Monday, January 29, 2007

Tribute to the Bryce

My little brother, Bryce left this morning to go to Hillsong College in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA for six months!
Not only will he not be a car's drive away, he will be a 24-hour plane ride!! He will, quite literally, be on the other side of the world. It's so bittersweet, because I am so happy for him and so proud of him, but I will miss him tremendously. He's my baby brother! Whether he knows it or not, he means a heck of a lot to me, and I have always looked out for him and stuck up for him. I actually have a classic story about defending him to an obnoxious work colleague of his, while extremely inebriated. It was my almost-first fight. But I'm very proud of that moment!

He is definitely the entertainer and baby of the family... He has always been the one to make everyone laugh, he's never been one to hold back his opinions or his first reactions to anything. Everything is the "funniest movie I've ever seen", or "the most amazing thing ever". Since Reese has been born he's been known to say on many occastions "How can one little girl bring so much joy?". And I'm not exaggerating, he said it just like that. When she was first born, he was in school in Waxahachie and so he didn't get to see her till the next morning. He was holding her, and she yawned. His reaction was, "How does she know to do that?". It was so sweet. And he has loved her and been so adoring of her since that day. It's so fun to have brothers who enjoy their niece so much and have such a good time making her smile. I know Bryce will be extremely sad that he will miss her first birthday and her first birthday party... And I know he will miss her a whole heck of a lot.

He's the stereotypical "baby" of the family... the one who doesn't mean to get into trouble, and when he does, he doesn't really understand why! He is perpetually getting injured doing the weirdest things... He's the one who changes his mind about what he likes 50 times and wonders why you're confused... He's just being himself, uncensored, all the time, and it's great. He's a basketball superstar, a singer extraordinaire, a self-taught drummer and guitar player, and not to mention that he's tons of fun and hilarious. He's definitely changed his path a few times, but he's closer to finishing college than Brandon or I, and now he's off to Australia to become a legitimate worship leader (not that he isn't now... but he'll be studying in an amazing and renowned program) and minister... I dare say he's much closer to his goals and who he's meant to be than I am! Or at least he's much closer than I was at 25, that's for darn sure. (on a final note, he would probably read this paragraph and completely, and indefinitely argue with me that he changes his mind all the time... that's my brycie)

Anyways, here are some pictures to pay tribute to my baby bro, Brycearoni. I LOVE YOU!!!!! I am so extremely proud of you that I can't find the right words to even express it... but I will miss you very very much. And I have cried a lot this morning!!
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Countdown to ONE... Part Six

October and November 2006...
It is hard to narrow down pictures at this point, because they are all sooo cute and fun. At this point we were getting out of the frustrating phase. She was figuring out how to pull herself up and get around, and once she did that, she seemed to be much more content and happy. I know she has a lot of my personality, and it seems to me that she has a lot of my need to be around and about and "in control". Meaning, having to sit around and play and barely be able to crawl was not her idea of fun. She wanted so much to be in a two-year-old's body.

This was her first pumpkin patch picture, and since I've posted a lot of these already, I'll be brief. =) There's also her first Halloween (you can read about it in my previous blog from October), her first time at the WillowBend play area, and her first Thanksgiving.
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I have to include a picture of Reese with our friends Lauren and Aaron. We're with them all the time, and she probably thinks they're family. Anyways, this was at her first Chili Cookoff. Which, of course, is an extremely momentous occasion in any young girl's life.
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I have a feeling I'll be seeing a lot of this mischievous smile for the rest of my life...
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Play date at Willow Bend
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My little Monkey. Could she be any cuter?!?!
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Countdown to ONE... Part Five

August and September 2006...

Reese went swimming in my parents' pool for the first time! I didn't have a bathing suit, so I had to borrow this hideous one of my mom's from the 80's. It was hot pink with bright yellow polka dota! I was in no condition to be wearing a bathing suit, BUT it was completely worth it. Reese was so cute in the pool. And I think my dad pulled a muscle in his face from the goofy smile he wore the entire time. It was hilarious. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
She also had to go get shots... (don't even ask what's up with my hair here. no clue) Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

She also figured out how to sit up on her own... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My FAVORITE picture of her. I even sent this one into the Baby Gap Casting Call. =) Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
If you know my daughter, you know she never ever cuddles or settles down for two seconds. So, this random day, she fell asleep on Niles' stomach. It was the sweetest thing, and I think Niles must have sat there forever, just because he hadn't been able to hold her like that since she was about three months old! Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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My New Hero

I have my DVR set to tape Oprah every day, and while my DVR is somewhat selective in how it chooses to do what I ask it to, it finally obeyed, and taped Oprah's show yesterday. She had a guest by the name of Elizabeth Vargas. I have never heard of her before, but she was the co-anchor for the ABC World News, and left her prestigious job when she had her second child. During her entire pregnancy she wrestled with the decision of what to do once the baby came, and what she would be sacrificing, but also what she would be gaining by choosing either to stay at home with her children, or to continue her job which required her to jump on a plane at a moment's notice, and be gone sometimes for days or weeks at a time!

Ultimately she chose to step down from her role as co-anchor, and she spend time at home with her newborn and her three-year-old. Now, she does work for 20/20, but she is not the sole anchor of the show, and therefore doesn't require as much time at work. She is my new hero!! She addressed the guilt factor of being a working mom and wondering if her kids would grow up "less" than the other kids whose mommies stayed at home, but she also addressed the issue of desiring to have what she had spent so much of her life working towards... her career. It was a fascinating story, and it just completely struck home with me.

The whole Oprah episode was full of discussion over the age old question of, "Can Women Have It All?". Essentially, can women be a great mother, be a great businesswoman, be a homemaker and wife and corporate success? It's a question that throughout the show, and now afterwards as I have been thinking on it for hours, I feel will always beg for resolution. The fact is, there will never be complete closure on this topic, because there is no right or wrong answer. Being a working woman does not necessarily mean you are putting your child and family on the backburner, and being at home all day does not mean you are a great mom!! There are so many sides to this discussion, not a single one of them less passionate than another.

I had my two friends, Jackie and Stacey over yesterday with their two little boys, Noah and Carson. Noah is 6 weeks older than Carson, and Carson is 6 weeks older than Reese. The three of us are each in different situations with our homelife, and it seems that each of us are happy with our decisions, happy with the way things are, and in a way, we all feel like we have what we desire to have with our children. This is not to say that some days we don't wish things were different, some days we feel guilt for whatever area of life seems to be lacking right then... But I look at the three of us, and think, you know, we do have it "all". One of us works three days a week, and is home with her family the other four, one is at home all the time, and myself, I am sort of a combination of the two... Working from the office half days, working from home some days, and taking Reese to my mom's for some of those times when I am at the office. There are days when I feel my situation is ideal. I can work, bring home some type of income, but I am also given the opportunity to be with my daughter all the time. But there are also days when I feel lacking. There is, to the chagrin of some women out there, some part of me that really desires to be a successful businesswomen, no matter how complete and satisfied I am with my baby girl, and with our life the way it is. So, I live my life conflicted, as I'm positive that most working moms do, and probably a lot of stay at home moms do, with the guilt of even desiring a life outside of my child and my home! There is something inside of us that feels as though we should, in a sense, give up our lives for our children. At the same time, I feel there is something lacking in that argument. Like I've stressed over and over and over, I want to achieve and accomplish things for the sake of being a more balanced, well-rounded and whole person, which I feel would make me a better mother and role model. And I want Reese to be able to look at my life, and feel like her mom has achieved things, and for that reason, she can look at her life and know that she is capable of doing those same things, and it's never too late to try.

We may never be able to fully have it "all", but can you blame us for trying?? What I think we have to do is be forgiving of each other, flexible with each other, and understanding about the choices each of us make. They are NOT by a long shot, easy choices or comfortable choices. But they are personal and they are deeply intimate, and they should not be judged or criticized.

On a final note, my prayer lately is that God will really give me wisdom and open doors for me once I finish school. I am praying that He is laying the preparations for me, as I try to do the right thing by finishing school, getting my degree, and giving myself more opportunities for our family's future. I struggle with the thoughts of, okay, so once I finish school, then what? My daughter will only be two, and I don't want her in daycare all day everyday... In fact, that is the LAST thing I want. So, what will I do?!?! But, I feel like my feet are on the right path. Once I finish and get my degree, maybe I take time off to weigh the possibilities of my future, or maybe God will have opened the right doors, and I'll be able to do exactly what I want. Which is what I hope to know by this time next year. =)

I'm proud of all my mother-friends. I think we have all done a spectacular job of balancing our personal needs with the needs of our children. We have all done it differently, and we all live and choose differently, and I'm sure we could have a very lively discussion about this topic, but the bottom line is, I don't doubt for one second any of my friends' care for or love for their child or children. i LOVE YOU ALL (you know who you are!) and I am so proud of you all for the jobs you have done with your beautiful kids.

(And my last final note, all my friends have managed to raise extremely well-behaved children! I'm very fortunate to have such an amazing variety of role models to choose from among my peers!)

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Feel Paralyzed

First off, let me say that I hate trying to think up titles for my blog postings. To try and be witty, clever, and cute, all the while trying to tie it in to some random thought I want to write about, is stressful! So, each time, I sit and think of what interesting way I can introduce a completely irrelevant, useless fact about my personal life in a fantastic, funny way. Alas, the best I could come up with was that I feel paralyzed ?!

I feel paralyzed, dear friends, because after finally getting over a hideous cold I've had for the last couple weeks (which, thanks to echinachea infant drops, Reese caught NONE of, thank the LORD), I went to boot camp Saturday morning, and caught a new kind of attack on my comfort: a back muscle strain. Okay, I have no idea if it's called a "back muscle strain", but that's certainly what it feels like. The last time I had back pain was last April, and it was sharp, piercing, and two months long!! LUCKILY, this feels nothing like that time. I am sore, stiff, uncomfortable, and feel like I am walking like a chicken, with my chest and rear end sticking out. This is the only way to walk with ease, unfortunately. I don't think it looks nearly as bad as it sounds, because noone has said anything to me, so that's good. But, I'm miserable, because I cannot go to boot camp!! I believe I may have an addiction. Seriously! When I first got injured, I got completely stressed out and overwhelmed, because my first reaction was that I was going to have to deal with this for two months, and miss out on all the hard work I've been doing, and all the progress I've made physically. Niles wasn't very sympathetic, because he says I tend to get overwhelmed very quickly, before I really know what's going on. WHAT?!?! Ok. He's right.

I am feeling MUCH better than I did Saturday night, mostly because I have been icing and heating it alternately for two days straight. I've only rested for two days now, but it really killed me that I couldn't go work out today. I now understand (in my own small, very small way) how it must feel for professional athletes if they get injured and have to sit out for long stretches of games. It must eat at them and feel horrible. Bryce, my little brother, has had back pain several times, and gave me some good tips: heat it, cool it, heat it, cool it, and don't work out. Thanks Bryce. duh. =)

Reese is DEFINITELY getting teeth this time. I know I've thought she was teething since she was about four months old, but this time it is for real. I can even feel them! Little sharp, pointy things! I'm so proud of her! My little girl is getting so big. We got her birthday invitations in the mail today, and I'm so excited to send them out. Niles made them himself. I'm doing a rubber ducky theme, since we seem to have an overabundance of ducks for some reason. And, she was a duck for Halloween. I really did not mean to be so duck-happy, but it just seemed to end up that way! She has not been sleeping that well lately, which, I'm sure is due to the sharp pointy bones she's growing, but I have to say, it's kind of nice! For once, she will actually cuddle with us! She will wrap her little arms around us, and snuggle right into our necks! It's the best feeling in the world. There is nothing like feeling that little chest rise and fall, that heartbeat right next to yours, and the sweet smell of that Johnson's baby shampoo in her curly hair. I love that little girl so much.

I had my first DBU course last Thursday. My homework for this week, among lots of reading, was to write my autobiography. Now, this is something that could get a little out of hand for me. When asked to write things like this, I get a little OCD, and feel like I have to include every detail of my life. It's become very clear to me that I will need to go back through and determine all the superfluous information. Which means, nearly all of it. Although, it has been somewhat fascinating to go back through my life and really recognize what may have developed my personality and my character as it is right now. It's also a bit scary to relive some of those things. There are parts of life you forget for a reason. Or, if you don't forget them, you would like to forget who you were when you were living them. I'm certainly not a perfect person, and there are many many ways I'd like to improve on myself, but I'm happy with who I am right now. I know that past events have worked to make me this person, but having said that, it is very difficult to look back at periods in my life and realize the extreme levels of stupidity I operated in. I used to get really upset when thinking back on my old self, and I would sit and think how I wish I could go back and change who I was... If I could only go back and shake the idiocy out of the old Lindsay. But, I'm stuck with my past. And, as we all know, the future is our gift to ourselves.

So, I'm gifting myself with skipping out on boot camp, so I can heal up and not get hurt worse. Although, I'm feeling somewhat compelled to get up at 5:30 tomorrow for the 6 a.m. class... JUUUUst in case.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back to Bold in the Cold

I FINALLY looked up my results tonight from the 5K I ran last week!
I completely forgot about it until tonight. I sure didn't think it would be anything spectacular, but I must say, I'm pretty freakin happy with how I did!!!
You can check it out here:
Heck yeah!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Countdown to ONE!... Part Four

June and July 06.
Reesey's First Summer!
June was the first time our BELOVED Dallas Mavericks made it to the NBA FINALS!!! We, as a family of course, were completely and totally THRILLED and watched every single playoff game and finals game. Of course, those damn Miami Heat had to ruin it all, along with the idiotic, inept, incapable and retarded officials. BTW, what the hell kind of mascot is a "heat"?!?! lame.
Anyways, Reese really enjoys basketball and the Mavs. I made her her own personal Mavs onesie using Sharpies. It was super-cute, and I did one heck of a job, I must say. But the bad thing was, because of all her drooling, the sharpies bled through, and her chin was all blue. =)
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She also went to her first MLS game. The Dallas Burn...Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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She got much more difficult during this time. Although she was finally able to sit up on her own, which I thought would make her really happy, she was just more frustrated because she wanted to do more and couldn't. So, this month and the next couple were actually pretty difficult for some reason. But, nonetheless, wonderful. =)
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My new favorite picture...
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At the end of July, and the beginning of August was when Reese went on her first road trip, and her first trip to visit Nana and Grandad in Tennessee. She finally got to meet her Uncle Grayson, and her cousin Kaylen! Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting


The last week, I swear I have had one of my WORST ever bouts of insomnia. Normally I don't mind them, because I just get up and read, mess around on the computer, get stuff done... But since now I got to boot camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 am, not falling asleep until 2:30 is NOT convenient. Nor is it as nice as it used to be.

Before having a baby, I was such a ridiculous night owl. Staying up till 2 am was nothing to me. And I would never have any reason for staying up that late... It was just for fun! I've always hated going to sleep, and I fight it bitterly until it overtakes me. I just feel like there are so many other things I'd rather do! Read, clean, watch TV, whatever. My mom says I've ALWAYS been that way, even when I was a baby. (I'm starting to glimpse a little of this in my Monkey, but luckily, she's scheduled and after a wee bit of crying, she's out like a light.) But I cannot hang with these late nights anymore!!

One of my goals for this year, although I can't remember if I listed it or not... It's pretty much unreasonable for me to think I could actually do this... was to get in bed at 10pm, and start the wind-down process. But, of course, I am never in bed before 11, at least. But, considering my past, this is actually pretty good for me.

Anyways, I'm rambling.
I'm so freaking tired right now. I finally fell asleep at 2:30, after a long bath where I read 100 pages of my first Lemony Snickett book, not to mention a mug of hot "sleepytime tea", and every other trick I could think of.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Countdown to ONE!... Part Three

So, I'm having to combine more than one month now, because otherwise we'll have TWELVE of these posts, and I'll never get it done.
So, this is April and May. FANTASTIC months. Everyone told me that once babies hit the three-month old stage, they are much more fun because they start to show personality, and they are more responsive and interactive. This was SO true! She was starting to be fun, but she was still "manageable" and very content to sit in her little bouncy seat by my desk all day. This was when I first started taking her to work with me, and we were much more scheduled. She would eat, stay awake until it had been an hour and a half, then she would sleep for an hour and a half. Then, repeat. All day. And she was sleeping through the night. It was awesome. She was so easy, and so adorable. The first two months were so rough, and these two months were like heaven. Not to mention, My brother and his girlfriend, Meredith got married. The funny thing is, Reese was a perfect angel EXCEPT for the day they got married. She was NOT happy. And spitting up all over my poor Aunt Melissa who came in simply for the wedding, only to have herself thrown up all over by my "angelic" daughter. =)

Here's April... a little more than two months old.
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Teeny tiny!!
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I LOVED this outfit... It was her little Polo/Ralph Lauren outfit. Even though it was warm out, I made her wear it. =)
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At work with mommy...Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Finally able to push herself up on her arms!
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MAY!! My 3 month old ANGEL
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This is one of my family's early favorite pictures of her. Something about those "baggy" eyes and crooked, mischievous smile.
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Since May was a big month for the family, I have to post a wedding pic. It's not great, because my camera died that day, but here's the happy couple...
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AND, just to brag... At Meredith's bachelorette party, we did run into the HOT HOT HOT bachelor. That's right.
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