Aug 28, 2009

Perfect Timing

Yesterday and today have been the nicest weather of the whole summer! There is a chill in the air when you wake, the sun is shining in the gorgeous blue sky dotted with white fluffy clouds and the thermometer just reaches 70 at the peak of the day.

It's the kind of weather that calls my name, that begs me to come outside and play all day. But alas...I am sick.

Seriously. Who gets sick at the end of summer!? I'll tell you who. Someone who helps with 40 preschoolers at church on Sunday, then runs her body ragged by hanging out eating junk food, talking and watching movies with the girls until 1am on Wednesday night. That is precisely who wakes up sick on a beautiful Thursday morning!!! Blah!

Aug 27, 2009

Heckled

Have you ever been heckled? I can now say that I have. Although it came from quite an unexpected source...

Last weekend we decided to head to the Great Falls Balloon festival in the late afternoon to check out the music and crafts and such for a bit before the balloon launch...the real treat we were after! I thought it would have a "folk festival" kind of feel. You know, camaraderie, creativity, community. Not so much. It had more of a state fair or carnival feel. It was that sort of crowd, that sort of food, that sort of entertainment etc. Not to mention we were bombarded with people wanting us to sign political petitions!

But the icing on the cake was when we were strolling past a booth that was raising money for children's cancer. As we approached I could hear the woman associated with the booth asking, "Donate $1 for children's cancer?" As we neared and passed the booth it ramped up like this:

"Donate a dollar for children's cancer? (Then it changed to a statement) Donate a dollar for children's cancer. (Then aggrivation entered her voice) C'mon! Just a dollar. (Then she passively addressed us.) Families, help us out. C'mon, donate a dollar. (Then she pointently addressed us) Hey, you've got a baby, c'mon. Oh C'mon, like you can't afford a dollar. (Then a disgusted sigh as we passed) Geeeze!"

OH MAN WAS I MAD. But I bit my tongue! So glad I have this blog to tell you what I would have like to said. It would have gone a little something like this....

"Look here lady. Your cause is a very, very worthy one. But I can guarantee you that with this attitude and tactic, you're doing far more harm for it than good. And that's an absolute shame!!!!
You have NO IDEA what my or anyone else's financial situation is! So don't sit there and TELL US what we CAN afford! I'll have you know that I have not ONE CENT on my person because...well, plainly put... we're poor! We came here to do something family friendly that was FREE. And we specifically had to figure out if it was in the budget to afford the extra gas to get here!
Furthermore! You have NO IDEA how much we or others give to charity and let me tell you it's built right into our budget...they're the first checks that get written each paycheck! So don't you dare sit there and pass judgment when someone doesn't drop a donation in! Go back to the hole you came from!"

Needless to say, I wouldn't highly recommend the Great Falls Balloon Festival.

Aug 23, 2009

Three Super Cute Videos!

Well, we'll see if our slow, old computer cooperates and lets me put all three videos up...

In the first one, Ella is blowing raspberries at 7mo. She does this ALL the time now and I'm so happy I got it on film!

In the second one, she is bouncin' around with daddy and giggling like crazy! She seems to be more and more giggly as bed time draws near :) She is almost 8mo in this one.

And in the last one, she is learning to feed herself finger foods. It often takes her much work to actually get the food in her mouth. (It doesn't help that bananas are so slippery!) But she is one determined little chicky and is so happy with herself when she does! Tooo cute! She's getting better and better at this every day! She's 8mo in this one!


video video video

Aug 21, 2009

8 Month Photo Shoot!

There's a beautiful little park just down the road from us. We took Ella there for her 8 month photo shoot. The lighting was best by the flowers around 5pm. She was just fed so we thought she'd be happy. Not so much. We had a cranky little one on our hands and Jason was all but doing back flips to try to make her smile. Never the less I got some great shots. There's a ton here but this is only the better half of all the good ones!!! Enjoy!






PS: I greatly reduce the size of my photos in order to load them onto my blog, so if you try to copy any photos, they won't be good quality. Family don't worry, there are CD's of pics coming this Christmas!!!

Aug 20, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out Fisher Price

Of all the many colorful, crinkly, textured, imaginative toys that we have, Ella prefers three things:

#3) The Post that the colorful rings go on. Yes, forget the colorful plastic rings with rattlers in side. When you give it to her she promptly takes all of those off and giggles in delight at the post.








#2) Partially filled water bottles. Dasani is her favorite but really any will do. She tips them upside down and watches the water and then chews on the bottom.






#1) Any tube of cream/ointment. She particularly favors her large tube of Aveeno baby lotion. If you do not give it to her while on the changing table, she's quite a bear. But once she has it in her possession, her eyes grow wide and she turns it over and over in her hands just marveling at it in sheer wonder! The trick is distracting her enough to take it away!



Yes that's right. A new development in her life is little baby anger! She used to immediately forget about whatever you took away from her. Now, you take something away and those angry red eyebrows pop out, fist start a clenchin' and crying comences. I believe this is due to a little something called object permanancy. Fabulous!

Aug 17, 2009

6 Years and Counting!

So maybe we don't have the coin right now to celebrate like we used to...so what if we're not able to go away right now because we have a precious babe...who cares if we may have celebrated a week late...it was still wonderful!

Don't get me wrong. We love each other beyond words. But no one ever said marriage was going to be easy and believe you me we've had our rough times to be sure!

However, as we sat down to dinner and reflected, we both agree that... despite the fact that this last year involved the upheaval of life as we knew it by bringing little Ella into this world, multiple moves (including being homeless for a bit in between, while pregnant!), job changes and a lovely cut in income so I could be a stay at home mom... it's been our best year yet!

How can that be? Because the things that really matter are not where we live or how much money we make or what sort of life style we can afford. And the things that matter most have been more on spot this year than ever before.

We've been challenged in our faith and have been both been growing spiritually as individuals and also as a couple. We're communicating better than we ever have and that's SO HUGE! We're (always still learning how to) but also doing a good job at handling our disagreements in a way that's productive and respectful to one another. With our new life changes we've been spending a lot of quality time together and we feel really connected. And last but not least, we've created a life together! Not only are we in love with each other as husband and wife but now I get to fall in love with Jason in a whole new way...watching him be a father, and he watching me be a mother! We are so enjoying everything about our beautiful daughter, as well as learning so much about ourselves as we navigate this thing called parenthood.

Sure next year could smack us right in the face with some unexpected turn and I'm sure there's many a bump in the road to contend with in the future, but we both agree there is no one we'd rather be on this crazy journey with than each other. I know as long as we're both still kickin' we'll be together, so here's praying for a lifetime of years to come!

Aug 13, 2009

Home At Last!

There were a few bumps in the road but nothing major. We made the trip in good time and my sweet little babe didn't cry once and any of the 32 hours of driving. A little fussing near then end of each long day but I was fussy too by that point! At left is a little traveling picture that also best represents how I feel to be home!!!

I was so glad to get there early to help my aunt get ready for the reunion. It all went off without a hitch. It was great for everyone to meet Ella for the first time. True to form there were only a few people that she let hold her without complete meltdowns. But as long as she was with me or grandma or playing on the floor she was a super smiley, happy little one that people loved!

We ended up staying and extra day so my mom could take care of a few things she needed to do in Michigan and we arrived home last night. I only managed to accumulate a few things....great things....like three large vacuum storage bags of hand me down clothes from aunt Kirsten, and some great wooden toys from great grandma Eklund!

BOY WAS I GLAD TO BE HOME!!! Missing my hubby, being on the road with a babe, not sleeping in my own bed, helping get ready for a reunion, being around 25 people for the weekend and driving for long periods of time really wipes me out! I've never been happier to see my AMAZING, loving, helpful hubby and be in my little abode!

Now the unpacking....blah! My least favorite part!

Aug 3, 2009

I Must Be Crazy!

I know many a family who drive cross country with little ones because they are required to be at conferences and such. But to do so voluntarily requires "a little bit of crazy" as my new pastor would say :) . However, as I am not willing to step on a plane with out my husband, that is what I am doing. (I know, I know, cars are like 10 gazillion times more likely to get in a crash, blah, blah, blah. With my background, planes are scarier and either I'm going down and going to meet Jesus with my whole family or I'm not getting on them at all. Logical I know!)

Tomorrow morning my mom, Ella and I will head out to drive to Michigan for the annual Eklund Family Reunion (I'm procrastinating packing this very moment!). We're going to make the 15 hour trip in two days because we have the babe. And we have no delusions that we will actually make it in 15 hours. We know there will be many a stops for the little one. We'll be gone one entire week, returning next Tuesday night. (We're staying a little extra before and after the reunion because we may as well get in all the visiting we can since I make the trip very seldom!)

It's been 4 years since I made the trip last. Jason and I went out to Michigan and Minnesota on a support raising trip in 2005. Oh, the memories, the nostalgia...it's all coming back. We visited and stayed with SO many of my family members. They were amazing hosts, encouraged us, prayed for us, joined our ministry and supported us financially as well as gave us many contacts from their friends and families who supported us as well. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family!

I'm embarrassed that I've not been back since then...it's high time.

Jason cannot come as he does not have enough earned time off from his new job yet. AND the reunion is over the weekend of our 6 year anniversary!!! :( OH, how I will miss him!!! He noted that this will be the longest we have been away from each other since we've been married!

So if you would, please pray:

#1) For safe travels to and from and anywhere in between.
#2) That Ella would travel well, and not be uncomfortable.
#3) That Jason and I would be well distracted by our individual adventures while we're apart and not miss each other too terribly much!
#4) For a rich, deep, quality, fabulous time of connection with my family!