Saturday, December 29, 2007


Molly has been doing baby crunches for a few weeks. She strains and lifts her head up at the same time that she extends her legs out a couple inches above the ground. I've been marveling at what a good workout she gets. This morning when we were still lying in bed, I decided to try to do crunches with her. Everytime she'd lift up her head and hold it I'd do it, too. Keep in mind that she holds this position for several seconds. When I started accompanying her, she started doing her crunches about every 10 seconds and would hold them for a few seconds each. After about 15 or 20, my stomach muscles were burning. Every time I saw her start to raise her head, I'd groan and yell out in frustration, "Molly!" It seemed like she wasn't going to let up. After enough complaining on my part, Ryan told me to just stop doing the crunches, too. I said that tomorrow morning I'd try to keep up with her better.

After being shown up by my 3 1/2 month old, I was motivated to go for a good run. Ryan babysat, and I ran my first three mile run in several months. There was frost on the ground, and it was a perfectly crisp, still, and sunny morning for a run. I encountered twenty or so cyclists, walkers, and runners along my route. It was very satisfying.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Virtual Christmas Letter

It seems like writing a Christmas letter is the thing to do when you have kids. So, I'd like to share a few things from this past year, specifically the ways that God has provided for us.

Early this spring, when Ryan and I had decided to move to Texas to have our baby here, I had to make a decision about leaving my job at the university. I loved my job, and it was very difficult to tell my department chair that I wouldn't be returning. However, we were trusting God to provide for us in a new chapter of our lives.

Then this summer, we put our house on the market and moved away to Texas. God provided a buyer shortly after we moved. It is a difficult market for sellers in the midwest, and we had lived in the house less than two years. However, we were able to get back our whole downpayment that we had put down on the house. God was faithful.

It was difficult to trust God as my due date approached, and Ryan hadn't yet gotten a teaching job. My due date was 8/22, and our insurance was due to end on 8/31. However, we knew that God would provide all that we needed. I had a doula that I was going to use for my labor and delivery. Unexpectedly, I got called to work two days at my on-call financial job the week before my due date. The amount I made from those two days working was the amount I needed to pay my doula. God had also given Ryan a great summer job working at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. He blessed us with a beautiful home in which to live without cost from July to October. So, we waited on God in faith.

On August 16, Ryan was offered his teaching job. Because it was a job at an urban district and because he had two coaching positions, his salary is more than sufficient to provide for our family. The health insurance from his job would begin the day after mine ended. Even better, because Molly wasn't born until September 8, I purchased COBRA so that we would have dual coverage for the labor, delivery, first weeks of Molly's life, and my unanticipated "surgery". This saved us over a thousand dollars.

God's greatest gifts to us are the birth of our lovely daughter, the love of friends and family, good health, and the birth of Jesus that we celebrate today. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Memories

At church on Sunday we had a special family Christmas service in which some members of the congregation recounted special holiday memories. Here are the words that I shared:

It is with a thankful heart that I tell about three men in my life. I have had godly men that have pastored me and taught me about God's love. I don't want to take them for granted because I know that not everyone is blessed with caring males in their lives.

First I remember a Christmas when I was a girl. My dad surprised me with a doll house that he had made for my Barbies. He had constructed the house in our basement without me knowing. He put a lot of thought and detail into the house. The wallpaper on the walls was the same as that in my bedroom. There was a framed picture of Holly Hobby that was similar to my Holly Hobby bedspread. He had made small pieces of furniture to adorn the house.

Another Christmas memory is playing duets on the piano with my Grandpa. It is ironic that the song we just sang was "O Holy Night" because this was one of the songs we played together. These moments at the piano were special ones that he and I shared.

Five years ago for was the first Christmas for Ryan and me as a married couple. He surprised me by buying tickets for us to fly to Texas to visit my parents after Christmas. They had just moved to Texas that year.

This past Christmas, Ryan and I knew that I was pregnant, but no one else knew. It was a special time thinking about this Christmas when we would have our baby. We enjoyed sharing the anticipation together.

Christmas Morning

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:11

We spent Christmas Eve Eve at my Aunt Jackie and Uncle John's house. I have lots of cousins, and one is expecting a baby in May. Molly will have another second cousin. It might be awhile before she has any first cousins, but she has nine second cousins.

Christmas Eve we spent at the Harrison's house. We are blessed to have wonderful friends with whom to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Molly wore her pretty Christmas dress and slept in her car seat the whole time except for a brief arousal during which she ate.

Last evening and this morning, we spent some family time in bed opening presents and enjoying each other. We got Molly a door way jumper. She isn't old enough to jump around in it yet, but she kind of turns around and looks at things from her new vantage point.

Molly loves her bunny puppet from my Aunt Ilene and Uncle Matt.

Later today my brother is flying in from Toledo. He and my parents will be coming to our place for Christmas dinner.

Christmas weather forecast for Fort Worth: Sunny, High 61 Low 40
Score of MSU - Texas game on Saturday: 78 MSU 72 Texas
(Rematch next December in Dallas)

More Christmas Pictures

All in the Family

Getting "wrapped up"

Nap time

Ryan and Kit Kat

Monday, December 17, 2007

Toes in Mouth

Molly learned something new today!

December 17

Ryan's dad and new wife came to visit this weekend. We really like Anne, but it is almost unforgiveable that she has a hard time distinguishing between U of M and MSU.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our Little Church

We've been going to an awesome little church in the country. It is a United Methodist church. We go to the contemporary service. There are sometimes only 20 people at that service (the later service has a lot more- over 100). Then, we go to the young adult Sunday School class. (It is great to still be considered young adults. When does middle age start? 40?) The Sunday School meets right across the street in the pastor's house. At Sunday school we watch short films called nooma. See

One of the things we love about this church is that it is small. It is so unlike any church we've attended before. The pastor is so personable and friendly. He calls to check up on us if we've been gone, and he stopped by to pray with us after Molly was born. He is also such a great communicator of God's word. He really challenges us in our faith. He also did a series on God and science, which of course I loved!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Big Family

Molly met a lot of her family members on our trip. Here she is with my mom's side of the family.

Trip to MI

I think this is the most beautiful picture of Molly.

Visiting with friends

Snowy Thanksgiving

Four generations

We visited nearly 65 people on our trip to Michigan. It was definitely a whirlwind, but we had a lot of fun. There were still a lot of people that we didn't get a chance to visit! We spent most of our trip in Lansing. It was Molly's first visit with Ryan's mom.

She did amazingly well on the flights. I had prayed especially for the flight to MI that she'd do well. She can be fussy in the morning if she doesn't fall asleep for her naps when needed. She started screaming in the airport just before the flight began boarding. I frantically bounced, shushed and patted until she drifted off in my arms. She slept until we were descending in Detroit. Ryan had to buckle my seatbelt and retrieve items from my carry-on for me. She did almost the same thing on the flight home. Not one cry on either flight!

It snowed on Thanksgiving in MI and TX. Ryan got out in the snow and cold and ran a 5k. He's tough! It was especially difficult b/c he's not used to the cold weather.