. I am still getting used to this whole idea.
   The journey began back in January when we dog sat for Matt and Naomi and Sarah fell in love with Bear and the whole idea of having a dog. When Bear had her puppies a few weeks later we went over to visit and again the idea kept presenting itself. Mark gave me a lecture on how great a dog would be for our kids and how it would help teach them responsibility and help them overcome their fear of animals, an unfortunate inherited trait. I was not convinced. I fought. I pleaded my case. But in the end I lost.
   On Monday we brought home nine week old "Fighter". That was the name given to her by the cousins but Mark felt like the name should stick. I was not so sure "Fighter" fit this little female puppy. I was still "fighting" this whole idea.
  So here I am two days in and am learning tons. She is an outside dog and we are in the midst of training her to go to the bathroom, sleep in a crate, sit and come. Sarah is in puppy heaven. Silas likes to take Fighter for walks. Moses is not so sure about the dog and Hope is downright terrified of her. I must admit she is pretty cute right now. And maybe growing a little on me. But there is still part of me that wants to fight the whole idea of owing a dog and needing to let go of my lifelong dislike of them...
So maybe Fighter is the right name after all...she is fighting her way into my life and heart.