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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Take a Load Off

Weston is now a master at walking.  Yes he still takes a spill every once in a while probably because he is still a bit top heavy (really just tummy heavy), but he seems to have pretty much mastered that skill.

But there is one skill that I didn't think about a baby having to practice/master.  The skill of sitting down by themselves in a seat.  I hadn't really pondered that that was a skill he'd have to practice, but it has been so funny to watch him try to sit down.  Is it wrong to laugh at your child?!?

I wish I had a few more pictures because now that he has learned to "take a load off" he loves to sit on just about any elevated surface he can find - the inside of cabinets, the fireplace ledge, the bottom of the stairs, my in-laws treadmill, etc.

Here we are resting after helping to clean out one of Mimi's kitchen cabinets.  Please note the other skill that he has mastered - smiling/smirking for the camera. (For those of you who have seen baby pics of my bro, doesn't he totally look like Chris in this picture?!?!)

But by far Weston's favorite place to sit is his new Elmo chair.  What is not to like about a red-shag chair with big eyes, a nose, and a mouth?!?  Weston would like to thank Mimi for hooking him up with this fashionable piece of furniture.  

Here's to a little rest and relaxation,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tru Wuv and Mah-wige

So the title of this blog post is only a bit funny and understandable if you have seen the Princess Bride.

One of the "predictables" in my last blog post was my funny husband.  If you know him or have had an extended conversation with him then you know he loves a little dry humor.  I wanted to give you a little taste of his humor so below is his rendition of our engagement.  He typed this up in a email to some friends after the big event occurred (almost 4 years ago!), and I loved it so much I included a copy of it in our wedding book :)!

As for the proposal, here's the rather detailed version of how it went down...
We went for a walk in Jemison Park, which is where we had our 2nd first date.  I had my script prepared and I was aiming to be as smooth as possible.  You need to know that Rebecca's nickname is Cush because her last name is Cushman; I've never used that nickname.  So we are walking around the park, making small talk, and she has no clue what's coming.  We turn down a side trail that runs along the creek, where I spy a bench for us to sit on.  I decide that this will be the place where I change our lives forever.  We take a seat and continue what I consider to be a fairly meaningless conversation considering what's going on inside my head and heart.  At a break in the action, I say my line.  "Do you know that I've never called you Cush?" 
"Really?  I guess I hadn't noticed.  Why not?"
"Because I figured I'd one day make you my wife and if I did then the nickname wouldn't work." (how's that for cheesy)
She kisses my cheek and it is at this moment that I planned to "pop the question."  However, I made the mistake of making a nervous pause while I considered all the dramatic ramifications of what I was about to do to the both of us.  If I asked, I was almost sure she would say yes and if she said yes then this was a done deal and I better be sure we wanted a done deal.  If I didn't ask, I was going to have to explain to my family, her family (which was waiting at my house), and the few friends who knew what I was planning.  Now, Rebecca's a bit of a talker so, while I took my ill-considered pause, she shot my entire plan by starting into a story about some stationary that had "Cush" written on it.  I nodded in paralyzed confusion while she finished and tried to respond as pleasantly as possible so as not to vomit on this pretty girl that I was aiming to make my bride. 
She finished.  I still paused.  "Here goes nothing," I said to myself.
And then I rolled/slid/fell off the bench onto both knees - I had little control over my physical faculties at this point.  Rebecca's eyes swelled to dinosaur size and a fine layer of water began to materialize on them.  Her face read something like, "What the heck are you doing down there!?"  (For starters, I was struggling to end the battle between my sweaty hand and the clinging fabric of my pocket so I could fish out the engagement ring that seemed to shrink anytime I got near it.)  I finally gripped it and held on for dear life. 
"I love you (which we had not said before).  Will you marry me?"  
She cried.  I grabbed her right hand.  She laughed and handed me the left hand.  Somewhere in there she said yes.  We hugged for a long time, and kissed some, and talked.  She continued to cry and say yes.  I released the mental death grip I had been holding on my bowels and bladder...and smiled...and said "I love you" a couple more times.  She was completely surprised. 
She was further surprised when we went back to my house to find both of our families waiting in surprise.  She freaked out again.  It was great; she was thrilled and I was glad to have her for good...and to be done with the asking of awkward questions. 

Here are a few details and pictures to go along with his story.

Kevin and I never lived in the same city before we got married.  We met at a conference for youth directors in North Carolina in 2005.  We actually went on 2 dates, which we now refer to as our First First Date and our First Second Date.  They have to have those names because I didn't accept his invitation for a third date.  I thought I had a better option, but when I tell people that I dumped him, he kindly points out it can't be a dumping if it wasn't serious.  Oh well...I still say I dumped him.

Fast-forward one year.  Spring 2006.  Same conference.  Same location.  Kevin hadn't erased my number from his phone :).  We talked.  We flirted.  He made me laugh.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

We had our Second First Date at the end of April and our Second Second Date on my birthday (May 1st)  He proposed in December, and we tied the knot on June 2 2007.
My sexy husband the week we re-met
My favorite picture of us while we were dating.  If you didn't know how short I was, you would think Kevin is  like 6'5"!
After we got engaged
Some couples toast with wine at their weddings, but not the Corleys.  We decided to go the milk-shake route which was very tasty.  I think our guests enjoyed them too!!  Nothing like a little ice-cream at a June wedding in the south!

To Tru Wuv and Mah-wige,


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holding on to the Predictable

My second blog post was entitled "Waiting" because that was exactly what my little family was doing.  And at the moment, we are still waiting.  I went back to that second post to read the poem that I included because it is just as encouraging and convicting today as it was that day.

We are still waiting on a home of our own.  We are still sharing my sweet in-laws home.  Most of our belongings are still in storage, and the things I want are buried deep with no hope of retrieval - except for a complete storage room evacuation.  Really I just want to get to my sewing machine and my retainer - yes I still occasionally wear a retainer at night to keep my pearly whites sort of straight.  Why it ended up packed tight in a moving box I'll never know!

We are still waiting to hear from a certain church about the assistant pastor job.  That will determine a lot of things for us: Will we move or be spending more time in B'ham?  What will that time in B'ham look like?  I keep thinking that we will know something any day now, but meditating on that thought too much can drive you crazy.

We are still waiting to find out where we will be having our second child.  Will it be in Jackson, MS at River Oaks or Birmingham, AL at Brookwood.  I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for the two Christian doctors who are walking with me through this crazy time and listening to all of my unknowns.  Thank you Dr. M and Dr. A!!!!

Since so much right now is unpredictable, I am holding on to a few things that are predictable.  Kevin could get a job call tomorrow that could answer some of these questions, but I know that even that will not cause my waiting to come to an end.  I'll never have all of the questions answered even if the questions I have now do get answered.  I'm holding on to a few truths, though, that give my crazy world some sanity - My good Father in Heaven is in control (Matthew 6:25-34).  He knows the end from the beginning (Ephesians 1:3-10).  He will not leave me (God's promises in Joshua 1:5 & to his people throughout scripture!)

Now on to a few lesser but still predictable things that are helping to keep my world sane:

*McDonald's ice coffee with hazelnut flavoring.  It is always around $2 and so delicious.

*Zoe's Kitchen's Hummus Salad Plate - so yummy and filling!!

*Peanut Butter on Ritz crackers - my favorite anytime snack (How funny that the first 3 "predictables" are about food!  I must be pregnant!)

*My body pillow - I can't fall asleep without it due to my very large belly!

*My Nickel Creek and String Quartet stations on Pandora.  Life, no matter now sane or crazy, always needs a bit of background music!

*2 sets of grandparents who love to babysit.  What a blessing!

*My good-looking husband making me laugh.  He really is the funniest guy I know!!

*I'm sure I could scheme up some more if I sat here all day, but I'll just leave you with my last predictable that takes up most of my days (and this one has pictures).
My active little man who loves to clear out any cabinet that he can get open.  That is definitely predictable.

Here's to the Already and the Not Yet!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Road Trippin'

It has been a while since I've blogged, and one reason for my absence was our week long road trip due north to the Dutch land of Holland, MI.

Our little family is still waiting to hear about jobs.  We are living in Birmingham with family while we are waiting.  Since we've got a little extra time on our hands we decided to take off on a road trip 2 weeks ago to visit some of our dear seminary friends that we are already missing.  The Speeces, who were beloved visitors to apartment C4, are living in Nashvillle, TN.  The Kiels, one set of next door neighbors, live in Louisville, KY.  And the Vissers, our other set of next door neighbors, live outside of Holland, MI.  We really appreciate our friends strategically moving to the perfect locations for our road trip!  We had a fabulous time!  Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy!

We stopped on our first day of traveling to have lunch with the Speeces.  Weston enjoyed having 3 playmates!  Thanks Speece kids for sharing your toys!  Weston will be enrolling in The Speece School as soon as there is an opening!

Then it was off to Louisville for our first night.  We stayed with the Kiels that first night then stayed with them for 2 nights on our way back south.  Here we are at Southern's Fall Festival.  For all you fellow seminarians, this event was just a bit bigger than our RTS Pig Jig.  Kevin's head is blocking the Ferris kidding :)

Samuel showing Weston a little love!

After the first night with the Kiels, we completed our route to the north to spend 4 days with the Vissers.  Weston is 3 weeks older than Geneva Visser, and they spent many days of our last year of seminary playing together.  One skill we had to work on during our visit was sharing...a new concept for both of our little ones.

Our visit to a very windy Grand Haven on the Lake Michigan coast.

So we took no pictures of all 6 of us together, but we did get some cutes pictures of Geneva and Weston in the bathtub.  Since we already have their marriage arranged, these pictures will come in quite handy for their rehearsal dinner :)!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adventures in Cooking

Leave it to a pregnant woman to take a very healthy vegetable and turn it into a no-so-healthy but oh-so-tasty casserole.  Everyone with a southern grandmother has probably enjoyed squash casserole sometime in their life.  I wanted to share my recipe with you because I just made it the other day.  It was just what my taste buds needed so it would be wrong for me to keep it from you.  My pictures are not "Pioneer Woman" quality, but I figured they might add a bit to the post.  Lots of these ingredients are approximates because you can really alter it how you see fit :).  Hope you enjoy!  Happy Cooking!!

Squash Casserole
Ingredients: Approx 2 lbs of yellow squash, sliced and quartered;
1 sm. to med. white or yellow onion, diced;
6-8 oz of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt - adds protein & takes away some fat);
1 1/2 C of grated cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar & I always put a bit more in because I'm what you might call a cheese-a-holic);
2-3 T of butter;
2 eggs, beaten
2 to 2 1/2  C of Pepperidge Herb Seasoning Dry Stuffing;
Salt and Pepper to taste
*One tasty addition that you can add is a packet of dry Ranch dressing mix - I use Hidden Valley - but feel free to try it Ranch-free as well*

Directions: Mix the squash and onions in a microwavable dish (I usually add some salt and pepper too), cover, and microwave for 8 min.  You will not need to add any water because the squash will produce all you will need.  While the squash/onion is cooking I grate my cheese and gather my other ingredients.  Once that is done cooking, remove the top, and use your stirring spoon (or I prefer an ice cream scoop) to mash up the squash/onion mixture just a bit.  Stir in your butter until melted and add the beaten eggs.  Then stir in your cheese and sour cream (and Ranch if you are adding it).  Then add your stuffing (it should be enough to absorb the moisture in the squash).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Grease a 9x13 dish or any fun shaped casserole dish that you choose and pour in your creation.  You'll want to cook it on 350 for about 35 minutes then enjoy your "squash made wonderfully tasty!"

Squash and Onions before the microwave.  Don't forget to cover them!

All of your other ingredients with a great big bowl for mixing!  And now you understand what I mean when I say a Cheese-a-holic.  It is one of God's tastiest creations!

The finished product!

Have a wonderful and restful Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Come on Big Mama - Observations on my 2nd Pregnancy

I always heard that I would be a bit bigger with my second pregnancy, and that is proving to be true.  What is also proving to be true is that I'm not as obsessed with this pregnancy as I was with my first.  I haven't read a pregnancy book or magazine this go-around.  I haven't monitored what my growing little boy is developing each week.  Based on the size of my belly I might want to start monitoring that because I think he might be growing an extra arm, leg or head!  And just today, six and a half months into my pregnancy, I finally took my first "pregnancy" picture.

Of course with your first pregnancy you document your growing stomach every few weeks or so.  You take pictures and now even post them so your friends can share in your growing tummy joy.  But as this sweet little boy grows and grows in my stomach, I am a bit horrified to observe that maternity clothes that lasted throughout my first pregnancy are no longer fitting around my belly.  I still have two and half months left!!

Let me remind you that I'm 4'10".  I think that might legally qualify me to be a "little person".  Of course not little enough to qualify for a TLC show, but still I'm pretty short.  Since this little baby has no where to grow but out, I'm beginning to resemble a beach ball, basketball, (any other round object you can think of) with a head and limbs.  I have this fabulous yellow t-shirt that I like to take walks in because it still fits comfortably.  I wondered the other day if I looked a little like a lemon walking my son down the scenic back roads of Homewood, AL.

Right before Weston's naps we always read a few books together, and before going to bed at night Weston enjoys his last cup of milk while sitting in my quickly disappearing lap.  My in-laws put a rocking chair in his room so we'd have a place to comfortably sit.  This week we had to make a change.  It was no longer comfortable for Mama, Weston, and Baby Boy to enjoy the rocking chair together.  I'll end my observations with a few pictures:

My original rocking chair and its roomy replacement.

Have a splendid Thursday friends!!