Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bit o' blueberries...bit 'o nostalgia!

Do you realize how many things I have NOT posted?! I don't even have Easter pictures up yet! Sheesh! Let's hope I get a LOT done during the month of June! Jared and I leave tomorrow for Austin with 19 of our students for State Solo & Ensemble FAVORITE contest/trip of the year! Actually, I hate the contest...its tainted, but the trip is great! While the kids go to Schlitterbaun on Friday, our accompanist and I go shopping at the outlet malls in San Marcos!!! Hooray for miles and miles of discount clothing and goods!!! We already have our day mapped out...just in case I crater half way through the day and the humidity of south Texas! This year, though, since I'm like 4 and a half weeks from Lily Hope coming to say, or scream, hello, Jared and I are going separately so we can take our time and stop when needed. I am just now starting to get slightly uncomfortable...nothing bad at all, but not bus worthy! That is for sure!
Yesterday morning, Jakob and I made blueberry muffins together. We have started doing this every two weeks or so. He LOVES to pretend like he is cooking, so it seems like a natural fit. He did so well yesterday mixing, pouring, scooping...everything. Last night in bed, though, this was his prayer: "Hey, God? I make blueberry muffins today with Mommy. (Pause.) Yeah, we make them for You. (Pause. Looks at me) He says that made Him happy." Melted my made me happy too! (The picture above is NOT of our muffins, trust me.)

Two of my friends have done posts this last week about giving their sweet little ones baby food for the first time...thanks for the memories Ashley and Emily! So, with all these thoughts of food, past and present, I thought I would pull up Jakob's first tries with the spoon. I think he was better prepared for the moment than we were, truthfully! Who holds a spoon that way and kneels on the floor to feed their baby?! Good grief, I was clueless! But, look at those sweet fat thing was for sure...he was a fat and happy breast baby until we had jar foods! Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Bob and Valarie!

Today is my parents' 30th! I am so in awe of those two as individuals, but especially as a couple. They have always shown Brandon, Leslee, and me such a Biblical example of marriage...a gift I didn't appreciate in its fullness until I was married. When I think about all that they have weathered over their 30 years together, it makes me tired! I mean, my high school years alone were enough to ruin a marriage! I remember when I was in late elementary/early middle school and my mom was going through the hell that is Multiple Sclerosis without a definite diagnosis. I watched my dad care for her before all others. He showed me how to be loved by my husband someday. My dad cleans the kitchen for my mom most nights, if not all nights...including the stove! I don't mean a wipe-down...I mean, he takes apart the gas burners and cleans the kitchen! What a guy! Daddy, I love the way you cherish mom. I love how you serve alongside her and allow your strengths to boost her weaknesses and vica versa. I admire your patience in all ways...why didn't I get that trait!? I thank you so much for never leaving, for always providing, and always making home fun. I really never knew we lived in the ghetto until we were out! Ha! Thanks for my sad, sick sense of humor...I owe it all to you! Thank you, dad, for your godly guidance and counsel to Jared and me during these last 7 years, especially the last three. I know that you will be cheering the loudest when we are debt free together. mom. You all know what I think of her as my momma...incredible! AS a wife, a Proverbs 31 woman...stunning. I remember growing up that my mom ALWAYS had a dessert made for dinner. One night Brandon and I were whining about what she had made (ridiculous in hind-sight!), and she said something along these line to us, "I will always make what dad wants before I make what you want!" That is so not word for word, but it stuck with me greatly! I have never doubted my parents' love for us kids, but we all three knew that we were not at the top of the list! My mom made lemonaid out of lemons more often than I ever knew at the time. My parents sacrificed so very much for mom my to stay at home with us, and we never knew it! Mom was so careful to make the days fun, creative, and full...who knew that the rest of the world didn't have grilled cheese and kool-aid everyday during the summer and call it a picnic?! Our house was a home because of my mom. As soon as Brandon and I were old enough to stay home alone for a few hours, my parents went on a coke date everyday when he came home from work...they still do. I love it. My mom has shown me how to stand with my husband and love him even if I don't necessarily agree with him all of the time. Mom, you showed me how to hurt gracefully and love endlessly. You inspire me to be a more Biblical wife to Jared and mom to Jakob and Lily. Thank you so much for your example. I know that both of my parents are mine and Jared's greatest prayer warriors and cheerleaders. I am so proud of them and for them! Enjoy Alaska, y'all! We love you so very much and wish you the happiest of anniversaries!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Behind the 8 Ball!

Whew! We are so close to being done with this school year! Woo Hoo! South Pacific went WONDERFULLY (if you exclude those dozens of new grey hairs I have now!) on Friday night. Beauty and the Beast went WONDERFULLY (if you exclude those dozens of new grey hairs Jared has now!) on Tuesday night! Jared's TVMS concert is tonight, and we will be in Austin next weekend for State solo and ensemble contest. Then, Jared starts his summer work at the dealership on Monday! Whew, I tell ya! While we are tired (understatement of the century!) we feel very accomplished and proud of our kids! In the meantime, we had some pretty significant events in our lives this weekend! Jakob turned 3...THREE...on Friday! Crazy. I swore that I would not be the mom who always says, "I just can't believe it! Time goes so fast! It seems just like yesterday he was a baby!" And yet...I said all of those things over the weekend! Since South Pacific was Friday night, we had a small, family-only party on Saturday evening. Cutest thing, though...Jakob believed with all of his heart that South Pacific was our high school students' gift to him for his birthday. He sang along, narrated for Nana during the show, and let her know who everyone really was. SO funny! Afterwards, our kids sang Happy Birthday to him while he was on stage, and he smiled this smile of absolute bliss...I have never seen his face look like that before! It was truly priceless. is the first of many posts from this weekend, but this one is the most important of all: Jakob's birthday!!!

Jakob's first doctor's kit: "Now, I'm just like Dr. Liz!"

Jakob and MerMer on the playground

Jakob's fan club (minus a few!) Nana, Daddy, BB, Pa, MerMer, and Jakob (mom behind the camera with Poppy and Bubba at work in Oklahoma and Perryton)

Jakob's Backyardigan Cake

He LOVES people singing to him!

Evidently, we did well!

He's getting so good at giving that posed, 'make-my-momma-happy' smile on cue!

Jakob with BB, Pa, and MerMer...they are ALL pretty fond of one another!!!

Sorry you can't see their faces, but I just love this one!!! Jakob and Nana are pretty tight, to say the VERY least!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Need an Excuse.... pray tonight? Here you go: the school board meets tonight with plans to finalize several 'additional positions.' I will be there at the beginning to introduce and honor our 21 State Solo and Ensemble Qualifiers. Please pray specifically for one of those 'additional positions' to be a NECESSARY choir director! Closed door session starts in roughly one hour, 6 pm. Thanks for petitioning on our behalf!
"We do not make requests of You because we are righteous but because of Your great mercy." Daniel 9: 18b

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fruit Salad, by Jakob

Start with half of an apple (served out of a used Baskin Robbins cup, of course!)
hmmm...I think I can do better than this...

Show a banana who is boss

This is why God gives us flexible cheeks...

Finish off with rasberries from Daddy!

These are of Jakob at roughly 18 months old. I found them tonight, teared up, and decided it was time to share! Go get yourself some fruit!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Past, Present, and Future

Last night Jared and Jakob bought my Mother's Day gifts. We have done SO much work in our backyard this spring trying to get a play-haven ready for Jakob this summer since his world is gong to be quite crazy. The problem is that there is (was) no where for adults to sit. I had mentioned to Jared that if we could swing it (ha) I would like a really nice porch swing to sit in this summer with Miss Lily while Jakob played. I really didn't expect him to swing it as well as he did! I'll have pictures of the backyard toys he bought me later. For today, I just want to thank Jared for the amazing dad and husband he is. I cannot wait to see him recreate this moment with a pink bundle of joy. I love you, Jared.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sorry, Mom...

I really hate cleaning house. Hate it. I enjoy and prefer a clean house, but I would enjoy and prefer for someone else to do it! For those of you that know my mom, she is a Proverbs 31 woman through and through, and God bless my parents, they tried with me, they really did! My mom and I used to fight when I was growing up over typical things (mainly because we are crazy similar in so many ways!), but the number one door-slamming offense was that my room wasn't cleaned. Knock-down, drag-out fights. I have always hated cleaning. My mom, however, keeps the most clean, yet comfortable house you could imagine. I love her for that. I love her even more when she comes and does my house that way! Jared and I lovingly refer to her as the 'night fairy' when she comes and things 'magically' get done! It seems as though many people who hate to clean or tidy up marry their polar opposite...a neat freak! Those people usually end up in a very workable, compromised, clean and tidy relationship. God's greatest joke? Jared and I BOTH hate it. We both work in chaos quite nicely, thank you very much! All that to say this: the month of May is crazy...we all know that! Next weekend is the musical, Jakob's birthday and party in our backyard, and Lily's baby shower! What a fun weekend! The catch? My mom and brother are coming to spend a long weekend with us, and we are having Jakob's party at our house. SO...I have to clean. Thanks to the H1N1 Virus and over-dramatic cancellations, I suddenly have more time on my hands! So, today while Jakob is at PDO and Jared doesn't need me in class, I am trying to get a lot done. (The fact that Jared had to go buy new underwear was a sure sign that laundry was WAY behind...I know, it is not something I'm proud of!) So, here is my top 10 list of things I hate cleaning/doing the most around the house! I'm hoping when I get this off of my chest I will have a blazing productive day!

10. Vacuuming around furniture and toys (I should probably move things, I guess! hmmm...)

9. Clearing off furniture to dust in West Texas wind and is a pointless venture!!!

8. Washing windows (Okay, I have never actually done this, but I know I need to, and it just seems pointless...again, the West Texas wind and dust.)

7. Making beds...I still stick by my elementary school argument, mom, that it makes no sense to make something up that you are going to crawl back into that very night! And yet, I'm trying to teach Jakob to do so. Vicious cycle. I think this makes me a hypocrite.

6. Matching and folding socks. Does anyone else's skin/fingertips feel funny after folding a basket of socks?

5. Wringing out a mop. I really wish that Swiffer Wet Jet was as great as advertised.

4. Cleaning bathtubs and shower walls. Give me a thousand toilets over one tub surround any day.

3. Unloading the dishwasher. This one might not be as bad in a bigger kitchen where everything had a place. I wouldn't know. Maybe I'll go shopping later for kitchen organization. Shopping...there's something I can get into!

2. Folding, hanging, and putting away laundry. I really don't mind doing it, I just hate putting it away...except for Jakob's clothes. I love folding and putting his away...always have. That's weird, I think.

1. Doing dishes. Jared knew before we married that I just didn't do dishes. I almost added it to our vows. I hate it. He knows that I am either groveling for forgiveness, setting the 'mood,' or finishing up a study of being a better wife if I do the dishes. Hate it. With a passion.

Okay, I'm off to hang up (ugh.) another load of laundry followed by unloading the dishes Jared did last night and finishing up what is left in the sink. No, I'm not apologizing or setting a mood...just figure that after complaining this much, I should go be productive while he is at work. Merry Maids, where are you?!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nostalgia, Part 2

I was telling a friend last week that I was beginning to remember the things that women are made to forget after childbirth...otherwise they would not have any more children! You know what I mean, right?! Here is a semi-play-by-play of Jakob's arrival into this world: I went into labor around 6 am on Monday, May 15, 2006 and had Jakob via c-section at 9:00 pm that night. It was a very long day of membrane stripping (sorry...that may have been too much), pitosin adjusting (on, off, on, off, on...), water breaking, and never getting past a 4! I wasn't a labor champ as it turned out! And that was just fine with me! By the grace of God, He had really prepared my heart for that outcome, I believe. I was completely at peace when the decision was made to slice me open...or maybe I was just completely oblivious to what was really going down! Jakob was stuck, and my body just didn't seem interested in getting things over and done! So, our healthy 7 pound baby boy came into this world to a very tired but proud momma and daddy! Here are the night before pictures...
Young, dumb, and unassuming....

I really canont believe that I am putting this picture on here...but it does have a great story! Jared and I wanted to have all of these artsy pictures taken before Jakob was born, but alas, we were broke as all get out! So, my mom took this attempt the night before. I couldn't see the bottom of my belly for the last two months or so and had missed the arrival of those inevitable stretch marks. We didn't have a torso-length mirror in our bathroom, so I never saw my bare belly and the lines that were popping up and out. I would lie in bed and tell Jared how glad I was that I didn't have any stretch marks. He never said a word...never. It wasn't until we took this picture that I saw them...I nearly died of embarrassment! I couldn't believe that he didn't tell me one of the MANY times I 'bragged' about my belly! Now, we just think its hilarious...and I'm watching the 'roadmap' form this time around!

Jakob Mark Hardy, 9 am, May 16, 2006...12 hours old

One perk of a c-section?...Daddy gets to change the first diaper!!! No black tar for me!

Our first family of three picture!

I cannot believe that we are only 9 weeks away from being a family of four...crazy! I am so ready to see her face, smell her skin, and steal those sweet moments that have no words of explanation. Jakob was and Lily will be worth every bit of discomfort, pain, and inability to roll over in bed for MONTHS without full-body effort...that is the part I mentioned forgetting about! I swear that rolling over post-c-section is the worst part of all, but bring it on!!!