Friday, October 31, 2008

what Aron did at work today

happy halloween

Today, I entered a chocolate chip cookie baking contest (and didn't win), but still got some some DELISH cookies in the proces (I used this recipe off the "Flipflops and Applesauce" blog, at the rec of my friend, Melisa: click here--it's really amazing!! I used chocolate chunks instead of chips, too.). After I made my cookies and dropped them off to be judged, I took Maggie and we joined a costume parade around campus, that ended with storytime in the bookstore. Then, after naps, we handed out candy and trick-or-treated around our building. Maggie thoroughly enjoyed herself! :)

Avery (our neighbor down the hall who is 3 weeks younger than Maggie; they are great friends) and Maggie outside the bookstore, where we dropped off our cookies for the contest.

Waiting for the parade to funny, they both just laid down on the floor!

A shot of the parade...there were probably about 40-50 kids

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wordless wednesday

If you ever saw the movie The Holiday, you will recognize Maggie's immitation of "Mr. Napkin Face," a silly antic Jude Law's character would do for his 2 little girls. Recently, Aron has been doing this for Maggie and she thinks it's hilarious. Then, she wanted a turn. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NKOTB concert update

I've had a week to recover and think through my experience at the concert last Sunday night, the one I blogged about where I felt like a total poser because I didn't even grow up listening to them. And thanks to some probing from Alison (ahem), here are my thoughts. In summation: it was worth the time and money I spent.

*Good girl time beforehand and on the train ride down and back.
*Enjoyable time watching women our age 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over the band, just like in the old days (one woman near us even had tears running down her face during one song Jordan sang...true!).
*Got a good kick out of seeing women our age 1)dressed in full 80s fashion and 2) some dragging their boyfriends/husbands along with them.
*Couldn't stop grinning at the show's opener when the lights were low, the music was loud, the fireworks started, and the band slowly appeared on a rising platform from behind the stage to 1,000 of screaming fans--the sound was absolutely deafening.
*Hilarious to hear these 35-40 year old singers sing new songs like "Grown Man" and hearing the inuendos involved...really!? How old are you guys?! It was like the adult version of NKOTB songs or something.

And finally, for E and Laura K., my commentors who were the only self-proclaimed NKOTB fans (apart from those girls I actually went with to the show), this one is for you: Donnie Wahlberg dropping his drawers...and showing off his boxers. One of my friends, who will remain nameless, looked over at me and exclaimed, "That was worth my 50 bucks!!"

scrap art

I am super excited to share a recent art project I did on Friday night. I had seen this idea on a craft blog a friend passed along to me and immediately thought, "I can do that!" I have been slowly decorating Maggie's room over the last 6 months in a vintage bird theme, adding splashes of colors I love. I decided to create a tree with sky and grass and birds, as you can see below and I'm *more* than pleased with how it turned out! I plan to add a few more canvases to this collection (a close-up of a 2 different birds and another I have yet to decide upon) and hang them in a display in her room. When it's complete, I'll post a picture. This was so EASY...even my non-crafty friends would enjoy this, I promise. And I think this is a wonderful kid-friendly craft if your child uses scissors and would enjoy the process of creating his/her own wall art.
The supply list and directions are simple.

canvas in preferred size (mine is 11x14)
craft paper in various colors/designs
scissors and pencil
Elmer's stick glue
Modge podge
1 sponge paintbrush
ink and inking sponge if desired


Draw a simple picture...I drew a tree and a dividing line between the hills and sky--very easy. Cut papers in various shapes and sizes, there really is no rhyme or reason. I laid out my pieces as I cut them, then went back and glued each one with an Elmer's glue stick. You only need a bit of glue on each piece (meaning they don't have to be perfectly stuck down) because you will modge podge the canvas in the end. I also chose to ink the edges of the canvas at the end, to give the piece a more distressed look. Complete your art project with 2-3 coats of modge podge, depending on how thick your paper is. I will either paint the canvas edges with brown paint to complete it or hang it in a frame.

Here is the orginal that inspired my work.
And here are a few more I'm contemplating doing: see here and here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


A cold front came through Dallas today! I sit on the couch and listen to the wind blow, feel the occasional cool night air creep through the window, and settle into reading book 2 in the Twlight series. I spent the morning baking: a pumpkin gingerbread loaf and a pumpkin bread pudding. We are bundled in warm jammies and enjoying the fall weather...for now.

wordless wednesday

Maggie loves playing with her baby dolls and pushing them in the stroller. The baby on top is named Molly and Maggie has started to put her in the occasional "time-out"--it's too funny! The baby in the stroller was recently given a name...I asked Maggie what we should call her and she looked at me and said at once, "Baby Audrey!" Another baby, not pictured, soon became, "Baby Evangline!" All on her own accord.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

my favorite pic of our georgia trip

*Courtsey of Tina

Georgia: Days 1-5

We arrived home safely last night and I'm ready to blog pics of our travels to the peach state. Maggie and I began the trip with a visit to Laurie's house to meet up with several of my girlfriends from Bible school days in Colorado, 11 years earlier. Tina joined us this year and it was the perfect addition! We all brought our youngest kiddos and surprisingly, it was a very smooth and not-too-choatic weekend, full of good food, conversation, relaxing, a few trips to Starbucks, and a visit to Laurie's church, Northpoint. Thanks, girls, for such a wonderful trip, full of love and support, especially for me, as I found myself in a tough place, parenting-wise, on this trip.

Laurie, the food and house were perfect. We couldn't have asked for anything better.

5 years earlier, at our old haunts at Ravencrest in Estes Park, Colorado...
And now in Atlanta, Georgia...

With some kiddos in tow, from L-R, oldest to youngest: Elise, Maggie, Mia, Vanden, Evangeline, and Audrey

Our gracious hosts, Laurie and Jonathan

Rock climbing with Elise
Chalk art with Tina

Table talk with Elise

Laurie and Audrey, 3 months old

Melisa and Vanden, 9 months old
Tina and Mia, almost-13 months old

Elicia and Evangeline, 5 months old
Swinging with Elise
Evangeline relaxing on the couch
Happy Mags
Bathtub fun--a must with so many kiddos around. From L-R: Van, Elise, Mia, and Mags

Mia enjoying the tupperware drawer
Maggie sporting the new apron Melisa made her
Smiley Van, looking just like his dad

One of our amazing dinners, courtsey of La: spinach salad with candied walnuts, berries, and blue cheese, petite green beans with almonds, and broiled salmon with parmesean grits.

We enjoyed some wonderful dinner time conversation when all the kiddos finally went to bed. This was probably some of the most relaxing time all day long, where we could just focus on a good meal and catching up.

Georgia: Day 5 1/2

Aron joined Maggie and I on Wednesday afternoon and we met up with our friends, Roby and Heather, and their kiddos, Owen (3 years old), and Olive (3 months old), for dinner. Rob and Heather are some of Shannon and Steve's best friends, so I know we all wished the Stutlers could have joined us! Even though it was WAY TOO short of a visit, it was still wonderful to see them and meet Olive for the first time. Here are a few photos outside the restaurant.

Georgia: Days 5 1/2-8

We concluded our vacation with Aron's brother's family: Ryan and Brandy, and their kiddos, Alyssa (12 years old) and Ethan (almost-8 years old). It's hard to believe it's been almost 3 years since we have seen them, and like I mentioned in a previous post, they have never met Maggie. But, like with good friends and family, we all instantly reconnected like no time had passed whatsoever. Ryan took some days off from his job as a firefighter and he and Brandy were the perfect hosts. I'm sad to report I have no pics of Brandy; alas! We ate delicious food and enjoyed lots of downtime, movies, games, reading books, and the boys even went fishing one night for a few hours. Ryan shook his head at one point and said, "I can't believe my little brother has a kid!" Aron's dad also joined us and this was supposed to be a surprise, but we found out earlier than intended. He was the perfect addition to our time, but we missed Mema! We hope it won't be 3 more years until our next visit.

All the McKay boys and the newest-to-be
Ryan, Aron, Ethan, and Pops

Aunt Brandy gave Maggie a Halloween cookie ONCE and for 3 mornings straight, at breakfast, Maggie would walk to the pantry and proceed to look longingly at the container, then back to me and ask, "Cookie, please?!" to which I politely declined. She cried every time. Hilarious!

Maggie enjoyed sorting fruit and vegetables and almost ate an entire apple by herself, a first! She normally eats them sliced.

Play time with Uncle Ryan...he is SO good with kiddos. I love to see men who engage with and have fun with kids. Ryan is one of a few firefighters chosen to travel around to elementary schools and talk fire safety to the students. I can see how he is so effective!

Ryan cooking homemade french toast with homemade bread he made...quite possibly the best french toast I've eaten. Brandy contributed as whole-heartedly to our meals, I'm just sorry I have no pics to prove it! :)

We went to a pumpkin farm one day...Here is Mags scurrying away, checking out all there was to see.

Halloween fun with Ethan. Maggie absolutely loved him and both kids got along famously with our girl; I was so grateful. Here, Maggie is a butterfly and Ethan is Luke Skywalker. Did I mention that Brandy goes all-out for Halloween!? You should have seen the decorations inside and outside of their house...pretty amazing!

Alyssa making Maggie laugh with her blue tongue. Brandy is making Alyssa's costume, like always, and it wasn't quite ready for pics.

Cousin love!

Georgia part 1

Here is a view of my trip with my girlfriends in pictures:

Friday, October 17, 2008


If you recognize this band, you probably know more about them than I do and I did grow up in the era of "New Kids on the Block" fever. But, I never listened to them. Why am I posting this useless information, you might be asking yourself? Along with several friends, I will be a concert-goer on Sunday night. I seriously feel like the biggest poser.

Here's the extent of the lyrics I know: The right stuff.

Wait, I think these are also some popular lyrics: Hangin' tough.
I'll update you upon my return and tell you if I've become a late-blooming fan.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

my worst self

We are wrapping up our vacation in Georgia, having arrived at Aron's brother's house late last night. We will be here until we fly home on Saturday evening.

My time with my girlfriends was wonderful (I will blog pics and details when I return to Dallas), yet very difficult for me. I've given it a great deal of thought throughout our time together and most of it tied into struggling with Maggie. She was by far the most challenging I have ever seen her. And I was alone in parenting her because Aron was still in Dallas. I know it was a combination of being in a new place, her age, and her dad not being there. I found myself having to pray for patience regularly with my daughter and finding myself totally on edge all weekend long. I cannot believe how the ire can rise in me in a moment of frustration with her! I struggled to maintain a level head and patience at all times and it was unbelievable difficult.

The girl time, the time to connect and relax, really was perfect, but I found myself distracted with Maggie and focusing on still being diligent in training her heart, i.e. maintaining consistency, yet considering context of our situation (new location, no daddy around, and her age, like I said). I went into my trip with low expectations, as far as how it would look to connect with my friends and was surprised to find that my intense struggle came in the form of parenting Maggie. There were many wonderful moments with her, don't get me wrong: she loved all the babies, was gentle and sweet with them, and most of the time, played SO well with Elise (almost 3 years old). But, she struggled often with listening to me, obeying me, and whining and this was new to least this MUCH of it at once. She has also entered into a new phase apparently, of calling out, "Mommy, Mommy!" whenever I leave the room, even if I tell her what I'm doing. It seems it's a combination of separation anxiety and whining and I'm bereft of how to handle it. My child hasn't struggled to this point with separation anxiety for any length of time. If anything, this whole experience has made me more humble in how I view other parents and once again, how in need of Christ I am *daily* in the teaching and training of my girl.

It's been eye-opening and created a vulnerability in me I didn't know existed. I have to remember to focus on the good things she does and relish the moments of sweetness.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


dark strands of tapestry give form to light, from form springs meaning and meaning births life


Friday, October 10, 2008

maggie's ready!

All morning she has been saying, "Go on airplane! Yeah!" I've mentioned before that it's hard to capture a smile these days, but here, she was loving that was turning

maggie's ready!

All morning she has been saying, "Go on airplane! Yeah!" I've mentioned before that it's hard to capture a smile these days, but here, she was loving that she could see herself while I took her picture. We have been practicing all our new friends names: Mia, Van, Evangline, Audrey, and Elise.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

getting excited!

Tomorrow, I leave for my annual girls' trip...this year we are headed to Atlanta where we will stay with Laurie. These are girls I have been friends with for 11 years; we met at Ravencrest Bible school back in 1997. Hooray for good friends and fun weekends together!

Aron is joining Maggie and I on Wednesday, the 15th and we will go see his brother and family, who live about an hour north of Atlanta. We haven't seen them in 3 years and they have never met Maggie. We can't wait to see our neice and nephew either!

Pictures and stories to come.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Welcome to a new series of ongoing postings. I feel Maggie is finally at a place where she says really hilarious and off-the-wall and smart and quirky things.

*Maggie knows most of the ABC song and it's wonderful to hear her sing it...the best part is when she concludes the letters: "X,Y, Zeke."

*We got a balloon at Central Market (a glorified Whole Foods) this week and she loved it. She let it go in the house and it flew to the ceiling and she said, quite seriously, "I can't reach it." Just. Like. That. I didn't even know she knew this phrase!

*After reading a book from the library last week (Mathew A.B.C by Peter Catalanotto), she latched onto one particular character: "Matthew I. is Incognito" the book reads. As we drove home from shopping last weekend, she suddenly shouted out, "Incog-mito!" and said it over and over. We thought it was hilarious because we hadn't read that book all day, nor talked about it. I had no idea she even picked up on this word. Now, she says, "Incog-mito" to get a good laugh from us.

*She fell off her stool the other day and proceeded to start shaking her body, saying something I did not recognize. It took a me a few minutes to realize she was saying, "Shake it off, shake it off!" Again, another phrase I had no idea she knew.

*Lastly, when Aron was a child, his family had a female Weimaraner dog named Hogeboom (Ho-ga-boom), named after football star, Gary Hogeboom. Aron mentioned *one* time to Maggie that the toy dog she has should be called Hogeboom. A week or more passed. As she and I walked down the hall on Wednesday to do laundry, she carried her dog and declared, "Hogeboom!" What a smart little girl!

texas state fair

Tonight, on a whim, we decided to venture to the Texas State Fair, only about 10 minutes from our apartment. Neither of us had been before and we both found it enjoyable. We indulged in some good fried foods (corny dogs, a fried Snickers, and a fried S'more), saw a parade, cruised the midway, and viewed some livestock. Who could ask for more?
In front of Big can't go to the fair and not get a picture in front of this icon
Maggie LOVED the corn on the cob

Aron enjoyed the turkey leg..heck, we all did! It was so good.
Speaks for itself

I look a little zoned as I get ready to dive into the fried Snickers (Aron and I shared it and it was unbelievably filling. We couldn't eat anything afterwards)

The midway

At one point, Maggie covered her ears because the midway was SO loud.

Posing in front of an old train; Maggie is really into trains, I'm actually thinking of getting her a Thomas the Train set. :)

Meet Rosie red, on the right, who is one day younger than Maggie :)

The band leads the parade

For Jesseca--this was a display of King Tut's tomb made entirely of *butter*--700 pounds of it! Jess, when I saw a butter statue on the fair's map, I had to visit, thinking of the statue of Shawn Johnson at the IA State Fair. :)