Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Saturday, January 29, 2011

saturday fun

What a perfect little Saturday... JP and I started out by meeting up with Jordan, Natalie and Megan for lunch. It was so great to catch up while Natalie while she is in town from Panama and the food was delicious- we went to a sweet little place called Annabelle's, although I would warn that it is not the most baby-friendly place. After testing Jackson's patience he finally got stir-crazy after about an hour and a half in his high chair- not bad for an (almost!) one year old. 

JP reading books to Jordan, Jordan in turn giving him his favorite.. treats!

Natalie and Jackson

After lunch JP, Jordan and I headed to the most adorable little children's boutique, The Spotted Goose, and book store, The Blue Manatee, to let Jackson run off some energy. 

The sweet little play area in the boutique 

A little photo break in the dressing room- Jordan loved the orange walls!

After shopping for a few minutes we went to the bookstore next door. It was ADORABLE! I can't wait to bring him back and hopefully catch a story time. 

JP climbing into the reading tree

Reading books with Jordan

Book-shopping with Jordan!

Climbing through the book train

After picking up a few new books we said goodbye to Jordan, thanked her for introducing us to the cutest little bookstore and headed to our next little date of the day. Luckily, the ride to our play date with Jessie and Canaan was just long enough to allow Jackson to take a little nap and re-energize so that he and his little buddy could get some playtime in!

JP pushing Canaan around in his car

They were so cute together, following each other around playing...

Coming, buddy?

After playing we came home and Dan made us all dinner. JP is now tucked in tight, already dreaming, giving Dan and I some quality time together. All in all, a perfect little Saturday!

Friday, January 28, 2011

operation: home renovation

Dan and I have been finalizing our home renovation and addition plans for over a year. The drawings were finally completed by an architect a few weeks ago. And then? And then we completely changed our minds. We changed our minds on a total whim after Dan came across a photo online that totally inspired him and then inspired me and then... well, now we have a totally new plan. We have to wait for the temperature outside to warm up enough for concrete work- I don't really know a lot about that, but I do know that we mostly likely won't 'break ground' until spring because of this. So, in the meantime, we have been spending a lot of our evenings and weekends making sketch after sketch getting it all 'just right' and I continue to collect ideas online that meet what has been brewing in my mind for quite awhile. Here are just a few of these design-inspiring photos...

Source: Holly Mathis

Thursday, January 27, 2011

happy places

I am in serious need of a trip to my 'happy places' today... 
Honeymoon in Hawaii- May/June 2008

Our wedding- May 2008

Bing as a tiny little puppy! June 2008

Snowy Sammy- Winter 2009

The two loves of my life- February 2010

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FAITH BEGINNINGS: "The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart." - Mencius

Last weekend Dan, Jackson and I went book-shopping. We went a little overboard, as usual, but if there is any thing I am okay with giving Jackson too much of, it is books. So, give him books we did. While there we also picked up a few books to read in our quest to give Jackson the strongest foundation of faith possible. 

One of the books I began reading is Faith Like a Child by Johnny Parker. So far, so great!

The book is based around Matthew 18:3-4:
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Johnny starts the book talking about the difference between being childish and childlike. The idea that being childish needs to stay in childhood- this immaturity comes along with just that, not yet being mature. But, being childlike is something that we should keep in our hearts, in how we live always. Being childlike means seeing life through the eyes of a child- seeing things with pure love, unconditional love... living as children live- "they trust, love and live without considering first what's in it for them." I love that. (Side note: this also begs the question of what catalyst spurs this way of living to stop- or at least to stop being so frequent. And when do these things happen? What is it in life that begins the slippery slop of adulthood as seen through the eyes of the bitter, serious, tired.)

I love how he goes on to point out how children know how to keep life simple. How they have this beautiful ability to find joy everywhere. It's so true! Just watch a child, watch how their faces light up over any and every thing, how they laugh without a guard up and giving hugs, kisses and affection fit so seamlessly into their every day life. I see this all the time with Jackson in my life- it is what makes being around children so incredible, so fun and care-free. It's because we too wish we could live this way. And the beauty is that we can, and as God points out, we should

It doesn't mean throwing responsibility and seriousness out the window- there is a time for both of those things as adults, but I would argue that "serious" business can be accomplished without serious faces 99% of the time. That we can be responsible and set the best of examples by being childlike. 

As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven... a time to weep and a time to laugh."

Did you know that the average 4 year old laughs more than 40 times a day? And that the average 40 year old laughs only 4 times a day? Does that depress any one else? Because I'm 26 and if being 40 means only laughing a few times a day then I'm not ready to buy into that future. 

"Laughter and play are the poles that add balance to our steps as we walk the tightrope of life." I wrote down that quote while reading and I just happened to come back across it today... I think the past few days I've been forgetting to laugh and play and be as childlike as much as I want to be. This happens sometimes when we allow the stresses of every day life to blur our focus. 

The book left this section by posing  a question of "what are you doing today to cultivate a spirit of laughter and play in your home?" What am I doing today and every day to bring Jackson up in a home that thrives off of childlike passion, love and energy? I would also add, what am I doing today and every day to bring childlike play and fun to my marriage? And what am I doing today and every day to bring this idea of pure, selfless passion to the office- how can I be the shining light of example for those around me?

Monday, January 24, 2011

oh, january...

I'm not going to lie, the dream of moving somewhere warmer, sunnier, less-snowy is pretty appealing right now. I normally don't feel the "winter blues" until mid-February, but they came early this year. I am ready for green grass, sunny days, walks in the park, planting new flowers and gardens and playing with JP outside. Meanwhile, it is what it is. Winter is here to stay for awhile. Mostly that's an okay thing- the snow is pretty, it gives us plenty of opportunities to stay inside cuddled up together and JP is awfully cute bundled up. 

I don't know if it's the gray weather or the lack of sleep that comes with a teething baby, but I've been a little absent the past few days, lots going through my mind, lots of dreams forming and ideas starting to run wild. It's that uncomfortable, sort of sluggish place in between where dreams start, but haven't taken off yet. It leaves me feeling a little "blah" with pockets of full-on energy at the possibilities. 

Here is to the end of a busy Monday and to a great week full of opportunity- but first, here is hoping to a night full of sleep!

His preferred way of sitting in his high chair...

 I love chubby baby feet!

 Proof to Jackson: your mother did exist during these blogging memories, she normally is behind the camera

 Shopping with daddy for home renovation supplies

 Daddy, why are you eating my food?


 Hi Mama!

 Feeding Daddy is so fun!

 Emilee teaching JP how to put the puzzle together

 I know it's super blurry, but I still love it. Grandpa trying to cuddle with Jordan

 Jordan allowed it for about 5 seconds

 The birthday boy! Love this smiling face.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

daddy's nose

One year ago today Dan and I had our last ultrasound for Jackson. The doctors knew he was going to be a big boy and wanted to get a better idea of just how big we were talking. In the end they estimated a "normal" size of around 8 pounds, but of course modern technology was way off and just a few weeks later I gave birth to my 9 pound, 3 ounce little man. 

Anyway, I will forever remember this day in particular. It was so amazing to see Jackson on the ultrasound screen that day. The nurse didn't need to point a single thing out to us because it was just so clear. His arms, legs, chubby cheeks (VERY chubby cheeks) and his nose... oh, that nose. Dan and I could not stop giggling when we were back in the waiting room. His nose looked enormous, just like Dan's. 

Little did we know that as much as we thought we were in love with him that day, seeing him on that screen, feeling him in my belly... little did we know just how much more we would fall in love with him every single day since then. 

Here is the full story of that day. 

On a side note while I'm on the topic of Jackson, I wanted to capture a few funny little memories from today:

1. My baby no longer drinks from a bottle. I think this was harder on me than on him since he is perfectly happy drinking his milk from a sippy cup, but it just seems to "big  boy" to store away all of those bottles. 

2. Jackson had a complete meltdown at dinner over... the ketchup bottle. What? Yeah, we have no idea either, but we were at the table and I put ketchup on my plate and he went from laughing happy to pucker face, full out upset. I picked him up and soothed him. Dan proceeded to put the ketchup bottle out of sight because JP was clearly staring at it in fear. Well, later we needed more ketchup so I thought, it must have been a fluke, I'm going to go get it. I brought it back into the room and as soon as he saw it he again got upset. Really, really weird. Funny, but weird. 

3. Our little daredevil likes to walk backwards while holding onto his toys just to hear Dan make the "beep beep" sound. He thinks it's hilarious and gets frustrated when he runs into things. 

4. I have officially lost count of all the words he can say because the number is high and amazes me more every day. I may be biased but I'm pretty sure he's a genius. 
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