Wednesday, April 30, 2008

M & M Day

Since I woke up at 5:00 am Monday morning, I have been looking forward to the weekly "Mommy & Mia Day" happening today. I began to day dream about the wonderful things we would do, not including any chores that could spoil our day.

Well, it has been such a wonderful day. This morning we woke up with Daddy so we could take him to work. With smiles and kisses, we sadly said goodbye to daddy, excited to see him in just a few hours. Then our day began!

We took a ride to the Focus on the Family Bookstore where we were able to buy Mia some new books and a toddler bible. We got books that included "If Jesus Came to Visit Me," "The Tale of Three Trees," "You are Special," and "A Bug Collection." SO CUTE! Of course Mia picked them all out herself, so I couldn't say no!

Mia's Uncle Nate met us at the bookstore in between his classes to take us to lunch. After much debate, Uncle Nate concluded that the ever delicious Fat Burger Restaurant would be the best choice for our lunch outing. As mommy wolfed down a delicious turkey burger, Mia sat there patiently, trying to get Uncle Nate to feed her a few french fries. Good thing mommy was need to start fattening her up!

After lunch, Mia and mommy made our way to the mall where we were both able to get a brand new pair of shoes. Mia got some adorable little white shoes with hearts around the side. They will be perfect with her dress for dedication this Sunday. Mommy got a brand new pair of black high heels -- they make her legs look good!

After all that adventure, it was definitely time to go home for a nap. With out belly's full, we took a snugly nap on the big recliner. It was so relaxing.

Well, it's finally time to go pick up daddy! I wonder if his day was as exciting as ours?...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Weekend of Great

This weekend was jam packed with fun and adventure for Miss Mia. From a special party thrown in her honor, to dinner at the the oldtime pizza place with extended family, to a special snuggly time with daddy at church, it was a weekend to remember.

The party was a post-pregnancy baby shower thrown by my inlaws! It was so much fun. The party was held at the The Mona Lisa which is a fondue restaurant in Manitou Springs here in Colorado. The restaurant is in an old house, so every room is unique and different, making your time there never dull and boring. Mia was showered with many gifts, which mommy so generously opened for her.

From many handmade articles such as blankets, booties and sweaters... an itty-bitty swim suit...

...and plenty of adorable outfits, Mia was litterally spoiled and she absolutely LOVED it! Mommy and Daddy even got a few gifts that included a few gift cards for date nights (WAHOO) and a few gift cards to go shopping!

That evening, my inlaws wanted to go out for pizza at the oldtime pizza place. This restaurant is a long time favorite of the Price-Gerster family and it is always a good time when we all gather around the table to chat it up. Mia decided that this was getting to be a little too long of a day, and though daddy was holding her tight, decided to through a fit the entire time. She was so exhausted/tired/cranky, but nothing would help until we got home.

Sunday was full of relaxation, naps, and chinese food. The perfect day before a new work week! Mia got in plenty of snuggling time with both mommy and daddy as we got ready to pass her onto someone else for the daytimes.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Just what the doctor ordered!

Friday, April 25, 2008

This is it... last day of maternity leave. Granted, I do have the weekend, but this is officially the last day of recorded maternity leave.

I got up early today, hoping to thoroughly enjoy this day to the max. How, though, do I manage to squeeze all the hours, moments, and giggles into one last 24 hour period? I've painstakingly tried to plan out the last perfect day, but fear that I may be spending more time trying to plan the day than actually enjoy it.

To be honest, though I know that I need to go back to work, and most likely it will get a little easier once in the swing of the new routine, I am completely dreading Monday. I fear that Mia will forget all of our fun, and not desire her mommy as much. I get nervous about her crying and the fact that I won't be there to comfort her. I dream of those precious little moments that I will miss, not gettng a chance to see all the little ways she slowly changes. Oh how my heart breaks when I think about it.

If you think about it, please pray for me. I know that I'm not the first woman to go back to work, leaving her precious little one behind, but it is a new experience for me. I hope to handle it with grace and strength.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Play Time

With only a handful of at home days left, I'm trying earnestly to soak up all the precious moments that I can. Lately, Mia has been more alert and interactive. She loves to play with mommy, which mostly consists of listening to mommy's silly voice or watching mommy contort her face into sudden expressions. The smiles that Mia gives will literally melt your heart. Here are some pictures in of our most recent little play time.

Doesn't that look fun! I'll post again, tomorrow, on thoughts about returning to work. Right now, I'm just enjoying mommy-hood that I can't talk about my feelings without getting emotional!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Do I want you to be me?

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters."
Romans 14:1
"You, then, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat...Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brothers way."
Romans 14:10,13
"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."
Romans 14:19
"Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: 'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'"
Romans 15:2-3
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
Romans 15:7

These verses have haunted me the last few weeks as I examine the things in my life that are so contradictory to what each verse teaches. I've been appalled at the amount of thought, joking comment, and action that leaves myself ultimately having the potential to tear someone down.

We live in a world that lives in the moment to moment, not thinking through the consequences, or even past our own initial feelings. We "joke," become impatient with, and even sling insults at those who are different than us, with no regard to the impact that it may have on anyone other than ourselves. Instead, we are left with a society constantly tearing down those who are most precious in this world - the very people God created in His own image.

I've been wrestling with the fine line of friendly banter and actions that are mutually edifying. Of course it is fun, and even appropriate at times, to mess around with those you are close with, teasing each other about what makes you different and having a good laugh. But what about all those people that I just expect to be just like me? What about those people that irritate me because they are different than myself, or those people who don't "have it all together?" How do I accept them as Christ does (15:7) and live to please them in order to build them up (15:2)?

My pastor made a statement about grace, stating that you cannot truly embrace the act of worship or the personal relationship with Christ until you have accepted the idea of grace. It is only through grace that we are able to be in the Lord's presence. The fact that, even through all my dust and filth, He has chosen me to be with Him and to love me unconditionally. I'd like to take this statement a little further and say that you cannot truly accept people for who they are until you realize that you, yourself, are under grace. By truly living as if you could not have done anything to deserve the love and blessings in your life, you are more able to look at everyone else through the lens of grace by which God looks at you. Not one of us is better than the other - we can all be covered by His grace. Praise be to Jesus!

As I continue to wrestle with this idea, I ask the Lord to continue to press on my spirit this idea of grace, that I may live my life as if I truly believe I am under it's blanket. In doing so, I pray that I become more compassionate and accepting of people around me. I pray that I become more soft spirited and loving, just as Christ is loving towards all.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Nose Story

My new blog friend, Fresh and Fun, posted a creative blog on smells that transport you to a different time and place. She put out a challenge to list our individual smells, so here are mine. What a fun idea!

1. The rubber on new shoes for school. It was so much torture not being able to wear them until the first day of school.

2. The smell of my husbands clothes when we were dating. This probably sounds wierd, but everyones laundry smells different. I remember hugging Casey and then missing that smell that was always part of him.

3. Sharpened pencils. When machanical pencils came on the scene it just wasn't the same. Nothing spurs on creativity like a newly sharpened pencil.

4. The smell of the school dumpsters on a hot day. Ok..Gross, I know! But hear me out. Remember being out on recess and it being so warm outside? You were running around like crazy but there was always a slight breeze blowing the dirty smell of the huge dumpsters through the playground.

5. Grandma's house. Always a warm, welcoming smell that wraps you in extreme comfort.

6. Dairy Queen's butterscotch Dilly Bars. This was a favorite pasttime for me and my Grandpa J. We would take a ride on the bikes and then stop by for a fun treat.

7. Acrylic paint and new canvas. Yea! The creative juices start flowing! :)

8. Stew cooking when I woke up from my nap. I would wake up so foggy, but all I could smell was the thick fragrance of homemade stew.

9. Sawdust. I love hugging my dad after he has been working in his wood shop. The smell of sawdust is so comforting.

10. The smell of chlorine...brings me back to swim lessons, swim team, and all around reminds me of summer time and no obligations.

What are your favorite smells? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Suntans and Snow Angels

It's Springtime in the Rockies. Yesterday it was a beautiful 75 degrees with no clouds in the sky. The mountains were standing tall, still sparkling from the previous snowfalls. Everyone was cheery and eager to be outside in the gorgeous weather. is terribly cold with large, fluffy snowflakes dropping furiously from the sky. Yup. Springtime in the Rockies. Tomorrow the snow heads out, and we are back at beautiful 70+ degree weather. I know what you are thinking...we are so bipolar here in Colorado!

Since the weather was too icky to be outside, Mia and I went on a little a little adventure with grandma in tow. We conquered the world of commerce with our pockets full of daddy's money! It was a blast. Mia slept most of the time, obviously bored with mommy's fussing about. Mommy tried to find the ever impossible cute outfits to cover her postpartum body. The previous work wardrobe of pregnancy comfort must be set aside for "real" work clothes. However, being far from her size 6 body, we feverishly searched for those perfect items to do the trick for now. Here are a few of the items I found (I do love Target):

~ This shirt I just absolutely love! It is adorable when it is on~

~ This Henley sweater I got in a chocolate brown and pink. Super cute!~

~ This skirt I got in a khaki/neutral color. I would have purchase black too, but they didn't have my new size. ~

~ This shirt I got in plain can never go wrong with one of these! ~

I did find some other finds on the sale rack which are just as cute as these listed. All in all, our little outing was a success. And, with only half of our play money spent, we will be heading out soon for another round!

Happy Day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fingers down the chalkboard

Well, I was just tagged by my SIL, Raising Allikaye, to list 6 random things that most people don't know about me. Since most of you know so much about me, I'll try not to make it too boring. :)

  • I absolutely hate the words "moist" and "supple." When I hear those words it is as if someone has just run their fingers down the chalkboard. YIKES!
  • When I put my deodorant on in the morning, I rub my arms back and forth in a quick running motion, just to make sure the deo is in there good and tight.
  • I have a freakishly strong craving for hotdogs -- I just can't get enough of them. It's rather disturbing actually!
  • I secretly would love to be an interior decorator or wedding planner or both! I can't make up my mind - that's why I'm neither! :)
  • I love to be on stage singing, acting, being silly, whatever. I'm not shy in front of people. However, I CAN NOT play the piano in front of anyone. I took lessons for about 10 years, and totally freaze up when anybody is around.
  • When we win the powerball (after we actually start playing) I want to adopt lots of babies from all over the world. And then build a huge house so they all have their own room, and hire a maid!

Ok! There you go...a few random things about me. I tag, Adventures of E and T, Bill and Tara, and Erika. Can't wait to hear all about you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Friendly Wisdom

In the last few days, many wise friends have reminded me to "enjoy these moments. They fly by all too quickly." This spurred on thoughts in my head...

All my life I have struggled with the "I can't waits..." "I can't wait to have my drivers license." "I can't wait to start dating." "I can't wait to be in the 'real' world" and the list goes on. Even now, with my precious baby, I catch myself thinking about the adventures to come, secretly, yet not consistently, wanting them to hurry up and arrive.

Why are we never completely content where we are at? Why do we wish we could see down the road to what seems like a better time in life, void of the present struggles? Yet, once there, we always want to move on. Why is it so hard to realize that the best point of life is exactly where we are at that moment?

Well, today I have had plenty of time to reflect on just this thought. Poor Mia hasn't been feeling well all night with a slight fever anda huge case of the snuggles (more than normal). With mommy's arms being the only place she can sleep or be calm, I've reflected on all the thing that will vanish in just a matter of time. So here is my decision: I choose to try and forget about the things that have to be done and try not to imagine the future when some things will be "easier." Instead, I will treasure these moments when I am my baby's entire world. I will long for the moments when she freaks out because I'm not there. I will giggle every time my baby smiles at me. I will crave the days when she just needs to sleep in my arms, knowing that one day this will be just a memory.

Dear Lord ~
Please teach me to slow down and focus on those things that are truly eternal. Give me patience for the everyday. Please help me to eat up these precious moments with Mia in order to truly enjoy the job You have set before me. Thank you so much for entrusting Casey and me with your precious child. We could not ask for more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sweet Nothings

"Honey, thank you for making our home a fun place to come home to."

"Baby, you are such a wonderful person. I love you."

"Sweatheart, you are such a great wife and mother."

"You are so beautiful. How did I ever deserve to have you as mine?"

As the days and weeks goes by, it is so easy to get caught up in the routines that consume our waking moments. It's an early "rise and shine" as we hurry to get daddy out the door and to work. When we return from bring daddy to work, it's time for baby to eat. Depending on her mood, it could take 30 minutes or 1.5 hours to eat and go down for a nap. Mommy hurries to squeeze in a shower, get ready for the day, and make the bed before feeding number 2. Then depending on how Mia is feeling, mommy could have lots of time to get chores done, or we could spend all day cuddling and playing (I prefer these days.) At 4:00 pm, mommy has to start getting dinner ready or it just won't be ready when we get home. At 5:10 pm we have to leave to pick up daddy from work. We return, eat dinner, go to the gym, give Mia her feeding and then go to bed. The next day, it starts all over.

Though I love the days that I have had, and have absolutely no regrets, it can wear on you as you see nothing of gain in what you do. The next day, the house is dirty again. Dishes will need to be done, no doubt. Mia will always have a diaper to change. Laundry continues to pile up. Though I thoroughly enjoy doing the things around the house that keep it up and orderly, I do like a little something more every now and then.

Well, the above statements have been my reward the last few days. I can't tell you how much joy it brings to the soul when you hear that whispered right before you close your eyes for the night. My heart just skips a beat knowing that my husband wouldn't choose anyone else, and that he longs to come home because we are there. What a wonderful reward it has been!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Did you hear that too?

When one is constantly consumed in "Baby World" things can get a little goofy. I find myself just laughing at the things I say to comfort, express frustration, or just entertain when my little girl is around. When I stop and think, "Did that really just come out of my mouth," I think how funny it would be to have the opportunity for any of you friends to be a fly on the wall. You would think that I have completely lost my mind! However, I choose to think that it is a sign of my security as a person, that I don't care what people think but rather that my baby is totally enthralled with me.

Well, I thought you all could use a little giggle. Please, while reading this, imagine them in the tones listed. It will give you a more realistic view of what is going on in our house everyday.

1. *Surprised tone - wide eyed*
Ooh! A little tooter! Good you have more. Come on! Make your butt rumble!
2. *Calm, consistant, patient tone*
Come on Sweetie, get it out. You can burp it...Blow it out little one..
*Then breaking into song/chant. More Cheerleader like*
Burpie! Burpie! Get it out! Mia! Mia! Get it out!
3. *Sympathetic, calming tone*
Oh honey, look at all those boogies. Those nasty boogies! Mommy will get them.
4. *Excited, "good morning" tones
OOOHHH! Stretchies! Goodmorning Peaty Swie (Sweatie Pie). How's mommy's little angel?

And then there are the many nicknames that Mommy and Daddy choose to call little Mia:

1. Peatie Swie (mommy)
2. Little Miss Piggy (mommy)
3. Darling Girl (daddy)
4. MayBell (daddy)
5. Princess Mia (mommy and daddy)
6. Hungry Hippo (mommy)
7. Love Bug (mommy and daddy)
8. Little Lover Dover (mommy and daddy)
9. Tiny Toots (mommy)
10. Sweatheart (daddy)
11. Precious baby (mommy and daddy)
12 Poopie pants (daddy)

I'm sure the list goes on, but I am drawing a blank. They are so spur of the moment, it's just so difficult to keep track. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

One Month Check-Up

Today was Mia's one month check-up and she did so well! She is up to 8lbs. 12 oz and at 20 3/4 inches long. I knew she had grown bigger! All of her measurements put her in the 50 percentile, and the doctor finds nothing wrong with her.

Lately, she has been more awake during the day. She enjoys laying on her back and watching all that is going on around her. Here are a few more pictures. Enjoy!

Mia is laying on her "smart starts" play mat
Mia laying on the couch trying hard not to fall asleep :)
This is Your Highness falling asleep in her carseat

Friday, April 4, 2008

a Shout Out

All my life, I've known exactly what I wanted to do with my life. While my little girlfriends were dreaming about being actresses, teachers, nurses, or even the president, I was dreaming of being a wife and mother. Why? Because even at a young age I saw the importance of pouring into those blessings that the Lord gives you, not to mention that I watched my mom accomplish this life with grace and dignity. I wanted to do the same. Well, you can imagine the conversations that this stirred up... "Well, that's nice, but what do you want to do with your life?" or even better "that won't be that hard. You're smart - you should atleast have something to fall back on."

While I agree that you should never sell yourself short, who has the right to say that being a stay at home mother is in any way doing just that. I truly believe that those women who have the ability to pour into their children 24/7 are truly blessed. Not only are they helping to shape the next generation, but they are impacting the Kingdom by shaping the tools the Lord will use for His glory. She could be raising the next most influential leader, minister, president, scientist who cures cancer, or even the next young lady who chooses family as the most important thing in her life.

I think it is truly rude for people to judge those who decide to stay home with their children and look upon this career choice as no career at all. In my few weeks at home, I have learned to respect, even more, those women who choose to stay home all the time. I would have never known the hours that truly slip through your fingers as you are absorbed with feedings and diaper changing. Then you have the hours where your precious baby will not let you put him/her down, so you end up holding them for hours on end. You watch the precious hours of the day slowly slip through your fingers and the to-do list on your refirigerator grow even longer for the next day. It's exhausting and frustrating but rewarding and exciting all at the same time.

I truly have respect for every woman that chooses the route of staying home. I do wish, though, that this decision to be a stay at home mom was a dream that was easier to grasp. With this economy, it can be virtually impossible for women to have the option for how they want to handle their family situation. Most women, like myself, need to continue working for various reasons. Mostly it is just to be able to live an average life full of careful budgets and planning. I hope to one day conquer the dream of staying home full time with my children. In the meantime, my prayer, though seemigly unrealistic, is that the government will realize that the high cost of living and other financial burdens in only hindering families nationwide by not allowing people the choice.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The creative touch (or so I pretend)

In between the many feedings and diaper changes, my newest creative assignment happens to be invitations for my brother's upcoming wedding. The Save-The-Date cards have already been completed, so it's on to the next big mailing. Yes, I know. It is much easier for them to purchase their own invitations - which is still an option on their end. However, why not create something that isn't "run of the mill" for the event of your lifetime? I wanted to provide them with just a few options to get their mind thinking about other options. Not to mention, I can make them cheaper than what they would pay to purchase them - SCORE!

Her colors are simply black and white with the only color being red roses. So, here are the few samples I came up with:

This one is a 4"x9" horizontal, fold-over invitation. The ribbon inside is an antique lace. This isn't quite black and white but rather a cream type. It's a little older looking, but I like how unique it looks.

This square 6"x6" invitation is my favorite! The specialty paper has metalic writing on it with "lovey dovey" statements. The ribbon is a deep wine red velvet. Totally classy!

This invitation is the first one I created off of her simple invitation requests. It is a simple one-sided card in strictly black and white. The ribbon is daisy flowers and simply wraps around the bottom of the invite.

This invitation opens exactly like any greeting card. It has the same wine colored velvet ribbon on the front with a specialty paper that has simple raised white bumps. Inside is strictly black and white.

So far, my (future) sister-in-law likes the square one the best. She comes in next week to talk about options/colors/etc. Hopefully they do decide to have me create their invites for them! What a fun next project that would be. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Discovery

At only four weeks old, Mia's personality is becoming more apparent. Her likes and dislikes get stronger as the days go by, and I feel like I have always known this little girl. Mia is very much a little snuggler. She doesn't like to be by herself. Rarely is she fussy unless something is wrong -- then she is just mad! She absolutely loves when her daddy is around; the sound of his voice can calm her in whatever mood she is in. When she is hungry, SHE IS HUNGRY! You had better be ready to feed her right then -- no messing around!

Mia's likes:
  • snuggling
  • super soft blankets
  • her "papa johns" chair that vibrates
  • having a clean diaper
  • having a full belly
  • being thrown over daddy's shoulder to just hang there
  • taking a bath
  • riding in the car
  • people calling her adorable :)
  • being burped with meaning (big thumps on her back)
  • smiling from ear to ear

Mia's dislikes:

  • having her feet tickled
  • having her armpits tickled
  • having her back lightly rubbed
  • nibbling on her ears (she HATES this!)
  • having her clothes changed
  • wearing socks
  • being pulled out of the bathtub
  • dropping daddy off at work
  • being even the least bit cold
  • not having someone pay attention to her
  • having gas bubbles in her tummy

She is such an adorable little girl. We continue to fall more and more in love with her. Thank you Jesus for Miss Mia!