Friday, August 29, 2008

OKC visit

I spent Sunday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon in OKC this week, visiting my aunt and uncle and grandparents. My aunt and uncle are always so hospitable and we enjoyed good conversations, some good eating out, a movie, and shopping. Two special treats: my aunt bought me a pedicure (hooray!!) and I found the perfect baby book for our bambino, and she bought it for him! Wonderful! We spent time with my grandparents, swinging outside and eating a homemade lunch of stew and cornbread (courtesy of my grandma, which I'm sad to say, I didn't get a good picture of). One morning, aunt Peggy and I ventured to the OKC zoo, which I haven't set foot in since I was a child. It was AMAZING. If you are in OKC, you must visit. The animals were so clean and close, the landscape perfect, the tram ride superb, and the weather wasn't too hot. I love that we live close enough to see everyone so often now.

Our girls *loves* tomatoes and basically grabbed these before I could even cut them!
I'm a nerd, but this is a Mold-O-Rama plastic lion that you can have made at the zoo; these things were classic when I was a kid and I was super stoked to get one! The sad thing: we lost it somewhere between wandering the zoo and the car. :(

The fantastic play area for kiddos of all ages

The zoo was quite empty and we almost had the whole tram to ourselves!

3 times in one year

The McKays are moving again! And as the title of this post reflects, it makes three in one year and believe me, I'm DONE with moving. Thankfully, most of our stuff is in storage, so it will make packing up this apartment much easier (or so I think). We are headed to live in on-campus housing at Dallas Theological Seminary! It's really quite miraculous how it all came about. We had a meeting lined up with a woman on campus a couple of weeks ago (right before we headed to vacation in Chicago) to discuss Aron's current major, the financial aspect of school, any job openings on campus, etc. After our productive meeting, we headed to the housing department to drop off our application, knowing that the waiting list is often 6-12 months. After being greeted by a friendly lady, we proceeded to ask her if there *happened* to be any openings any time soon (our current lease was due to be renewed 3 days hence) and if so, Aron would need to add one class to his schedule (the deadline for registration was that day). This lovely lady looked at us and said, "I have two, 2-bedroom apartments for rent right now!" No way! We were dually surprised because the 2-bedrooms are the hardest to come by (they also offer a one bedroom and a study). Aron has added a night class to his schedule and we move in on Saturday, September 6!

I am most thrilled about the impending community we will be stepping into. Many mamas stay at home with their kiddos on-campus, so it will be awesome to have loads of families around us to connect with regularly. The school is in heart of downtown Dallas, so we are moving about 20 miles due south of us; we will still stay involved in our church and remain connected to our friends up this way. I feel like we are heading back to college (and I really only had one year of the dorm-life); how awesome to do this with my husband this time around! I'm oh-so proud of Aron for stepping up and taking 2 classes this semester, amidst a crazy, busy work schedule (though things should be mellowing out some). We remain unsure of when he will rotate out of his current job (school is located significantly closer to his office, though, which is nice) in order to pursue school full-time; we are praying about year's end.

My friend Renee, probably jokingly, said to me, "You must like moving alot!" and Tina once quipped, "You guys lead such an exciting life!" For the record, I *despise* moving...the packing and unpacking. It's so draining and exhausting (esp. with a toddler underfoot and one in the belly); but, thankfully, we have lined up several of our good friends to help us move!! Once again, I have felt very vulnerable and needy asking for help, but it's amazing to see our community come around and support us at this time. I feel loved. More than anything, I'm feeling an excitement over our renewed zeal for school, and the steps we have taken to put it back at the forefront of our endeavors.

Aron has 18 units of his 120 unit Masters of Theology under his belt (don't get me started...this program should be a doctorate) and we are currently assessing if this is indeed the route we want to take or switch to a Masters of Christian Education (62 units).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

baby boy love

I cannot tell you how EXCITED we are to be adding a little boy to our family. Thanks a heap for all the wonderfully sweet comments!!

To answer a few questions, I'm still feeling really great! We are due January 15 and we DO have his name picked. It's actually a name we've loved since before we married nearly-6 years ago (that's a pretty huge clue for those of you who have heard me talk about names for the past 8 years...hehe), and while new boy names have come into our minds since then, when we found out we were having a little bambino, this name just seemed to "click." And we will be keeping it a secret, just like we did with "Maggie", until he arrives! We do this for two reasons: we love the idea of introducing our son to the world, as in, "Here's our baby, ____" and don't care to hear other people's opinions on it, and secondly, it's fun to keep one thing a secret, as we told the gender already. :) So, stay tuned.

the windy city

Aron had to be in Chicago Monday and Tuesday for work, so Maggie and I joined him and we left on Friday night. It was a fantastic trip, full of some good family time and friends. Aron's boss invited his team out early and hosted a party at his pad on the 34th floor of a building on Lake Shore was AMAZING! We could see everything perfectly. I did get a big freaked out by the height (I'm not really scared of heights, but I had this image of Maggie falling over!), so I stayed inside mostly, and anytime Maggie went out there, we always held her and did not let her walk around (she really could not have fallen, but STILL...I wanted to play it safe). We met Randall and Shel for dinner Saturday night and enjoyed catching up, even though Maggie was being a pill at dinner. I spent a large portion of Sunday with my good friend Kathryn, going to a Lill purse party (which I LOVED and am jhoping to host a party for soon) and just catchig up on life. She was out to visit me in April and we stay in touch weekly. Monday, I was able to go to my mom's group and it was fun to chat with my old friends (Liz, I missed you and Deanna!). Later that day, Kate and I let the girls hang out at their house and Tuesday, Mags and I rode the blue line into downtown and met up with Shel again for coffee. Too fun! Thanks to everyone for spending time with us and loving on our family.
The planes came so close to the water (or so it seemed). It was amazing!
The view of Navy Pier from his boss' condo

The view of downtown and the Sears Tower

The beach was packed with people enjoying the air and boat show

This picture is classic because Maggie started covering her ears when the planes would fly over and eventually, ended up getting really freaked out by them in the end.

These are our good friends, Randall and Shelley (aka Laurie's sister)Uncle Randall and Auntie Shelley...they aren't truely Maggie's aunt and uncle, but we feel they are like family. After we left dinner with them, Maggie continued to say, "Bye, bye Wandall, bye, bye, bye Shelley." Too sweet!

Hanging out after a dinner of delicious tapas

Maggie's good friend, Amelia. We spent the day on Monday with Kathryn and Amelia at their house and the girls ate lunch, played together nicely, and napped. It was so much fun!

Coloring and playing with the doll house at Amelia's table

The girls did such a nice job sharing!

Kathryn and I; she is one of my closest friends and we still talk an average of 3x a week. We miss all our good friends in Chi-town.

Maggie and I spent two nights with our friends the Campins; it was not only a more spacious and toy-filled play place than our hotel, but Leslie and I were able to catch up. They were SO gracious to let us eat their food and sleep in their beds. Here are Maggie and Trinity, playing with wistles. They had a ball together! Leslie told me today that Trinity was pretending to be "Mrs. McKay" and told Leslie to be "Maggie." Too sweet!

the t-shirt deli

Kate told me about this nifty store in Chicago where you can get design your own shirts; the entire store looks like a deli, with t-shirts hanging above the deli case, looking like salami. The deli case if full of shirts in a variety of colors, that sport various fonts and layouts. Here is the one I made. Have you seen that maternity shirt that says, "Eating for Two?" This is like it, but more clever, imo. I saw it a few weeks ago on another preggo mama, and dug it. I also am including a picture of how they wrap your fun--a napkin, bag of chips, and the shirt rolled up like you just left the meat counter.

digging in mama's purse

I was busy doing last minute packing related-things on Friday before our trip and I realized I hadn't heard Maggie in a few minutes. I am sitting at our computer, calling her name, then hear her say, "Mmm!!" very sweetly. I poke my head around the corner to see her sitting like this in our hallway, with my purse in her lap. I walk closer to observe what she is up to and notice her chewing something, then see the pack of Trident gum. Little miss ate a couple of pieces of Trident and thought they were the best ever!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Aron and I have talked about being in full-time ministry since before we were married. In one form or another over the last almost-6 years of our marriage, we have volunteered or worked part-time on staff at church (Aron). It's been rewarding, challenging, eye-opening, and if anything, helped us to gain greater insight into exactly what we want to do. Aron has been attending Dallas Theological Seminary for the past 3 1/2 years...well, with a year and a half break in there due to our move to Chicago, the birth of Maggie, settling into parenthood, the moving back to Dallas.

September marks 5 years Aron has been with his current company, albeit not in the same position...he's had 13 since his inception date; I'm quite proud of him, of all he's learned and accomplished. However, we've always seen his current job as a means to an end, to pay for seminary, earn his Masters degree, and ultimately, step into minstry full-time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

20 months

Today, M is 20 months old! It's hard to believe in some ways that we are approaching age 2 and yet, it also seems like just the right amount of time has passed since she was born. More than ever, she is using her words, requesting things and talking to her dolls and toys. She likes to be chased around the house, has begun to pull us to our feet to play if we are sitting down, and just yesterday was singing the words from this hymn: "O praise Him...alleluia!" It was really sweet! We love you, girl.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

bink update #2

Catching up where I left off yesterday...

It took her 3 1/2 hours to get down for her nap! I was in and out once or twice, let her cry for a solid 30 minutes (some VERY intense crying), thought maybe she was ready to get up, and we would try again later, only to put her on the ground and have her collapse in tears, soothed her, then put her back down and stayed out of the room for good. That final time, it took her about 20 or so minutes to get to sleep. BUT, she did and took an hour nap, although she woke up and looked SO tired. :)

Later that night was our date night, so we dropped Maggie off with Patti and I was a bit worried about how she would go down. I didn't anticipate anything like what we experienced earlier, but, still, I didn't want my good friend to have to hear her cry like that for x-amount of time. Aron and I grabbed a quick Italian meal out and actually had a REALLY good conversation about life and where we are headed (I'm working on a post about that, so look for it soon). He had to wrap up a 160+ hour project that he's been working on, so we went back and got Maggie around 9pm. Patti said she did not make ONE sound, but just laid down in the bed and fell fast asleep! Yah! We woke her up to take her home, and thankfully, she transfered noiselessly to her crib for the rest of the night.

Today, marks day 3!! Her nap started bad, with about 7 minutes of intense crying, the kind where you think, "Oh no, here we go again," but guess what!? That was it. She was out like a light and slept for over 2 hours.

I *think* we are in the home stretch. Other than our difficult nap yesterday (it was quite draining near the end, I have to be honest), this process has been surprisingly smooth. Maggie hasn't even mentioned the word "bink" all day long! Honestly, I'm thrilled we decided to move forward with this. No more, "Did you grab the bink?" as we race out the door (just IN CASE we need it while we are out) or locating them once they make their ways into the recess of the house.

I am a new woman and Maggie is a new kiddo! Thank you all for your encouraging words. It was helpful to read during our rough spot yesterday. And thanks for those of you who shared similar stories or encouraged me to press on. Celeste, I must admit, that your story in June made me eager to get rid of it sooner than later. I hope that's OK to admit! And your stamina to see it through and not give back in, was HUGE. Thanks for that! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

bink update #1

Last night was our first night without the bink (and all of them were in the industrial garbage can outback, with no hope of retrieval). I was surprised how Maggie didn't ask for it as I read her books and had her finish her milk (our night routine that Aron usually does, but he was outside on a business call). After 7 books and dad had not come in, I decided to go ahead and put her down. I held her, prayed with her, then laid her in the crib. She started to cry immediately, and I walked out. Aron came in not long after, and Maggie cried for about 10 minutes, off and on. I thought maybe she was missing dad, we *do* have a nighttime routine she clearly recognizes, so maybe that is what she needed. Aron read with her and prayed with her, then attempted to put her down and alas, she started to wail once again. He sat with her for about half an hour, singing to her. About this time, I just felt like we needed to put her in the crib and let it be. So, I walked it, took her from him, and held her. She had part of her blanket in her mouth, so I said, "That's good, chew on that." And she did! I laid her down without a peep and we did not hear from her until this morning! Hooray!!

However, we are attempting to nap right now. She fell asleep in the car on the way home from a fun morning with friends, and I tried to transfer her (she was FULLY asleep on my shoulder) and the minute I laid her down, she woke up and said, "Bink?!" Rats! I quietly made my exit. Now, I hear her talking to herself...PLEASE go to sleep, girl.

Now, she is crying. Ugh.

Well, we have to push through this! And we will.

meet molly

Meet Maggie's new doll, Molly. This is who we swaped for the pacifiers. I hope she learns to love her like she did the precious binks!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

bye, bye bink!

We have always called Maggie's pacifier her bink. And as of today, the bink is gone.

I did it. I really did.

For the last week, I have been contemplating getting rid of it (we really only do it at nap and bedtime, but still, I'm ready to be done with it). I had planned to do it yesterday, but just chickened out. Then, headlessly perhaps, this moring, I just decided I needed to follow through with my plan. I snatched up all binks and sat Maggie down.

"Binks are for babies and you are a big girl!" I began, as I put ALL the binks in a ziplock blog. "Big girls have dolls!" And I proceeded to have her unwrap a new doll. She was thrilled.

We said, "Bye, bye bink." And that was that.

At least I hope so. She hasn't asked about it all day long. She ended up napping in the car today, a total rarity for us, so I'm a bit unsure how our night will go. Bedtime is in about an hour, so we shall see!

Monday, August 4, 2008

family visit

Aron's mom, aunt Dinah, and sister, Cari, arrived on Saturday night for a quick visit. We have enjoyed showing them the sites of Dallas and eating good food (Texas' national pastime). We have taken them to our favorites: Red, Hot, and Blue (best barbecue), Pappadeaux seafood, La Madeline, and Breadwinners. After brunch on Sunday, we headed over to the Dallas Museum of Art and all thoroughly enjoyed strolling through the galleries. Later, we came home, let Mags nap, and we hung out and talked for several hours, then headed to eat fantastic seafood for dinner. In between, Maggie recieved a special present--some new baby dolls to play with! She hasn't let them out of her sight. Aron couldn't take the day off today (Monday), so we girls have been busy doing more in the area, notably the Dallas Arboretum. We tried to get there near opening, so it wouldn't be *too* hot, and managed to enjoy the grounds. Later today, we will head over to do some shopping in Frisco, and for dinner, eat pizza from Fireside Pies. It's been a delightful visit and we are so thrilled they could come. They fly out tomorrow for Atlanta, to visit Aron's brother, Ryan, and his family for a few days.

Outside the Dallas Museum of Art
Aron and I discovered this Van Gogh and fell in love. Neither of us had seen it before and really thought it was beautiful; the blues make the picture.

Not a great pic of our fam (no flash allowed in museums, you know), but wanted to get a belly shot and also include me in one of the pics as often mamas can get left out. :)

Another not-so-great shot (red eye cannot seem to be reduced), but hey, wanted to capture the moment.

Daddy chasing Maggie outside the museum
She really is thrilled to have new baby dolls (twins), courtsey of Mema.

At the Arboretum today; she is in the middle of saying the word "flower."
Cari, Dinah, and Laurie hanging out near the decorative waterfalls

birthday party!

Maggie enjoyed her second friends' birthday party this past Saturday night. Sheldon and Renee's son, Pierce, turned one last week. We enjoyed hanging out with friends, the guys played pool and darts upstairs, we ate "walking tacos" (which were yummy!) and cake, and let the kids play outside in the pool (although, most of us moms lasted about 15 minutes outdoors and hauled the little ones back was a scorcher that day!). Here are some pics from the festivities and I'm sad to say I don't actually have any pics of Pierce eating cake, nor any good ones of him alone (Renee, send me a couple so I can update this post!). Happy 1st, Pierce!

This is my good friend, Rachel. We have very few pics together and I'm sure she'll *love* that I posted a pic, but hey, she's gorgeous and I think we look cute together here. :)
I love D's curls!

Mags, Aron, and sweet Charlotte.

Staying cool in the pool.

Mags, D, and Pierce swimming away