Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ice Cream Sundae Baby Shower for Josie Kate

I'm a new aunt again!  I already had two nieces and three nephews, and now Miss Josie Kate has been added to the mix.  She was born on November 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces and she was 19 inches long.  Before she made her swift entrance into this world, we celebrated the anticipation of her arrival with a baby sprinkle.

Let me back up a little.  I discovered that there are two groups of people in this world—those who know what a sprinkle is and those who've never heard the term.  If you are in the latter, think of it like this: if it’s raining just a tad, you are likely to say “it’s just sprinkling”.  A baby sprinkle is usually given when this is a second, third, etc. pregnancy.  Typically the guest list includes just immediate family and close personal friends.  Laura’s baby sprinkle was no different. 

When I hear the word sprinkle, my word association brings up ice cream sundaes, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and a big juicy cherry on top.  Thankfully the momma-to-be my sister-in-law obliged and allowed me to throw her a Sundaes-On-Sunday Baby Sprinkle.  It all started with this gorgeous invitation that she designed herself:

This quote, paraphrased from something I found online attributed to the late actor Paul Walker, was a great mood-setting display:

We played the always-fun "Don't Say Baby" game and the winner received an amazingly wonderful holiday scented candle.  Always a safe prize.  

Sadly, I was so excited about noshing on all the yummy goodness, that I didn't take any great pictures of our ice cream sundae bar.  Here's the best I could do:

We also had some food munchies and Laura's favorite family punch recipe (not pictured).  

My advice to anyone who wants to throw a Sundae Shower is to just Google or Pintrest the subject.  There are so many wonderful ideas in bloggerland these days.

Josie's nursery will feature this gorgeous pink wooden monogram.  It made a great mantle centerpiece, too. 

Big brother Mason, my nephew, showed up just in time to help with some gifts.  He is not yet two, and has a lot to learn about this new baby entering his world.  Lord, please help him transition well.

Like I said, I'm a new aunt.  Josie's here!  Welcome to the world, Josie.  There are so many people who are glad to meet you and thankful for your perfect health!

Josie with her Daddy and Mommy... 

Josie with her (soon-to-be) favorite Aunt Em and big cousin Rob:

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Helena Huskies Youth Football

We have just wrapped up a great football season in Helena.  Our middle school had a strong season and our brand new high school qualified for the playoffs - only the 2nd school in Alabama history to do so in its first year as a team.  But I really want to brag on our city's youth football program.

Let me take you back to late June when my sweet, charming, non-confrontational, only semi-athletic oldest child announced he wanted to play football.  Bobby and I both explained to him the good, bad, and hot of football.  We then reminded him that if he signed up for football he would see the season through from hot beginning to cold end.  Yep, he still wanted to play.  So our next step was to call the youth sports director and ask him if there were any way he would still accept a late registrant.  "Oh, by the way, Bobby is willing to help coach the team" I casually mentioned to said director.

 --Insert screeching tires sound now--

Not only was Rob able to sign up for football, but the team had plenty of assistants.  It needed a head coach.  I couldn't NOT mention this to Bobby.  And he, naturally, couldn't NOT accept the position.. Suddenly I was a coach's wife.  Again.

We learned we didn't have enough registrants to field both a 1st and 2nd grade team, but too many registrants to not field any teams.  So we combined.  Due to the weigh-class registrations, we were forced to play up, not down.  Therefore about two-thirds of our players were painfully smaller than our opposing teams.  Every week.  Nevertheless, Bobby and his crew of coaches drew up plays, ran drills, and turned these boys into men players.   We were officially the 80-pound Helena Youth Huskies.  Let's play ball.

"Who let the dogs out?"

We played our hearts out.  We really did.  We ran towards the goal many times.  

Bobby couldn't be prouder of every kid out there, especially number 12!

Despite our best efforts, we only posted two victories.  This is one of those times where the Win/Loss record doesn't tell the whole story.  Not even close.

It was a great season.  All of the players showed dedication, tremendous improvement, and a love of the game.  At the start of the season there were only three players who had ever played organized football before.  I would be sad to see any of them not play again next year.

For more about the season, click here.  And, as always, Go Huskies!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Blessings - Part 1

Because many people spend the entire month of November listing what blessings for which they consider themselves thankful, I decided I would participate too...sorta.

One of my all time favorite teachings from Jesus is when He gave us the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-12.  I love the Beatitudes so much that they were one of the readings during my wedding.  I also keep them posted on my refrigerator.  Nevertheless, I often need a reminder of what really matters.  So in reminding myself during this thankful month, I though perhaps all of you would like to come along on the journey.  

Each Sunday this month I am going to list a couple of the Beatitudes and then try to relate it to my own daily life.  Perhaps you will find this helpful as well.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

The word poor seems to represent an Aramaic 'ányâ (Hebrew 'anî), bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor; while meek is rather a synonym from the same root, 'ánwan (Hebrew 'ánaw), bending oneself down, humble, meek, gentle. Some scholars would attach to the former word also the sense of humility; others think of "beggars before God" humbly acknowledging their need of Divine help. But the opposition of "rich" (Luke 6:24) points especially to the common and obvious meaning, which, however, ought not to be confined to economical need and distress, but may comprehend the whole of the painful condition of the poor: their low estate, their social dependence, their defenseless exposure to injustice from the rich and the mighty. Besides the Lord's blessing, the promise of the heavenly kingdom is not bestowed on the actual external condition of such poverty. The blessed ones are the poor "in spirit", who by their free will are ready to bear for God's sake this painful and humble condition, even though at present they be actually rich and happy; while on the other hand, the really poor man may fall short of this poverty "in spirit". [source] 

This is something I struggle with almost daily.  Growing up I was outgoing, boisterous, a stereotypical a cheerleader.  There was a bounce in my step.  Over the years, some very specific life experiences chipped away at my confidence.  My entire facade has evolved into something my younger self would not recognize.  I have trust issues. I shy away from opportunities that I know I would love, because I'm scared of the rejection that may come my way.  Because I know my own worst faults, I assume everyone I meet carries just as grievous flaws.  I am definitely "poor in spirit".  Does this make me more blessed?  In a word: no.

To truly be poor in spirit I need to learn not to care so much.  The only true opinion of me that matters is God's opinion.  Yet I have a very hard time with this.  I think it is perfectly fine to be among a group of thousands and have people wanting to imitate your every move.  But I also think that you must take that role very seriously.  God wants His light to shine through us.  Humility doesn't have to turn you into a shrinking violet.  It simply has to make you give all the glory of your position to God.

I really care what people think of me.  Selfies done and redone to find the "perfect" shot; clothing purchased for special occasions, the quantity of social invitations, the number of social media followers; these things "matter" to me.  But why?  What really matters is that God is pleased with me.  And I'd be lying if I said I always pleased him.  Sure, I now duck my head down in public, but maybe I shouldn't.  It's not sinful pride to hold my head high.  I just have to make sure His image is visible.

So this week I am thankful for God's grace and mercy.  And I desire to live my nice, quiet life more for Him and less for me...whoever "me" is these days.