Friday, February 1, 2013


I always knew that time flies when you're having fun, but I wasn't prepared for time moving at warp speed when you have a kid. If I think about it too much I can work myself into a complete meltdown. If the first year felt like a month does each year feel that short? Will it feel like only a few years and she'll be an adult?!?! Ohmigosh- sometimes I really can't handle it. In some ways I would be ok if she stayed a baby forever...always wanting to snuggle me and kiss me and wallow with me. I'm holding on to those special moments hoping they never change. I know I snuggled and wallowed with my mama up until, well, up until she lived in a different state and I had a baby demanding all of my attention, but we still snuggle as often as we can. Noah is getting so grown up so fast. It seems like she learns something new and masters a new skill every single day. I call family and friends as much as I can to update them but sometimes I forget things, or get too busy and I don't get to brag on my little butter-bean as much as I'd like. So, here are some of Noah's current hobbies, skills, and new milestones. She will be 18 months old at the end of the month, so her attitude is VERY much a two year old's, she is WAY too smart for her own good, and for my patience.

Noah is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, at least one episode is watched every day. Minnie, Donald, and Daisy are her favorites. She interacts when they ask her to say things like "Cheers" "Super Cheers" and "Ooooh Tooodles!!!"

She loves to dance. I'm hesitant to admit that she loves rap and hiphop, but it's got the best beats, so what are ya gonna do?!

She sings ALL of the time. The words to songs are still a little above her, but, so far she has mastered "Old MacDonald" and the "Hot Dog" song. She can do the motions for "Popcorn Popping", and will mumble through "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Jesus Loves Me".

She recognizes Jesus in any picture. She will point and say "Cheeeeesussss!"

She eats literally any and everything- although the amount she eats changes day to day. She loves chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and graham crackers which are typical for her age, but she also ADORES broccoli, asparagus, hummus, spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, apples, and greenbeans.

She can point to and identify every member of our family in pictures and on skype which is about 22 people including Great-grandparents, her Godmother, and one honorary Aunt (thats right Aunt Caitrin!).

She can name and make the noise for a dog, cat, duck, horse, bird, frog, sheep, goat, cow, monkey, bunny, bear, and my favorite, elephant.

She can count to 3. It sounds like Tuh, Two, Free.

She can identify the letter "A" and immediately says "apple" afterwards because it was on a worksheet she colored.

She says too many words to count- 50+. Currently her favorite word is "No". Ahhh, no. Can't say I love it so much, but at least makes herself clear, haha.

She is a SASSY PANTS when she wants to be. She will start popping her hand saying "No No No" and proceed to break our rules. I guess she thinks she'll punish herself in order to be able to commit the crime. She'll also break the rules on purpose while saying "Sorry" which sounds like "Saucy". She has been known to throw her cup on the ground and say "Sauuucy, Mommy..."

She can show you her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, hands, fingers, feet, toes, belly button and <blush> boobies. She LOVES being naked.

She runs and climbs and tumbles and jumps and scares us half to death on a minute to minute basis.

Momo is her best friend in the world. She easily loves him more than anyone else. He is the first person she looks for when she wakes up, comes home, or enters a room.

We just got her a big girl potty to test the waters of future potty training. I got the Minnie Mouse potty and SHE LOVES IT. Last night she tee-teed in the potty like a big girl. We're not holding our breath that it will happen a ton right now, but it's great to see that it's not a scary or difficult concept for her.

She's fearless. She likes the big kid slides, and big kid swings, she leaps off of furniture into your arms- sometimes when you don't even know she's coming!!

I love her more than words can say. She is a constant challenge and blessing. She reminds me what is it to have a pure heart and unselfish love. She's the perfect example of why we are told to become like a child in order to know the Lord and receive his blessings. Here are some pictures and a video of her at Monkey Joes! Peace and Love, Layne

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ah-ha moment...

2013 has been pretty rough on my family so far. We've been hit with a lot of unexpected trials and challenges, more than I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time. I've had a lot of talks lately with close friends, who also have similar stories of great struggles put in their lives in the few weeks we've had this year. I've tried to grin and bear it, with the help of my husband and distractions of work and a beautiful baby I have tried not to dwell on the things that are so easy to get caught up in, but today I felt like I was going to break. Physically and emotionally I am drained, and I feel that spiritually I am very much being challenged by God. I feel extremely humbled and chastened. I feel ashamed and aware. I feel sorrow, but most of all now I feel peace.
   I realize that I have been like the Pharisees who Isaiah prophesied would draw near to the Lord with their lips, but who's heart is far from Him, and who worship Him in vain (Matthew 15:7-9). I am often quick to thank my Father in Heaven for my blessings, and trust He will see me through the tough times, but my actions and the despair in my heart reveal me as a hypocrite. I have become all too aware of how I have been failing God and in turn myself, and my family. My words have been saying one thing but my heart has felt another way. I have had selfish desires for these messes I'm surrounded by to go away, I've thought that enduring them patiently would be sufficient enough for the Lord to take my burden away. {Cue another obstacle} I have longed for life to be easy, and taken for granted lessons that could be learned {cue another road block} I have been ignorant to the opportunity that I'm being provided with to strengthen my relationship with the Lord and grow as a Christian wife, and short I have been ignorant, and unteachable.
   Y'all know in cartoons how sometime the hero or heroine will be physically hit with the realization that has been right in front of them the whole time? A slap on the forehead, ah-ha moment? As silly as this sounds, I was in my daughter's room tonight frantically trying to gather some close together while she was otherwise distracted and I bent down to grab a book off of the floor and when I stood up I smacked my head very very hard on the wooden microwave door of her play kitchen. I instantly collapsed onto the ground and shrieked and thought "Why me, Lord?!!!" as I squeezed my eyes together with all my might sobbing in pain and frustration. I cried and cried and gasped for air and felt so defeated. I sat there for several minutes feeling beaten and wounded (both my pride and head), and then it hit me. Not once had I asked "Why me, Lord?" not once had I prayed for a lesson, I had not sought out the Lord's word, I had not asked for guidance, I had not asked to be strengthened. I had taken for granted that God would look after me and help me through the obstacles that January presented, and my heart had been closed off to the lessons from God and promptings of the Spirit. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."
    I know that the Lord does not intend for us to struggle through this life as he watches on. He wants us to always seek Him, so that he is with us in times of trouble, and when we face adversity, and when we find ourselves in darkness. He wants us to follow the example of the Savior and walk with Him. He does not leave us alone, but we have to seek Him out. We can not worship in vain, or take the gifts and tools He has given us for granted. Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. It is so easy to be faithful when times are good and easy, but it is faith in times of trial that makes us better Christians and people. I have to remember that to be Spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6). I had been relying on God to be with me, but not realizing that I had let him get away from me. 
     I truly feel that 2013 has amazing things in store for me and my family, and I know that I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me. I hope you don't forget to seek out the Lord every second of every day, all of the time. If you never let Him out of your heart there will be no dark days. I feel renewed and no longer defeated, and I am grateful that I can share this with you. Peace and love, Layne