Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Josh circa 1995

Josh took a moment to re-create what he looked like in 9th grade
(complete with the feathered hair).
Glad they fixed his eyes.

I want a shower for Christmas

Gosh, I haven't posted in awhile. It's funny how busy I get, but then don't know why I'm so busy or what I've been doing. I love when a friend calls and asks, "what are you doing?" and I've got nothing...I don't even know. What am I doing? There is no such thing as a "normal" day around here.

And I STILL can't figure out how people are able to feed their kids, cook dinner, do chores, go anywhere and still get dressed... and, dare I say, even shower! I just can't seem to make it all happen. I know it's a phase, it's a season. But Manny is an easy baby. He's not fussy or needy...so what's wrong?

Ok, so here's what I'm asking: how do you do it? I'm convinced there's a magic secret that you know and that I desperately need to know.. so what is it? Maybe I need to get up a lot earlier. I do go to bed late (stay up for Manny's late night bottle) and thus wake up late (8:00ish most mornings). Maybe I need to start getting flylady's bazillion emails again but I don't have time to read them.

I just want to be able to get some things done in a timely manner such as dishes, laundry, light cleaning and groceries/meal planning. I would also like a shower more than once a week and to get out of my pajamas on days that I don't leave the house (for poor Josh's sake).

Ok..now flood me with wisdom :)

The cute, cuddly reasons I'm dirty.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The coolest thing in the world

This morning I was looking for some kind of live radio stream of Christmas music and, LO AND BEHOLD, HALLELUJAH, I discovered Pandora.com. (Am I late? Do you already know about it?) I LOVE it! You can list an artist you like and it will immediately start a playlist from that artist and other's that are similar. You can also listen to music from favorite genres. I was in the mood for Bing Crosby Christmas classics so I've been listening to a playlist of him, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others. I also have jazz Christmas, peaceful Christmas, swingin' Christmas and a few other playlists waiting for me. They don't offer a huge selection of Christian categories, but their contemporary Christian stream is pretty good (don't think 91.9...sorry if you like them). Chris Tomlin, Third Day and Passion were on the list.

So go try it!


M: I love you, Isaiah.

I: I love you, Mom.

M: Aw, Isaiah! That makes Mommy happy!

I: Sad?

M: No.

I: Frustrated?

M: No.

I: Mad?

I guess we talk about our emotions a lot around here. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Josh....

I got to him first ;)

Isaiah: "Mommy, it needs batteries."

Update: I sent this picture to one of my main trumpet instructors in college. He started playing when he was 4.....I know. To quote him, "and that child has terrific embouchure!!!" I love it! You can go hear him (Dr. Harding, not Isaiah) at Grand Central uptown. He's also directing the CPCC jazz ensemble, Queen City Brass and plays often with The Four Tops and The Temptations...if you're ever in the mood for some good brass playin'. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sweet boy

In the middle of the night last night Josh came crawling into bed. Isaiah has been waking up a lot and crying for his daddy so Josh had gone to comfort him.

He said that he knelt down beside Isaiah's bed and rubbed his back for awhile, and then fell asleep himself on the floor next to the bed (Hartnesses will sleep anywhere). He woke up a little while later to Isaiah gently rubbing his arm saying, "It's ok, Daddy. It's ok. Get in bed with Mommy."

That just melted my heart :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

baby brain

I'm convinced that after the birth of each child I have gotten about 30% dumber. So basically, I can have one more child before I'm full blown retarded. Normal, everyday tasks are harder.
I can't concentrate. I can't talk (yes, I know I said that about pregnancy too). I ask dumb questions. I'm clumsy and drop things ALL the time. I tune out a lot. I forget general information needed to normally function through a day at home.

In fact, I just called a credit card company to complain that I couldn't log into my account. The nice man offered to verify my information for me and, lo and behold, we immediately realized that I had been entering my maiden name instead of my mom's.....I must have re-read that question at least 4 times trying to figure out what possibly could be wrong.

Ah, my poor children.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Free food for your soul...until tomorrow :)

Shawnda posted this awhile back about singer/songwriter JJ Heller. I read the lyrics and couldn't get them out of my mind so I went to her site and saw that she is giving away her newest album until Nov 1st! Glad I decided to check today! You can download it for free today and so far I really, really like her. She makes a few small requests if you decide to download it, but she's worth the shout out regardless.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For the unborn...

A couple of hours ago I was leaning toward voting for Obama. I even debated the issues last night with a good friend who will vote for McCain. Please don't judge me. I had done research on both candidates and was extremely disappointed in McCain's voting record on prolife issues. I also read many quotes from Obama on how he would work to reduce the number of abortions in our country by preventing unwanted pregnancies. After a lot of discussions with many believers that I respect strongly and more research, this sounded to me to be the most "prolife" plan of the two. I've prayed all along that God would give me wisdom and change my heart if I was becoming blind to what's closest to His heart.

Then I read this about the Freedom of Choice act that Obama has publicly announced he will sign as President, and after reading more and more details about this act, I feel queasy. It's disgusting. This act will open the doors for limitless abortions, without restrictions, at any point in the pregnancy, in way that government will not be able to interfere with. It also plans on all of these abortions to be fully funded by our government....many covered by his health insurance plan.

If you're a Christian on the fence or know one, please at least educate yourself on this and lovingly encourage your friend to. I'm truly convinced millions of lives are at stake in this election.

If you don't want to believe the comments of Randy Alcorn and other's, here it is from Obama himself at a Planned Parenthood rally....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf0XIRZSTt8

I'm honestly still not a huge fan of McCain's, but I am of unborn children and their right to live. To me, and you may disagree, the alternative means countless precious little lives possibly lost.

"Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed." Deuteronomy 19:10

Update: In re-reading this post I want to be extremely clear that I'm not bashing any believer in support of Obama, or saying they don't care for the unborn. I have several close friends who love Jesus, sought His wisdom, did their homework and ended up differently than I did...that's ok. I also know that this election was settled before the world was ever formed and is in the complete control of a mighty and sovereign God. He does what pleases Him and He cannot be thwarted. I'm compelled to write out of my own personal convictions and since this is my blog, I will :) Hope you see my heart.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Magic of Christmas tickets up for grabs!

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up in case anyone's interested. Stacey has 6 tickets to see the Charlotte Symphony perform their annual Magic of Christmas performance on Saturday, December 6th at 2:30pm.

These are orchestra level tickets and are in pairs. They are selling for $50, but Stacey is asking $25 so it's a great deal.

Josh and I have seen the Symphony perform The Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah and both were WONDERFUL! You can let either one of us know if you want tickets.

Here's the description on the Blumenthal website:

Share the enchantment of a musical wonderland as the Charlotte Symphony, caroling choirs, and special guests make the season bright. “The program offers something for everyone when it comes to musical tastes,” writes The Charlotte Observer. Don’t miss this Charlotte holiday tradition!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New favorite pic

poor, little, cross-eyed thing

Split screen

Josh found the split screen shot I mentioned earlier about the stadium used in the movie "The Leatherheads." It's pretty cool to see our pretty little skyline in the shot...even though it wasn't in the finished product.

Our hair crushes

So after we watched License to Wed, Josh and I had to ask ourselves why in the world we decided to rent it (please don't judge us by our movie choices...we've been holed up in the house for what seems like months).

It actually wasn't all that bad. It was pretty clean, if my memory serves me right (though I watched most of it in the middle of the night so who knows what I remember). It just wasn't super funny. But after talking about it, we figured it out. Actually, Josh figured it out. We both have hair crushes on the main characters. Like, enough of a crush to rent a bad movie just to see their hair fixed in different ways....I know.

In fact, Josh is growing his hair out as we speak. It's something he's wanted to do for a really long time. I actually think it would look good like John Krasinski's.

And just so I don't feel like a complete loser, I'd really like to know if anyone else has a hair crush???

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ah, memories

Last night Josh and I finally watched The Leatherheads. It's the one that came out a while back with George Clooney, Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski (from "The Office"). You may have already seen it or heard about it...it created a lot of buzz around here since much of it was filmed in the Carolinas including Charlotte, Spencer and Salisbury.

We actually really liked it. I thought the plot was a little choppy, but the dialogue was smart, quick-witted and fiesty. Like many Clooney movies (he also directed this one). I have always thought he was funny.

Anyway, cute movie but I think the extras on the dvd were just as good as the movie. Much of it was shot at a stadium in Charlotte that Independence High School uses and the uptown skyline is extremely clear in the background. One of the bonus features shows how they made the stadium shots look like it was back in that time era. They have a split screen with the left side showing what they filmed and the right side showing the finished product after all the special effects stuff. The left side showed our skyline the whole time....pretty cool.

But the coolest thing to us by far were the scenes they shot at the old historic train depot in downtown Salisbury. It was where we had our wedding reception and is just incredibly charming and beautiful to me. It still has all the original floor tiles and I think the fixtures were original as well...we hardly had to decorate. During the commentary Clooney and some other guy were arguing about whether it's still a working station or not....it is. We were told we had to have a security guard to keep passengers from wandering into our reception. What?

Just wanted to share :)

Stadium in Charlotte.

High falootin' folk in the Depot.

Press inside the Depot when the actors stopped by for a few questions after filming.

Here it is....where our life together began. Sigh.
(note: Renee and John by the window having a very important

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tomorrow's mercies for tomorrow's troubles

Josh took Isaiah to church this morning and I stayed home with Manny. Sitting through a service would be pretty difficult for both of us at this point, though I really could have benefited from corporate worship and some good teaching. I decided to make the best of it and pulled up a sermon from my favorite speaker/author on the subject that I continue to struggle with daily...anxiety. This would be the first time I've spent any real time with the Lord since Manny was born. No wonder I felt like I was running on empty in every aspect.

I won't summarize the whole sermon, but it was so good. It's good even if you don't struggle with anxiety and fear like I do. Please check out "Today's Mercies for Today's Troubles" if you have a few spare minutes....and listen to Piper preach it....even better than reading it.

A few quotes that knocked me over the head:

The point of the STAR article was that the strength to live tomorrow will be given tomorrow, not today. And it will be given. Our task today is not to have the strength needed for tomorrow's burdens. Our task today is to live by the mercies given for today, and to believe that there will be new mercies for tomorrow.

...It's important because of how natural and strong is the impulse in our hearts to want to feel sufficient today for tomorrow's challenges. We don't like it when the gauge reads "empty" at the end of the day, and we have to go to sleep—if we can—not feeling the power for tomorrow's troubles.

...You can know some of the pressures that are coming tomorrow. And part of your job may be to make some preparations for them. Those preparations are part of today's "sufficient" trouble. But how those preparations will turn out tomorrow, and whether you feel strong enough today to do your part tomorrow—that is not something God wants you to carry today. Those are tomorrow's burdens. God does not give mercies today for bearing tomorrow's burdens.

This made me realize how faithless I can be....I constantly worry about tomorrow. And right now, there's plenty to be worried about (how to parent a newborn and a toddler well when Josh goes back to work, the economy, the elections, our personal finances, should we take our house off the market, etc). And though the media and my own heart can make these issues feel urgent and a burden for today, the reality is that they really are mostly burdens for another day and the mercy that I need for those troubles will come another day. Right now I can rest in that promise and know that I have all the grace and mercy that I need for today's troubles, and when I wake up at 1:00 tomorrow morning to feed Manny there will be enough mercy for that and the rest of the day.

Here's the hymn he quoted in that sermon that brought me to tears as I prayed through it:

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some more sweetness

Here are some more pictures from the hospital...

Hanging out with Manny, chatting it up

Loves the rocking chair almost as much as his little brother

"Still not sure what to do with these things..."

mug shot

Getting prepped for surgery

First family picture

Pure sugar

A very dramatic first bath


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our sweet, sweet Manny

Emmanuel Jude Hartness
Born September 24, 2008
7 pounds, 12 ounces
21 inches

Sorry it's taken me awhile to get these up. We couldn't figure out how to use the wi-fi in our room....and, well, we've been kinda busy :) Thanks for being patient!

Here's the story if you like details:

My c-section was scheduled for Friday the 26th at 7 am so all last week we were running around like crazy trying to make sure we had everything ready. I had been feeling a lot of low pressure and just figure the baby had dropped or something. Josh's mom came and helped me organize our nursery and I washed several large loads of girl clothes and blankets and had them neatly folded or hung in the nursery closet. I was very confident I knew this was a girl...I even registered for a few pink things.

I had been doing a lot of cleaning and running errands and Tues night I thought I was losing all bladder control. The thought hit me that it was possible for my water to break before Friday so I went into a cleaning frenzy around midnight scrubbing the bathrooms. Wednesday I was still having trouble not peeing on myself (yes, embarrassing) everytime the baby moved. That morning Isaiah and I went to the mall to meet our friends Kristin and Lily for one last play time before the baby came. The kids played, we got coffee and I found the cutest "Big Brother" shirt at Carters for Isaiah. That morning it hit me that he didn't have one and, of course, he "needed" a big brother shirt to wear at the hospital. Another sweet friend, Kelly, met me in the parking lot and gave me a bag full of food she had made for our freezer (that spaghetti was awesome, Kelly!). I got home and cleaned and finished laundry while Isaiah napped, then woke him up and went on a marathon grocery run to Walmart to make sure we wouldn't be out of anything when we got home from the hospital. It was late when we got back and I was very, very tired. I crammed a huge bowl of spaghetti down, fed Isaiah and put him in the bathtub, all while complaining that I kept peeing on myself to Josh. Then it happened and there was no mistaking it...I was not peeing on myself. I called the Dr....the water kept coming so we freaked out and tried to remember what to pack. It was 2 days early and we hadn't gotten that far in our planning yet. Josh was wiping away tears as the reality hit and was making all the phone calls to our families. Our parents met us at the house and we got to the hospital at 9:00pm.

They took me straight back, hooked me up to all the normal stuff and prepped me for surgery. Thankfully they weren't that busy so I had Dr Panner's full attention and by 11:06pm we had Manny. It was a crazy moment for Josh to stand up and start laughing as he said, "it's Emmanuel!" I laughed and cried at the same time....I couldn't believe it. Earlier, right before my water broke, I had said to Josh how it would be funny if God had the baby come early...as if to say, " you know nothing. You think you have this whole thing planned out, but you really know nothing." Then I followed that with, "And what would be really funny is if the baby comes early and it's a boy!" I really think God laughed hard with us in the OR when they took Manny out of me.

Anyway, he's perfect. His apgar scores were 9 and 9. We couldn't ask for a healthier baby. I call him my cuddle bug because he is SO cuddly! He was pretty unhappy the first night in his little cart by my bed so he slept pretty much the whole night on my chest. Isaiah was in the nursery and was very stressed as an infant so this has been really different. Manny is easily soothed by being held and swaddled in a blanket. He LOVES skin to skin contact and noses around until he finds skin...it's precious. He's a good eater...though I'll spare you nursing details :)

Isaiah LOVES him! In fact, the first time he heard Manny cry he burst into tears and acted desperate for someone to fix whatever was wrong with his little brother. He wanted to kiss all over him and hold him, calling him "my baby" or "my Manny." He hasn't seen him a whole lot but is coming home from the grandparents tonight for his first night home.

Thank you for all the prayers, visits and calls. It has meant the world. And please keep praying for us. I'm still very nervous about this transition and taking care of both Isaiah and Manny well. I'm also in a bit more pain than I remember with Isaiah so please pray that I heal quickly.

I'll update more soon :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Calling in the troops

Ok, you guys with 2 or more kids...I've been mulling over this a lot in my head and reading some internet stuff too, but, honestly, I think your real life experiences will help me even more so...

I would really love to hear how you helped your first born (or older kids) transition to having a new baby around.

I just don't feel very prepared in this area. I've read about buying Isaiah little presents to give him (while he's watching the baby get tons of stuff) and even giving him a present from the baby, letting him "help" as much as possible, giving him a lot of special time with us, etc. Most of these suggestions are coming from secular websites (and still may be great advice) and I'm just not sure how to sort through it all.

So what did you do???

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A bit of humor

You've all probably seen this (or heard of it by now) but if you haven't...it's HILARIOUS! There is at least one off color joke but otherwise, I thought both Tina and Amy were brilliant. I have laughed out loud every time I've seen it....and in these days of tightly wound nerves, life changing events coming, a toddler with a cold and strong defiant streak (you get the picture) laughter has been like someone giving me free money (and a Valium).

Here it is.

Quick update

We have a new computer and I haven't quite taken the time to figure out how to do pictures so that's mainly why I've been behind on posting anything. That and the fact that I have nothing intelligent to say these days :)

But as for a quick baby update, I saw Dr. Jones for the last time on Wed. The next time I will see him is next Friday morning. So weird. Everything's fine and since it's a c-section he didn't have to "check" anything. Woo Hoo! So I have no idea if there's any progression and frankly don't really care...the baby's coming out on Friday. And, for the record, I really think it's a girl.

I have been struggling to trust the Lord with all the details that I think "need" to be in place before the baby comes...and of course, our finances are almost always stressful to me. Especially as I plan to take 3 months of maternity leave from work. Still not sure how all of that is going to work out, but the Lord has been meeting me in my freak-out moments and comforting me with His word. That has been such an encouragement to my heart (that He cares for me, LOVES me and is for me), because so often I carry around my worries and burdens and never give Him the chance to meet me. I usually think that I can handle it. Seems like I would grow out of that. MAYBE having 2 kids will grow some of that out of me :)

This season has been challenging for sure and I've found myself desperate on a consistent basis for God's grace in every little moment. Isaiah is definitely a 2 year old little boy with all the issues that come with that, and I have had such little patience and energy with him. I find myself really struggling some moments with anger towards him...especially on days that a realtor calls and wants to show the house, throwing our whole day into a flurry of cleaning, shoving stuff places and trying to get out of the house. That in itself has humbled me and I'm thankful for that. I need that. I'm sure having a newborn will bring much more of that. (And, by the way, I want to point out that Isaiah has filled many, many moments with much needed humor, laughter and joy...he has quite the personality!)

It's interesting to me that so many of my friends are (for various reasons) in similar seasons of clinging to the Lord just to get through the day...minute by minute reliance. I have been really encouraged by you guys and your own struggle to trust Him for all that you need. It's so good and sweet of the Lord to place people like you in my life, running this race with me.

Here are a few passages that I'm clinging to and putting my hope in:

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

--Isaiah 43:1-3

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

--Phil 4:19

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

--Heb 4:15-16

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

--2 Cor 12:8-9

Friday, September 05, 2008

The numbers

4-- The number of times I usually get up to use the bathroom during the night

2-- The number of times my heartburn wakes me up

46-- The number of Tums Quikpaks I've taken this trimester

2-- The number of cups of coffee I'll allow myself each morning, though it's not enough

4-- The approximate number of clothing items that still fit

2614-- Our house number... a reminder to myself after writing 2416 on the hospital registration form

3-4-- The number of times I check craigslist each day for a double stroller

0-- The amount of meals I have cooked and frozen for after the baby comes

14-- A good guess at how many burritos I've eaten this pregnancy and still counting

6-- The number of things left to accomplish on my to-do list for the baby

1-- The number of dogs we have re-homed to make room for the baby

10-- The number of times we have cleaned the house top to bottom for showings

1 gazillion-- The place where Isaiah falls on the energy/busy-ness scale

9-- The approximate number of times I complain to Josh about some physical discomfort each evening.

9-- The approximate number of times he says, "Uh huh," "I'm sorry, baby" or ignores me

26-- The date we will meet our precious little one

7-- The time the surgery is scheduled for that morning

5:30-- The time we actually have to be there

12 midnight-- When I absolutely have to stop eating before the surgery

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I know several people who are grieving right now....really grieving like over the loss of a fiance or a husband or a child or a mom. I am in no way experiencing that kind of grief, but today I'm really fighting tears and sadness.

We've decided to take our sweet Max back to the breeder we bought him from to be placed in a home where he will have the space, exercise and attention he really needs. This has been gut wrenching for me. I have cried and cried. I know it may sound silly, but he's been ours for 5 years. We were married in Nov of 2003 and one month later brought home our very own puppy to care for. So, in some senses he felt like our first child.

Anyway, Josh is probably going to take him today after work. Objectively, this really is the best thing for us and for Max and we try to sell the house and get ready for this baby in a few weeks. But honestly, I'm anything but objective right now. My hormones are helping either so, if you could, please pray for us today. All three of us love him very much and are having a hard time. Pray for joy and the bigger (and best) picture to be visible.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How to tell when it hasn't quite sunken in...

Isaiah often makes me chuckle. Case in point:

I had just gone into his room to get him up this morning and as I was making his breakfast we had a little conversation like this...

I: Mommy, I'm happy.

M: Oh Isaiah, I'm so glad.

I: Mommy, I'm so glad.

M: (seeing a teachable moment) Does Jesus make you happy?

I: Uh uh. I'm out of bed.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Just out of curiosity I added up what we've spent in gas this month. We drive an older Honda Accord and an older Nissan pickup truck. The damage as of today (and we're about to leave for the beach) is $392.12. Help me understand this...is this normal?!? I was honestly a little bit shocked. I did take one trip to Raleigh when Josh was there for work that I wouldn't have normally taken and we went to the beach last weekend as well. So those aren't things we normally do in a month, but REALLY? I've been working on our budget some and allotted about $250 a month for gas. It looks like I might be hanging out at the ol' abode more.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What IS THIS???

Ok...something's going on with me and I need your imput. I never felt any real contractions with Isaiah other than Braxton Hicks (and then had a c-section because I wasn't progressing), but I'm feeling something much stronger now.

I was up most of the night with some discomfort or another and then started feeling what was like a really bad stomach ache. It came and went and kept me in the bathroom. I thought I had just eaten something that didn't agree with me, but now I'm sitting here at work and though it's not as often it's definitely still there. I notice the same pain across my front and sometimes in my back almost everytime I get up and right when I sit down. I was very crampy all day yesterday and I thought it was from carrying groceries in from the car. This pain is higher and almost feels like a burn.

I know it may be nothing, but just wanted to see if this was normal or not.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Isaiah's bed, Mommy's tears

We were on our way home this afternoon from a fun weekend with friends and family at the beach when Josh said that he wanted to go get the todder bed we bought for Isaiah a month or so ago. It's been in storage at his brother's house. We kept putting it off, but tonight seemed as good a night as any...at least to Josh. So an hour and a half later the big crib was broken down, taken out and a smaller but cute, little bed was in it's place.

And now I'm sitting here teary as I just laid my baby boy down for the night in a "big boy" bed for the first time. No more crib. I had no idea I would feel like this, but Josh suspected I would. The tears come as it sinks in that he's really not a baby anymore. He may never sleep in his crib again. I even told Josh through sobs that I almost wanted Isaiah to disobey and keep getting up so it would be an easy decision to put him back in the crib. Of course, I don't really want that, but he's my only baby right now and watching him grow up little by little is hard on this mom's heart. It's been about an hour now and he's sound asleep, curled up with his back against the wall far away from new pillow we gave him for the first time tonights...the way he slept in his crib. He didn't even attempt to get up once. I just can't seem to stop watching him sleep in the video monitor. Sigh.

Ok. Enough. Now for the pictures...

Breaking it in.

Helping Daddy "fig" it.

New pillow, check. Thumb, check. Belly button, check.

Sweet prayer time with Daddy

And our next project: the nursery.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Divine intervention needed...NOW!

List of things that need to be done before baby arrives on Sept 26th:

1. Move desk and computer stuff out of nursery
2. Find place to put desk and computer stuff
3. Move crib into nursery
4. Move toddler bed into Isaiah's room
5. Teach Isaiah to sleep in toddler bed
6. Clean out closet in nursery
7. Get changing pad, baskets, drawers for closet, bedding and diapers
8. Find a good double stroller for a good price in good condition
9. Arrange for Isaiah's childcare while in hospital
10. Make and freeze additional meals

AAAAH! I really thought writing it all out would make me feel better. It doesn't. In fact, I probably forgot some.


This has been an extremely challenging season for me. I have precious little patience. I am very uncomfortable. I have low energy and there is a lot to do, not to mention an extremely energetic toddler that I'm apparently responsible for. I have a lot to confess and repent of. Frankly, my attitude sucks, and it's embarrassing. I just had to ask my 2 yr old to forgive me...and it was way overdue.

I need this to sink deep into my heart today. I need "the word of Christ to dwell in you [me] richly."

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." --2 Cor 9:8

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Should I be concerned or excited?

Wow... I can't believe they have these now. Not sure how to feel about it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Advice on cheap textbooks, please

This year, I may be able to actually purchase some music curriculum materials! I was totally on my own last year, making everything up as I went along which is not so fun...so I'm excited!

The problem is that they need to be inexpensive as there's not a huge budget for music at my school. I'm basically just looking at buying teacher's editions of the curriculum and possibly the cds that go with it. Maybe a student text to make copies of (not so sure if that's legal).

So anyway, just wanted to see if anyone knew of some good places to buy these kind of materials used...esp. you homeschooling moms. I've been looking at Amazon.com and Abebooks.com. They have the best prices so far.

Thanks to Kelly, I now have the firefox Book Burro which is very helpful. Any other ideas?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Books and intentional reading

I just added the little book shelf widget on the left. The biggest one available had 5 shelves and it wasn't enough. I am in the middle of too many books. The main reason I added it is for accountability to actually finish reading each of them. I am really bad at that. I have read the first halves of so many good books, just to get distracted by another book or lose interest all together. They are not in any particular order but the one I would like to finish first (because I started it so long ago) is "When I Don't Desire God" so it's at the top as a fresh reminder to myself.

Reading is not something I naturally gravitate toward. I can find plenty of things to do around here that require much less thought and bring about much less conviction...and therefore change. But my desire in reading each of these books is to be purposeful and available for the Lord to bring about the fruit He desires in my life.

A few things I hope to get out of them:

When I Don't Desire God -- it's pretty simple. I want to desire God more than I do right now. I want to aggressively kill sin. I want to love the Word. I want to love prayer. I want to cherish Christ more than anything this world could ever offer me. Here's just one of many quotes on killing sin and war-time living I just read to give you a taste too:

"Yes, there is a mean, violent streak in the true Christian life!...It's a violence against all the impulses in us that would make peace with our own sin and settle in with a peacetime mentality. It's a violence against all lust in ourselves and all enslaving desires for food or caffeine or sugar or chocolate or alcohol or pornography or money or the praise of men and the approval of others or power or fame. It's a violence against the impulses in our own soul toward racism and sluggish indifference to injustice and poverty and abortion.
Christianity is not a settle-in-and-live-at-peace-with-this-world-the-way-it-is kind of religion...Christianity is war."

Stepping Heavenward -- I've just heard a lot about this lady and wanted to learn a little more about her. It's in a journal form which makes it even more interesting and she's extremely honest and raw in her journey with the Lord. I respect that so much. I also haven't read much about another person's life in a long time, and reading of someone's example has had a tremendous effect on me in the past.

Ministries of Mercy -- I really like Tim Keller and admire his urban ministry in NYC a ton. In fact, I have 2 friends who now work for him. Anyway, he has a huge heart for the poor, hurting and needy, social justice, and strategically planting yourself where you are most effect in reaching the world. I was changed by him in college, but haven't had much exposure to him since. I also have lost some of my zeal for going to the hurting. It's been 3 years since I've been out of the country and the effects of that on my heart are obvious. I want the Lord to stir that up in me again and give me fresh vision for what I can do here and now...as well as vision for the future. Josh and I are reading this together and will be meeting with close friends to discuss it...it should be good!

Total Money Makeover -- We want to get out of debt! This is closely related to the other books, believe it or not. When Josh and I made the decision for him to go back to school and become a math teacher, one of the main, driving reasons was to free us up in the summer to go overseas on mission trips....and investigate for the possibility to go permanently one day. It's hard to do that with debt and little to no savings. We need a plan to be able to pay it off, give and save. I've heard over and over how effective this plan is...so here goes.

The Shack -- My parents just recently read this book and are now reading it for a second time. Not only that but they bought one for all of us kids and our families to read too. My dad has been through some intense struggles and suffering in his life and strongly identified with the main character...and that character's healing and restoration to the Lord. In fact, I think this book has been part of the healing process. So, of course I'm going to read it! So far, it's been an emotional roller coaster, but really, really good. I've questioned some of the theology and been blow away by how dead on it is...usually on the same page. I'm about half way through.

Shepherding a Child's Heart -- I don't really need to explain this one. All the things I've talked about wanting for myself I want for my son and future son/daughter. And I realize we are the most influential people in their lives right now. The task is heavy and I feel ill-equipped to lead....a good place to start.

So....I've been thinking of a few different ways to attack this. Probably, I'll start by making one day of the week a "reading day." Meaning, I will set a chunk of free time that day (Isaiah's nap time) aside to focus on reading, but I would really like to hear what you do. I know quite a few of you are big readers so how do you work it in and how do you manage reading multiple books at the same time???

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jeshus, Isaiah and poo-poo

Josh has been working in Raleigh/Durham all week and because Wednesday was Isaiah's birthday (we have a 2 year old!) I decided to make the drive up so we could celebrate with Josh. My sweet friend Meghann lives there and just celebrated a birthday herself so it made sense to go see her.

Anyway, I'll post more on the birthday stuff later. Our bigger family party is Saturday. But right before we left Isaiah had disobeyed and needed discipline. We had just finished the part where we pray, which usually goes like this:

Me: Jesus...

I: Jeshus...

Me: I'm sorry...

I: I sorry...

Me: for disobeying...

I: fo dishoshobeyin...

Me: Mommy.

I: Mommy.

Me: Please forgive...

I: Peas fogive...

Me: me.

I: me.

Me: Amen.

I: Amen.

We had just finished praying and I laid him down on the changing table to change a very stinky diaper. I guess he wasn't finished praying because here's what came next:

I: Jeshus? I sorry. (pause) Jeshus? I poo-pooed.

He told "Jeshus" all about it so I guess he's on the right track :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

In case Josh ever asks you to make him a sandwich...

let me save you both some time and give you the instructions.

I received these last night with a "Please don't be annoyed with me. I know I'm anal."

Ham and Cheese:

--spread mayo on both sides.
--add cheese to both sides.
--take 5 pieces of ham
--lay the first one across and then fold to the right
--do the same with the second and fold to the left
--lay the third one down and fold the bottom under
--lay the fourth one down but fold the top under
--THEN take the last one and lay it in the middle
with the right and left sides folded under.
--place pieces together carefully and now, to quote Josh,
"every bite is filled with perfectly balanced goodness."

Please add...

15. Enjoyed some of the sweetest and most frustrating moments as a parent so far. It seems my son's strong will and my pride are both extremely strong opponents.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Over the past month we have...

1. Spent a lovely week at the beach with Josh's family.

2. Planned and cancelled a getaway to Charleston without Isaiah :(

3. Survived Josh getting all four wisdom teeth out (2 of which were impacted...so stitches and blood) and looking like an action figure with a very manly, and perfectly square jaw. (That's right sweetie, very manly.)

4. Put our house on the market with a realtor the next morning.

5. Most likely found our next house the morning after that.

6. Stressed considerably over the finances and the future (ok, that was mainly just me).

7. Been freshly reminded of why we trust the Lord with our circumstances and worry-filled hearts.

8. Started and continued reading several really good books...."Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss, "When I Don't Desire God" by John Piper and "Ministries of Mercy" by Tim Keller.

9. Delved into all kinds of conversations and dreams of where God could be calling us to serve in the future....big change seems inevitable.

10. Are currently trekking through the unknown territory of Josh working a temporary job that is mostly 3rd shift and out of town (tonight is the first night).

11. Painted, packed and bought our first toddler bed.

12. Spent A LOT of mornings walking at the mall with my friend Krisin and her daughter Lily, drinking coffee and letting the kids play.

13. Watched Seinfeld and The Office before going to bed.

14. Gotten increasingly bigger, MUCH less comfortable and tried my best to keep heartburn under control...lots of Tums quikpacs (they taste like pixy sticks).

Me at any given moment....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Going deep

"Going Deep with God By Having Him Carry Our Loads" is the title of a short article I read through tears today. I had just gotten off the phone with a dear friend who I'm very honest with. She had to get off pretty quickly and in that short conversation about a million worries and anxieties about our future came to the surface of my heart. Stuff I've been working pretty hard to keep down and out of mind because it's ugly and feels too hard to deal with. I'm sure she didn't know what was happening...we were just talking about life like we normally do, but as soon as we hung up I dissolved into a heap of sobs and tears.

All my anxieties about selling our house, finding another house, having a settled, peaceful home for our new baby to come home to, our finances during the summer, Josh finding a summer job, our yard needing to be mowed, our food budget for the month, finding a home for Max, boarding Max over the weekend when we go to the beach, Josh's anxieties about all of this and how he's handling it.....and on and on and on.....all came out.

I know I need to trust the Lord and that has been a battle too. Feeling like I want to trust Him and rest but my heart just wouldn't let go of it all. The "fear not" and "do not be anxious" verses I've been telling myself over and over were not getting through.

So I just told the Lord. I've cried out to Him before, but this time was different for some reason...maybe just brokeness. I was beginning to read another article I thought would magically fix it when He literally interrupted my thoughts and starting pouring into my heart compassion and understanding. Not just black and white truth, but real compassion for the war that's been happening in my heart. I couldn't even read anymore...there was nothing to do but listen and when the flood of thoughts stopped coming I wrote them down so I would remember.

That's not how my time with the Lord usually goes, but I love when it does...almost always when I'm most broken and desperate. He spoke so specifically to the details, the circumstances, the deepest thoughts I've been thinking....even reminding me that the couch I'm sitting on was ordained and hand-picked by Him to be in our house (much less all the needs we have for the future). He's in every detail of my existence. But the main thing was that He is my Keeper. He has kept me and He will keep me forever. My help comes from Him. He has ordained every unknown we're facing right now, the progess of emotions I've experienced and every tear to fall to bring me to this point. The point where I am experiencing Him keeping me through all of it. It was just sweet and good. I felt so known and understood by Him again.... strongly reminded of His intimate dealings with me and all my circumstances. But also reminded of strong biblical truths my heart was just too weak to believe before...this time with fresh grace to grab hold of them. I guess He's big to me again. He's strong to me again...way more than the unknowns that were weighing me down. This is kinda like a journal entry for me, but I hope it makes sense.

I may need to be reminded of all of this in, like, 5 mins but for right now I'm resting...finally.

Here's part of what I read and how I read it:

"I will not let your foot be moved;
I who keep you will not slumber.
Behold, I who keep Israel will
neither slumber nor sleep.
I am your keeper;
I am your shade at your
right hand.
The sun shall no strike you by day
nor the moon by night.
I will keep you from all evil;
I will keep your life.
I will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forever more."
Ps 121:2-8

Friday, June 06, 2008

And while I'm blogging....

I have a few random questions....

--When preparing for a newborn and have a toddler what kind of crib do you buy? Do you give the newborn the crib you already have and get a toddler bed (don't think he's ready for that yet)?

--If you've used a double stroller, what kind do you prefer? A side-by-side or a tandem (one in front of the other)? If you're really happy with your double stroller, what kind is it?

--When you haven't cleaned your oven in 5 years what gets out impossible crud without soaking your lungs with chemicals?

--When you haven't cleaned your cloth shower curtain in 5 years how do you wash it without ruining it?

I think that's about it for now.

I was on the Today Show last night

It was my first time there, of course and the set my segment was on was a stage. I couldn't believe that only about 10-12 people were in the audience outside of the camera crew and producer. The back stage area was bare except for a few props like chairs, a lit mirror for last minute hair and makeup fixes, a table with glasses and a water pitcher, etc.

I was a wreck. No one really spoke to me once I was back stage because they were all running around getting ready for their segment. The co-hosts only came out of their dressing rooms for their 3 mins and then went back into hiding. In fact, the only one I remember really seeing was Hoda. She was nice, but in a hurry.

I already had my packet of info that listed all the segments in order and the main points they covered. I was told which segment was mine, but there were no prompts whatsoever on how to begin the segment or what to say during it. I think they just expected me to know that and I was trying desperately to cover up that I didn't. It was my very first day and I was FREAKING out. No one asked if I had questions...I finally stopped a lady who was also in a hurry and gave one word answers.

Then it was my turn. I was right after a commercial break, during which they told me where to stand on the stage and which camera to look at. I knew the few people in the audience were there to size me up and see if I would work out. They counted me down (again, no prompter) and I got through the beginning with basic interviewing skills I had learned (like how to sound upbeat and have a good opener). I was holding my segment outline by my side out of sight of the cameras and it was a good thing because right after my "Welcome back to the Today Show. I'm Dana Hartness and today we're taking a look at how..." I went completely blank. I stopped mid-sentence and rummaged through my papers. I managed to get out a little chuckle and a small joke about it being my first day before someone yelled, "Cut!"

I had no idea this was pre-recorded segment...I guess they didn't want to take a chance going live with a rookie.

Apparently, at that point in the dream my brain couldn't take the inevitable rejection that was coming so I never found out if they fired me or not. I did learn, however, that apparently, in my subconscience, there is a hidden desire to star on a morning show. Ahh...pregnancy.

Mixed emotions

I waited as long as I possibly could. He's 22 months today, it's hot outside and he was called "a pretty little girl" by 3 different strangers yesterday. It was time. So, 1 hour, 10 bucks, some whining and almost an entire pack of graham crackers later, it was done.

At first I thought all his adorable little ringlets that I had fallen so in love with were gone. They were sooo tight in the back and when stretched out they came down to his shoulder blades. Josh and I both had those when we were little. He looked so much older and grown up which made my heart ache. Then we walked in house and in his normal whiney voice he said, "I 'ant milk!" about a thousand times.

I sighed and thought, "same kid, shorter hair." And after getting it wet, the back of his hair curled right back up. Geez. I'm dramatic.


What got us through the whole having to sit still part.

Not having the best time.

All done!

Still there!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

Right when I took this, a man with a very large belly had just walked by and Karis was pointing at him saying, "belly!"

This picture cracks me up! What kind of a face is that?!?

(Notice the cheetos all over his face)

We (Isaiah and myself) kicked off the unofficial start of summer at the beach with Josh's parents, Dee, Stacey and Karis. Josh, on the other hand, went to the race and attempted to camp out. Yes. Make fun of him. Actually, he went with a co-worker he's been building a relationship with so it was very intentional on his part...and wow, does he have some stories! Anyway, I missed him SO much, and Isaiah asked for him multiple times a day. It was really sweet coming home to him, though it was a ton of fun watching Isaiah enjoy the beach. Last year he just wanted to eat sand and crawl around. This year he's having a blast finding sea shells, taking them to the surf, throwing them in, saying, "Bye bye! See ya!"... then repeating the process all over again. He's all over the place and met quite a few strangers by going right up to them as they lay out in the sun and just staring at them....awkward. I don't know how amused they were, but one nice man gave him cheetos. Hmm...don't know how I feel about that.