T H I R T Y - T W O

We love our man.
And on Monday he turns 32.
We met when we were 18 or 19. In college. We can't really remember the exact moment we met.
He became my best friend when we were 21. We got engaged at 22 and married at 23. And now he's about to be 32! Cray. Cray.
(That also means I'm soon to be 32 as well).

So thankful for him everyday!
Wish him a H A P P Y birthday if you see him!

Also, don't forget to enter the G I V E A W A Y with JORD! Click HERE to enter.

A Wooden Watch for Him This Valentine's Day

Every year for Valentine's Day, Mr. Christopher and I make the same plan- to not get each other gifts and to instead plan a date night out and call it good. And yet every year Mr. Christopher brings home flowers on Valentine's Day and usually something sweet and every year I give him a date night out and call it good.

I used to be better about these sorts of things, back when we had more free time and less children. I love celebrating any special occasion and do a pretty darn good job for most things, but Valentine's Day (for Chris at least) always seems to skirt by without much thought for him. Poor guy.

This year I changed my tune by gifting him a beautiful wood watch from JORD. The girls happily helped.

We've grown up a bit in the last few years, so I was happy to gift him something to match and celebrate that- something unique, special and manly all wrapped up in one.
JORD has so many wood watches to choose from. For him, I chose the Dark Sandalwood & Smoke wood watch from the Frankie Series. I loved it's simplicity and color and knew it would easily match his work attire as well as his casual home and weekend attire. They have lots of great wood watches for men.

Not only that, they also have women's wood watches too. I've kinda had my eye on the Zebra & Ivory wood watch because it's dreeeeeamy. (Hint, hint. Mother's Day Mr. Christopher).
And because we love you and we love a good giveaway too, we've collaborated with JORD to offer you a chance to win $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! To enter, click HERE or the link below. The giveaway ends February 25th at 11:59 PM, so be sure to enter before it does!


<a id="woodwatches_com_widget_article"  title="Watch Gift Ideas">Watch Gift Ideas</a>
<script src="//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/aimeebeeblog/468/60"  type="text/javascript"></script>

PreK & not being in control

Recently we began the process of enrolling Eliza in public school PreK. In Tulsa there are a few different options. There are the traditional neighborhood public schools. Ours is less than a mile from our home. Then there's the magnet schools. Three to be exact. Only one is free for PreK, however. And then there's always the option of transferring to a different neighborhood school. Not to mention the other options: private school (which is out of the question regardless because of money) or homeschooling (a definite option and pretty common in the Tulsa area).

Thinking about everything back in the fall so easily overwhelmed me. I didn't even know where to begin, not to mention having to decide what option was "best" for Eliza.

Knowing the enrollment date was in early February, I began doing some research back before Christmas. Part of me wanted to just go the easy way out and not research anything or attempt to put her in any of the magnet schools (or "lottery" schools), for fear of being rejected anyway and having all that time and effort wasted.

But then I remembered how many appointments I attend for Lindie each week and how Eliza faithfully and cheerfully attends alongside. And I remembered how much time and energy I put into Lindie's needs and that Eliza only has one event in a given week that requires my attention and scheduling: dance. With that in mind, I reached out to our neighborhood association for input and started putting the pieces together. After a few hours combined of perusing school websites and talking with Chris, I decided to visit Mayo Demonstration School- a magnet school in the heart of Tulsa that is actually free for PreK. I set up my tour date (a requirement to even be able to apply) and made a plan.

It was slightly surreal walking into an elementary school thinking of my little Rosie walking down the hallways. She still seems so small and young and fragile and not ready. But she's 3 going on 4, even though I still think of her as my tiny baby I'm realizing she's not. Sadly.

After the tour I came home encouraged but also still very unsure of what is "best" for Eliza. Going to a magnet school would definitely be a great option for her, but it would also require me to drive her across town everyday versus going to school right in our neighborhood, a mere two minute drive. It would also mean we wouldn't be eligible to apply to the other magnet schools, one of which is right next to the Little Light House, an amazing, gospel-centered and free school for children with disabilities of which Lindie is on the wait list for.

And of course theres always the concerns in the back of my mind for Lindie. Whatever school Eliza goes to I would, of course, consider for Lindie and yet I'm still so new and fresh with everything that I have barely even begun thinking about IEPs and special education programs and the millions and bajillions of future meetings I'm sure I will sit in with teachers and faculty to talk about and advocate for what is best for Lindie.

How am I to know Eliza's best or Lindie's best for all these things now? How am I to know any of that?

And then I remembered that I don't.

An old friend recently contacted me and told me that she was reminded of how God orchestrated our move to Tulsa from Missouri a little over two yersas ago and how incredible it is to think on it. There was so much that had to fall in place for that to even happen. Just thinking about Tulsa itself- I had never stepped foot in Tulsa (except maybe for a pee break once on the way to my sister's house) before the weekend we traveled to Tulsa for Chris's job offer. And yet here I am living and breathing in Tulsa with friends and a church body and, even better, there is an amazing, gospel-centered, free school for children with disabilities and I live less than a mile from it with a baby with Down syndrome!

God knew! He knew it all and orchestrated our move knowing it would allow sweet Lindie to attend the Little Light House and here I am worrying about sending Eliza to this school or that. Obviously he can and will put Eliza exactly where he wants her to be, whether that is Mayo or our neighborhood school or homeschooling or whatever he decides. He knows and he's in charge and I don't have to be.

And what a relief that I don't have to be.

So last week when I submitted the application for the magnet school I breathed a breath of relief. Not because I figured it all out or know the answers or can hope for one thing or another, but that I know that whatever happens happens. The Lord's hand is over it all. He cares about Eliza. He cares about her future. And he knows exactly what will happen and where she will be next year, even if I don't.

For that I am so grateful.

WHOLE30 update

Today is officially day 9 of my first go at the WHOLE30. I decided to try out the WHOLE30 as an attempt to eat healthier. And surprisingly it has felt easier than I thought it would be, albeit it is only day 9 of 30.

So far the hardest part has been guarding myself so I don't accidentally snack on something that is non-compliant while making Miss Rosie's meals. (Today I *literally* licked my finger-o-jam after making her a PB&J and immediately spit it out in the sink. I think she was very confused).

That's not to say that it hasn't been a cake-walk. I miss my chocolate and ice cream and chips and salsa. I even miss the occasional cream in my coffee, or at least having the option. But overall, it hasn't been that bad.

And already 9 days in theres a few things I've begun to notice:

  • No headaches. For a long time I've woken up to headaches in the morning. Not every morning, but more mornings than not. I've always attributed it to a lack of water, so I usually start the day by drinking a glass of water. Yet, since beginning the WHOLE30 I haven't woken up with a headache once. That's awesome!
  • WAAAAY more energy! Like for reals. Remember when I used to have a blog and I was really crafty and blogged like a million times a week? That was because I had a lot of ENERGY. That was pre-children, obviously. Since beginning the WHOLE30 I have had much more energy. I am not super tired at night when I go to bed, and I wake up pretty lively in the morning earlier than I had been waking up. Score!
  • Those crazy cravings. I also have realized a little more about my cravings. My cravings for something sweet peaks in the afternoon (around the girls' rest times) and after dinner. And now that I know this I have realized that on most days pre-WHOLE30 I allowed myself to eat sweets at least twice a day, during those craving times. Something to change going forward.

I've also learned a few things (and bought a few things). I learned how to make Spaghetti Squash and Shepherd's Pie. I've perfected the "perfect seared chicken breast" and I've already finished one bottle of extra-virgin olive oil. I had to buy a zester (how did I get by on 8.5 years of marriage without a zester?) and a second potato peeler (where, oh where, did the first one go?). And I finally tried coconut milk! (It's just okay).

It's been a good experience so far. I love that I am doing something that requires discipline in the area of eating. I love that I'm learning more about food in general. And I'm eager to see how my body will feel in 12 days. I'm especially eager to see how my body will react when reintroducing foods. 

So, wish me luck! I can't wait to update when I finish. If you interested in learning more about the WHOLE30 you can find the book HERE or in your public library!

FREE lifetime National Park All Access Pass to individuals with a disability

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. One of my goals in this precious life is to make a hell of a lemonade! 🍋 

One of the perks of having a child with a disability is a FREE lifetime Access Pass to all of the National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands. Because of this, we have decided to “make lemonade” and begin our adventure of visiting as many National Parks as we can as a family with #littlelindiefernas our guide .

With that in mind, we need your suggestions! We want to travel to our first National Park as a family this spring, probably April. We want something that’s drive-able, warm (enough) and family (especially baby) friendly. Give us your best suggestions! .

P.S. if you have a child with a disability and are interested in getting your own all access pass for them (ahem, for your family 😉), you can easily get yours at nps.gov. We applied for ours less than two weeks ago and got it in the mail today!

To claim your All Access Pass go HERE.

eating update

Eating has always been a challenge for this girl. Since about a month into her life Lindie has received the bulk of her nutrition via a g-tube. It’s so easy for me as her Mama to get down, to compare her story to others, to wonder what I am doing so wrong that she won’t just *eat.* .

And then I have to remember that it’s not really about me and that Lindie Fern is her own woman (well, baby girl actually 😉). I will faithfully challenge her do more (therapy, different feeding tactics, new flavors, encouragement, etc) but at the end of the day I must remember that Lindie will do what Lindie will do when Lindie wants to do it. Plain and simple. 

Over the weekend she decided show me exactly this when she downed a whole jar of baby food in one setting. (This is a BIG deal for Lindie girl). And not only that- she was actually engaged, opening her mouth, putting her tongue down and excited to eat. (This has taken months to get here)! Praise. The. Lord!

My prayer for her is that she gets better and better with eating solids so that we can transition away from the g-tube and to eating “normal” foods. Here’s to hoping I have enough breastmilk to last in the meantime!

10 months old

Extraordinary. Extra-perfect. 💗.

Yesterday #littlelindiefern was officially #10monthsold. How. in. the. world. is she already 10 months old?! Crazy .

At 10 months Lindie Fern is over 14 pounds (round it up to 15 if you count the blessed helmet). She belly laughs & smiles a ton. She loves to sit upright while assisted & grab our faces. She does great with rolling over & is decent with tummy time. (I think she will be a pro at tummy time in a few weeks when the helmet comes off). .

At 10 months she’s back to napping three times a day (as opposed to her two naps a day last month) & sleeps happily through the night. She’s about to outgrow her rock-n-play & will move into the crib soon .

There are so many things about Lindie that I love & want to remember in this phase. I love her obsession with her maraca. (Like seriously loves it, wants it all. the. time). I love the way she pulls my hand close to her chest when she wants to snuggle & how she plays with my hair. I also love her reaction when Dada gets home from work (body spasms & big smiles) & how she rests her head on his shoulder for a hug .

I absolutely love Lindie Fern & am truly thankful for her everyday. She is extraordinary & has so much in store for her beautiful life. I’m so lucky I get to be a part of it. 
Blogging tips