Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our Blog Has Moved!

Due to space limitations preventing us from uploading new photos to blogger, we have moved our blog to a new server.  We can now be found at  We are still in the test phase of the new blog, so please let us know if you are having trouble connecting, if there are broken links, or if there are long delays in accessing the site.  Your feedback is very helpful to us.  We don't want a blog that only functions for us!  Thanks.

-- Jason & Missy

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Week of Good Things

Remember when I used to blog at least once a week instead of scarcely once a month?  I'd like to change that, starting with today.  It feels like I've finally come up for air after a long time of trying not to drown, and it's nice to look around and feel the sunshine!  This has been the first week since, oh, January when I have only had to work my "usual" one day and haven't been preparing for travel or company or a birthday party.  I have loved all of those things, but I have also loved this week.  Here are a few good things from our week:

* A beautiful garden.  Magically, when my dad plants the garden, everything sprouts within days.  I know I should try harder to get it planted before he comes, but let's be honest, it is just in our best interest to procrastinate.  It is loverly.

* Hands, fingers, and thumbs.  Henry is OBSESSED with this book.  Like, drag it over to me and bang me in the knee with it until I read it to him.  He likes to drum-diddy-drum-diddy-dum-dum-dum on his belly as we read.  We probably read it ten times a I miss having family around to take their turn as story tellers.  Mom sent the four of us this blog post a couple of weeks ago saying, "This is so you guys!"  I think I will remember "Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb" like she remembers "Aunt Annie's Alligators, A, A, A."

* Check!  For at least two days of the week, I checked off all but one thing on my daily to-do list.  Huge accomplishment for the stay-at-home mom in me!!!

* End of an Era.  Jason sold his Eclipse this week, and the next day we drove home in a Highlander.  It's sad to see the car we dated in go, but fun to get our first car together after almost eight years of marriage.  (Also, it will be a bonus to be able to go to Costco without piling groceries around Henry...)

* Work = good.  Perhaps the most surprisingly thing on this list.  Wednesday, for the first day since I started this part-time gig, I walked away from the office without feeling like I was more behind than when I had arrived.  It has been a bit brutal the past few weeks (months), but it's just possible things are turning a corner for the good...

* Downward Facing Dog.  For months I have spent my one or two days at home frantically trying to get the laundry done and errands run with no time to spare.  But this week Henry and I ventured to the gym for the first time together.  Yoga, mmm.  There is nothing in this earthly world better than laying quietly in the dark on a mat in Savasana.

* Belgian chocolate.  Jason took a quick trip to Belgium for work last week and came home with the required box of delicious dark chocolate.  

* End of an Era, Part II.  We really enjoyed the series finale of The Office last week.  Knowing it was the last season, we held out until the end, and we're really glad we did.  Full of both TV and personal nostalgia, since this was the first show we started watching as a married couple.  A nice end to it.

* Into the attic.  Henry's room is officially the room of a toddler instead of a little baby.  We finally got all his outgrown baby clothes--along with bouncers and nursing covers and burp rags--tucked into the attic, leaving room for train sets and Little People and rocking horses.  This was no small feat, given the amazing wealth of clothes he has inherited from his cousins!  I honestly feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders--suddenly all the other projects hanging over my head feel small and manageable!  For the record, I am both happy to see the baby clothes tucked away (especially the newborn stuff, since it carries with it lots of angst and loneliness) and also suddenly flooded by nostalgia, certain that Henry is going off to college next week.

Just a few little things to love!

Spring Recap

In an upcoming post, I will tell you how this has been the first week of normalcy in months and months, how my to-do lists are finally starting to shrink instead of grow, how the weight of the world has shifted slightly from my shoulders.  And I want to tell you where we've been this spring, if only to have something to do with all these pictures we take!  In no particular order:

Amy's visit:  Yay for a short but sweet visit from Amy and her boys!  Steven brought some students up to do some DC things, so they hung out with us--large play date with friends, calzones and talking until we couldn't keep our eyes open any more, and breakfast at Eastern Market.  Just right.

Ready for some blue/bucks!
On the Mall:  In all the years that I ran up and down the National Mall during my lunch break or after work, I imagined bringing my kid down for a picnic between the museums someday.  That day finally arrived, and I was so happy Cal and Clark joined us.

Pride and Prejudice:  I walked in to this one night before putting Henry to bed.  All the things I love, right here in one picture.

Growing things:  Between travel and SNOW, we got a late start to getting our flower beds in order this year.  (It's a good thing no one fines us for having weeks in our beds.  We would be broke.)  It is lovely to have everything looking so lovely--herbs, flower beds, geraniums in window boxes.  And Henry was so helpful...

Work:  I worked a lot this spring.  I always work a lot in the spring, so trying to do a full time job (that is easily 50 hours a week or more) in two days a week was sort of laughable.  But there were some high points.  Like this picture with the now-former Secretary of the Interior, and this moment where Nate and I met Stanley.

On a jet plane:  I confess to a little bit of travel envy of Jason.  While I wrangled a big, busy, loud baby into a window seat and prayed that he would watch Baby Einstein over and over, he flew to Nigeria through London, watching movies, reading books, sleeping...  Sounds amazing.  And a stop in London is the icing on the cake.

Okay, that sums things up marginally well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Family Dedication

It was a big weekend, what with a birthday party, Mother's Day, and Henry's dedication at church!  What a special time!  I love the way our church does family dedications--especially how the church sang to Henry as our pastor walked him up and down the aisle for everyone to see.  He was very serious, but he did not, to my surprise (and Jason's slight disappointment) wail on his trip.

 There are so many babies in our church right now that dedications are a pretty regular occurrence--in fact, Henry's dedication was the third in three weeks, with more on the way!  It was so special to participate in it from the other angle--to be the ones being reminded about our own commitment to each other and to God, to be admonished to love each other and to hold Henry loosely because he belongs to God and not us, to hear the congregation commit to coming alongside us to raise Henry to be a godly man.  It was very awesome.  Such a cool thing to share with family and friends!

So glad that Dawn and Brian and boys could come!
And extra nice to do on Mother's Day, especially because Jason and I both got to spend the day with our own mothers!  And, by the way, I have a much higher reverence for Mother's Day after a year of experiencing it first hand.  This motherhood thing is not for the faint of heart...
Our only mother-son pic for the day.  Captures reality so perfectly...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Big ONE

We all headed down to the fishin' hole for Henry's first birthday party--almost literally, as it stopped raining about 45 minutes before the party started!  It was muggy and soggy (and I was more than a little panicky) but fun!  

We had brunch and grape caterpillars and fruit pizza bar and a "Kid's Pond" with pretzel rod "fishing poles," hummus "bait," goldfish, and worms in dirt.  I loved the fishing theme.  I suspect it will make a repeat appearance some year when he and his friends can appreciate it a bit more...

It all turned out really nice, thanks in no small part to my mom and dad, who spent most of their annual visit doing yard work, making fishing poles, and prepping breakfast casseroles.  Could. Not. Have done it without them.

A lot of Henry's little friends were able to come and celebrate with us.  We reminisced with a couple friends about the last time we'd had everyone in our back yard...and how many kids we'd added to the party since then!


We were so happy that Jason's parents, Grandmom, and Justin all drove in for the party.  Henry absolutely LOVED all the attention!

Hanging with Uncle Justin and Grandma

Turned out so. cute.  Thank you, Pinterest.
Henry is so funny about the various "smashing" desserts he's had for his first birthday.  You'd never know he was enjoying it...until you try to take it away...  The fruit pizza was no exception.

Our friends were so gracious to celebrate the first year of Henry with us--as they have celebrated his coming, his birth, and everything from his first smile to his first crawl.  We missed closing out the first year with Nora, Jack, and Rusher, who have all been celebrating their own first birthdays far away, and we wished Henry's cousins could have been there, but we feel so blessed that we had so many friends to fill our yard.  What a good way to say, "Yay! We made it through the first year!"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Momhood at a Year

I've been under no illusions that parenthood is a walk in the park.  Since Jason and I were later to the baby-having game than nearly everyone else in our lives, we've had a front row seat as sisters and close friends have navigated the treacherous waters between Dual Income, No Kids and parenthood in all its glory.  We knew it would be hard.  We knew we would be tired.  We knew it would be forever.  We knew everything.would.change.

But no amount of knowing prepares you for doing it.

I have one kid.  He's a great kid, too--cheerful, naps like a champ, applauds when I come home from work.  And still today I found myself spinning like a top.  I made breakfast.  I scrubbed tomatoes (which were apparently not on Henry's Top Ten list today) off the floor on my hands and knees.  I changed the sheets and did two loads of laundry.  I danced to Veggie Tales music.  I organized a girls' night out.  I made baked oatmeal for a playdate, and then I was at least 17 minutes late to pick up Dawn and co. for said playdate.  I packed a lunch.  I failed to pack extra clothes for Henry and therefore strapped him into his carseat wearing only a hoodie and a diaper after he gloriously peed through his overalls.  I consulted on a press release.  I sewed burp cloths for a friend and wrapped her shower gift.  I read "Peek-a-Hoo" three times and "Alice in Wonderland" at least twice.  I responded to requests for meetings next week.  I made a lot of animal sounds.  I kissed and consoled a head bumped against the coffee table and the floor and the grass.  I made dinner.  I cleaned the bathrooms and swept the floor (again).  I completely stopped what I was doing three times during the day to nurse a baby.

And at 4 o'clock, I grabbed a magazine, a glass of water, and the baby monitor and just.about.sat.down on the deck...and, just like has happened nearly every one of the past 354 days, Henry woke up.  I was exhausted.  And I only have one kid.

As we close in on the one year mark of parenthood, though, I was reflecting today on how far Jason and I have come as parents.  I would have been horrified, for example, to strap a pant-less Henry into his car seat last summer, and it really wasn't that long ago that it took an entire week, not a morning, to finish two loads of laundry.  When Henry was first born, I wanted to cry at the thought that I might never eat a hot meal again, but these days I don't even notice if my dinner is still warm when I sit down to it.  Today I nursed Henry in the car without a second thought and pulled a binky out of my bag at precisely the right moment.  And tonight Jason, Henry, and I sat together on the deck and ate salmon zucchini, and quinoa like a real family.

I watch my sisters juggle three kids each, and while they don't necessarily make it look easy, they pull it off beautifully.  But it is hard.  But it is good, too.  Harder than the old life, but the colors are deeper and truer and richer.  Even if I am so tired I can barely crawl up the stairs to take out my contacts. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Henry at Eleven Months

Dear Henry--

Most of the pictures I took of you for this month are bum-shots of you headed in the other direction.  You are mobile and loving it.  Dad and I are loving it, too--now that our 12-hour flights to and from Hawaii are behind us, we are very happy to have you crawling.  You love being able to go wherever you want and explore our house...and we are right behind you, catching all the things we missed with our babyproofing!

We don't have a weight or height for this month, but I know that my biceps continue to get stronger (but not feeling stronger) and your clothes have suddenly shrunk.  It snowed here this week (what?!?),  but you'd never know it by this outfit, which is a good inch too short, and the bare feet, since taking off your socks is a diaper change ritual (I think you like to watch me go crawling for them after you intentionally drop them behind the changing table.  Nice.)  You definitely had a growth spurt this month!  (And your hair keeps growing, too--the days of your baldness are history!)

Now that you can crawl, you have quickly figured out how to get into your own toy box.  It's fun to watch you play with your toys in a whole new way now--stacking blocks, putting things in holes, pushing buttons you couldn't get before.  You still love to read and to pick out your own books.  Right now your favorites are "Goodnight Moon," "Peek-a-Who," and the rainbow ribbon book.  (I keep trying to squeeze "Pride and Prejudice" in there...)  And you love to play with Dad on the floor.

The other day I was singing "Deep and Wide" with you and you were laughing and watching me be silly, and I suddenly flashed back to doing the same thing with you when you were just a couple months old.  It's strange to think that was only a little while ago--what a different boy you are!  I can't believe that we are only a few weeks away from your first birthday...


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Girly Girl

Isn't little Olivia RaVae the sweetest thing you've ever seen?  We are so, so excited to have her in our family!  She had a dramatic entrance yesterday morning, coming a couple weeks earlier than expected so that Kim had to be flown via helicopter to Spokane to give birth (they wanted Olivia to be born at a hospital with a good NICU just in case).  Casey is such an awesome, proud dad.  I love it.  We've been waiting for this little girl!

I showed Henry Olivia's picture this morning and he smiled and giggled.  I think he will like having this new friend, and I like having a new niece!