A couple of weeks ago, we welcomed a new addition to our family…Jack! He’s super sweet, cuddly, and playful. And as you can see, he’s absolutely adorable!!
Even Bubbles loves him. 🙂
Whew! This summer went so fast, but was super relaxing. I really enjoyed spending one-on-one time with Miranda, but I am so glad that school has started! Miranda had 4 weeks of swimming lessons and has progressed well. Other than the park, pool, and playdates, we did a couple of fun activities.
Miranda and I went to the Elizabeth Blanton Art Museum. Before our tour, Miranda was able to make and decorate a paper airplane.
We enjoyed a family float down the river.
We also visited the creatures that live at the San Antonio Zoo.
If you are a parent, you will understand why the picture of the two hippos is Miranda’s favorite. Look closely, but you won’t see their faces.
We also went to the Ripley’s Museum of Oddities and Ripley’s Wax Museum.
Miranda was star-struck visiting with Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
Thankfully, Captain Picard was on leave here on Earth, so we were able to get a picture with him.
Oprah had a great time interviewing Miranda, just look at her smile!
We also took the time to see the large assortment of animals at The Snake Farm.
We had a great summer, but I sure am glad that school has started! 🙂
Recently we enjoyed a family outing to visit the Children’s Museum. Of course, Miranda had a blast!
First we started in the Ball Room where she was able to drop balls from various tracks.
After that, we headed over to the Tinker Room. Miranda made a “car” with the hopes of it rolling down the ramp.
There it goes!
Which one is the real “Miranda”?
Then John and Miranda were able to make some music. Check out the video below, it’s amazing!
Finally, we headed over to the Gift Shop where Miranda found some of her favorite Storybook Characters.
The Pigeon (Don’t let it drive the bus!)
Gerald, Piggie, and Splat the Cat
We all had a great time!
It’s hard to imagine that this sweet little baby, is already 6 years old. Miranda has completed Kindergarten, and the growth I have seen is remarkable. This shy toddler has begun to develop academically and socially. Over the past year, Miranda learned so many of the basic skills she will need to be successful as an adult. She is reading, adding and subtracting, and I have even seen the beginnings of multiplication through repeated addition (which makes her Math Teacher Mommy very happy!) Miranda is starting to learn to tell time and count money. She knows all her shapes, including most of what my 4th Graders know. I have seen her memorize bible verses, songs, and complicated spelling words. Miranda also developed an interest in history. We have discussed many past events from the “olden days” including the Titanic, one of her favorite topics.
Miranda’s shy demeanor is starting to fade and a confident (sometimes bossy) personality is emerging. This year, Miranda participated in Dance and Cheerleading, and loved every moment of it! She is developing a close-knit group of friends, which has often gotten her into trouble with her teacher. Not that her friends are bad influences, on the contrary, I have found that her talkative nature is starting to show itself at school.
I am so proud of Miranda and all that she has accomplished. The past six years have flown by and I can only try to hold on and enjoy the ride.
Below are videos of Miranda’s graduation. Enjoy! 🙂
Yes, Spring Break was exacly the same experience I remember as a child: fun, restful, too short. But this year, there was something a little different. There was an air of peace and thankfulness around me.
It all began with Women’s Weekend in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. Imagine 30 women, neverending food, and two coolers full of jello shots. We hiked, toured the Falling Water estate, played charades, had a baby shower and pretty much laughed non-stop.
I am grateful to my Aunt Mary for including my step-mom,Wendy, and I in her group of fabulous friends. I’m pretty sure I added several wrinkles due to all the smiles! I am also very thankful to Wendy, because without her, I would not have been able to afford the plane ticket to get there. She would never say so, but I am in debt to her. I want to show her the same generosity she has given to me.
After Women’s Weekend, I did something completely out of character. I got my first tattoo. Most of you don’t know this, but I have wanted one for many years and was finally brave enough to do it. At first, John didn’t want me to get it because he thought I would succumb to some horrible disease. After relieving his fears, I was then worried people would think less of me. Finally, I decided that if a tattoo would make people doubt my character, they weren’t worth knowing anyway. My last fear was of the pain. Then I realized that I have given birth, so surely I could handle a tiny needle!
I got a small cat paw with a heart inside to help me remember Morris, my beloved tom cat, who has been missing for several years now.
Even though it was on my foot, thankfully, it didn’t hurt as much as I had imagined it would. The tattoo artist was very patient with me and answered all my questions. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to get the next one! The remainder of my Spring Break was spent lounging, watching TV, and reading.
I am grateful to God for placing me in a job where I can take some time off to relax. I am blessed with good family and friends and I hope that I can also be a blessing in their lives.
I am feeling pretty grateful that I have not had to endure true prejudice or judgement-based roadblocks in my life. The possibilities have appeared to be endless, thanks to my parents and others who have always told me that I can do anything. It almost seems silly for me to write this post, knowing that millions of people have been denied based on larger issues such as religion, race, or sexuality.
I am overweight, I know it and I am not denying it. My weight has always been MY problem and it has never prevented me from participating in any activity. I have been working to lose weight for 6 years and it has been much more difficult for me to drop the post-baby weight than I had ever imagined. Only in the past six months am I starting to get a better idea of how my body works and the best way for me to become slimmer.
I began running a year and half ago and it was so hard, but I found that I enjoy the “alone” time and the challenge of setting goals that I never thought I could reach. In the beginning, it took me 22 minutes to walk/jog a mile. Now, I can jog/run it in 14 minutes. I have participated in several 5K races and one 10K race. I am currently working on the endurance it takes to run longer distances. My ultimate goal is to run a marathon. I know that it will take me a while to get to that point, and I also know that it won’t happen until I lose more weight.
I bought my first pair of “good” running shoes a year and a half ago. They were wonderful, but after a year, it was time for new ones. I bought a pair, but noticed that when I hit about 2 miles, my toes were going numb. By mile 3, my feet are in serious pain. Since getting these shoes, I have been unable to run more than 3 miles at one time. I asked around and was given some suggestions, which did help, but not completely. I was also told to go to a local store that specializes in running. They could help me decide on the best pair of shoes for my feet.
So, on Saturday, John and I drove to one of the closer locations of this running store in the hopes of purchasing shoes that would be a better fit. When we walked in, an associate was already helping a lady, so we waited for the younger gentleman to come over. I explained what was happening. He asked me to walk a couple of feet then walk back. After sizing my feet, he brought over a couple of pairs of shoes. He went back to the counter to call another store to see if they had more in my size. That was pretty much the last I saw of him. I tried on both pair, one was a little tight and the other was okay. I noticed that the other associate was much more involved with his customer. He asked her to run, he asked about her running patterns and goals.
I went to the counter and tried to ask more questions about what he would suggest for me. Basically, he told me that my feet were normal, loosen my laces, and get a size 8. I then got the impression that I was wasting his time. I felt that he did not view me as a “runner”, but as simply someone who made a New Years Resolution and decided to buy overpriced shoes. I was immediatly uncomfortable and ashamed. I had so many questions but felt unworthy to ask. I wanted to know if I under or over pronated, if my running form was correct, if I needed wider shoes, the brand of shoe that would be best for me. It is so difficult to put into words the vibe he was giving me. I got out of there as quickly as I could.
I went to this specialty store for a reason. I wanted the personal expertise that this retailer and it’s customers boast about. I know what size shoe I wear, and I also know that not all running shoes are the same and that every person will have a different brand that fits best with their feet. Inside the store, I felt shut-out and belittled, that I wasn’t the serious type of customer they are looking for. Perhaps this associate was inexperienced and lacked the knowledge I wanted, I don’t know. I don’t blame the retailer and I will be going back…later. I will not go back to that particular location, next time I will go to the main store downtown.
I realize that my feelings may not be the reality of how the young man was trying to assist me. But I also know that actions speak louder than words. I saw his facial expressions, his lack of customer service, the tone of his voice. I spent the next half hour in tears and after a while became more determined than ever to be the runner he thought I wasn’t.
Well, I’ve procrastinated long enought in writing a Christmas Post. I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to say. Yes, we participated in the stereotypical American Christmas Experience: Santa, presents, food…lots of food. I was not in the “Christmas Spirit” as many would say. I had a difficult time shopping and I know some people had a hard time shopping for me too. I just didn’t want to immerse myself in the hustle and bustle of buying junk that no one will care about in a month.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to reprioritize the important things in my life and Christmas, as it is usually celebrated, wasn’t very high on the list. I don’t want to devote any more time to things that will not make an eternal difference. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy my Christmas, I most certainly did. But it wasn’t the giving or receiving that made my day. Matt Chandler, the Lead Pastor of The Village Church, gave me a clarity that I hope will endure through the coming years. In his sermon “Substance over Shadow“, Matt explained how so many of us try to hold on to the shadows of Christmas: gifts, parties, food, etc. These things are not necessarily bad, they are just a shadow of the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus. When we hold on to Him, all of the things in the shadow are even more spectacular.
I want Christmas to mean more than just Santa, presents, and food. This year, I think I began to capture the true “Christmas Spirit”. I spent a lot of time talking with Miranda and encouraging the Jesus aspect of this season. We talked about the importance of giving and receiving gifts. We still included Santa in our celebrations, but he will no longer compete with Jesus. The best part of Christmas…spending quality time with my family. It was a crazy day for us, running around between my mom, dad, and everyone else, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Relationships are one of the most important investments that Jesus inspired.
I hope that 2012 will be full of change and improved relationships. I hope that I will maintain focus on the One that can make this change possible and eternal. I hope for more clarity and more joy. I hope the same for you.