Thursday, October 2, 2014

God's Whisper

Two nights ago I was rocking Vann to sleep and he was having one of his last nighttime bottles. I tried to hold it for him, but he was not going to give up. I looked at him and whispered, "I have this, you can let go". And then I heard it...God's whisper to me was exactly what I told Vann. He was using my little boy and his bottle to share His truth with me. God said, "Dana, I have this, you can let go of the worry and fear, the what-ifs, your plan...this is My plan".

You see, even though I told my son that I would hold his bottle for him he didn't let go right away. I had my hand on it, Vann had his tiny hands gripped to each of the sides, and no one was letting go. Eventually he got tired and one hand would relax and slip off, but as soon as he realized he wasn't in control he'd cling on to the bottle again. Finally he gave in and I held the bottle, rocked him, and drifted into dreamland.

How many times are we the baby clinging to the bottle? Even though God tells us He has it under control, we still feel the need to be the driver and tell God where he's going with our life. As my son was having this tiny battle of control with me, God shared that I was doing the same thing in life. I want everything to go my way and not His. I don't purposely try to go away from God's plan, but I get caught up in thinking that I know best. Truth is...I don't.

God's plan is so much bigger than my life. He is the painter and we are all brush strokes in His masterpiece. Basically it's what my mama always said, "the world doesn't revolve around you Dana". And boy am I glad it doesn't or I would be disappointing a lot of people. Our plan will never be better than His.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

As I held my sweet boy I was reminded of God's promises. He always has us. He carries us through the hard times and never lets us go. I am thankful for His whisper that reminds me of his faithfulness. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Vann!

Well, it's hard to face reality and say that our sweet little baby is an entire year old. He's been with us for over 365 days and we have LOVED every single minute. We have never smiled more, and I smile A LOT so that's a bold claim! I am not going to lie, it's been a learning curve, but every second has been a gift and I wouldn't change a thing!

We had a fun party with our family and Vann's friends that are around the same age! I love watching them grow up together.

I had the hardest time picking a theme and because Vann couldn't tell me what he'd like...we picked. I love themed parties and really enjoy planning them. It's the "pulling it together" part that's hard for me. I found some cute "County Fair" parties and made a spinoff of that idea. It ended up being like a Patriotic BBQ!

I am so thankful for Mom's listening ear, creative ideas, and showing me the ropes of throwing a birthday party. I mean she would know how to do it! Mom planned our birthdays before Pinterest and they were so detailed, custom, and memories that will last forever. There were no McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese birthdays for us. No, it was fall festivals, costume parties, sports themed parties, Barbie, and none were purchased at the store. She's good y'all...I have lots to live up to!

We also love that both of our parents helped us with tables, chairs, and other props...Daddy's fan came in handy on the hot August day. Dad smoked extra meat for the party in case we ran out. Mom made Vann's cake and plenty of pecan & chocolate tassies. We served the beautiful cake up with Mayfield vanilla ice cream complete with the wooden spoons. I loved that the cake was simple, topped with fruit, and completed the look of the party. Vann enjoyed his handfuls!

To decorate, I kept it simple, but Ryan may think otherwise. Bales of hay, picnic tablecloths, burlap banners, quilts, red toy trucks, flowers in colorful vases! One of my very favorite details was the red highchair. We My friend, Brittany, found it at a thrift store for $8! Ryan took two cans of red spray paint to it and it turned out just perfect. I made a few banners to add to the chair and one for the backdrop of the food table. Mom made his hat and Vann actually kept it on his head!

Erin had a great window we used to display his monthly pictures. Mom had a vintage chalkboard where we shared the birthday boy's stats. Each month season I update a chalkboard that is displayed in our house with a verse or motivational quote. I have gotten really great at copying them, so I decided to look at Etsy for some inspiration and make the board myself. I think it worked out perfectly! Every kiddo received a small mason jar filled with animal crackers with a "thank you for coming" tag on it.

Ryan made his amazing bbq. I am not saying it just because he is my husband, but it's hands-down the best! Take it from me...he needs to enter it into the next BBQ Pitmaster contest. We also had the classic Sunbeam white bread, veggies, fruits, original potato chips, and bottled water and glass-bottled sodas to drink.


 {Easton and Vann}

 {Vann and Lolli}
 {Aunt Lexi and Ava}
 {Uncle Adam and Anna Beth}
 {Mimi, Adam, and Richard}
 {James and Vann}

 {Crazy Pop}
 {Vann's sweet great grandparents}

 {James, Mommy, and Vann}

 {Ava, Aunt Lex, and Erin}
 {Danielle and Jase}
Danielle blogged about Vann's birthday here! Thanks for capturing the sweet moments seester!
 {Gabby, Aiden, and Vann}
Thanks A for grabbing the birthday boy as he tried to escape from opening his presents!
{Ava and Bryce}

We loved seeing so many sweet friends and family! Vann has presents coming out of his ears! Several gifts were put on his closet shelf and will be pulled down soon!

Vann loves reading books, can say several words; mama, dada, baba, dog, lyla, no, yeah, hey, thank you, done, byebye, he is walking (nearly running) everywhere, waving, clapping, drinking whole milk, enjoys playing outside, and so much more. He makes our world such a happy place! I love how others light up around him. He is such a people person! God definitely blessed us with Vann! Love you sweet boy and happy birthday son!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saying No!

That title of the post makes me think back to elementary school days when we all learned the slogan, "Just Say No", right? Well, I am not talking about drugs today, but I am talking about something else that can steal your life. Saying YES to everything. I am soooo very guilty of this. Yesterday, I was updating a calendar that Ryan and I share to make sure we don't double book ourselves...Ryan texted me as he got the updates and said, "guess I will see you next week". He was being sarcastic or was he?

I totally am guilty. I can't say NO! It's awful because it takes away from the people that matter most. It takes away from my two guys and that is not ok. My plate keeps filling up for other people and I try to keep them all spinning. But you know what's gonna happen? They are all going to crash if I don't keep the most important ones first: God and my sweet family.

Today, I am writing this to make a point for myself to say NO. I love what I read yesterday on Proverbs 31 (it's a fantastic site if you aren't following it). It's titled Overcoming the Need to Please Disease. Man did it hit me hard at 6:30 am. I loved the response she gives people who are asking of her time: “Thank you for asking me. Let me check my calendar and think through some other commitments I’ve already made. If you haven’t heard back from me by the end of the week, please connect with me again.”  

That is awesome. I would totally respect that if a friend responded in such a way to a request I had. 

So, here are some things I will consider before making a decision:
*How will it impact my husband?
*How will it affect my son? 
*What will we gain or lose from this commitment? 

Of course I will always think of what others' concerns are, but at the end of the is about those who care the most about you, those you love, and pleasing God. 

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10 (ESV).

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Monday, June 30, 2014

9 Months Old

9 months old. 9 months old. Is this real life? How does it go by so quickly. It feels like we just found out that we were going to be parents.

Health: At Vann's 9 month doctor appointment we didn't have to get any shots! That was a plus. Vann is in the bottom 5% of his weight, around 50% for his height, and 79% for his head. I think he is the perfect child and I am not worried about the comparison of all of his percentages. How can I say that? I remember who he is being compared to. 1. It's apples to oranges with his nutrition. He is breastfed and eats super healthy choices and LOVES food. 2. He is extremely active. He is pulling up, standing up, crawling like a mad man. Let's put it this way...he is still when he sleeps. THAT. IS. IT! 3. He is hitting every single one of his milestones at or ahead of time. I will not lie. When the dr. focused in on his weight (he is gaining still, just at a slower rate than the kids he is being compared to) I did get a huge lump in my throat. However, after speaking with his incredible pediatrician he confirmed Vann was getting enough calories, not developmentally delayed, and had terrific muscle tone I was better and the urge to cry disappeared. We go back for his one year. Holy COW!

Nutrition: After buying jar after jar of food, I decided to make Vann's food. It has worked out great. I really surprised myself that I enjoy finding cool recipes and foods to mix together. He LOVES apples with a bit of cinnamon and sweet potato with veggies.

Playtime: Vann really enjoys cars and rolling or throwing balls. He loves the wheels on cars or anything for that matter. He will find them. We were very surprised when one day Ryan and I were rolling the ball to him and he picked it up and threw it...really threw it! We have a pitcher on our hands...taking after Daddy.

Milestones: Vann is a super crawler. He knows who "DaDa" is. I love when he sees a picture of Ryan and says DaDa! Each morning he wakes up, smiles, and goes through all of his tricks. He says "bye bye" and waves. Then, he looks around for his daddy and starts saying "DaDa. He looks at me and gives me a kiss. I just love it. He is pulling up on things and taking steps around furniture while holding on with one hand.

Fun times: The most exciting part of month 9 is Mommy coming home full time! I am beyond excited about this amazing opportunity (more on that to come). So far I have been home for half of Vann's month 9. It's been a learning experience, but an easy and welcomed adjustment. We went to the beach for Vann's first time at the end of May. It was a wonderful experience. The best part was seeing his excitement and curiosity when he saw the ocean and felt the sand for the very first time. Vann also had his first taste of Lyla's food. We were putting food in her bowl and he reached in and swiped a handful. I thought I got it all. Then, there came this cloudy drool...I dug my finger in his mouth and out came three tiny pieces of Lyla's breakfast. Boy was he mad when he didn't get it back.

Vann, you are such a precious part of our life. We can't imagine life without you in it. Thank you God for allowing us to be his parents and trust us with his life.

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