Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I went to Dr. Bowie last week for a heartbeat checkup and was told that the heartbeat sounded "beautiful", for which I was and am truly grateful. Carter is so much more active than his sister ever thought about being. I'm not sure how I feel about that, since Saralynn has been a ball of activity and flutter since the day she arrived on planet Earth. Carter is more active than he is still- spending most of his day kicking and fluttering around in there. Not sure what he's doing, but oh, my, is he ever-moving! I felt him at 18 weeks vs. at 20 weeks when I felt Saralynn. Garrett couldn't feel her with his hand on my tummy until about 20 or 27 weeks, but he can already feel Carter and laughed quite a bit last night at my sighs. Good grief- it was 11:30 and I just wanted to go to sleep- is that alot to ask? :)
It's been a busy last few weeks, some of the details I will share later. Our little family appreciates your prayers for us as we navigate this thing called life, and we're grateful for the health we've been blessed with. :)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I have alot of catch-up blogging to do- more thoughts on our anniversary, our "working vacation", etc., but I wanted to get this up for anyone that might read this and not already know our news. Facebook and Twitter are staples at our house these days, so the blog takes a back-burner sometimes, but nonetheless, here we go...
Garrett and I picked Saralynn up from Jonesboro on our way home from North Carolina on Monday night. We had our ultrasound Tuesday at 1:00, so I took the day off, and Garrett was scheduled to go to work after the ultrasound, so we had a nice morning at home with Saralynn. We took her to the playground (indoor, of course), and then were off to Dr. Bowie's office. We picked Mimi up on the way and the four of us anxiously awaited "knowing".
Mrs. Cheryl, the ultrasound tech, called me back and we got started. Saralynn didn't understand my having to lay down on the table and kept telling me to "wake up". Too funny! We'd already discussed that we were going to Mommy's doctor's office and a nice lady was going to use a special pen to take some pictures of our baby that she would show us on the TV, so Saralynn walked in and immediately glued into the TV. Mrs. Cheryl started out the ultrasound with the typical measurements, etc. The baby's legs were closed very tightly, and it was down low in my pelvic region, so she was not optimistic about being able to determine the gender. She kept going with the measurements, and at one point said if she had to render a guess she'd guess that Baby Pelt was a girl. That would've meant welcoming Caroline Grace in November. She kept looking and measuring, and, almost surprised, exclaimed at one point, "Oh, I saw it! It's a boy! It's definitely a boy!" My mom had seen a little boy part cross the screen, too, she thought, but didn't say anything- hoping Mrs. Cheryl saw it, too.
I must admit that I was so very excited. I've felt like this was a boy all along, but for no "real" reason. No dreams to speak of, etc. But, I felt like it was a boy. I am over the moon that my little family will now include one of each- my precious Saralynn and Carter, whom I can't wait to meet in November.
A little about his name: My maiden name is Carter, and since I go by my first name and part of my middle name, I had to legally drop my maiden name when Garrett and I got married. Once I realized this as a teenager, I said I wanted to name a little boy Carter, and my sweet husband obliged. We knew a son would be named Carter when we were pregnant with Saralynn. At that point, we thought we'd give him Garrett's middle name, which is Hanson, his mother's maiden name, but Garrett wasn't sure this time around if he liked that, so we kept tossing around ideas. He has always loved the name Jackson, so we threw that around a little, and decided on it as a middle name. It took a little convincing on my part, mostly because Jackson is typically used as a first name, but I have since come to love it! Garrett's paternal grandparents lived in Jackson, GA, and Garrett has beautifully fond memories of his childhood in Jackson, so it's an homage to his grandparents. I can't think of a more beautiful way to honor them.
Garrett was a little stunned at first to find out he was having a boy, I think. There's a "pattern" on his dad's side of the family for quite a ways back that produces babies of the same gender in pairs (two boys born to one family, then two girls- not one of each that is known), so he "broke tradition" by producing both a boy and a girl. The Pelt name's continuation hinged on Garrett and his brother, so this takes the heat off of Daniel- the name will continue on with our Carter.
Saralynn is beside herself and tells everyone she sees that she's "having a boy baby for her Mommy". I think she's going to be a fabulous big sister. We took her to the pool to swim last night, and since she's infatuated with my ever-growing belly these days, she rubbed it as usual. I asked her where her brother was, and her response was "in the TV". Oops. We may've bobbled the follow-through with the ultrasound, but we'll get it back. She's very sweet to talk to the baby and sing him songs, and I can't wait for her to feel him kick. I started feeling him regularly on vacation this weekend- maybe because I was still and riding most of the time, so I could focus on each little movement, but he seems very active at this point. He's measuring big, so we'll have to wait and see, but at this point, we're overjoyed that we have a healthy baby boy coming to meet us in November. Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes. Please join us in continuing to pray God's blessings over Carter and Saralynn as they grow. TO HIM BE THE GLORY!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
When I was a little girl, 5 1/2 to be exact, my Daddy took me to a concert at our church. My little brother had just been born, but I wanted to go hear the Nelons, so we had a Daddy/daughter date. Kelly Nelon, whom I still admire as an artist, sang a song to her husband called "Only God Could Love You More". I told my Dad that March night in 1986 that I would sing that song to my husband one day. Surely he didn't think much about it, but I did, and fast-forwarding 18 years, that's exactly what I did. I was able to pull the surprise over on Garrett, his family, and most of our wedding party. Our youth minister and my grandfather performed our ceremony, and Bobby had a small table with a microphone on it beside him, and when it came time for me to sing, he handed me the mic. Garrett says his first thought was that I had written some poem or something and he freaked out because he didn't have anything prepared. I'm not sure I could've read anything, but singing comes naturally, so it seemed like the thing to do. Never have I been more confident in my singing than I was that day. I sang to no one but my husband (we had said our vows by this point), and the Father who gave him to me, and it was one of the most surreal yet special moments of my life. The lyrics are below, and yes, 5 years later, they still ring true.
Happy Wedding Rehearsal Day, Garrett! I love you- and only God could love you more than I do,
I asked the Lord for someone, and I always knew
That in God's time and in God's plan, it would be someone like you.
All my hopes and all my dreams were suddenly fulfilled
It's almost unbelievable our love was in His will
Only God could love you more
For He gave me this love I have to give
What a blessing to know He's your Lord
For only God could love you more than I do.
I'm tempted to be saying that we met by chance
But God was there at every turn, in every circumstance
To share this love God gave to me seems such a fearful task
But every moment we have shared is more than I could ask
Only God could love you more
For He gave me this love I have for you
What a blessing to know He's your Lord
For only God could love you more than I do.
Only God could love you more than I do!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
We took dinner to the families last night, and the same thing occurred. She visited with Charlie pretty well but still didn't want much to do with Molly Kate. But, on the way to the Skipworths', she said "I gonna hold Baby Ruby and play with her toes." Oh, be still my heart. The one picture we got of them is below.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
We have a cute little book that has a place for Saralynn's face as we read. You'll have to forgive the quality. She usually doesn't want her picture taken much, but asked for it this time, and all I had handy was the camera phone.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
On a much lighter note, I'll also schedule the 18-week ultrasound that will tell us Baby's gender at tomorrow's appointment. I'll keep everyone updated on that...
Saralynn is going through Potty Training Boot Camp this week. In all actuality, she's doing very well. My mom asked last Friday what we could do to help be sure that we were on the same page with day care, etc. to help her benefit most. Miss Cara informed Mimi that Saralynn has been going to the potty at school for them for a while now. Who knew? Hmm... seems she's been holding out on us. She surprised me by going at Hog Heaven Friday night, and it worked throughout the rest of the weekend. We're not having as much luck with going tee-tee, but we're working on it. I guess she decided to tackle the more difficult scenario first. She has a potty poster that she gets stickers on, and she's constantly asking for a sticker, so I guess we're doing something right and she's catching on to it. Cross your fingers that it stays that way! She has the few diapers that we had left over at home, but other than that, we're in Pull-Ups and big girl stuff. Way to go, girl! :)
Garrett and I are really beginning to anticipate our anniversary trip next week. We're headed to Wilmington, NC to visit some friends and ministry mentors of Garrett's who have become friends of mine by default. A little back-story for those of you that might not know: Garrett and I met at youth camp in Florida in 2002. The camp was run by Chris and Cindy and others that did a phenomenal job, and I was blessed to be a part of it, and it was God-ordained that I meet my future husband there. We visited Wilmington when we were still dating in 2003 and haven't been back since. Garrett is hoping to mix a little work with pleasure and soak up as much as he can of the atmosphere and ministry mindset these guys are willing to share. I'm looking forward to watching him in action. The change I've seen in my husband in the past couple of weeks has truly been a gift to me. I'm excited about the work God is brewing in his life and can't wait to be a part of it.
I hope everyone is having an inspiring week!
Friday, June 5, 2009
And, because of the call God has placed on Garrett's life, he has been accepted into the seminar! I couldn't be prouder of him and the ideas he's come up with lately. I myself have a notebook that is rapidly filling with song ideas, drama ideas, service notes, etc., and Garrett and I are continually bouncing ideas off of each other. It'll be so much fun to hear all about what Los brings to the table. The seminar will take place over the course of four months. The participants are matched up in groups of 25. Each week, there will be a one-hour conference call with all the participants, and then another one-hour call between the individual and Los. There will be homework assignments, etc. to complete, too. So, it will be a time-consuming process, but will be so worth it in the end. And, it has a financial obligation to it as well, but we're stepping out on faith that God will provide. Garrett's mindset was from the get-go, "if it's God's will I participate, He'll work everything out", and He did. Garrett's session starts in January. I think I just might be more excited than he is. :)
Thank you to those of you that emailed, wrote, and sent Facebook messages of encouragement. It is so appreciated! Now, if we can ask for prayers for creative juices to flow from Heaven, we'd be grateful for your prayers. God is faithful!
Woo-hoo! Go, Garrett! Thanks, Los! We're looking forward to the adventure ahead. In Los' words: "Disturb and disrupt your lives and you will never stop growing..." See what we're in for? :)
Intentionally Excited about what lies ahead,
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
The reason for the confession of the messiness? I had an encounter with the Holy One Who longs to take me out of this mess through a dream this morning. On a side note, I'm not one of those "every dream ever means something" sort of people, but make no mistake: this one meant something. And, through His love for me, I know what it meant.
I've struggled for quite some time with my family's lack of quality family time. And by that, I mean Garrett, Saralynn, and me- able to spend real, solid time together- doing things that matter (and even some things that don't). A bit about that here:
I am more than grateful for Garrett's job- that it brings money into our house and that he has a place to go and share the light God has placed inside him, but sometimes I just can't help but wish more for him. God Himself breathed all kinds of creativity into Garrett- by way of video/audio/visual stuff, photography stuff, a heart for ministry (that God is still fine-tuning, but is there, nonetheless)... Some days, I just can't help but want more for him than to flip chicken. More than once over the past few months, we as a family have talked about what a blessed company Chick-fil-A is, and I believe that with all my heart. Jesus fills that place and the people that head it, and, yes, we all have to eat, so it takes someone to flip the chicken that comes in your #1 combo, but I find myself praying, ok even sometimes longing, for that someone to be anybody but my husband. I see the way his eyes sparkle when he gets behind a computer to build slides for our contemporary service. I am filled with awe and admiration of the One Who gave him to me when I see him worshipping, head thrown back, hands moving towards Heaven, as he sings the words he so painstakingly typed in the night before at our Sunday morning service. I KNOW he has the heart and the talent to do what he's doing, and to do it full-time. And I find myself asking "WHY can't he?" "WHY is he stuck in a job that keeps him away from his daughter all the time?" "WHY does his schedule only come out a week in advance, and consist of different daily schedules, and WHY does that change some days with only hours' notice?" "WHY can't he work an 8-5 Monday through Friday job instead of an open this day, close that day, gone all day Saturday schedule that makes no sense and makes it impossible for us to plan anything?" "WHY do I have to read about our friends' adventures to the zoo, the movies, out of town trips on a whim, while I'm at home wiping the red, tear-stained cheeks of a little girl whose heart is broken as she stands at the back door and shouts through the door facing 'Daddy, please come back to me. Please don't go cook again today.?" "WHY?"
The answer? I have no idea.
Sundays are equally emotionally building and emotionally tearing for me, too. Garrett, doing what he feels called to do, leaves the house most Sunday mornings at 6:00 to go to church and get everything set up. As is obvious, this leaves Saralynn and me (along with Mimi and Pop if they don't need to be there early) at home to get ready. We usually make it to church in time for
Saralynn to jump in Daddy's lap for a quick hug and kiss before it's off to Sunday School, which Garrett is usually late for and has to leave early from. Then, the service for which the leadership team has planned and prepared begins. We launched our new service in September, and since then, Garrett has been a part of every service except one, running words, manning a video camera, and anything else technical that needs doing. I am more than eternally grateful for his opportunity to serve, but I can't help but wish that one or two Sundays a month he could be a participant in worship- sitting in a chair, on a row, beside his wife, as we worship together. I would love to have his arm around me as we share our Bible, listening to the Word as it is spoken to us. Instead, I usually prop against the back wall while he runs PowerPoint during the message. Again, I'm grateful for his chance to serve- that's what he's wanted since he moved down here when we got engaged. I just wish that we could be a "normal" church-going family, at least once every now and then.
The emotions spilled over yesterday unmercifully. My mom was on her way to the back parking lot to pick Saralynn and Mommy up since Daddy was in his truck and we all wouldn't fit. Saralynn began to cry once she realized she couldn't go with her Daddy, and looked at me with tears streaming, again. "I just want to ride with Daddy, that's all, Mommy." I couldn't stand it anymore. My almost-three-year-old had just said what my heart has been screaming. I had an armload of stuff and a child that was fighting me tooth and nail, just wanting to get back to her Daddy. Poor Mr. Lee holding the door for me must've thought I was a t-total fruitcake. Tears were free-flowing at this point, and all I could do was cry to anyone that was willing to listen, "I'm so tired of this. I just want us to be a family that goes to church and leaves church, hand in hand, for once." Other people in leadership roles with the new service have their rotation weeks, and have been able to step down from some responsibilities in some cases. I myself had a role as the Cafe Coordinator, having to be there each week, too, which also was exhausting. I must admit that I'm enjoying my time "off", too, but long for some time off for my husband.
My attitude about the whole thing pretty much stunk up the house, but when you have an exhausted, frustrated pregnant woman doing all she can to be both parents on a day that's "designed" to be a family day, I was doing all I could do. Nothing says that the Christian life is pretty all the time, and mine was anything but yesterday. I shared some of my frustration with Garrett, but because our Sunday afternoons seem to consist of this sort of thing pretty often lately, I didn't share it all. Also, in the interest of transparency, I must confess that while Garrett is gifted and called to service, so am I, and I have been increasingly frustrated the past few months because I find myself unable to serve. I surrendered my life to the work of Jesus through worship-leading when I was in the 6th grade, and have had ample opportunity to participate in it since. That is until the new service started. I was hoping, since I felt a rising in my soul to be a part of it, to help lead in our new setting, but that hasn't come about yet. I was blessed with the opportunity to sing a special music in December, but that's been it so far, and I have to be COMPLETELY honest and say that it has me downtrodden. If I didn't have such a yearning and a feeling that leading/singing is what I'm supposed to do I don't think it would bother me so much. It's not so much a "what I WANT to do" as it is a "what I'm MEANT/CALLED to do", and it's frustrating to sit and wait. There. I said it. Maybe one day.
After naptime yesterday for all of us (ok, I was so messed up I couldn't sleep, so I laid there), we went outside to paint. Painting is therapeutic for me. Saralynn LOVES to paint with me, and I enjoy it, too. She asked Garrett to paint, and though he resisted at first, he finally gave in and painted a peach rectangle on a piece of paper. His comment? "I try really hard to be creative, but I just can't be." Little does he know what he spoke to me through that painting. First of all, he took the time to sit on the uncomfortable driveway and get eaten by mosquitoes, painting with his biggest, #1 fan. I promise you she'll remember those times later in life, and I know this Mommy won't forget it any time soon, either. I kept that painting, and it will hang somewhere. Its color was calm and inviting, much like our time outside together yesterday. It covered the blah, white paper with a new, vibrant color, that signified newness to me. It showed change. It was a rectangle- two long sides, two short sides. The long sides make up the long parts of the week, the short sides the weekends. And where the two connect? A corner. Pointy sometimes, yet in his case, a bit rounded-off. So, what? It began to show me that sometimes the pretty and ugly parts of life bang together to make rough, pointy edges, and other times they make more fluid, not-so-abrasive intersections. This was a real breakthrough for me. I just sat and stared at the painting for a minute. Most of mine have a theme- polka dots or stripes. Saralynn's are bursts of color that she excitedly drags her brush through, making new beautiful color combinations. His was quiet, smooth, calm. And that's what he is to me when I get all fruitcakey- he's my calm. That's not always the case- actually, it's usually the other way around- I'm the calm to his tornado, but I'm thankful for his calm in the midst of my storms. I just wish they didn't come so frequently and un-forecasted these days...
Fast forward to sometime around 5 AM this morning: my dream/visit with Jesus. Garrett got up and got ready before leaving about 4:50 for work. He scared the life out of me when he told me he was leaving, but I saw 4:54 on the clock, so I know the dream was after that and before 6:00, when my own alarm went off. NOTE: As with any dream, there are some "holes" in it that just don't make sense, so work with me, ok? I dreamed that, somehow, I was faced with my own mortality in one day. In my dream, Garrett is a doctor. (How's that for something better than flipping chicken?) I dreamed that I was going to be an organ donor. Somehow, and this is one of the holes, I must've been in some sort of accident or something, but that particular day was the day I was going to donate my organs. There was a deadline of when the donation would happen, though I didn't know when it was. Garrett did, though, because he was the doctor that would harvest my organs. Somehow, again, not sure about all the details, I was able to go about my life that day, saying goodbyes, living life, pretty much doing whatever I wanted to do, but all the while knowing I would not live to see tomorrow. I didn't have any kids in my dream, which is the only thing that makes it bearable, but I was married to Garrett, and spent the day mostly with him. I had somehow made peace with my parents and my brother, because we all went on with the day- not as if nothing was wrong, but as if all was ok. The turning point for me during the dream was at one point when Garrett and I were driving. We were completely silent (eerily like some points of our day yesterday had been). I looked at the clock, asked when we had to be in surgery, and he told me it didn't matter. I was getting apprehensive, and he said to me "the only thing that's important right now is you living out your life the way it was meant to be lived." Obscure, anyone? But, in that moment, I realized something- Jesus was talking to me. I was in the backseat of the car in my dream, and Garrett was driving. In the dream, Garrett was Jesus. He showed me that He was in control- and my place was in the back. He also showed me that it's not my place to try and change my husband or his circumstances. So what if he flips chicken? If that's what makes him happy, then so be it. Yes, there's more to life. Yes, he's better than that- in my eyes and in the eyes of His creator, but for now, for this season, he's meant to flip chicken. Where were we headed on our drive? Don't know. What was I supposed to be doing? Not sure. Following, I guess. I was in the back, Garrett was in the front- taking care of me. I didn't know when "my time would come", but he did. And, the same is true now that I'm awake- I still don't know the path, why we're going where we're going, or when "my time will come", but I'm resting in the fact today that it's all the way it's supposed to be for now. I guess I'm supposed to be restless. Maybe it's the manifestation of something truly awesome in my life. I'm possibly supposed to be restless for my husband- in prayer for him and with him, but in a holy way, restless. Because I still want something more. And, you know what? I think that's ok. My attitude needs some tweaking, but I think wanting more is natural and necessary.
For those of you that are still with me, you deserve a fruit basket or a "You DID It" ribbon or something, but since I don't have those things, I just say "thank you" from a grateful heart. I can't say I'm fully changed, or that the ugliness is gone or will go away any time soon, or that I'm inspirationally ok with not helping lead or with the fact that I won't get to sit and experience church with my husband any time soon, but I'm intentionally praying for an open heart that is receptive to what Jesus is doing in me. Thank you for reading the ugliness that was my day yesterday and for praying me through when I have other ugly days. Ministry, regarless of its form, can be yucky. I've actively served in various ways before, but for some reason, this ministry season is the hardest to date. Maybe that just means there is something truly amazing coming.
And, that brings me to my thought for today: "Today is a new day".
I'll leave you with a scripture that has been EVERYWHERE since yesterday:
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
2 Corinthians 5:21
Trying to tell me something? :)
Intentionally Grateful for the chance to "spill it",
P.S. Speaking of Garrett and his desire to be the best he can be when it comes to all things technical, he's applied to attend a conference/seminar with a mentor in leadership that he found via the internet a month or so ago. This conference would be held over the course of four months via conference calls, teaching Garrett the ins and outs of creative worship planning, and he is so very excited about the prospect of being chosen to participate. There was an application process to go through, and the results of that process are supposed to be released this week, so please join us in praying that if it is God's will, Garrett is chosen to participate with Carlos. This would do so many different things for Garrett, for me, and for our church, on so many different levels. Maybe I can learn something, too, about sitting back and shutting up... Hmmm... Also, please pray for us as we retreat in a few weeks for our 5-year wedding anniversary. It's a much-needed (as if you couldn't tell from all the trash above) break from the every-day, and we're excited for waht could be our last trip as a couple before Baby #2 arrives. We're going to Wilmington, NC, to visit Garrett's A-#1 mentor in all things techy, as we visit their new church campus and experience Jesus with them. The last time we were there, we were still dating, and the church was meeting in an elementary school cafeteria. Now, we're married, and the church has its own huge, beautiful campus. I can't wait! (And on the subject of can't wait, we will find out sometime later this month whether Baby #2 is a girl or a boy- stay tuned!)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
There is a set of older apartments about a block from day care that they pass heading to school. Saralynn knows where she is just about every step of the way, and when she gets to the apartments, she knows she's close. From a distance yesterday, Mom could see the blinking lights warning of a fire truck ahead, and since Saralynn loves cars, planes, trucks, etc., Mom showed her the lights. She thought it was a police car at first, but soon realized it was a fire truck. As they inched closer to the apartments by way of the light that had now turned green, Mom noticed that one of the units was smoking. It didn't take Saralynn long to realize that, either. "Look, Mimi! It's smoking! We gotta blow it!" Those precious words from that precious heart and mouth were followed by many puffs of her own breath hurled in the direction of the smoke itself- sweet little thing was helping the firemen by blowing the smoke herself. I thought it was too precious not to share, and preserve here.
Happy Tuesday! And, if you see something smoking today, do your part- blow it!
Friday, May 8, 2009
1. My mom cries at the drop of a hat. And over anything. Some people call that a curse, but I call it a blessing. She cries when she's happy, she cries when she's sad. She cries at songs, commercials, TV shows, words spoken to her... just about anything, and I think it's great. She's taught me how to share my emotions, because I'm just like her.
2. My mom is a fabulous cook! She laments that she doesn't cook enough, but man when she does, you know it. Some of my favorites: her squash casserole, corn bread with actual corn in it, and buttermilk pies (not necessarily together, but man, oh man, is her cooking good!)
3. My mom plays the piano, organ, and handbells. I have many fond memories of sitting on the piano bench beside her as a young child, watching her fingers move over the keys as she played and sang along. She taught me to harmonize as a child by playing something on the piano and singing a harmony, asking me to sing what she was singing and not what was being played. She has accompanied me on the piano many, many times over the years when I've sung in various capacities, and I always count it an honor when she does. We've sung together a few times, and though I wish it would happen more often, she seems much more content to play for me while I sing. I hope to never take that for granted!
4. My mom made my Halloween costumes when I was growing up. The most memorable for me was my yellow Crayola crayon costume, complete with the triangular-shaped hat for the point of the crayon. Her taking the time to make something for me instead of buying something off a store shelf taught me what it means to sacrifice her time for me. I hope to one day follow in her footsteps and learn to sew.
5. My mom takes care of my grandparents in such a loving, compassionate way. They are both slowing down a little, and though they are still mostly self-sufficient (or at least able to rely on each other most of the time), she still visits often and does for them whenever they need something. She and Saralynn visit most every Friday, and she does anything they need her to do. I only hope to be the same blessing to she and my dad when they grow older and need me to care for them.
6. My mother is a wonderful friend. She has numerous friends that love her and appreciate her, and I'm glad to say I'm one of them! She still keeps up with childhood friends and teachers that have moved away, she is ready and waiting to help any of her friends whenever they need her, and she knows she can call on those friends to do the same for her. I hope I'm that same friend, too.
7. My mom is a wonderful wife, and a great example to me of what a steadfast, praying wife looks like. She loves my dad fiercely, and does all she can to support him in anything he does.
8. My mom collects cookbooks, and if you've ever been to our house, you notice. She has them lining many of the walls, and loves to use them as often as she can (see #2).
9. My mom sat up late at night with me numerous times during my school career, helping me with project after project on which I procrastinated. She read chapter after chapter of book after book out loud to me so I'd be ready for the next day's test, and as patiently as she could at 1 AM would nudge me back awake so I'd listen. I also remember vividly a Spanish flag that had to be drawn and colored by hand for which she was largely responsible.
10. Mom's birthday is in December, so she spent most of her childhood having her birthday presents and Christmas presents combined together. She tells that she would pick out one present from under the tree to open as her birthday present. I tell this to say that this makes her enjoy any and every present she is ever given. She's gotten the dutiful towels for Christmas, vacuum cleaner for her birthday, and anything in between over the years, and loves it, and usually cries (see #1), grateful for it all.
11. On the note of presents, my mom started a tradition with us years ago that I love: she buys and wraps a pair of pajamas for us that we open every year on Christmas Eve. Then, of course, everyone sleeps in their pajamas and awakes on Christmas Day to see what else is there, but the pajamas are somehow always the icing on the cake. She thought for a bit this past year about not doing the pajamas, but about that same time, Garrett shared an email with us about his favorite family traditions, and mentioned pajamas on Christmas Eve, so the tradition continues. He's only been around for almost 7 years, but it's part of him, now, too.
12. My mom kept every piece of paper Matthew and I scribbled on. Every. One. Bulletins from church that, with the help of the golf pencil on the back of the pew in front of you, kept us quiet during many a sermon are now safely packed away in boxes along with all of our artwork, noodle paintings, and tissue-paper crafts. She even still puts the gold spray-painted noodle stars and glitter-covered egg-carton bells we made in preschool on our Christmas tree. Of course, some may be removed in years to come to make room for Saralynn's pieces of art if necessary, but for now, she proudly displays them all.
13. My mom waited up on us all the time when we were growing up, sitting on the couch waiting to be sure we'd made it home ok (and on time). She always took time to listen to every detail of every date or fun night out with friends, no matter how long the stories took.
14. I have fond memories from my childhood of waking up on Saturday mornings to the sounds of Barbra Streisand playing from our record player. I would wake up and go find Mom, usually in the kitchen or reading a book, crawl up in her lap, and enjoy the last few sips of her Russian Tea (she'd always save me the last few sips- after it had cooled I enjoyed it).
15. In order to most efficiently communicate with my mom, you must be on her right side. She has a hearing loss in her left ear that makes it almost necessary to be on her right side when carrying on a conversation.
16. Like her daddy, my daddy, and me, Mom is left-handed. However, anything "domestic", i.e. cooking, ironing, sewing, etc. she does with her right hand- because her mom taught her.
17. Mom decided to be called Mimi by her grandchildren because of a story a friend told her years ago. This friend contended that if a child can say "Ma-ma" they can say "Mi-mi". Makes sense, right? Well, our precious Saralynn called my mom "Ma-ma", too, for the first few months she could talk.
18. To Saralynn's defense, my mom does just as much for her as I do. Because I work out of town, Mimi takes Saralynn to and from day care each day, which is her special time with Saralynn. They always have such good stories to tell us from their travels together. So, she really does have two "Ma-ma"s.
19. The day Saralynn was born, Mimi took her turn seeing her while I was recovering from my c-section, and she sang "Happy Birthday" to Saralynn. So special to me!
20. She also made up the melody to a "song" for Saralynn while we were in the hospital that will still to this day cause Saralynn to calm down when she's extremely upset. I'm hoping to get the song on paper one day so it could be used for any big part of Saralynn's life- a wedding song, etc.
21. My mom cried the day I tried on my wedding dress. That's how I knew it was "the one". I'd tried on others that were pretty and that she liked, but when I walked out of the dressing room, she cried (again, reference #1), and we left shortly after that with the dress.
22. I take great delight when people tell me I look like my mom. Most of the time I hear that I look like my dad, but will hear every now and then that I look like my mom. My mom with her long hair in high school and early 20s was beautiful (and still is), so it is a compliment to me to hear that I look like her.
23. My mom took a week of her vacation each year while Matthew and I were in middle school to go and cook for our youth group at Camp Cherokee. The kitchen had no A/C, it was hot in July, they went to bed after midnight and hit the ground running at 4:00, and they cooked for 200-plus middle-schoolers and their counselors, but Mom will still tell you those are some of her fondest memories. My parents have always supported us in our endeavors, but it always made me feel like the most special kid at camp because I had my whole family there- we looked forward to it every year!
24. My mom loves children- not just her own, but children in general. She always took her turn teaching children's choirs, Mission Friends, GA's, and whatever else was needed when we were small, but even as we grew up, she would always willingly take a turn substituting for a children's choir or in the nursery.
25. On the note of nursery, I can always count on my mom to come down and check on me to make sure we have enough nursery volunteers when my director on duty rotation comes around. She and Dad both will rock and play with any fussy baby, watch anyone that might unfortunately have to be separated from their class for a few moments of cool-down time, and will always compliment this kids' cute outfits and wish them a great Sunday afternoon.
26. Mom holds onto every birthday card, Mother's Day card, and any other card we ever give her (see #12). She taught us long ago to put the year in the card so when the recipient returns to the card to read it later, they have a reference point to know from which time the card was sent or given. I still do that to this day. I'm not as good as she is at keeping up with the cards I receive, but you can bet she knows where most of hers are.
27. I fondly remember Christmas when I was in first grade. I went to a private school that year, and my class consisted of 5 Japanese children, some of whom didn't speak English well. In an effort to bring some of our Christmas cultures to life for them, my mom brought the fixings to make gingerbread houses to school, and we as a class made them. I'm not sure if those kids remember that Christmas, but this one sure does.
28. Mom also went with us on Mission Tours with our choirs from church each summer. One summer in particular, after I'd completed 10th grade, our group went to Canada. We were always gone over the July 4th holiday, and this particular year, we were still in Canada on the 4th. Thus, no fireworks and celebrations. So, my mom made a flag cake, complete with strawberries and blueberries, so we'd have a little bit of home while we were outside the country on Independence Day. Everyone in the choir loved it, and I loved my mom for being so thoughtful.
29. My mom gave birth to both her babies with no medications whatsoever, which makes her my hero. My body was not meant to birth no babies, Miss Scarlett, but Mom did it with great resolve and determination, bringing both Matthew and I into the world in somewhat record time. She was by my side all day as I struggled to bring Saralynn into the world, and told me how very proud of me she was after my c-section. She reminded me that Saralynn and I were both safe and healthy, which was most important, and she was right. Mom to the rescue of a new, exhausted, hormonal, and overwhelmed Mommy.
There are so many other things I could write about my mom, but since I've narrowed it down to one memory for every year she's been a Mom, this brings the list to a close. All I can say in the end is I hope one day to be half the mom to my own children that she's been to me. She's my mom and my best friend all rolled into one, and I am so proud to be her daughter.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We went to lunch at Katie's, and it was so yummy! I bet I haven't been there in 2 years or better. Vegetables were just what Baby Pelt wanted, and it was wonderful. Thank you, Thompsons for your generosity!
When we got home, we watched the Dark Knight. Correction: Garrett watched the entire movie. I napped through the first half, he caught me up, and I watched the last little bit with him.
Garrett is at home sick today, poor thing. He played tennis with a really great group of guys from church last night, like he does most Wednesday nights, but came home sick and has been all night long. I'm praying he feels better soon. Hopefully once he does feel better I can add a picture from our ultrasound.
God is good!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Not really wanting to participate right now...
Oh, I could pinch those cheeks from here!
I think this one is my favorite! How do you pic favorite pictures of your kids? Ok, I just like this one a lot...
A little pouty, but not really- I like this one, too!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Saralynn and I went upstairs and piled in Mimi's bed to watch Dragon Tails- she has a newfound love for that show, and since it's not very high on the obnoxious level (sorry, Barney), I was happy to let her watch it. Today's episode found Dragonland full of activity as all the inhabitants were at a fair or carnival. My shower and morning routine had to carry on, so that's all I know of the show, but nonetheless there was activity and community among the dragons today. We got Saralynn dressed and ready for school and I got her all buckled into her car seat and sent her off with a hearty kiss and a "have a good day", which was immediately returned from a chocolate-milk-mustached mouth. Some mornings are easier than others in our house, and today was a pretty decent morning.
I headed off to Wal-Mart in search of some caffeine-free Mountain Dew. These mornings, the citrus and bubbles of Mountain Dew seem to calm my ever-rolling stomach. This pregnancy has brought much more nausea than the first, and that's not the extent of the differences, but thankfully I've yet to be physically ill- just icky all day, with emphasis on early morning and late evening. Upon arriving to Wal-Mart, I was met with yet another flurry of activity and people. Usually the Valley, AL Wal-Mart is not the mecca of people that it was today first thing in the morning. But, along with the activity came many smiling faces and "good mornings" aplenty. What a great day!
Arriving at work, the activity and chatter continues, and it's so nice to hear. As I do most mornings, I logged on to my computer and brought up my blog. I often find the ordaining hands of Jesus in the words of others, and today was no different.
Case in point, http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com. Angie Smith is such a dear friend, if only in Blog World. She and her family are experiencing a very difficult, yet very redeeming day today, the one-year anniversary of their daughter's birth and death. Please join me in praying for them. She was so kind to pray along side us when Mrs. Niedrach was ill and sent me a very sweet note back when I informed her that Mrs. Niedrach was most likely holding her Audrey.
Angie shared a song that will be on Selah's new album, releasing this fall, called Unredeemed, and it is beautiful. I am so very thankful that God doesn't allow things to be a little "out of the ordinary" without it being part of the plan. I woke up today knowing what it holds for the Smiths and immediately began to pray for them, and began my day. And, in His infinite wisdom, God made my day a little unorthodox, too, I think as a way to say, "Yes, it's a different, and maybe difficult day for them, but I'm making your day a little different, too. What will you do with it?" So, today, 4/7/09, I'm vowing to let it be a different day, and do with it what He asks me to. Who knows? Maybe the difference has already come and gone, or maybe there's more to come, but at any rate, there have already been differences, and for that I'm grateful. I was allowed extra time with my daughter that I don't always have in the mornings. No, I didn't move mountains in her world and make homemade breakfast (ok, I said differences, not miracles), but I did spend a few extra minutes with her, and I'm grateful for it. What will you do to make today different? I hope you find something that sticks out for you today. Maybe at least one difference can be a prayer lifted up for a family that hurts today. That'd be a great starting place!
If you take the time to read Angie's blog entry for today, you'll see that she's going to India with Compassion International soon, and that she has children on her blog that are looking for a sponsor. Any children sponsored today, which as discussed is a special day for them, will receive a handmade doll from the beautiful ladies at Baby Be Blessed- see their dolls here- http://babybeblesseddolls.com. Saralynn is receiving one of these beatiful creations very soon, and I can't wait to snap a picture of her holding it. Maybe today's difference for you is sponsoring one of God's precious children into your family, and blessing them with a beautiful doll that tangibly shows them His redeeming love for them.
No matter what the day holds for you, make it a Different Day, and reflect the differences back to Him. That is, after all, where they belong.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
P.S. Please join me in praying for a family that used to attend our church before moving out of town. Lisa and Andy Skelton lost their son, Brandon Maluff, in a tragic car accident last night. Brandon grew up at FBC and I'm more than sure I had him in a VBS class or something I helped teach along the way. Brandon was one of the most polite kids I ever encountered. He was so full of life and just loved his friends and family. He leaves behind a little sister, Alex, who will surely miss him very much. Brandon was a freshman in college, if I remember correctly, and I think was a student at Auburn. His family moved that direction a few years ago. Please pray for the Skeltons as the grieve the loss of their precious Brandon. Hearts are heavy today, but we know God is faithful and holds us in His hands always! Welcome home, Brandon.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Pelt 3 (soon to be 4)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We go for our ultrasound next Thursday, April 2nd at 3:20. Please join us in praying most of all for a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat that we can see and celebrate! My tummy is already beginning to expand some, and I've felt great so far, so we're believing and trusting Jesus for a healthy baby that will join our family in November. Thank you for your prayers for all of us.
And, as far as Saralynn goes, she's beginning to warm up to the idea of a baby coming to her house. We've asked her for a few days if she's ready to be a big sister and have a baby come live at her house, and she says, "ok." Then we ask her if she wants a boy baby or a girl baby, and for the past 3 days or so, it's been a boy baby, but the tune changed last night to a girl baby. At least we know she'll be ok with either...
Intentionally Grateful for our Blessings,
Mary Beth, Garrett, and Saralynn
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I waited a bit on writing this post, just to be sure. Today marks the two-week anniversary of Saralynn's offical goodbye to her pacifier- what she calls her "pa-pa". We were playing in the den- she and Pop were playing Simon Says, as a matter of fact, and he told her that she was a big girl and needed to throw her pa-pa away. She instantly agreed and ran toward the trash can. Mimi wisely reminded her that once it went in the trash, it couldn't come back out because it would be nasty. She still ran toward the trash can and threw her pink pa-pa away. Of course, this all transpired before I could grab the video camera- that's some footage I would've loved to have recorded! Alas, we all watched as she threw it in the trash, and then all clapped and shouted about what a big girl she was!
Here are a few pictures of Simon Says:
Fast-forward to bedtime. Saralynn laid down on the couch with her Daddy and asked for her pa-pa about 3174 times, but after about 45 minutes, she cried herself to sleep. The next morning, she woke up and asked for it again, and we reminded her that she had thrown it in the trash. We were in the den putting on her shoes, headed to day care, when she exclaimed, "Look what I found Mommy!" and pointed to the mantle. What should be there, but a green PA-PA. Oh, horrors! My life flashed before my eyes in that moment. OK, a slight exaggeration, but I was a little worried about what we might do. I took her to the bathroom to fix her hair while Mimi disposed of the green one (aka put it in her purse- we aren't totally crazy to have thrown them all away). Saralynn went back to the den and stared at the mantle in amazement. Or maybe it was horror. I'm not sure which. However, the look on her face was priceless. If she could have, she would have said, "I know I just saw a pa-pa on that mantle." We went on to school like normal, and she forgot about it, I guess.
The second night was fairly easy, but the third night was not. But, we persevered. We made it through the weekend, and celebrated the one week anniversary of being pa-pa-less. Wow. That word is music to my ears. I think I'll submit it to Mr. Webster for inclusion in his upcoming word book...
Saralynn spent the weekend in Jonesboro with Nana and Paw Paw this past weekend, and survived without the friend there, too. So, friends, I share our news with you. No more pa-pas are being used in the Pelt/Carter household. For those of you that have struggled with this, you know how excited I am. Yes, the damage is done and Dr. Stewart will love accepting our money as he puts braces on our beloved in a few years, but nonetheless, it is a wonderful feeling to be DONE with the pa-pa and couldn't be happier!
Now, on to potty-training full time! Any advice there?