Monday, December 21, 2009

What it's all about

Well, we had a busy weekend, but a really good one!

Have I mentioned that our small group at church is really awesome? Well, it is. We're blessed to be a part of a great group of people who truly love and are seeking after God. It seems like the group as a whole has developed a desire for service to those around us, particularly those in need. We've become involved with a local boys' home, and the guys in the group regularly go to visit and share with them, and many of them have accepted Christ. I've heard the guys talk about them a lot, and I was so excited that this past Friday night I got to finally meet them.

We held a Christmas party for the boys, and it was great. We had dinner, took a "Christmas quiz", had karaoke, a message from our old pastor, and gave them some gifts. Sitting at our table was a boy named Austin who had just turned 14. He was shy, and SO sweet, and I just wanted to take him home with us so badly. There was also a boy named Calvin who was hilarious and so much fun. He totally tried to cheat on the Christmas quiz, but we love him anyway.

Probably my favorite moment of the whole evening was this:
(sorry these pics are so dark. I think our camera's on the fritz)
This boys' name is Cody, and early into the party he came and asked Mike if he would play guitar for him while he sang 'Amazing Grace' on stage. Trust me when I say that this sweet guy probably couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, but his heart was 100% into it. I have no doubt Jesus was smiling and soaking it up. It totally made me cry. My other favorite moment of the evening was probably the kid singing 'Annie are you Okay' on karaoke. Nothing says Merry Christmas like that. Good times.

Here's Mike with Calvin:

And here they all are, along with a few of our guys:

Our group has also adopted a needy family in our area as well. This family has 8 children and the Dad was in a motorcycle accident about a year ago which has left him paralyzed from the chest down. They just have nothing, and I mean nothing. So we all got the opportunity to buy the family Christmas gifts this year, and on Sunday afternoon a few of us were privileged to go and deliver them. Boy does it put things in perspective!

The whole family
Iris in front of all the presents!

I'm so grateful to have opportunities like these, especially at Christmastime. As far as honoring Christ, His birth, and what He came to do, I don't know if there's much that's more fitting.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brotherly Love

Sneaker and Sam have become pretty good buddies!

I thought it was pretty cute and got so absorbed in taking pictures, that I forgot about my sandwich on the stove and ended up with this for lunch:
Oh well, it was worth it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Since it's Christmastime and all, I thought I should reflect on a few of my favorite things, and the things that I'm really thankful for... in no particular order.

* Sam dancing

* Our laptop with wireless internet

* A fire in the fireplace

* The health of my family

* Multiple cup holders on our stroller

* The sound of the garage door opening and knowing Mike is about to walk through the door

* Online shopping (see post below)

* Sam laughing

* Good friends who spur me on in my walk with the Lord

* The glee at bathtime

* Mike, in every way

* Sermon podcasts, particularly those by Matt Chandler

* Peaceful naptimes

* The childcare workers at church

These guys pretty much sum it up. Mike's getting some Sam kisses :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Adventures in Christmas Shopping

Sam and I ventured out today to try and finish up some Christmas shopping. He's a typical boy and doesn't usually enjoy our shopping times together, so I've learned to keep it to one stop. He'll only take so much in-and-out of purgatory, i.e. his car seat, so I've learned to use strategery when it comes to this.

Today I pushed it past the once in and out of seat norm, and suffered the consequences. I don't know that we'll be allowed back into the JCPenney on the service road ever again. Sorry, my fellow shoppers. I should have known better than not to disrupt the car seat gods on such a busy shopping day whilst nearing nap time.

After arriving home in a pool of sweat, blood and tears I have vowed to do all of my Christmas shopping online next year.

That's all I have to say about that.

P.S. I just found out that there is a Hobby Lobby going in right near the house... within like a 5 minute drive!! It's a happy day after all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anybody still out there?

Again, I'm sorry I haven't been around lately. The last month and a half or so, we've been doing the rounds of sickness and I've also been doing some work for my old employer during my "down time". But I'm hoping all of that's dying down now, and posting will pick back up!

We had a great Thanksgiving with the Pruitts on the farm! Sam loves being out there where he can roam free outside, play with all 3 dogs, terrorize the one poor cat, and go up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs.

With Grandma on the all-toys-are-now-ruined-for-me stairs

Exploring the vast wilderness with his awesome new wagon

Here we all are on Thanksgiving day!

While we were in town, we went out to the Woolaroc Wonderland of lights

Corraling Sam in one of the museums. They have a narwhal horn here, which always impresses me

We got our Christmas tree up, and I'm proud to report that Sam is pretty well tree-trained! We still have the occasional stealthy ornament kidnapping, but overall he does really well around the Christmas tree, and seems to be enjoying it.

The fireplace. I'm still trying to figure out how to hang the stockings. Any suggestions?

The kitchen table. Most of our Christmas decor has been put roughly 3 feet high or more.

And, if I can get the video to load, here's a clip of Sam "finishing" his dinner last night. He just caught on to this trick, and we still get too much of a kick out of it to really do any reprimanding, i.e., responsible parenting.

Hope ya'll have been doing well!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Great Weekend in the 'Ville!

Last week, Mike took Friday off and we packed up the whole family, including our poor dog who has been neglected of late, and headed to our hometown to visit family and have a little down time. Luckily, Mike's parents were also off work last Friday, so we dropped Sam off with them on Friday morning and spent the majority of the day by ourselves. It was awesome. We had lunch at one of Mike's favorite home-town dives, did a little shopping at the mall, took an awesome bike-ride on a beautiful trail, and just basked in each other's company. It was really great, and was a good reminder for me that we need to find a local babysitter and get more one on one time. It's so important, and so refreshing. Of course, by the time we went to pick Sam up, I was missing him terribly, but I had a good time nonetheless.

I think the mall shopping was one of my favorite activities, mostly because I got the opportunity to try clothes on without a stroller taking up 90% of the dressing room. Normally I'm crammed into the corner, trying my best to entertain an impatient Sam, while shimmying into the clothes and trying to make a decision within 5 seconds in an effort to not push Sam into full melt-down mode. I learned my lesson after the unfortunate Kohl's meltdown of '09 a couple of weeks ago.

We stayed with my parents and got some good visit time with them, and also got to spend some time with Mike's fam. Sam really enjoyed seeing everyone, and did SO GREAT on the trip. We discovered the he loves to climb stairs, and LOVES all the attention that comes with being around lots of family.

Sam wearing Grandpa Pruitt's boots

Getting into the true spirit of being on the farm

It was a great trip!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To make up for the dryness around here lately... a super long post.. almost as long as this title, but there are baby pictures so stick with me

I know I’ve neglected my blog lately, sorry about that. Sometimes life gets a little bit crazy and I let it slip. Other times we get our new Office Season 5 DVDs in the mail from Amazon and I spend every free moment I have watching deleted scenes and gag reels, and otherwise just being a nerd. But I’m back and loaded with updates!

First off, I know I promised some new house pics awhile back and never delivered. I've decided to wait until I get the house decorated for Fall before I take any pictures. Because frankly, right now there are no decorations whatsoever, so the pictures would be really boring. (Sorry Chris, I really am!!)

There are so many Sam updates and stories that I can’t possible tell them all here, so I’ll just highlight the big one. My boy is WALKING!! I don’t mean kind of taking a step here and there, I mean full-blown, my life is over – WALKING. I suppose we have officially entered into toddlerhood, so your prayers would be much appreciated.

Sam beating up some balloons at Aunt Christina and Uncle Brandon's house!

On the subject of Sam, (I knew I wouldn’t be able to just tell one thing), he is a sick little hombre right now. The doc says it’s not the flu, but he’s running a fever, and has bouts of acting lethargic. I never thought I would use the words Sam and lethargic in the same sentence, but there it is. He’ll actually crawl up in my lap and lay his head on my chest… this, I am not complaining about. But I do hope he gets better soon. When I took him to the doctor, I was waiting for the lady to get to the check-in counter when Sam starting throwing up all over both of us. The waiting room was packed and people were watching us in horror. A kid who I’d peg at about 8 years old started gagging, and I just knew we were about to start the puke domino effect. A couple of kind souls offered to go get paper towels for us but frankly, I don’t think a paper towel would have removed all the puke from my hair, let alone the rest of us. We got whisked to the back in our full glory where we were brought wet towels, so regretfully, I didn’t stick around to see whether or not we’d set off the puke wave. [Update: I wrote this paragraph before the latest episode of ‘The Office’ where there was an actual puke wave… just thought you should know. They must have been in the dr.’s office that day.]

I don’t know how to transition from ‘puke wave’ to my next update, so I’ll just skip right to it.

Weekend before last, some of the girls from small group rented a cabin in the wilderness of the Davis area, and just got together for good times. I got to go on Friday and spend the night with them, and it was really great to have a night away and hang out with some really great girls. We ate, played games, did karaoke, and danced. Well, they danced… I made a fool of myself. It will shock you to know that I didn’t get any pictures, but there are plenty of embarrassing ones floating around out there (you know who you are), so if you are on facebook, I’m sure you can get your fill.

Saturday morning Mike and Sam came and picked me up and we drove to the Dallas area to visit my sis and brother-in-law and their new baby boy. Ya’ll, it was amazing. When I got there, Isaac was sleeping in his crib, but my sis let me go in and peek at him, and I was just overwhelmed with emotion. He was laying on his side with his little arms folded up by his head, and he was so perfect that it just didn’t seem real. (Go visit her blog and you’ll see a pic of what I’m talking about). It really was a special moment meeting my sister’s son for the first time. Very surreal, and so exciting. Isaac is the most laid-back baby I have ever been around. He just let me hold him for the longest time, without making a wimper, and only fussed a little when it was time to eat. My sister says he’s sleeping well and eating well, and so basically, they have the perfect baby. I am just so thrilled for them. I would say I am 95% thrilled for them, and only 5% jealous. Maybe more like 80/20. I can’t wait until Isaac gets a little older and can go on adventures with Sam. I’m hoping they’ll be good buds. That’s why I'm only 30% jealous…

Holding Isaac for the first time. He's awesome!

Well, I think this post is already past way too long, so I will leave it until next time. Hopefully next time won’t be too far off. Although we did just get DVR, so I can’t promise anything.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Aunt Stephanie x 3!

At 12:30 a.m. yesterday morning, my newest nephew was born! His name is Isaac Aiden Ritter, and he weighed in at 8 lb. 4 oz and 21 inches long. Praise the Lord for a big healthy boy!! My sister is amazing, I am so proud of her. She did this with NO EPIDURAL, PEOPLE!! Let me repeat that: NO EPIDURAL.

We got a text message Sunday night that they weren't going to be able to give her one, and let me tell you something, I started sweating bullets. Sometimes my sister and I have this strange twin-like connection about things, and my stomach started churning and I felt like I was about to have a nervous break-down. I thought surely I was somehow feeling a smidge of what she was feeling. And then I talked to her the next day and found out that she had been completely mellow and calm about the whole thing. Well then. I guess we know who the more stable sister is.

Feast your eyes on this precious boy, and my gorgeous sister, somehow looking totally beautiful after having given birth to a big baby boy with NO EPIDURAL.

I can't wait to go visit and get my arms around them. I love you Ritters so much!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Love Ya Tomorrow, You're Only a Day Away

The weeks of torturous waiting are almost over... I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. The new season of The Office starts tomorrow. TOMORROW! NBC Thursdays at 8. Don't miss it!

They really don't pay me, but they should.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Earlier this week, our little family got to go out to a Redhawks game downtown. Mike's work has a box at the stadium, so we got to watch the game in style. They even gave us a parking pass - the "GOLD" pass, which is right by the entrance to the stadium, so we didn't even have to walk to get there. It's a good thing, because normally I'm not inclined to exert much physical effort to watch baseball. (It's a totally different story with Sooner football, by the way, and I am PUMPED about watching the first game of the season this Saturday!)
When we made it to the box, we got to visit with some of Mike's co-workers, and chow down on the food provided. We even got a visit from Rowdy the Redhawk. Sam got a kick out of him!

It was great to casually walk outside and pretend to pay attention to the field, but then retreat right back to the air-conditioning and partake of the munchies. We felt so VIP, even though we're so not. For example, I mistook the honey mustard salad dressing for dip for the chicken fingers, because how on earth could you possibly eat chicken without gravy or some other such cream sauce? We had a great time, and I hope we get to go back again sometime, as long as Mike's work doesn't get stingy with the gold passes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Bash

Well, we're all moved in! At least, all of our stuff is here. It will probably be awhile before everything is actually put away and set in place, but at least we are functional at the new place. We moved in on a Saturday and the next Saturday we had Sam's birthday party here. I don't know what we were thinking either. There's been a wee bit of psychosis on my part the past week or so. And more Dr. Pepper and Oreos to help it go away.

The party went well, and I think Sam had a good time. He downed his cupcake and ice cream like a pro. My genes really shone in him during that moment and I was so proud.

I think the sugar crash came about an hour after everyone left and the house was quiet again. In time he'll learn that's a sacrifice you have to make to enjoy the good stuff in life, like Dr. Pepper and Oreos.

It was really special to us to have so much family at the party. Both sets of Mike's great-grandparents live within a day's driving distance, and made the trip to be here, and we're so glad they could make it. I have to give a big shout out to Mike's parents for coming early to help around the house before the party started. I don't think I could have pulled it off without your help, Cindy! My Mom was home recovering from surgery, so I'm glad they didn't try to make the trip, but we missed them anyway. I hope you're feeling better and taking it easy, Mom!

Here are a few more pics from the party:

Sorry to disappoint you, but my baking skills are not for hire. This is supposed to be a white, cock-eyed teddy bear face, not a pig as my father-in-law thought. Easy mistake to make. Sadie in her birthday hat. She was the only child who wore one without complaint. Isn't she precious?

The birthday boy was not so compliant.

In true one-year-old fashion, he enjoyed eating the cards and wrapping paper more than playing with the toys.

And this pic wasn't taken at the party, but it seemed appropriate since it looks like he was having a little too much fun at a party and took a pic of himself.

And in totally unrelated news, I am extremely pumped because I have found THE BOOTS I want for this Fall/Winter. My boots are very important to me and play a huge role in my Fall/Winter life, so choosing them is like looking for a best friend. At least until a cuter, more stylish friend comes along in just the right shade of brown, in which case the old boots are toast. Anyway, here they are:

Aren't they cute?

Well, I'd better get back to unpacking while Sam is still napping. I'll post some pics of the new place soon, promise!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Samuel Keith

August 25, 2008
One year ago today, my life was forever changed. At 6:35 p.m. I was doing some of the hardest physical work I've ever done, and through the blur of pain, a sea of medical staff, and near-mental shut down I heard Mike say with a broken voice, "He's out Steph, he's out!". In that surreal moment I looked to my left and saw my son. Oh, my heart.

Before my mind could really register much besides "SAM!!!", I heard all of the nurses (I think there were approximately 237 of them) start saying "Woah he's HUGE!", and "Wow, look how BIG". All I could think was that he was perfect. They put him on the scales and sure enough, he was a whopping 10 lbs 5 oz. My big Sam boy.

I'd say that's a pretty accurate overall description of him. He's a big boy physically, but also in personality. He's loud, he's fast, he's active, he's strong, and boy is he ever cute. I think as a Mom you always feel like you come up about 1,000 times short of expressing how you feel about your child, but suffice it to say that I think he's the greatest thing on the planet and it feels like my heart is physically outside of my body. He just rocks.

Happy first Birthday, my sweet Sam! I'm forever grateful and proud to be your Mom and you'll never, ever know how much I love you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boxes, Chaos and Oreos, Oh My

Things are just a little crazy around here at the moment. We're closing on our new house today (why am I blogging again?), and in full swing of all that comes with moving your entire household. I would show you a picture of the chaos that surrounds me right now but frankly, I'm a little embarassed and also, I have NO EARTHLY IDEA where the camera might be. The way I've been packing, it's probably in an old purse stuffed inside an old school bag stuffed inside a box filled with toys, electronics, and pantry items. Mike hasn't said much about my packing, but the look on his face as he watches me says it all. Meaning... I don't think he loves me for my packing skills. Bless his sweet, patient heart.

The next post I write could very well officially come from THE new Pruitt homestead. In the meantime I'll probably be slashing and burning with the packing (and re-packing as Sam likes to undo the precision that is a box I've just finished), and trying desperatly to ignore the chaos around me. And probably consoling myself and rewarding my hard work with Dr. Pepper and Oreos as has been my habit lately. Good eating habits will come with the new house, kay? I'll check in from there in a few days!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to Eat a Sandwich with an Almost-One-Year-Old

1. Get bread out of pantry and lunchmeat out of refrigerator.

2. Quickly scoop dead rolly polly off of floor as baby speeds toward it with a crazed look in his eye.

3. Spread mustard on bread.

4. Take dog hair out of baby's hand and mouth. Wash your hands and his.

5. Get cheese out of refrigerator.

6. Realize you're out of milk and orange juice as you're looking in the refrigerator. Quickly write these items on your shopping list.

7. Retrieve pen used to write said items on shopping list from baby. Try your best to wipe ink off of babys face without removing top 3 layers of skin.

8. Place lunch meat on bread.

9. Investigate noise of dog lapping liquid from the floor.

10. Remove baby from puddle of spilled apple juice and banish dog to back yard.

11. Mop up the spill.

12. Change baby's soaked clothes and give him quick sponge bath.

13. Notice baby's hamper is overflowing. Put on washing.

14. Place cheese on sandwich and put it all together.

15. Hear the phone on speaker phone making a call. Run to end the call, pray you won't see a long distance charge to Indonesia later this month, and place phone out of baby's reach amidst much protest.

16. Place sandwich on plate and sit down to enjoy lunch.

17. Tend to wailing baby who insists it is naptime.

18. Change baby's diaper, put him down for nap.

19. Eat sandwich and relish the peace and quiet while blogging about the experience.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is Just Awesome

I love this. It almost makes me want to plan a vow-renewal ceremony or something, and be really creative about it. Why didn't we think of this?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Baby Shower, a Family Reunion, and My Baby's Growing Up...

Did ya'll miss me? I've been back in town for several days now, but it's been a little busy and I've been a little tired, hence the lack of a new post. Hopefully this entry will help get me back in the swing of things!

I'm happy to report that my road-trip to Texas with Sam was wonderful! Sam was an absolute pro and made nary a peep on the drive down OR the drive back up. Lord be praised! I had a fabulous time as I got to throw my sister a baby shower along with my Mom, my sis's mother in law and sisters in law. It was beautiful and fun, and we had a great turn-out too, so it was greatness all around. I also got to stay a couple of days afterwards to visit with my sis and help her finish some things up on her nursery. Ya'll, this is one fab nursery. You can head on over to her blog to check out some pics. I won't mention that I'm just a little peeved that my sister is unbelievably gorgeous as a pregnant woman while I turned into what can best be described as a hippo monster. I also won't mention that her ankles are still skinnier than mine and she's 7 months pregnant. I'll let you figure that out from the pictures.

My Mom and sis

A couple of days after Sam and I got home, there was a Pruitt family reunion here. It was great getting to see a lot of Mike's fam that we don't normally get to see. They're really great people. Mike's sweet Aunt Janie had put together tons of memory books and picture albums for everyone to enjoy, and it was really fun to see all of the old pictures of the fam and hear some funny stories. Good times.

Sam with cousin Quinn and Aunt Marsha. He really liked them - especially because they let him play with their blackberry!
Having a blast with Dad in the pool
The whole Pruitt gang. What's a family picture without matching shirts?

And in totally unrelated news, I have to give a few updates on Sam. Because no blog post of mine is complete without him. MY LAD HAS SAID HIS FIRST WORD, and you know what it is? Well, to give you a hint: I lovingly care for him 24/7, carried him for 9 1/2 months, gave birth to him, sing him his favorite songs, read to him, play with him, feed him,... you get the picture. So naturally, his first word was Dada. Oh, the sweet sting of bitterness. He's coming around to Mama though... or maybe I'm just delusional. Anyway, he's also started waving (SO cute!) and clapping, and drinking through a straw. He's just growing up so fast. He'll turn one this month, and I am completely and utterly amazed by that fact. Time sure flies when they're babies, doesn't it?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Sam and I are leaving for a little road trip down to Texas in the morning. We'll be gone for a few days, and will be away from Mike and home for probably the longest consecutive time ever (at least since Sam has been born). I'm looking SOO forward to the trip, but as I think about it, I already miss Mike and he's sprawled out on the loveseat near me, eating the last of the ice cream out of the carton and channel surfing. Ah, I'll miss that these next few days. Really I will. I also probably won't be able to blog for several days... and I'll miss you, too. Act like you'll miss me back, m'kay?

'Til next time, friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tips for Beating Baby Boredom

Here are some fun things to do while Mom is busy cleaning, cooking, or whatever it is she does...

If she's in the kitchen anyway, it can be fun to help unload the dishwasher baskets.

And the lids for the pots and pans are super fun to slide around the floor. They make awesome noises. (Sorry for the lack of a visual aid with this one... you'll have to take my word for it that it rocks.)

The bathroom is a goldmine. You can throw the magazines into the bathtub (they look better there anyway)...

Or grab one and do a little reading. In my spare time, I like to catch up on what's new this Fall from LL Bean.

And my favorite bathroom activity: unrolling all of the toilet paper. Doesn't it make the floor look more comfy?

Then if you're lucky and sneak a handful of the tp, you can find a quiet spot and chow down.

Activities like these help me pass the time when Mom is distracted. They also help ensure I get her full attention once she sees what I can do without her help. I hope they help you too!

Best Wishes,