Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching Up (an epic post)

We have had a very busy two weeks! Julianne and Katie were here days before my family drove down from Illinois for a week. While my girlfriends were here, we drove up to Dallas to see Megan, and after I saw the girls off at the airport, I hurried home to get the house ready for my parents and brothers. We celebrated my dad's birthday on the 20th and headed out that evening for the beach, where we spent three nights.

Fall in Houston can be full of surprises. Last September, Rodney and I experienced our first hurricane. Hurricanes kept clear of Houston this September, but we had a mix of hot/humid and cool downpours while we were at the beach. We had the typical hot day at the beach on Monday, followed by walks through a wind tunnel of sand and cool rain on the following days. Both were beautiful and enjoyable in its own way:)

Thursday we all went to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and enjoyed everything from Monet to Remington and Jackson Pollock. Abigail was happy enough to be in her stroller as long as she was moving:)

We had a great visit, as I'm sure you'll be able to tell from the pictures below...

still in love after all these years :)

snuggling up to dad...

dan (an attempted frisbee action shot)

a typical david shot...

we all took turns cooking, even the boys...

Abigail has developed quite a personality over the last few weeks. Even while my parents were here, she became increasingly more vocal. She has also developed a preference for her mommy, and communicates when she is unhappy (aka - taking something away that she wants!). She also likes to display her (what we call) "Wallace and Grommet" face, which you can see below. With October around the corner, she is now 8 months old!

and she has become quite proficient at "da da" and "ba ba"...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the best birthday present ever...

Yes, I am now one year older and the ripe old age of 27. Okay, so it's not really all that old, but it sure does sound a lot older than 26. According to my dear hubby, I am officially in my early thirties now (his reasoning - because girls are way more mature than boys. I'd have to agree).


I had a great birthday, mostly because Julianne flew in from N. Carolina the day before and Katie flew in the day after. I hadn't seen either of my dear friends for a long time, so it was great to catch up. We certainly had lots of catching up to do! And my second favorite birthday gift: family pictures. Julianne brought her camera and we took some family pictures before the sun dipped below the horizon on Tuesday night.

Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Harms!

Happy Birthday Grandma Harms! I thought I would post some new pictures just for you today. We all went swimming Friday afternoon and enjoyed the water immensely. Though not as warm as it was in July, it was still quite refreshing. Abigail likes to splash, float and kick her legs in the water. I think we'll have a hard time staying out of the pool next summer!

We had some friends over for burgers, brats and games on Saturday night, and Rodney and I are now fans of "Settlers of Catan". Rodney is actually at their townhome as we speak to help rip out a tile floor. Abigail has been sleepy today, so I got to go back to bed this morning and she's already down for her afternoon nap. We both needed the recharge. I have been in a funk - kinda spacey, kinda low, and I think I just needed some more sleep:)

Abigail seems to enjoy fruits and vegetables. So far she has done well with peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches and bananas. Green beans were a bust and were tramatic for all of us. I truly think they were the root cause of the fussiness and nap boycot. Today, we are trying avocados and then we will try pears at the end of the week! I am enjoying making homemade baby food - which is on the to-do list for today:) She ate the last of the carrots for lunch today.

I hope you have a great birthday, Grandma Harms. We're sorry we cannot celebrate with you, and we look forward to Thanksgiving! We love you very much!

Your son is a great husband and daddy, and he's quite handsome too!

Abigail enjoyed splashing in the water.

We had the pool all to ourselves. It was lovely.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I might as well be...


Yes, I am a thrifty, bargain hunting woman, and my dear husband is 50% Dutch, his grandparents both from Holland. To many of our friends, he is known as The King of Free, and on our nightly walks around the apartment complex, he's always on the lookout for good finds in the garbage.

I am not averse to dumpster diving; I practically grew up looking for great bargains. Most of my clothes during my wee-munchkin years were hand me downs, mostly out of necessity but also because of my mother's frugality. In Japan, it was a well known cultural fact that the Japanese throw away to buy new. It's actually taboo to keep a set of dishes if one piece has broken. So we would go "gomi" (garbage) hunting and found some beautiful pottery and dishes;)

Now as a mom myself, I am on the lookout for bargains. Most of Abigail's toys (swing, jumperoo, play mat, piano, Fisher price home) were from (you guessed it) craigslist. And the last week I have been an e-bay addict, on the lookout for inexpensive winter clothes. We don't have winter here in Texas, but I don't want my daughter to freeze the three weeks we are home for the holidays! Can I rationalize spending an arm and a leg on new winter clothes and jacket she'll only wear for 3 weeks? Of course not:) And by the way, I have found quite a few winter clothes for her on craigslist, the sale racks and on e-bay:)

In the end, it's really a stewardship issue, in my conviction, because if I spend less on myself and our wee daughter, we'll have more to give back to the Lord. Because after all, it's all His anyways.

So that said, I am proud to announce a few of our more recent dumpster diving finds. Yes, we were on a walk about a month ago and couldn't resist. We found a dresser with a broken drawer that Rodney fixed in about 10 minutes. And we found a toy chest. The lid had water stains from a leaking fish tank, which we left in the garbage. But we decided it would be a refinishing project. Rodney sanded the top, I stained it, and Rodney painted on the lacquer over the last few nights. It fits perfectly into our little apartment. And now we have a perfect home for all of Abigail's toys.

So even though Irish and German blood course through my veins, I'm still a good match for my Dutch hubby:)

Abigail, this will be your first piece of furniture for your room when you are too big for your nursery...And it is a perfect match with the rest of our guest bedroom furniture. Amazing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Last week, I picked up this Rainforest Jumperoo for Miss Abigail, and we have had fun watching her play and jump and play some more. She ha s also been more vocal lately and has introduced "ba ba..." and "da da..." into her repertoire of baby noises. Sometimes she quietly talks to herself, almost in whispers, and other times she just likes to be heard, as you will hear in the video below.

Seven months is a fun age, and sometimes at the end of the day, I'll sit back and say to myself, "Now what did I actually do today?" This week has been one of those weeks. I have played with Abigail, done laundry, and cooked delicious meals. That's just about it...but...I'm going to be doing a Bible study at our new church, taking a leave of absence from BSF (alas -- I do not have anyone to watch Abigail). But the church study will also be in John and they have childcare, which will be good for Abigail too. I keep praying that I'll meet some other moms close I'm going to try and get involved with a local MOPS group too. Rodney and I are also going to do a small group study at our church, and with Rodney having BSF on Monday nights, we're going to end up with a full schedule.

All that said -- I'm going to try and sit back and enjoy my daughter:) This shouldn't be too difficult since I am a "be--er"... Yes, I like to just "be" and soak it all in. A friend not long ago said that books are like junk food. And yes, I would have to agree. So if I'm not playing with Abigail, I am reading, which is what I'm about to go do now.