Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I love this time of year!

I love Christmas time and all the craziness that surrounds it.  I love that I never have time to post right now even though I have a million things to post about!  

We just got back from Missouri where we visited my family in Poplar Bluff.  I have so many great pics but they are still on my camera.  I just finished unpacking the suitcases, need to finish up the laundry, and get ready for the next round of family who comes in today.  My dad, Mason (my brother), his girlfriend, and my stepmom Barb are coming to visit.  They'll be here for a few days.  

To all my blog readers...thank you for checking up on us. I will get some updates going soon!  Until then...a recent pic of our adorable Annerson to sustain you!  She's 4 months today!  Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

 Daddy and his girl

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the crib is getting some use!!!

It went really really well.  I thought I'd toss and turn all night, but I slept well & didn't wake up until we heard her cry at 6:30.  I think she'll do better because she won't hear us moving around or hear Lex talking in his sleep!  Her moving across the hall into her bedroom makes perfect sense at this point, but it's so bitter sweet.  She's no longer right there at the foot of the bed!  I can't check on her every time she whimpers or stirs. She's been in my tummy or right next to me for a year now.  This is a big step for us as parents. We probably would have done it sooner but the doorknob was really hard to turn so it made a loud pop when we opened her door.  We decided to just take the knob off for now. I'll post pics later of what it looks like now.  It's quite hilarious actually. 


You know what else is very exciting? Today is a super fun day for the Dooleys. Daddy's home!  I have a haircut today!  We are doing a little bit of Christmas shopping,  taking dinner to friends with a new baby, & then tonight is the 1st ANNUAL GRAY'S CHRISTMAS PARTY!  So exciting. The Grays are dear friends who we love to do life with.  They have 2 children.  Gavin is 1.5 years old and Madison is almost 9 weeks old.  She and Annerson are best friends & Gavin is Annerson's promised husband. 
Pope Gavin the First

Me & my BFF just chillin in our sweet rides

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Across the Hall

Annerson is sleeping in her crib tonight for the first time.  

It feels so weird to know she'll be across the hall and not at the foot of the bed. 

We'll see how this goes.  It's kinda so sad.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Loquacious Leah...thanks Beth!

I have been very encouraged and uplifted since my last post.  Thank you everyone who left sweet comments.  It is such a blessing to know so many people care and are praying for us.  

I am getting over a stomach bug or the flu...whichever one it is, it is "a stinky" (nacho quote).  I woke up Monday morning feeling oh so bad.  I spent all day yesterday laying on the couch while lovely angels took care of Anner.  My mother in law spent the 1st half of the day taking care of her, then my niece Mikah, then my good friend Tara.  I am so thankful that I have family and friends to call upon when I need them.  Anyway, I am feeling better.  Apparently it is going around.  The Dallas and Williams family also got struck by it.  

Lots of birthdays were celebrated last week- Lindsey McDaniel, Amber Hickman, & Zach & Calyn Dallas.  Happy Birthday dear friends!  

"Who is this guy that showed up at our amazing party and keeps getting in our pictures?"

Many of you know Lindsey.  She is a journeyman in Prague, Czech Republic.  She has a year left of her 2 year commitment.  Lindsey Lu is coming to Lubbock on the 22nd of December for a quick visit!!!  She's flying in that night and leaving the 23rd.  I am soooooo excited to see Linds  & Annerson can't wait to meet her.

Over Thanksgiving break, Amber came home.  She spent a little bit of her time with us & she was able to take some beautiful pics of Annerson. Thanks Aunt Ambi!!

These are just a few of the many she took.  You can see the rest on our website gallery.  

Annerson is doing well.  She isn't showing any symptoms that she is getting what I have.  Thank you Lord for protecting her!  She is 3 months old now.  I forgot to do a 3 month post last week. Now that she is 3 months, I can no longer refer to her age in weeks now.  That is super sad!  But for the record...she's 14 weeks :)

Her newest cuteness is constantly sucking on her fingers & holding toys. She is really close to finding her feet.  She keeps pulling them up and touching them together.  She has also been able to wear shoes lately.  She's grown into a couple of pairs.  She's still wearing 0-3 month clothes. She weighed 12 pounds on the 1st of December.  Oh, and she has a bald spot on the left side of her head.  She likes to rub her head back and forth when she's laying down or trying to go to sleep.  She's pretty much sleeping through the night again.  Every once in a while she'll wake up before 5, but several nights last week she's slept till 7am.   She gets prettier and cuter everyday.  

My sister got out of her program and is now living in a half-way house in Dallas.  

My mom is leaving her facility THIS THURSDAY!  I am so proud of her for making it this long...6 months.  But I am nervous about her getting out.  She is going to live with my Papa in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  That is the town I grew up in.  Lex & I are gong to see her and the family for Christmas.  Please lift her up when you think of us.  She needs strength to fight the demons that have a grip on her. 

Lex & I need to hurry up and take our family pic so we can do a Christmas card.  

Lex's final is today at 1:30.  Then he is DONE for a long time!!!!!  Next semester he is going to focus on retaking the MCAT so he won't be taking any classes.  He actually only has 1 more prereq that he needs to take.  He'll take it next fall.

The tree is up.  The stockings are hung.  It's supposed to snow today in Lubbock. Ahhhh....I love Christmas time.   

Ok, that was the most random post ever.  Got to love it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You probably didn't know

When people ask me "How are you doing?" , I usually respond with "Good."  

Don't we all?  

Well, this is what is behind the "good". 

I am lonely.  I went from 40 hours of non stop interaction at Banana, to hanging out with someone usually every other day or so, but mostly just being with Annerson alone at  the house.  I hate it when Lex has to leave the house to go to work, school or to go study.  

Along the same lines, I am desperate for fellowship and community.  I miss being involved in Challenge.  For 4 years my world was filled with 2 Bible study meetings a week.  I always had a group of college students in my home at least once a week.  It's amazing how much life can fill your home when a Bible study takes place there.  Lex & I haven't had that in 2 years now.  He goes to a Bible study Friday mornings but I am not in one.  I feel like God is moving me to start a prayer group for all my "new mommy" friends.  There are a lot of women in Lubbock who have had babies recently and I think it'd be a good support group for us.

My mother is in a 6 month drug/alcohol treatment program in Missouri.  She entered the facility in June and she is set to get out in the next couple of weeks.  She recently failed a drug test after leaving the facility on a day pass.  We are waiting for the lab results.  This changes everything because we had hope that she was finally cleaning up and turning over a new leaf.  Now she might be right back where she started before she began treatment.  This is not the first attempt at rehab for my mom.  It is the longest she's been in a program though. 

I have a sister who is also getting treated for drug/alcohol addictions.  She is in a program in Dallas.  Many of you know Alexis.  She's the sweetest girl in the world, but she's messed around with the horrible stuff since high school.  She's now 20 years old and paying the price for it.  

I've realize that being a mom isn't always fun and easy.  I guess it's like being married. It takes a lot of work but the benefits and joys are endless.  

I worry about my milk supply everyday.  I had a breast reduction when I was 17.  The odds were against me being able to BF my children.  That was a choice I made then & I was willing to live with that choice.  But over the years I have prayed my heart out that God would work a miracle and that I could BF my children one day.  We had a rough time getting started, but Annerson & I are making it.  I always worry that I'll stop making enough or that I won't keep up with her growth.  I thank God every day, literally, and pray that if I had to start giving Annerson only formula that the time I was able to give her milk would be sufficient for her body & sufficient to give me peace about the whole thing.  I've never been "blog tagged" before, but Melissa Williams tagged me to post about a miracle the other day.  This is definitely my miracle.  

I miss Banana.  My leave of absence ends in January and I will officially no longer be an employee of Gap Inc.  It's been 7.5 years since I started working for Gap.  I love the company, the clothes, the customers & the store.  I love love love Banana.  It truly was my 2nd home.  I feel like I'm at home still when I walk in that store. I poured my heart out for my customers, boss & employees.  I miss getting to serve them, guide them, and getting to lead them.  I know I am supposed to be at home.  I've known that since I was little.  But I don't have a peace right now.  I'm not sure why.  I don't know if it's just because I'm adjusting or what.  I just miss it.  I miss the people I worked with a lot too.  I made some friendships there that I'll have for the rest of my life.  January 5th is the last day of my leave.  I am praying that I'll have complete peace about leaving by then.

I am ready to move.  Did you ever play M*A*S*H?  You know...mansion, apartment, shack, house....well I must have landed on shack one too many times.  Lex & I live in Lex's college house which could qualify as a shack to some.  His parents own some land in Wolfforth and the house sits on the land. From the outside it seriously looks like a shack.  The inside isn't as bad.  We definitely fixed it up since its former bachelor pad days.  We moved in 6 months after we got married because we could live here for free.  God called us...well me live here.  He brought me here to teach me priorities, humility & obedience.  It's been a blessing really.  We've had major financial freedom that has allowed us to pay off our cars, school loan, any other money we owed people, and give freely to God's work.  It's been so amazing not having to worry about money as a newly wed couple.  Of course now that we only have Lex's income you would think  that we would appreciate it even more, but that's not the case.  The season has come to an end.  It's time to move on.  We need to distance ourselves from his parents.  We need to have more space.  We need a bathroom that doesn't have a jacked up sewer system that always smells....I know, gross.  Did I mention that we also now live right next door to cows?  The icing on the cake was a couple of weeks ago when Lex was running around the field at 2:30am herding the 30 cows back into their pin.  They were right by our windows!  He had to call the police because the man who lives next door (the drunk cow man) is quite crazy.  He told Lex's dad that he was going to shoot whoever threw his gloves in the cow trough.  Yeah.  Didn't think it was such a good idea to knock on the door at 2 in the morning and tell him his cows were out.  

The other day Lex said he was ready to move.  I thought I was dreaming.  But he's come to that place that I came to a long time ago.  Finally.  He's ready.  I'm ready.  It's time.

And last  but not least, I miss God.  I am in a dry season.  Probably from all the junk going on around me & all the change. It's frustrating to cry out to God and hear very little in return.  It's hard to find time to cry out to God period.  Annerson demands a lot of my energy and brain power.  It's getting easier, but it's still not natural to do the things required to be a good mommy.  So I find myself drained so often.  Not having much left over to put into quiet times, prayer times, etc.  When I do, I feel so tired & rushed. 

So there it is.  That's the "real me, ugly junk" behind the "good".  The stuff you probably didnt' know.  It's not all pretty like I'd like it to be.  But it's life.  It's where God is moving, breaking, digging around, shaping and molding me to be more like Him. Praise Him for that.  I know Lex & I are right where we are supposed to be.  We are waiting on a lot of things.  Praying for a lot of things.  Mostly though, I want to be content right where God has me.  If I die tomorrow I want to know that I am satisfied in the Lord. I want to know that each day counted for His glory, my family & the Kingdom of God.  

Please don't read this and think that I am ungrateful.  Blessings fall all around me.  In fact, everything I described above is a blessing in a way.  I walk in complete freedom knowing that God's grace is sufficient &  His provisions are bountiful.  But there are seasons in our lives that are harder than others and I am in the middle of one.  My heart is searching for understanding and purpose.  I am steadfast and faithful and preaching the power of the cross to myself as a reminder of His goodness.

"Why are you downcast , O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, 
my Savior and my God."  Ps. 42:5

Monday, December 1, 2008

3 post in 1 night

That's a record for me.  See below.

Thanksgiving Week

Lex and I went non-stop this past week.  Here are a few pics to prove it.

Lex had 3 straight days off from work.  He had some precious daddy daughter time.

Amber stayed with us Tuesday night.  We went to her graduation party in Hale Center Wednesday night. 

We ate Thanksgiving lunch with Lex's family at Ron & Martha's.  
Uh Lex, what are you doing?

Sweet Annerson

When Annerson is tired she moves her head back and forth really fast and likes to suck on your shirt.

Thursday night Gramey Barb drove in from Austin to spend some time with us.  She left Saturday morning.  Barb is Alexis & Mason's mom.  Is was so good to see her!!

We froze our daughter at the Tech v. Baylor game on Saturday.  Oh come on!  It was cold, but we had tickets and really wanted Anner to go to her first Tech game.  We only stayed for like 1.5 hours.  Yeah she cried the whole time...but it was probably because we were losing the whole game...ok, maybe because it was really really cold and really really loud.  Same dif. 

The three of us...Annerson is staying toasty under the blanket.

Went to a Dallas family birthday Saturday night.  ALWAYS so much fun, creative & full of sweet memories.

Happy 1st Birthday Abby!  
You are the happiest baby in the world!

Again...uh, Lex what are you doing?

Did I mention that Lex's best friend Graham stayed at our house Friday through Wednesday?  I don't know how I ended up with no pics of him.  Very sad.  We miss Graham already.

Things are settling back down now.  We got to take communion at church yesterday.  Lex went back to work today.  I had lunch with my friend Annalisa.  And now I am catching up on blogging.  My only goal this week is to get the house decorated and some pictures organized. 

P.S.  Quite possibly the most exciting thing I did this Thanksgiving week was LISTENED TO CHRISTMAS MUSIC!  I always start celebrating Christmas on Thanksgiving Day.  I feel like Kevin on Home Alone when he realizes his family is gone and runs through the house screaming with excitement. 
You know the scene, "I made my family disappear! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!"  
I'm pretty sure I did that on Thursday when I busted out the Christmas music, Noel Bean lotion & watched Elf.  Gotta love those quarky traditions.

Anniversary Part II

Continuing our anniversary celebration....Lex and I went to see the movie Fireproof on Thursday night.  The movie is amazing.  Go see it.  Praise God that I sat in a movie theater and watched the gospel be preached and proclaimed on the big screen.  No fluff.  No "are they alluding to Jesus?".  No question that Christ was being proclaimed as the only way to be right with God.  It was amazing.  Not to mention the incredible story line of the Biblical depiction of marriage and what God intended it to be.   The whole movie just rocked.  

Annerson stayed at Mimi & Potsy's house while we went to the movie.  My mother-in-law is hilarious.  She got dressed for the event.

So the "What happens at Mimi's house stays at Mimi's house" shirt is supposed to make me feel more comfortable about leaving Anner's with you and calm my extreme anxiety!?  Just kidding Mimi.  You did great!

Then on Friday afternoon we had a couple's massage at The Woodhouse.  Ah.  It was nice.  Annerson went to Mimi & Potsy's again. 

Then for the grand finale...we stayed the night at the Embassy Suites in the same room we stayed in on our wedding night.  Annerson DID NOT stay at Mimi & Potsy's.  She came with us.  No way were we going to leave her overnight.  3 hours maybe, but not overnight.  

Lex on our wedding night.  ROOM #111

3 years later
same room
sweet new daughter

3 years earlier...Gary Hays drove us away from FBC in a sweet beamer, drove us to the hotel, and brought our luggage to our room.  He was a good chauffeur.  

We couldn't stop laughing when we saw Gary's wife Melissa Friday night when we got to the hotel.  Their daughter Hannah was having a birthday party there.  I thought it was crazy that last time we were there Gary was with us and now Melissa was with us! 
What do you know....Gary showed up Saturday morning to eat breakfast. 
He forgot to bring the beamer this time. And he didn't offer to cary our luggage. Priceless.

P.S.  We were planning on swimming at the hotel.  Beth even loaned us a swimsuit for Annerson to use and we were so excited about Annerson getting to swim for the first time.  However, due to the fact that there were at least 20 little girls in the pool at any given time (there were 3 birthday parties going on) we opted to not to.  Thanks anyway Beth!

Our anniversary was celebrated very differently this year.  The past two years we have taken a trip to Dallas, stayed at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas, frequented the spa at the hotel, and shopped at the Galleria.  This year we couldn't do all that because we have now have Annerson.  Even though our celebration was a little less "glamorous" and we had to worry about leaving her with different people, it was still amazing.  I'm so glad that we will never get to celebrate our anniversary as a married couple with no children again!!!!  Wait. Did that make sense?

Catching up

I haven't been on the computer much in the last week.  It's been busy around here.  I'm catching up on your life right now.  Hopefully I will post soon.