Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful for: Birthdays!

Today is my birthday! So yes, I'm thankful for birthdays! (Even though today's birthday makes me no longer in my 20's, I'm still thankful for it!)

I had a celebration last weekend in Dallas, but I'll get to that later. Here are some pictures from today. We went to On the Border tonight for dinner. Yum! Then I got to open presents when we got home!

Claire loved all of "her" new stuff! -- And so do I!

Jordan made a heavenly homemade cheesecake with a blueberry lemon sauce. Wow! It was delicious!

I'm thankful to be alive on the earth! I'm thankful for each day that I have. I'm thankful that I've made it to another birthday. I'm thankful for the kind messages from many, many people to help make this day great for me. I'm thankful for Jordan for helping me have a great day, too!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful for: Parents and Grandparents

I'm thankful for my parents, who worked so hard to raise my siblings and me. I'm thankful for Jordan's parents, who worked so hard to raise him and his siblings. I'm thankful that Jordan's parents and my parents are wonderful grandparents! I'm thankful that Claire was able to spend some time with my parents last week. It was sweet to hear her say "Ah-da(d)" and "Minee" (like mine plus eeeee) to mean Granddad and Grandmom. I'm thankful that I was able to spend time with my parents last week, too! I love being around family!

Being a parent, I've learned, is hard work! :-) I love being Claire's mom! And Jordan's a wonderful dad. And I'm guessing that being a grandparent is simply great fun!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful for: Claire - 20 Months!

I am soooooooo thankful for Claire! She makes me smile so, so much! I love her dearly! I am so blessed to be her mom, and I am so thankful she's in our family. Wow, it's been a fun 20 months with her so far!

She is doing better and better at playing by herself and keeping herself entertained for short periods of time. Her imagination is developing, and it's so fun to watch it grow. I love being able to "eat" something that Claire gives me from a container she pulled out of the cabinet. I love it that she shares that "food" with her baby and stuffed animals, too.

Claire is an all-around happy camper, you could say. She's simply a happy girl. Tonight, when Claire did cry about something, my dad said, "That's the first time I've heard her cry all week." I'll take that! That's super!

During the past month, Claire has gotten another top tooth in the back. And within the past week or so another tooth in the front on the bottom has started to come in.

Claire is still very talkative and has started to repeat the last words that I say. She loves to color, read books, and play outside. She loves seeing water -- whether it's a big fountain she can see from the car, a little fountain she can see in the hot tub from my parents' back door, or puddles on the ground -- she LOVES seeing water!

I'm thankful that I get to have so much fun with Claire. I'm thankful that I get to teach her and love her and care for her. I'm thankful to be Claire's mom!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I still have so much to be thankful for. I've barely touched the surface in my Thankful For blog posts. This morning, Claire slept in until 9:30, so I slept in until 9:00!!! Wow! That hasn't happened in a LONG time! Then, we cooked, we ate, we played 42, which is always fun to play!!!

I'm so blessed to have such a loving, wonderful family, to have an abundance of food to eat, and to be able to have fun with the fam! - I didn't take very many pictures today, but here is one of Matt and Laura.

I'm thankful that Jordan wants Claire and me to be able to spend time with our family, even if he is not able to because of school. Jordan was called into work this morning, but that meant that he was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with his friend's family later in the day. I'm thankful that they invited him over today. And I'm thankful that some other friends invited him over for their early celebration of Thanksgiving yesterday.

I'm also especially thankful for this sweet girl! It has been so fun seeing her playing with so many family members. I'm still holding out hope for Uncle Peter; I'm sure Claire will warm up to him at some point!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for: Cousins

I'm thankful for cousins! I have so many great memories of playing with my cousins. With some, I played detective at Grandmom's house. With some, I played dress up. With some, I rode on their backs and shoulders. With some, I went to the ice cream store where they worked. With some, I played unending card games. I had a great time with them!

Now that we're older, we don't play detective, and we don't ride piggy-back anymore. But I'm still thankful for the times I get to see my cousins. We do a cousin Christmas gift exchange each year, and this year I have realized how glad I am to have that connection with my cousins each year. My cousins are good people, and even though we've grown up and we're not around each other much, it's still fun to let them know we're thinking of them!

I know Jordan is glad he was raised around so many of his cousins. He wouldn't want it any other way. I don't remember where I read this recently, but I read that cousins are our first friends. How true!

Claire and I are in Dallas this week, and Taylor has been with us some. It's been so fun to see Claire and Taylor play together. It's been sweet to hear Claire ask where Taylor is and to say, "Hi Taylor!" It's been wonderful to see Taylor playing so nicely and sweetly with Claire. And I can't wait until later in the week when we'll get to see Marcus, too! I know Claire will love having another cousin around!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful for: Friends

Today I'm thankful for friends. Friends are good to have. I'm thankful for the new friends I've made since we moved to Baton Rouge. Having friends has been very important to me this past year (year and a half), as I've been in a new city, I became a stay-at-home-mom, and Jordan has been very busy with school and clinicals. It's nice to be able to go to the outlet mall with a friend, have friends over for dinner, go to midnight movies with friends, and simply talk -- and be -- with friends.

I'm also thankful for the friends I have from previous stages of my life: friends from growing up and high school, friends from college, friends from work, friends from church in Dallas, Lubbock, and Houston.

I'm also thankful for Jordan's friends and that they want him to go hunting and golfing with them. I'm thankful that they are good to Jordan.

I'm thankful that Claire is beginning to understand a little about friends. I'm thankful that she knows the names of the children of my friends. So when I say we're going to see a certain person, she quickly responds by saying the name of that person's child(ren). I'm thankful that she's learning that it's fun to play with friends.

I'm also thankful that I get to be a friend. I know I don't always make the biggest effort to continue to communicate with my friends, especially those from life-stages that seem so long ago, but I'm always so happy to hear from my friends or see my friends. So friends, I'm thankful for you! You all have no idea how frequently I think of you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for: Jordan

I am soooooo thankful for Jordan, my wonderful husband!

I am thankful that he works hard every day to achieve his goal of becoming a CRNA. I am thankful that he loves me and takes such good care of me. I am thankful that he is such a fantastic dad to Claire.

I am thankful that he holds and honors the priesthood and uses it to bless us. I am thankful that he makes me smile. I am thankful that he makes me laugh. I am thankful that he knows how to and loves to cook! I am thankful that he helps me become a better person. I am thankful that he lets me do what I want to do. I am thankful for the sacrifices he has made on the behalf of Claire, me, and others. I am thankful for his love of life, his energy, his motivation, and his determination. I am thankful that we've been married {Married!!} for more than six years! I am thankful for his love for me. I am thankful that he makes me happy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful for: The Savior

After yesterday's post about new life, I couldn't help but think of the New Life that comes from the Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am so grateful to know that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life on the earth, that he suffered for my sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, that he was crucified on the cross at Calvary, and that he was resurrected from the dead. I am grateful to know that he loves me -- and everyone -- with a pure and perfect love. I am grateful that he wants each of us to come back to him, and I am grateful that he has made the way possible for us to do that. Through Jesus Christ, I can have new life. I can be born again. I am grateful and so, so thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful for: New Life

Yesterday, my nephew was born! Evan Michael. He's so perfect! New life certainly is a miracle. Really. It's a wonderful, wonderful miracle.

I couldn't help but think back to when Claire was brand new, too.

I am thankful for the miracle of new life!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for: America

I'm thankful for America! I love America! And I'm so thankful for those who serve and have served to protect our nation, to keep us free, and to keep us safe -- all while I simply go about my life on a very normal basis. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for serving me and my family. Thank you for sacrificing your time, your energy, your livelihood, and so much more on behalf of this nation and the people who are blessed to call it home. My words are inadequate to express the gratitude that I feel. So I'll just say it again: Thank you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for: Neighbors

Today I'm thankful for my neighbors. I'm thankful that I actually know my neighbors. After living in apartments for 10 years and not knowing the neighbors, it's really, really nice to know my neighbors now.

There's Maria. Every time I see her, she sends me home with something. One time it was this red jacket that Claire is wearing in these pictures. Last week it was cupcakes and some other food. One time it was a baby pool and a booster seat. - It does help that she has a daughter who has outgrown all of these items. Also, she waters my plants when we're out of town.

Then there's Jennifer. I've called her to come watch Claire when I needed to leave, but Jordan wasn't home from work yet. It was almost 7pm, so I figured he'd be home by then, so I didn't have any other plans lined up for someone to watch her. Just last week I borrowed an egg from her. We sometimes happen to meet at the park at the same time as we are walking (with my daughter and her dog).

And there's also the conversation, the relationship that we're developing. When we see each other, we talk and get to know each other. I know some activities that Maria's daughter and Jennifer's daughter are involved in. I learn about some things that are happening in their own lives. They know the latest thing that Claire is doing. And we watch out for each other. It's nice to have someone nearby to do that for. Jennifer called me once when she saw that I had left the garage open right after we left. It's nice to have someone so close who asks me for help, too. I've taken Jennifer's daughter on walks so she could walk their dog when Jennifer broke her leg. I've taken care of Maria's dog when she was out of town. I'm really thankful for neighbors. I'm thankful that I feel more comfortable leaving Claire with a babysitter because I know I have competent, caring neighbors nearby if something were to go wrong.

And I'm also thankful that Maria doesn't mind if Claire explores her little yard and sits on her little bench. Thank you, wonderful neighbors! It's so nice knowing you!!

{Here are some pictures of Claire in Maria's little yard. Claire loves to play and explore here!}

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for: Talents

I'm thankful for my talents. I'm thankful that I've been able to develop some talents that I've been blessed with. I'm thankful that I can/get to/love to play the piano. I'm thankful that I can feel peaceful when I play. My college piano professor has a sign on her door. It says something along the lines of, "She who plays the piano stays sane. ~Italian Proverb" I couldn't agree more with that!

I'm thankful that I got to teach high school choir for six years. I'm thankful that I was able to love my job. I'm thankful that I could work everyday with music and kids.

I'm thankful that I get to share my talents with others. I seem to do that most frequently at church as a pianist. I'm thankful for the new opportunity I have to play the organ at church. I've always loved the organ, and now I have the chance to (hopefully) develop my ability to play the organ. - Maybe it will become a talent, too.

And I'm thankful for my daughter - for helping me play the pedals when I play the piano. I love her!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful for: Family

I am so thankful for this little family of mine! I know I'm becoming a better person as a member of this family. I'm trying to become more patient, more giving, and less self-centered as I serve my family. Claire and Jordan bring oodles of joy to me every day! They certainly make me smile, and they also know how to make me laugh! Life is better with family - immediate and extended. Take five minutes to share a moment of your love and your life with a family member you don't usually see or spend much time with. They'll appreciate it, and family bonds will be strengthened. Family is Everything.

On a side note, Jordan and I went to a friend's house last night to watch the LSU vs. Alabama game. I knew it was going to be a party, but I didn't understand the seriousness of this party until we got there! They had a big screen out in the back with the TV picture projected onto it. They had couches, chairs, and camp chairs outside. There was food galore. They had real, plastic LSU Tiger cups for each family to take home and use again and again. And there were lots and lots of people!

Jordan let me wear his LSU shirt, and he was left with his Montana State shirt. - At least it's the right color! It was amusing that some people actually noticed that his shirt said Montana State. Claire stayed home with a babysitter, which was super nice because we didn't have to keep tabs on her, keep her warm, keep her entertained, or keep her up late, and Jordan and I were able to stay and watch the whole game! The LSU fever is certainly contagious around here! I'm definitely still a Red Raider fan, and Jordan is definitely still an Aggie fan, but Geaux Tigers!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful for: Laughter

I love to laugh Ha Ha Ha Ha
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
Ho Ho Ho Ho
It’s getting worse every year
The more I laugh
Ha Ha Ha Ha
The more I fill with glee
And the more with glee
He He He He
The more I’m a merrier me!

I really do love to laugh, and I love to hear people laughing! It makes the world a happier place. Laughter can make each of our own little worlds a happier place.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked out of the mall and heard two guys laughing, and they were clear across the parking lot. I smiled and thought, "That's so nice to hear people laughing!"

Let's remember to laugh. Maybe instead of getting mad, just laugh it off. Maybe instead of crying, see if you can laugh. Maybe instead of losing your patience, try to laugh. Hopefully it will brighten your day, and maybe it will brighten another person's day, too.

And in case you need something to laugh at today, look at these pictures! What a funny, Halloween-bucket-turned-hat wearing, magazine-reading little girl!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful for: Imagination!

I am thankful for imagination because it makes life more exciting! Without imagination, Claire wouldn't ride this horse around our house. And the great thing is that she rides more than just her horse! She'll put anything between her legs, (a big car, a pool noodle, even a receipt while in the car), and say "giddy-up!"

She also does Ride-a-Little-Horsie with her own dolls, and sometimes she wants Jordan or me to play that game with her dolls.

I'm thankful to see Claire's imagination taking shape. I'm thankful for other people's imaginations because they have developed new and improved products and ways of doing things that I know I take for granted on a daily basis. (I'm thinking of the dishwasher, digital cameras, and duct tape, to name just a few!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I love the month of November.

Yes, it's my birthday month, (and that helps a lot), but I also really love Thanksgiving. Maybe it's because my birthday sometimes falls on Thanksgiving, so, as a kid, I always looked forward to when that would happen. (And I do happen to know that the next time it will happen is 2013, and I'm still excited now, as an adult!!!)

Maybe it's because we always got to see lots of family members at Thanksgiving, which was always near my birthday. And having lots of family members around generally meant I could have a family birthday party, even if it wasn't my birthday yet.

But I like to think that I've grown up a bit now, and I love the month of November for other reasons. I love being thankful. I'm happy when I'm thankful. And the more thankful I am, the happier I am. As I express thanks and gratitude, I come to recognize the Lord's hand in my life, and I know that He has blessed me so abundantly. I also realize that I should share my joy, happiness, and abundant blessings with others.

Also, I love to notice the little things, the simple pleasures of life. I'm thankful for the big blessings I have, but I'm also thankful for the small ones. But small is the wrong word. I'm thankful for the sweet, simple joys I get to smile about throughout each day.

So during this great month of November, I'll share some of the things I'm thankful for. It will help me be more aware of my blessings, and maybe it will help you notice some, too. Let's be thankful together. Let's enjoy this wonderful, thank-filled month of November.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wedding Guests

I have lots and lots and lots of pictures of {mostly} family members at Brock & Crystal's wedding. I'll skip the commentary. Enjoy!