Wednesday, August 29, 2007

wordless wednesday

Can't decide if she likes the XBox controller...

wordless wednesday

Monday, August 27, 2007

in summation

I arrived home Saturday night from a week long trip to OKC. A few observations: i like flying in and out of small airports; our flight even arrived back to Chicago 30 minutes early! And I do not want to go on another trip without Aron for a very long time. I hate being away from him that long and I hate that he has to be away from Maggie. He feels the same.

The trip was different than I was anticipating, as we were busy helping Aunt Peggy with some "elder care" needs of my grandparents. It made me think alot about the future and growing old (truthfully, I do not look forward to it). I must give an amazing shout out to Peggy and Bill for all their INCREDIBLE patience and diligent love toward G&G. We are so thankful for you both!! This trip made me long to be near my family once again. Shannon and I rack our brains constantly trying to figure out when we will be able to live closer. I miss mom and dad and S&S and just long for the day when we can drive to dinner together and enjoy all family functions together. Having Maggie makes me long for this even more. I grew up very close-knit with extended family members and want this desperately for her. Yet, where is home? We have lived in quite a few places, and it's just hard to know where we would like to end up. And in this same vein, we would also like to be near Aron's family (who are also all spread out). California makes sense to us in many ways, but then again, I wonder if my immediate family would ever end up there again. Sigh. It's really hard to know. All of this has been a topic of conversation recently with friends, discussing the concepts of "home" and "roots." I'm not sure I have any clearer answers, but it's good to know that I'm not alone in wanting to be settled.

In the meantime, here are some photos of my trip:
Mags and Gpa
I just love how she is looking at the spoon here!
Mags sitting in Great Aunt Peggy's (we call her GAP...hehe) highchair that she used when she was little. Mags has also taken to preferring spoons, Tupperware, and straws to any of her toys.

Who couldn't love this face?!
Sistas! A little shiny, but hey, it's still cute. :)
My girlfriend, Abbey from Bible college days, lives in OKC. It was fun to reconnect with her and have her meet Mags.
With my childhood friend, Whitney, and her twin girls, Kate and Avery. They were born exactly one month after Maggie. This was a highlight of my trip, reconnecting with Whit. It's been at least 4 years since we have seen each other or really talked. She is so good with her girls; they are so sweet.

65 years

My grandparents, Horace Carl Brooks and Norma Faye Huffman Brooks, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on August 21, 2007. My mom and sister, and Maggie and I were able to be with them on this most auspicious occasion. Mom and Aunt Peggy (her sister) brought ice-cream, dozens of letters from loved ones, and decorations to the hospital where Grandma was staying (she broke her ankle 3 weeks ago). Grandpa loved wearing his lei and playing with Maggie. Uncle Bill (Peg's husband) enticed G&G to tell us their story once again. All those years ago, it began with a bowl of ice-cream. She was eating in a local parlor in southern Oklahoma and he sat down beside her (a total stranger), grabbed a second spoon, and started to eat out of her dish! As they say, the rest is history. Many of my childhood memories involve them: playing on their farm (picking fruit, driving the tractor, playing in the playhouse and treehouse Grandpa built for us, playing in the cellar), listening to stories of long ago, going on road trips, having picnics, and always eating good, country food. My grandparents have left an incredible legacy of marriage for us to follow. Here's to many more!

What an AMAZING looking couple; I just can't get over how attractive they are in this photo. This is the closest to a wedding photo they have. They married weeks before he left for the south Pacific during WWII.

Re-enacting their first encounter

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

leaving on a jet plane (again)

hello loyal blogging friends and family,
mags and i are once again out of town, though it's my deepest desire that it be my last for a very long time, unless aron is with us. i determined that he has missed 1 solid month of her life given all the traveling we have done in the last 5 months. we are in OKC, spending time with family. it was our grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary yesterday (more on that later). we'll be back in Chicago on Saturday.

ps: aron drove up from dallas last night to us! what an awesome treat!! i *love* my husband.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

wordless wednesday

Mags' new favorite thing is to take out each toy from her toy tote and play with it. It's so fun to watch her explore!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

boo-coo bucks

Last year, the city of Chicago collected $210 million in parking tickets and other car-related fines. Un-be-liev-able. And as a side note, we McKays have contributed about $300 to this heartless source of city revenue (3 parking tickets for parking in a "no parking between 3am-7am" zone in the winter [I totally misread the sign], 1 for parking on a street during a street cleaning, and 3 tickets for not having a front license plate, which we remedied in May). Sigh.

And another astounding number is that of revenue from drivers caught on camera running red lights: in 2003, $45,660; in 2006 (a mere 3 years time span!), $19.8 million.

BTW--how does one spell boo-coo?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

8 months

Maggie's 8 month mark is today and I cannot believe how fast time is flying. We are enjoying her more and more each day, each week. She has 4 new teeth on top, loves to growl when she plays with her toys, loves to be led around the house as she walks, enjoys squash, sweet potatoes, and peaches best, and is giving us a new and very cute "cheese" face. It even seems that when we say "cheese face," she will make it. At the request of Pops (Aron's dad), I have been trying to take a picture of this, but to no avail. For now, here are a few shots of our sweet Maggie Grace on this auspicious occasion.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

ancient words

Yesterday afternoon, I was able to get away for several hours and spend the majority of my time praying, reading, and journaling at Starbucks. Aron and I are praying about some specific possible changes in our life in the coming months (details forthcoming), so I wrestled through some of this while away. It's been at least 6 months since I have gone to Starbucks alone and it's interesting to reflect how life changes. For several years before and after Aron and I married, I/we were always at the Bucks doing the aforementioned activities. I realized how much I have missed it. Being a new mom, I find that my Bible reading has entered a new era. I'm sure many of you can relate, regardless if you are mothers or not. It seems our spiritual journeys manifest themselves differently throughout our lifetime. Part of me thrives on this and part of me loathes it. I like predictability (who doesn't?), yet I also like spontaneity. I'm learning to be content with the ups and downs of my walk, knowing there will be times of ardent fervor and times that I fail to seek God at all. Here are some excerpts of a hymn I reflected through during my alone time over an iced Americano.

Be Still, My Soul
text by Katharina von Schlegel, 1752

v.1: "Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side, bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to your God to order and provide, in every change he faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend, through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

v.3: "Be still, my soul: your Jesus can repay, from his own fullness all he takes away."


On Friday night, my mom's group had a family barbeque. We enjoyed good conversation, good weather, and good food. Aron couldn't be there (he was flying home from business in Dallas), so I missed him getting to know the other dads. This mom's group (pictured below) has been an integral part of my journey into motherhood. I'm grateful for their continued support! Here are a few shots I took.
Kathryn's daughter, Amelia
Julie's daughter, Emma
The girls from L-R: Leslie, Liz, me, Deanna, Julie, Kathryn (not pictured: Beth)

I made homemade mac and cheese (amazing, amazing--courtesy of Heather) and homemade strawberry shortcake.

Friday, August 3, 2007

mod lullaby

Thanks to the Furman's for the rec: I just ordered this CD for Mags--it sounds so beautiful (you can hear samples). They also sell other bands such as The Beatles, The Cure, Radiohead, Coldplay and others. Check it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

wordless wednesday

In the last 8 days we have seen Maggie: pull herself up while sitting, pull herself up in her crib, stand alone for 3 seconds, walk while holding on to our hands, reach out for us instinctively, push herself slowly backward while sitting, roll from back to front, gain 1 new tooth, enter into size 4 diapers, and finally enjoy being on her tummy, even "crawling" backward a few inches! I actually predict that Mags will be walking early, around 10 months. Not sure why (I don't even know when Aron or I started to walk), but she just seems to be that kind of kid; she's super strong and all she wants to do now it be up on her feet. We shall see!

HP book 7

If you are a fan and have finished book 7, please leave feedback as to what you liked/disliked about Rowling's final book in her epic series (and comment on what other's write). If you haven't read it yet, don't peruse the comments section just yet. If you don't plan to read it, well, that's up to you! :)


at the aforementioned time this morning, i heard the pitter patter of little feet and trust me, they were not Maggie's.