Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Aiden's Birthday Party

My nephew, Aiden, turned a year old the day John and I got married. We celebrated his birthday at our wedding reception with cake and song, prefaced by a short speech from my dad all about "firsts". We weren't really sure where he was going with the speech...first dance as a married couple, first kiss as a married couple...until the hotel staff brought out the high-chair and the birthday cake and we saw the connections - Aiden's first birthday. What a relief! This year Aiden celebrated his birthday at an indoor jump place and John David was in on the fun.

Uncle David took John David down the big slide!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Three Years

Three years ago today I married the man of my dreams, John. (Our anniversary is March 13th, but since it's after midnight, this post will probably have the date of the 14th on it). He is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful and caring people I know. I have learned so much from him and admire so many qualities I see in him.

There were so many years I longed to be married and so many years I felt like God had forgotten about me or wasn't concerned with the desires of my heart. There was even a span of time in which I was so convinced of that, I took matters into my own hands. I started dating someone who was great "on paper" and I just knew God would approve. In fact, why hadn't God already thought of this and let things happen with this person sooner? But pretty soon into the relationship I realized that although his qualities looked good when I listed them on a piece of paper, there was not a real connection between us. And actually, there were some things about him that weren't as they had seemed...but I was tired of being alone and hey, being with SOMEone was better than being with NOone, so I stuck with it much longer than I knew was best. The Lord tried several times to tell me that this guy wasn't the one and that I should be moving on...but I resisted and stuck with it, trying like everything to make the relationship work. Then all of a sudden, it clicked. It was never going to work. And then something else clicked. I didn't really need someone as badly as I thought I did. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon these verses, but they had a big impact on they way I started to look at my life and my singleness specifically. In the New International Version of the Bible, Matthew 7:9-11 reads:

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

So many times during my struggle with being a single adult I thought I was being handed a stone when I had asked for bread. I had asked God so many times to make a relationship work and was disappointed so many times when it didn't work out. But now I can see how many loaves of bread God actually handed me - all those times the relationships didn't work out were just preparing me and saving me for the one God had intended for me all along. He really was being faithful to me and caring for me and the desires of my heart all along.

Here's a little story for you: One day, a little boy was playing outside with his friends when the smell of freshly baked cupcakes wafted his way. He ran inside and grabbed one off of the cooling rack. "Wait!!" His mother begged. "I haven't put the icing on them yet! Hand it back to me and I will put the icing on it, making it even more delicious." The little boy obeyed his mother, handed the cupcake back to her and waited eagerly but patiently as his mother put the finishing touches on it.

Once those things I mentioned before "clicked" and I surrendered my singleness back to God, I wrote the word CUPCAKES in big letters on a small piece of paper and kept it in my Bible. It was my little reminder that God was looking out for me and the desires of my heart - all I had to do was trust Him and give back to him what I was holding on to so tightly. I never realized God's faithfulness could be so good. These past three years with John have proven to be more wonderful than I could have ever imagined marriage could be.

Friday, March 09, 2007

17 months Old

This picture was taken on February 3rd, the day John David turned 17 months old. I just never got around to posting it, so I thought I'd play catch-up now and do it. If you look closely, you'll see that his nose is scuffed-up. It's his first (of many, I'm sure!) scuffed-up nose and he got it at Mother's Morning Out. Thankfully, it has healed nicely and you can't really even tell it was ever scratched. The train is the one he got for Christmas and the monkey in the caboose is his favorite passenger.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

18 Months Old

Last Saturday, March 3rd, John David turned 18 months old. It's hard to believe how quickly the time has passed. The memory of bringing him home from the hospital is still so fresh that it really seems like just yesterday. His cousin, Kara Lynn, was born in the same hospital as John David and I even recognized some of the nurses and the picture lady when we were there for her birth last week. But he is definitely growing into a little boy now! He is so expressive and so much fun. He is still just as friendly as he's always been but he is starting to exhibit a bit of seperation anxiety that I've heard surfaces around 18 months. He still just keeps us smiling. He can say about 20 words and he signs about 3-5 words. He loves his sign language videos and he does great using the signs that he knows - I just wish I had started earlier with him. He doesn't walk anymore - he runs everywhere! And he loves to tinker with anything that has parts or buckles or snaps. His "Spud Buds" (friends of Mr. Potato Head) keep him busy for hours sometimes! He's such a joy and we feel so blessed to have him in our lives! In the pictures above, he is modeling his bath robe, which he loves to wear around the house, and his new serious face, which he also wears quite often these days.