NC Computer Mama

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Review

I thought I would review my year. What better way to do that than to go back through my blog. Want to take a trip down memory lane with me? Here goes


January
Ainsley Started eating solids
Ainsley learned to roll over

February
I started watching Logan
Ainsley got Croup
I had a huge project at work roll out
I appreciated the women in my life

March
Taylor got cancer
March Madness captivated me AGAIN
Ainsley started looking like me

April
Taylor had many hang ups after his cancer surgery
Taylor's final pathology came back clear after both surgeries
I stopped watching Logan
We got chickens

May
I celebrated mother's day
Ainsley ate Tucker's tooth
We took Ainsley to the beach for the first time

June
Ainsley found a soul mate
We enjoyed our garden
Ainsley became more like me

July
We headed to the Adirondacks
Ainsley turned 1
Ainsley was SO BIG

August
I was in the desert
Libby got cancer

September
Kate got married in NYC
Ainsley outgrew reflux

October
I went through first time mommy panic
Ryan and I celebrated a kissable moment
Grandma turned 90

November
My love of Lists grew
We all got sick
I got a new kitchen

December
Ainsley spread cheer
Ainsley started to look like her cousin


I can't believe all those things happened this year.  Some of them seemed like yesterday and some felt like lifetimes ago. 

For 2010, I am going to change my blog address.  I hate this one.  I set it up on a whim when I was on maternity leave and very hormonal.  It's a cheesy title and I just hate it.  My next post will tell you where to find me in the future.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Postman Messed Up

The other day my sister called me shortly after she got my Christmas card. She told me her daughter Riley (4 years old) opened the card and just started laughing. She said the postman must have messed up and sent her a picture of herself.

Here are is a comparison of our Christmas picture and an old picture of Riley. What do you think? Twins right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Cheer

This time of the year is busy for so many people. We are no exception. This week I am prepping my house for our annual Christmas party (current head count at 58 and counting) and working on Christmas cards.

I just have to keep reminding myself to stop and look at the cuteness that is in the midst of Christmas. Because she's there, right in the middle of it all.

Red Shoes and all...
If you do have time, go over to Emily's blog and take a look at how everyone else is stopping to enjoy the moment.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brag Time

I really try to make this blog about more than my child. I know everyone isn't as interested in her as I am.

That being said, I took some really cute video of her today. Here are the highlights. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


video

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Big Red Heart My New Kitchen

As many of you know, we have been remodeling our kitchen for the past few months. It's been a project of phases. 4 to be exact. First we ripped down a cabinet. Then we tiled the floor. Then we put in granite counter tops. Finally, we added trim to the cabinet doors and repainted them, replaced the drawers, and painted under the chair rail.

It's been a turbulent couple months of tearing down and rebuilding, BUT it's so worth it. I love it! And it didn't cost the $20K that we were originally quoted. This was a kitchen remodel on a budget, but you could never tell.

Let's tell the story in pictures....

The Cabinets Before...
The Cabinets After...
The Eat In Before...
The Eat In After...
The View From the Family Room Before...

The View From the Family Room After...
The Left Side of the Kitchen Before...
The Left Side of the Kitchen After...

The View In Before...
The View In After...



So as you can see, there were some big changes, some little changes, some paint, some hardware, some sweat, and some love. All of that leads to a kitchen that I can't wait to use...Oh and I'll be using it prepping for our Christmas party on December 19th! Happy Unwrapping to me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Things

It's the simple things that keep you going when you are down. We are all still battling illness but in the meantime we are relishing in the simple things. And dare I even say it, IT COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE!

Here is my latest...My little girl loves to sit in our rocking chairs and rock herself. It's pretty cute.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Down But Not Out

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that we are having a few issues with our health lately. Here's a recap of where we are:

Ryan - Started feeling sick the first week of November. Came down with a fever the second week of November. Got better after 6 days with a fever. Was better for 3 days when the fever resurfaced yesterday. He has been to the doctor and the recommendation was rest. He took 4 days off from work last week and suffered through a miserable day today at work. We are 90% certain this is the Swine Flu.

Ainsley - She has been coughing and snotty for a little over a week. I took her to the doctor the other day after a complete day of lethargy. He gave her some cough medicine but said this was also a rest and waiting game

Me - I have been coughing for over a week now. I finally went to the doctor yesterday when I came down with a fever. I have bronchitis. I am home from work today and probably tomorrow.

Needless to say, I am entirely discouraged. BUT, we have been very cared for by our family and friends. We have had meals brought to us. We have had people offer to take care of Ainsley. We have been prayed for. So we are down and could use your prayers, but we are definitely not out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Day Might Suck But My Life is Awesome

I started this Birthday in a really crappy mood. I was tired and sick. So I did what I do best, I made a list of why it sucked.

And then I had a great friend, Jon, comment and give me a perspective shift. So yes, I am sick and I am tired BUT...

  • I have a God that runs the universe and dwells in me
  • I have a wonderful husband - sick or not
  • I have the most beautiful daughter in the whole wide world
  • I have awesome parents who love me like I love my daughter
  • I have great sisters who tease me and protect me at all costs
  • I have awesome in-laws who love me like their own child
  • I have wonderful friends who do things like make me cakes and offer to make me dinner
  • I have a great job that I love to come to 4 days a week
  • I have a warm house and a warm bed to go to at the end of this crappy day
  • I have a great nanny who loves my child like her own (even when my child's sassy)
  • I have new granite counter tops going into my kitchen this week
  • I have just about everything...
So yes..the day sucks but the life is awesome and I have the list to prove it.

Happy Life to Me!

It's My Birthday and it Sucks

I always love my birthday. It's a day all about me. What's not to love?

Today is my birthday and at 8:00 I can already declare that this birthday sucks. Here are my reasons why....

  1. I'm tired. I have gotten a total of 8 hours of sleep in 2 nights. I've been up since 4 this morning
  2. I'm sick. I've been coughing up a storm and my nose is icky
  3. Ryan's sick. He has been the reason that I haven't slept. He's coughing louder than I am
  4. I'm at work. This is typical for my birthday but when you are sick it's even worse.
  5. I don't think I have any presents waiting for me (Ryan's been too sick to get anything and frankly he shouldn't because I didn't get him anything for his birthday...what goes around comes around)
  6. I have to cook tonight. Our counter tops are being replaced this week and we have to go out to eat on Wednesday and Thursday and we can't afford to eat out 3 nights in a row
  7. I'm sick. I know I already mentioned it but I am and I hate it
So there's my list for the day. I guess that's a positive about my day...I got to make a list...and you all know how much I love lists.

Happy Stinky Birthday to me!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who Does My Child Look More Like?

Here is a recent picture of Ainsley (Don't mind the black eye...she's learning to walk). Who does she look more like?


Boo from Monsters Inc?


OR

Cindy Lou Who?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lists

If you have read this blog at all, you know I love lists. As my friend Beth said the other day, sometimes I make them just so I can cross things off of them. It brings such a sense of accomplishment. I did that. I accomplished my goals. I am good.

Then in Sunday School the other day, we were given 2 lists. It was called a Self-Assessment. There was a list called "The Orphan" and another called "The Son/Daughter".

Some of the things on "The Orphan" were:
  • Lives on a success/fail basis
  • Struggles to trust things to God
  • Feels discouraged or defeated
  • Solution to failure: "Try Harder"
  • A "competent analyst" of other's weaknesses
  • Tends to compare yourself with others

Some of the things on "The Son/Daughter" were:

  • Not fearful of God
  • Freedom from making a name for yourself
  • Content in relationships because you are accepted by God
  • Is teachable by others
  • Content with what Christ has provided
  • Doesn't always have to be right
  • Is able to freely confess your faults to others
  • Experiences more and more victory over the flesh
  • God truly satisfies your soul

The exercise was to identify tendencies you see in yourself in the first list and places you most want to grow in the second list.

I wanted so badly to check things off and to feel the sense of accomplishment. Instead I began to feel deep conviction. I was focused on the first list. The struggles are deep. The failure is felt. I for once didn't want to check everything on the list.

And then I thought about the second list. It wasn't a list of things we are good at. It was a list of things that we wanted to have God grow in us. Wow. I'm not responsible for the second list. He is. I can ask but it's not about me doing something. It's about faith in knowing He will.

Grace. Check that off!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When I Survey

Ryan and I go to a church that is launching a church plant. In hope of not sounding too "churchy", it's just really we are starting a new church with some of the same people from our existing church in a smaller setting. The "mission" of the church is to reach the "unchurched" and the "de-churched". (Man was that a lot of quotes for 2 lines)

After much thought and prayer, we have decided to be part of this yet to be named new church. We go to launch meetings every Wednesday night and are part of a Sunday School. It's a very exciting time.

One of the things that the launch team is looking to do is to survey the community. We want to know what people like about church and what they don't like about church. We want to know where the church is failing. We want to have conversations with people we don't know about their experiences with church. It's a big assignment that pushes all of us into places we are not comfortable with. But, it's exciting at the same time.

The other day I went to get my haircut. It was literally just me and 2 hairdressers in the entire shop. I used the opportunity to survey these women. When I left, I was charged up. It was so exciting to talk to people about church and about God. And while I got some interesting information that was relevant to our survey project, I was given something more interesting, a joy of talking about my Savior. Brilliant I know. It got me thinking about how much I don't talk about God and church in my daily life.

And it's Tuesday and that means it's a day to "unwrap" our everyday. So today I am unwrapping a renewed joy in a God that is there everyday, who wants us to talk about Him everyday, who wants us to talk with Him everyday. Pretty amazing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Big 9-0

This weekend Ryan's grandmother turned 90. I personally don't have any grandparents left and haven't for almost a decade. Ryan on the other hand has 3.

"Grandma" lives right here near us. She has adopted me as her own grandchild. We often call her the energizer bunny. She just keeps going. She has had a few scares but she always bounces back. And we are so thankful for this. I hope I am as spunky and fun as she is at 90.

We had a small get together at my mother in law's house over the weekend to celebrate. It was a fun evening with good food, a fire in the oven (yes a literal fire that caused havoc), frogs galore (Grandma collects frogs and what else are you going to get a 90 year old woman), and the best cake ever (if I do say so myself since I made it!)

Here are some pictures. Enjoy because we sure did.

Monday, October 12, 2009

13 Years Later

Today is the 13th anniversary of the day that Ryan and I started dating. I was 18, he was 20. We were babies.

We got married a little over 3 years later. We have been blessed beyond belief to have made such a good decision at a young age. I think about the future and if Ainsley tells me she wants to get married at age 22. I might laugh because it sounds ridiculous.

But then again, I know that God has a plan. God's plan included 2 very young people who were both following Him to meet and fall in love when they were just babies. God has pursued us as we have pursued Him. We have clung to each other through rough times. We have pushed each other away during rough times. But the foundation always remains the same. We are committed to each other. We promised each other and we promised God. Sometimes that's just enough. Sometimes that's way more than enough. But it's always enough. And for that, I'm eternally thankful.
Here are 2 pictures from that first year we started dating. I must justify our outfits in the first picture. We were at a Lumberjack ball. As for the second picture, Ryan can still be caught wearing that t-shirt along with all the other "jetski" t-shirts of that era. Melt my heart!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Kid isn't Retarded But Maybe I am

My last post I talked about Ainsley walking and talking. I talked about insecurities and how I was sure that she wasn't keeping up to her peers.

Well, I have had many a pep talk from my friends and family. She is fine. She may not speak many actual words but I am convinced that she understands just about everything that we say. She may not walk, but I think it's not due to ability. I think it's due to being overly cautious. She definitely gets that from her father.

AND If she is delayed, would it matter? Would I love her any less? A big fat NO. She's my child. She's the gift that God has given me. I love her more than I could ever imagine. Cliche I know.

And how could anyone not love this face?

And since Ryan is away this weekend, there is a lot of time for cuddling and loving. I'm enjoying every second of it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Better than all the Rest

Insecurity is such a plague to most women. I am not going to talk about men because, heck, I’m not a man and I have no idea how they think. Like most women, I get caught in the comparison trap. I compare myself to others and always find that I don’t measure up or that I'm way superior to others.

Now that I have become a mother, my comparisons and insecurities have translated to my little girl. Don’t get me wrong, I do think my child is the cutest, sweetest little girl ever. I just really worry about her development.

Every Sunday we drop her off at the nursery and there are the other babies in there, walking and talking, many of which are younger than she is. And then there is Ainsley. She’s 15 months old and while she does babble, she has no really consistent words. And she’s not walking. She can take a few steps here and there but for the most part, she gets where she wants to go on her knees.

Now, I don’t blame her for this at all. I blame myself. I blame my poor mothering skills. I blame the fact that I don’t work with her as much as I should.

I guess my real issue here is always wanting to be the best. I want to be better than everyone else and now I’m passing that down to my innocent child. How prideful is that??? Seriously. Hello sin, nice to meet you. Pitiful.

So even now that I am publicly admitting my sin, I am still holding on to it. I am so desperate for being good enough when I fail to recognize that there is never a good enough. We all sin. We all sin differently. Is my sin better or worse than someone else's? No. It's all sin. It's all wrong. It all causes us to need grace.

My prayer today is that I let the Grace of God abound over me. I pray that I recognize sin for what it is. I pray that I can let it go and stop this comparison trap. I pray that my struggle would draw me closer to Jesus.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

She's Healed!

This post is about 5 days over due but I kind of wanted to wait until Tuesday to "Unwrap" it. We went to the hospital last week to have Ainsley's VCUG test for urinary reflux. The test was awful. She was in what looked like a torture device. It's a memory that I am choosing to forget so I'm not going into details about it.

The good news is that SHE IS HEALED! There were no expectations that she would be at this point. It's early for that. I was expecting that if she was going to grow out of this condition, it would be around 3 or 4. But as I stood there with her hooked up to this contraption, the doctor told me that he was seeing no signs of reflux. I was excited but guarded. We still had the appointment with the urologist.

We went to see the urologist later that afternoon. He confirmed what the other doctor was saying. She has outgrown her reflux. There will be no more tests and no more antibiotics. We are done.

Here is the face of one happy girl as we were waiting for the doctor. She is happy and she is healed. We are praising our Creator, our Savior, our Comfort.


What better way to celebrate a Tuesday then to celebrate healing. Go over to Emily's blog and read all the encouraging stories.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Glass Half Full?

A couple years ago I was having a hard time at my job. I wasn't happy. I couldn't tell you why, but I knew I wasn't happy. There were no blaring reasons to be unhappy. I just was. My boss gave me a book to read called The 8 Characteristics of an Awesome Adjuster. Sounds odd since I'm not an adjuster. I read it anyway. The message wasn't anything new, but reading it changed my life.

My problem was a bad attitude. I was thinking of everything with the negative consequences. Never did I look for the good in the situation. The book's main message was to look for the opportunity in every situation. I made myself a little cheat sheet as a reminder and put it on my desk. Every time I was tempted to be negative, I looked at it and remembered to look for the opportunity.

A couple years have passed and I really am a changed person. My attitude is different. I am more pleasant to be around. I love my job. I'm just happier.

I bring this up now because I am still anticipating Friday. I'm still nervous as can be about putting Ainsley through this invasive procedure. I'm still filled with anxiety about the results. But I am now looking for the positive in the situation. Here are a few things I have come up with:

- The test is fairly quick. It will be a rough 30 minutes, but then it is done.
- We get the results the same day. There is no long 2 week wait to drive me crazy.
- The treatment is so much easier now that it was when I was a kid.
- There is a high probability that she will outgrow it before she needs surgery.
- We have the best urologist for this condition. He is known in the field for his ground breaking work.
- We have the Great Physician and Great Comforter on our side.

So as I get ready for Friday, I want to encourage you to take a look at your life. Inspect your attitude. Are you looking at the glass half full or half empty? Consciously chose to be positive. It's a choice that's well worth it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dreaded Anticipation

It's that time of year again. No, not the Pumpkin Spice Latte time that my friends keep talking about. It's time to get Ainsley retested for urinary reflux. If you don't know what that is, check back to my post from last September.

Last year the question was had she received this condition from me. The answer was Yes which makes me feel awful. The question this year is has she grown out of it. I am praying for a Yes answer this time. I have no expectations of a Yes answer. I expect to be dealing with this for many years to come. I can only hope for a different answer.

Now that I have been through the test once as the parent, I know more of what to expect. They catheterize her and then fill her bladder up and take continuous x-rays as they wait for it to empty. They are trying to determine if her bladder empties down or whether it empties up as well. We want just down. The hard part last year was the actual catheterising. This year I think that will be hard but I think it will be worse trying to keep her still. She doesn't like to be still. She's 14 months old.

So here it is Tuesday and all I can think about is Friday afternoon. How do I get through these next couple days of dreaded anticipation? What can I bring with me to help Ainsley through the test? Will I get my Yes answer? I can only pray for peace and acceptance.

So on this Tuesday I am going to spend time enjoying my girl for the 14 month old that she is. I am going to revel in the moments that she gives me. I am going to try not to think about Friday because that's still days away. Today is Tuesday and it will be a great day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Breaking the Silence

I have been quiet over the past few weeks. Partly out of respect for my last post. It seems insensitive to follow cancer with something light and frivolous. But I must go on. For those wondering, Libby has recovered from surgery and is doing great. We now just wait until something else happens, which could be next month or next year or 5 years. We really just don't know.


The other reason was because we have been just so darn busy. I know everyone says that. I know everyone is busy. I usually post on Fridays and once over the weekend. Well, Ainsley has dropped her morning nap which means less free time on Fridays. We also have traveled the past 2 weekends.


Two weeks ago we went down to Wrightsville Beach with Ryan's Dad, aka Grampy. We rode in the boat up the inter coastal, which was beautiful. We also anchored on an island and enjoyed the water and the sand. It was wonderful to spend a weekend just relaxing with him. We don't get to do that often enough.



Last weekend we flew up to NYC to witness my oldest friend, Kate, get married. What a wonderful wedding and start to a Christ-centered marriage. I couldn't have planned a more "Kate" wedding if I tried. Her dress was classy and elegant and she just was stunning. One of the benefits of being in NYC was that my parents were able to come down and spend the weekend with us and watch Ainsley while we went to the wedding. We went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was a beautiful September day like I imagine 9/11/01 was. We were able to reflect on that a bit as we also went to Ground Zero. I still get choked up when I think about it.



So why didn't I post yesterday? Good question. We are getting ready for a multiple phase kitchen renovation. I will post more about that later but I had to do some cabinet clean out.
I'll leave you with this. After a fun day of playing yesterday, Ainsley was being really cute while we waited for Daddy to come home. Enjoy the video.


video

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cancer Sucks

I have been consumed by thoughts of cancer lately. It seems like it's everywhere. Every time I turn around, someone else has it. To name a few as of late:

  • Taylor - my brother in law - Testicular Cancer
  • Blu - my step father in law - CLL (a form of Leukemia)
  • Joe - my sister's father in law - Prostate Cancer
  • Ginger - a family friend - Brain Cancer - for the second time and a totally different kind
Ryan and I are big followers of the Tour de France. This year Lance Armstrong came back after a few years of retirement to place 3rd. The purpose of his comeback is to raise cancer awareness. Through following him on twitter, I found this website (www.fatcyclist.com). The writer's wife recently passed away from breast cancer at a very young age. I read the blog during the last few weeks of her life. It was heart-wrenching.

Now my precious dog Libby even has cancer. We found a skin cancer growth on her back and had it removed. We don't know any more of a diagnosis than that. We aren't going to treat it with anything more than the surgery she just had. We can only hope that we got it all for now. It will recur but the million dollar question is "When?" We are praying for years!

All that to say that cancer sucks and it's everywhere. If you aren't touched by it, you live in a hole. While others like Lance are fighting in public ways, I am fighting by going to my Heavenly Father on my knees. Join me in praying for the people on this list and let me know of the people in your lives that I should add to my prayer list.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Come and See

Yesterday I was talking about my Spiritual Desert. After Ryan read my blog he encouraged me by saying that we would spend some time together reading the Bible as well. He decided to read John starting at the first chapter.

As he was reading aloud, I heard one phrase repeated twice as Jesus was calling His disciples. Your guess would be that I heard "Follow Me". While I did hear that I also heard something else that I had never heard before. "Come and See". Once it was said by Jesus and once it was said by Phillip.

When we follow Jesus and "come and see" we are never disappointed. When Nathaneal came and saw what Phillip was telling him about, his life was changed forever. He came and was met by His Savior. When Nathaneal met Jesus, he asked a question. How do you know me? Jesus's answer was simple, I saw you. He knew him because He was watching him and just waiting for him.

So as I make my way out of the desert, I know I will not be disappointed. I know that I will see. I know that my life will be changed. I know that I am known and that He is watching and waiting for me. What a blessing.

John 1:46-51 (New King James Version)
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter[a] you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Walk through the Desert

It's been a while since I posted. It's hard to post when you feel like everything you have to say would be negative. I have been dealing with a few minor things in my life that have brought me anxiety. I went to Jamaica for a quick 2 day stay for Taylor's wedding and Ainsley was sick. I have been dealing with many software changes at work that have not gone over well with users. I have been sick myself. I feel as if I am always disappointing my husband. I am battling with the last 8 pounds of pregnancy weight.

In the midst of all the minor negatives and all the anxiety, we are supposed to run to God. Why am I not doing that? Why do I insist on trying to do it all myself?

I have been going through a very dry spot in my spiritual walk right now. I cannot remember the last time I had my Bible open outside of a Sunday. I go to church with Ryan every Sunday and it's usually half way through the sermon that I think that I should talk to him about my general disregard for spiritual things. But I never say anything. I keep it to myself thinking, I can fix it this week. But the week passes and I find myself back in the pew thinking the same thing again. I think I have been in a time of denial. Denying my dependence on the One I should be dependent on. Living in my own independence. Living like a toddler who is always saying, I don't need help.

I need some quiet before the Lord. I am very thankful that tomorrow is Friday and I only have one thing on my schedule. My to do list is short. It contains one thing right now...spending time with my Creator and Savior.

Any words of encouragement?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So Big

This morning Ainsley showed us that she has a new skill. We didn't teach her this. Maybe Anne did. I'm not sure but how cute is it!
video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Software Developers vs. Users - No Love

I have been a computer programmer for 10 years now. I can hardly believe that. I have learned a few things over the years about the relationships between the software developers and the users. Sometimes there are periods of time when those relationships are great but there is always the loom of doom out there. This week I was reminded of the doom! Here are a few reasons why:

  • Users don't like change. It doesn't matter how little the change is, if you change something they won't like it at first.
  • If there is a new button out there, the users will push it. They more than likely will have no idea what it will do but the temptation to click it is just too high.
  • Users don't always use the systems we write the way we think they will. If it is programmed to work in a certain order, programmers have to remember that the users won't always follow that.
  • Cosmetics are much more important to the user than the business logic. Even if the logic took 3 months to build, there is an assumption that it will work. By design, computer programmers are not great at aesthetics. We try really hard but we miss the boat quite often.
  • Users assume that if one error message pops up, the whole thing must be crap.
  • Computer programmers love when things are new and exciting. We like to make things work. We get really jazzed about the new enhancements that we do and when we get resistance to them we get disappointed.
  • The software that computer programmers develop can become a sort of "baby" to us. We put our hardest effort into making sure things work and we really love our end results. Criticism hurts.

Obviously from the tone of this list, I am the computer programmer. I rolled out a bunch of new changes this week. Things didn't go 100% as planned. It was a rough 2 days. But that was it. It's over. The dust has settled and the users are getting used to the changes. They will become complacent with these changes and go back to being happy. Little do they know, I've moved on to the next set of changes that will come their way!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Love to Win

I am competitive. I love to win. This rule applies to everything in my life. I like to win at games, at sports, at tests, at all things. It's just one of the million things that makes me like my Dad.

Today I won at something else; the battle of the will. Ainsley is a great sleeper. She may cry for a minute when you put her down but she will stop quickly and go to sleep. Today she decided to try me. She cried for over an hour. Part of the time she would cry softly. Part of the time she would scream. The last 10 minutes of it she screamed.

I was determined to not let her win. I probably shouldn't have let her cry that long. It probably bordered on me being a bad parent. But I had to win. I put my feet in the ground and just let her cry. She finally fell asleep an hour later. I won. I am not sure how I feel about my victory.

What is the longest you have let your child cry?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Faces of Vacation

As I have said, I'm on vacation in the Adirondacks. We are having crazy Adirondack weather. It's sunny one second and raining the next. It was literally just raining on one side of the house and sunny on the other. All that to say, I have nothing better to do than to post pictures on the blog of my sweet baby.

Ainsley asleep on the boat
Ainsley folded into a sandwich with her bear, sound asleep

Ainsley eating her Birthday cake
Ainsley crying when the cake was taken away from her
Ainsley and her cousin Paige

Happy as she can be

Ainsley crawling on the beach in her stars and bars bathing suit that has been worn by all her girl cousins.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In the Quiet

I am in the Adirondacks on vacation. I am sitting in the quiet of a house that has just been cleared out of children. I am alone. My sisters have left with their children, my father and husband are on the way to the airport with one family, my mother is asleep, and Ainsley is asleep. As I sit here in the quiet, I am prompted to reflect on what this place really means to me.
My parents live up her all year round and we make it a point to visit them at least once a year up here. The Adirondack mountains are one of my favorite places to be. I have been coming here for years with my family. I even worked at a camp up here for a summer in high school. It is tucked far away from civilization and the beauty is just incredible. There are mountains and lakes and hills and trees and sandy beaches. It's amazing.

But it's not just the views and the physical beauty, it's the beauty of family. My whole family was in the same place at the same time. This happens about once every 2 years or so. Every time this does happen, it's chaotic and crazy. There are 7 children ranging in ages from 8 to 1. Actually, we have all the ages covered in that range except for 5. There is always someone crying or hungry or tired. Someone always needs something. My parents are obsessed with making sure everyone is fed. Everyone has different dietary needs. There are different nap schedules and bed time routines. Someone always has a toy that someone else wants. Throw in a birthday and it's just crazy.


Now that the craziness has departed, I am taking the few minutes I have before Ainsley wakes up to reflect on the beauty that this family is. The love runs deep. The cup is full. It is a crazy family, but it's my family.

And now I hear the little sounds of a baby waking up. I must go enjoy my day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Where Has the Time Gone

It has been a year. I can hardly believe it. A year ago, my life changed forever with the birth of the most precious little girl.

I have spent this weekend remembering the weekend of labor that I endured last year. As I remember how much work and labor it actually was, I am willing to say that I would do it again in a heart beat to have the end result.

My favorite part of Ainsley's birthday has been the cake. Ryan and I debated about the cake. Obviously, I fell on the side of the argument that we should let her have some. I won. Ainsley got some cake and I have to say the whole thing made me laugh. We sang Happy Birthday with the cake in front of her. As we pulled it away to cut it, she started to cry. She got her piece and she started to squish it in her fingers. She was very interested in the texture. Then she started to eat it. I let her enjoy a few bites and pulled the plate away. She cried again. I wiped her fingers of excess frosting and cake. She cried again. She is definitely more of a Gibbins than a Krumroy.


Overall, the day has been wonderful. I am so madly in love with my sweet princess. While I can't believe it's been a year, I can't believe it's only been a year. I can no longer imagine my life without her.

More Pictures to follow later this week....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And We Are Off

It is Wednesday night at 8:15 and we are leaving tomorrow after work for vacation. All I have left to pack is our toiletries and the food for the cooler.


I cannot wait. I am so excited to see Nana and Papa and my sisters. All of the cousins will be there too. What a blast.


I look forward to telling you all about it but until then, I leave you with this view that I will be looking at for the next week, including the dog!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Glimpse

We all have our things that we do that we secretly don't tell anyone. Little things that make us who we are. Sometimes people get glimpses of them, but mostly we try to hide them. Let me give you a glimpse of mine.

I like to organize. Like seriously like to organize. Not the things in my house, but my life. I like to have plans and follow through with them. I especially like lists. For example, here is my most recent crazy that I am actually kind of proud of. It's our packing list for vacation. Yes it's in Excel. Yes there are 6 tabs. Yes there is a column on each sheet to check off each item.


So I got to thinking. Did I pass this obsessive need to organize on to my child? Just look at what she did and you tell me. She put all her kidney beans in her cup holder when I wasn't looking.
What traits have you passed to your children? Are you proud of them or do you wish you hadn't been so dominant in the gene pool?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And They Were Fed

We have had gardens in the past. Small 10x10 plots that we planted a few things in and didn't put much effort into. This year we decided to go much bigger with our garden. I was unsure when Ryan first proposed the idea. I thought it would be a lot of hard work and that we wouldn't get that much reward from it.

I was wrong. I love our garden. It is hard work, but it is so rewarding. I love going out every day and seeing what new thing is growing. When I cook dinner and know that the things that we are eating came from my yard, I smile. I love it. My physical body is being fed.

This makes me think about my relationship with Christ. I wonder if he thinks the same of us as He is our Gardener. Does He delight in me when He looks how I am growing? Is He excited to see fruit in my life? I am thankful when He prunes dead branches and pulls the weeds. I love that I am cared for by the Greatest Gardener of all. My spiritual body is fed.

Here are some pictures and a video
Here is a shot of the garden from a distance with the chicken coup to the left.
In this picture you can see from left to right, Corn, Peppers (4 varieties), Okra, Broccoli, and Kale

In this picture the far off mass of greens is carrots and potatoes.

And in case you are really interested in the whole thing, Ryan and I created a walk through video. It's a tad cheesy but oh well. Enjoy.

video

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Catch Up

It's been a crazy busy week since we have been back from the beach. Here's the fast version...

I'm getting ready to release a major upgrade to my software at work which requires a lot of work with Brian @ the Leon Magazine, our web developer.

I exercised 5 days last week. I'm realizing it's much harder to get back in shape this time due to either age or being post-pardon or maybe a combination of both

I got lost on my way home from Jason and Leah's house the other day. I have been there a million times and yet I still got lost. I was trying to not do a 3 point turn and it cost me 20 minutes. I only got home because of my iPhone.

I spent Friday running around the world looking for baby pools for Ainsley and getting chicken supplies. The day went way to fast and I didn't get nearly enough done.

I woke up on Saturday morning to realize that Bonnie Ray the hen was really Billy Ray the rooster. Cook-a-freaking-doodle-do. Ryan had to take him back to the farm for a replacement.

I went to my friend Laura's wedding yesterday. It was 95 degrees and outside with minimal shade. BUT it was such a blessing to see 2 wonderful people join their lives in front of God and a bunch of friends. I happened to run into Caroline who I know from a totally different context.

I picked Ainsley up from Anne's and she was definitely sick. I had dropped her off with a 100.9 fever and by the time we got home it was 103.7. I hate medicine but she definitely got her share. She and I are home from church today hoping she gets better before tomorrow.

Today is Father's Day. I have a lot of Fathers in my life. There is Blu, Ryan's step dad. I love his compassion and his loving spirit. There is Bob, Ryan's dad. I love his sense of humor and how he really gets me. There is my dad. What's not to love, I am a younger female version of him. Most importantly there is Ryan, my baby daddy. He is the best dad I could ever ask for Ainsley. He loves her and is a great model for her.

I have been working on a post about the garden but that is going to have to wait. I'll sign off with this cute picture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Important than a Cute Picture

This past weekend we were able to visit my father in law's beach condo with friends of ours from college, Drew and Susan. They have a little boy, Jack, who is exactly 2 weeks younger than Ainsley. Ainsley has been around other children before but no one so close in age. It was amazing to watch the two interact. I think we all got our share of ohhs and ahhs.

video


The other part of the weekend that really struck me was to see Drew and Susan interact with Jack. A couple years ago, they lost a baby girl at 30 weeks pregnant. I think that loss really helped them to refocus on the every day. They really revel in each second that they spend with their son. It was a wonderful encouragement to me to see the hope and life that can come after such tragedy.

I think we often wonder how we would handle something like that. I think Susan said it best when she said that she sits in the fact that Reagan is in heaven with Jesus forever. We don't know the choices our children will make. We can only pray that they make wise ones and that they come to a saving faith in Christ. It was a great perspective shift for me to hear her be thankful for the gift of knowing that she will spend eternity with her child.

My prayer today is that I remember this day and this smile but more importantly that I continue to pray for her and the decisions she has in front of her.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Above and Beyond

Everyone knows the expression "Going Postal". Ryan has often said that he would like to work at the Post Office. Yesterday he changed his mind and said that if he worked there he would certainly go Postal.

We are going to Jamaica in the end of July for Taylor and Jenny's wedding. Going to Jamaica now requires a passport, even if you are just 1 year old. Ryan has his passport, mine is expired, and Ainsley needs hers. I did my homework before just going to the post office to get mine renewed and one for Ainsley. I read all the requirements, filled out all the forms, got our pictures taken, and even called for an appointment. Being that Ainsley is a minor, it requires both parents to be there.

I had my appointment scheduled for 3:45 on Monday afternoon. It required Ryan and me taking off from work a little early but we had to do it because we were running out of time. We showed up 10 minutes early and signed in. After waiting for 20 minutes without even an acknowledgment they finally asked us for our names, couldn't look at the list we had signed of course. The "nice" government employee informed me that we were not on the list and that we would need to come back. I tried to explain that I had made an appointment and we had both taken off from work. It turns out we had an appointment at another facility.

She did not care. Her attitude reflected one thing...She is paid to do the minimum. There is no above and beyond. There is no friendly smile. There is no extra effort to move a tad quicker to squeeze us in.

As I thought about that, I thought about how we are called to do our best. We are to do our best in everything. Our best should always include the above and beyond. The minimum should never be enough. We are to do everything as unto the Lord. If our job is cleaning a dirty diaper, it unto the Lord. If our job is being a bank teller, it is unto the Lord. If our job is on the phones all day, it is unto the Lord. If our job is computer programming, it is unto the Lord. If our job is taking passport applications, it is unto the Lord.

I pray my work reflects that attitude. Does yours?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I know it's been too long since I posted. Where have I been you ask? I usually post on Fridays because it's my day off but 2 weeks ago I came down with the flu. Who gets the flu in May you ask? I do. I had a fever for 3 days ranging anywhere from 99 to 103.5. It mostly hung around at 102. I haven't had that kind of temperature in my adult life. Needless to say, it freaked me out more than any other sickness I have had lately.

Even though the flu had passed by Sunday, I still felt quite worn out for the next few days. I am finally back to myself and then I had to think of what to post. No brilliant ideas came to mind so I decided to post a few videos. I was going to post yesterday but my battery on my video camera was dead and I couldn't get these videos off until this morning.

Enjoy!

Here is a video trying to show you Ainsley's new laugh. Listen carefully because it's not really pronounced but it's the best that we have. We will try to get a better video of it soon. Until then...

video

Here is a video of Ainsley and I in the pool. It took her a while to want to go in but once she was in she loved it. Next thing you know she will be following in her daddy's footsteps and swimming on the swim team at age 5.

video

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Blew It

On Thursday night I was talking with my father in law. We were trying to figure out what we should do this weekend and he invited us to the beach for an impromptu visit. We are blessed that he has a condo at Wrightsville Beach that we can visit.

After a day of busy packing and crossing things off my list on Friday, we headed out at 7:00 so Ainsley would be asleep. (Side note, I love making lists just so I can cross things off of them. I made 3 while getting ready for the trip and crossed everything off of every list. So rewarding. Now back to my story). We got the condo late, settled in and went fast asleep.

Saturday morning I wasn't woken up by my little girl until 8. Wow. What a treat. My father in law and I quick threw our running shoes on and went to run the "Loop". Quite humbling to get your butt handed to you by a 58 year old man. Oh well. I'm working on it. Give me a few weeks and I'll be able to keep up.

We spent some time out on his boat on Saturday afternoon. Ainsley didn't like her little pink life jacket. She did like the sand and her sun dome. Ainsley fell sound asleep on the way back on the boat. It was totally precious. She was covered in sand so we dunked the sleeping baby in the pool when we got back. She wasn't so happy with that. We went out to eat that night at a beautiful Thai restaurant. The ambiance was amazing! The food was amazing! The fellowship was amazing!

On Sunday we went to church with Nan from The Joy's of Boys. It was great to see her for the first time in 8 years. We spent the afternoon on the beach. Ainsley was adorable in her pink and brown bathing suit and her sun hat that was as big as she is. She loved the sand. She didn't love the ocean.

We came back on Sunday night and here we are Monday morning. We are headed to the pool this afternoon with friends from church.

So I write all that to say, it would be great to show you pictures of all these fun and new things. But guess what. I got to the beach, and didn't have the memory card for my camera. Are you kidding me! These memories will have to live in my head. It's a good thing we are going back to the beach in 2 weeks and can recapture some of these.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Battle

I have always been someone who battles weight. I have never really been at a consistent weight for more than a year. I yo-yo. I am either gaining or losing. I hate this about myself.

I grew up in a family where you just don't talk about it. I married into a family where it's definitely ok to bring it up and ask questions about it. Some members of my husband's family, especially my husband, don't understand this struggle at all. They are all naturally thin or have incredible self-discipline. I have often said that I feel like a giant compared to all of them. (I have probably made them mad by talking about it too. Sorry family. And family, I don't want to talk about this with you. Again, sorry)

When I got married I was a decent weight. I lost my job a year and a half later and got bigger. We moved to NY and I was surrounded by a bunch of people who ate a lot at work. I got huge. I went on Weight Watchers and lost 47 pounds. I was too skinny, like seriously scary skinny, like they were threatening to kick me out of Weight Watchers skinny. I slowly started to get to a healthier weight and then I blew right by it. I got pregnant. I got big (and no it wasn't all baby).

So that brings me to today. I gave birth 10 months ago. I'm still carrying some weight that I don't want to be carrying. I need to seriously address in my head why. I don't want to just lose the weight and not deal with it. I need to or it will yo-yo right back on.

I am going to spend the next couple weeks really praying through this issue. While I have started running, I can't start a "diet" until my head is on right. I need to be sure I don't get back to that "scary skinny" place again and I need to make sure I don't stay here in the "baby weight" place either. I just want to be happy and healthy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sleepy Baby

Yesterday, my first Mother's Day, was a busy day that resulted in no nap for Ainsley. During Ainsley's dinner this happened. I have seen pictures like this before but never witnessed it first hand. We could hardly keep it together we were laughing so hard. Enjoy!

video

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Tooth

We all know that babies put stuff in their mouths. It's an expected part of babyhood. They crawl places and they see things that we never see and put them in their mouths. We try to vacuum and keep the little things from going in their mouths. Somehow, they always find something we didn't see.

This morning my wonderful husband let me sleep in because of Mother's Day. When I woke up he asked me to look at something. He handed me this...


Yes, it is a tooth and it came from here...


My husband told me that he saw Ainsley chewing this morning and went to figure out what it was and found this tooth. We are pretty sure she didn't pull it out of his mouth and that she just found it on the floor. We figure he would have definitely noticed if she got it from his mouth. But still it makes you pretty sad...Tucker agrees...



Thank goodness she didn't swallow it or we wouldn't have ended up like this today...

What is the oddest thing your children have put in their mouths?