Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Idol - Week 2

Way to go boys! You had a complete 180 degree turn from last week. I was 100% sure after watching the show last week that a girl would win, actually that the girls would be the final 6 standing, but after last night I have renewed faith in you boys. You really stepped it up and began to show the talent you have. I'm still about 99% sure a girl will win this season (let's face it, they are in a totally different league), but boys you are putting up a fighting chance now.

Phil - He is the bald headed boy who was in the military and missed the birth of his baby to try out for AI, which I find a little weird, but I guess it paid off if missing one of the most monumental moments of your life for a singing contest is worth it, he did an excellent job! I really like his voice and he is very sweet! His wife even sweeter because I don't know if I would have been that understanding.

Jared - He sang "Let's Get It On". If somebody is not a great singer but wants to come off as one I believe there are two songs a person can sing, "Let's Get It On" and "Son of a Preacher Man". They are easy to sing, they have a catchy beat, and everybody loves them. So Jared you did a great job last night.

A.J. - Loved his song! He sang "It's a New Dawn" and I thought he sounded good. He is adorable.

Chris S. - Love him so much more after his sweet words about his wife during the dedication time! He had lots of very kind things to say about her! He sang "Trouble" and did an excellent job.

Sanjaya - Oh Sanjaya! Such a soft-hearted, kind boy with a huge smile! Unfortunately I think his young age is playing a huge factor here. He seems so shy that it just is not working right now.

Nick - Sang "Fever" and dedicated it to his cutey girlfriend who suprised him by showing up tonight at the show. They are an adorable couple! And Nick's pure sounding, airy voice is outstanding. Good job!

Blake - My favorite! Let it be known I predict that Blake is going to be in the final 2! I still believe a girl will win, which one I have not decided on yet, but I believe that Blake will be runner up! He is amazing. Truly talented and entertaining.

Brandon - Sang "Time After Time" and it wasn't great. Brandon used to be a back up singer for Christina Aguilera and Usher! So there's no mistaking that he's got talent! But last night was not great, he definitely did not show off all that he has. I'm not saying you have to belt it everytime, but this early in, you better show all that you have because I think that song might have been his goodbye.

Chris R. - So cute! He is my second favorite boy! And Simon declared he was the best of the night. He sang "Geek in the Pink" which totally showed how fun and talented he is.

Sundance - Okay, I believe his dedication story about missing being with his newborn son and crying about it totally saved him for another week. Side note: What is with all these boys missing the birth of their children and missing being with them for their first few months of life for this show? And how are their wives handling that with hormones surging at an all new high? But Sundance made an excellent point that made me feel a little better. Through his tears, he said he is sacrificing being with his new son to hopefully be able to use this show to catapult him into a career where he can fully provide above and beyond for his family. He sang "Ride Sally Ride", it wasn't spectacular but it wasn't awful!

My prediction: Sunjaya and Brandon are the bottom two for this week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Double Portion

Oh boy does my cup runeth over!! This past Saturday was a day of deliverance, a day of renewal, a day of scriptual learning, a day of worship and I mean it was all day! From 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. I got to be apart of the Beth Moore simulcast, which consisted of 3 sessions with Beth and the best praise and worship I have ever experienced lead by Travis Cottrell and his group of singers! AMAZING!! I couldn't get over how equally talented and unbelievably incredible each singer was! Lord, let them be leading our worship in heaven! Can a day get any better than that?

Beth taught out of Psalm 18 and the verse that forever changed my perspective on God and the love that He has for me and the love that I am to have for Him. The verse is right at the beginning, verse 1. David sang this song to the Lord, "I love you, O Lord, my strenth." The word love in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word racham which means to love deeply, be compassionate, have tender affection. Beth described it to us as "a feeling invoked by an infant and conveys a great desire to touch!" It hit me in that moment that I will never know the deep love that God feels for me. It's beyond what I could feel or even imagine. But I can come close to understanding what that love is like now that I have an infant. The love that I have for Ella trumphs any love that I have experienced. The love that I have for her goes beyond wanting to protect her from anything and everything, wanting to kiss her a thousand times a day, wanting her to never feel heartbreak or physical pain, wanting her filled with joy and a life filled with the abundance of God! So how much more does the Lord love us? I can't imagine, but for the rest of my time on earth, I now have a reference of what it is like, the love I am to have for Him and the smidge of love that He feels for me. Thank you Beth! You have forever changed my perspective on this! It was an incredible day!

But the day didn't end there. I got to go straight into more worship in our Saturday service. Seriously, I'm so sorry for those that don't or can't experience the Word from Curtis every Saturday. What a gift we have?! If you have not visited the service, do! You will not leave with regret!

Can a day get better than that?

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Love My Hat

Does she not look like such a big girl in these pictures?! Ella got this new Gap hat for her birthday and loves it!

All power to the new hat!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Jackson Jones!!

Saturday was Jackson's 1st Birthday! I love this boy! He is the sweetest boy with the biggest smile and the biggest eyes I have ever seen! I have had the honor to know Jackson since he was just a few hours old. Heath, Ella and I were in the hospital with them just right down the hall! And it has been one fantastic day after another watching him grow! It has been one of my greatest joys to watch him and Ella play together and develop in amazing ways! I always ask Amanda what new thing Jackson is doing this week because Ella is about 3 weeks behind him, so it's great that I can know what is coming and get ready for it!

Jackson, I loved celebrating your one year birthday with you! You are such a special little man and I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this year with you. You will forever be bonded to our family. We will always love you and always celebrate February 17th as Jackson's day!

Janelle and Ella

In the hospital!

1 Month Old!

2 Months Old!

3 Months Old!

5 Months Old!

6 Months Old!

9 Months Old!

12 Months Old!

One Year Old!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ella's 1st Birthday Party!!

Wow...what a weekend!!! Ella's birthday party was perfect in every way! She was in a great mood, was so attentive to each present being opened and she loved her first birthday cake. From the decorations, to the food, to our wonderful friends and family that came, everything was better than I had imagined in my head the weeks leading up to it. We had so much fun!! And I didn't cry once! By the time her birthday got here, I had totally accepted that I now have a one year old.

I have about 200 pictures from the party, so I attempted to post only my favorites, which really is an impossible task. But it was such a wonderful day, crazy, but wonderful!


This was Ella's actual birthday, so we had a little party for her just our little family.

Our first family picture, February 15, 2006 at 3:32 p.m.

Our family picture this year on February 15, 2007 at 3:32 p.m.

Loving her new outfit!

Thursday Night

Ella's besties, Joshua and Laney came over to celebrate her birthday that night!!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want too!

Saturday - The Big Party

Heath got a present too!

Ella loved her new bow!

Heath was very excited about Ella's The Pink Everything book!

Me and Ella with Kristin and Laney

Is this their first game of chicken?


I am confident that this was Ella's greatest moment of her life thus far!

Chocolate kisses for mommy!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thanks Amanda!

Amanda wrote such a precious blog in honor of Ella's birthday! It was so sweet I couldn't pass it up for y'all to read. I have so many amazing memories with Amanda!! The friendship that became deeply rooted the day we found out each other were pregnant and only two weeks apart is immeasurable! She is a thousand times the writer I am, so I will let you read how she expresses our pregnancies together and the day Ella and Jackson were born!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Congratulations, Mama!

Today, I'm going to try really hard to not focus on my sadness. I'm going to try really hard to keep the tears in (the Lord knows I've cried enough already, enough is enough)! I am declaring here and now that this day will be filled with joy and positive thinking about how my precious angel is now one, is now a toddler, is going to continue getting older no matter how much I try to stop it.
So to help accomplish what I am declaring, I am going to give myself a little pat on the back. This whole week I have been focusing on how amazing Ella is and reflecting on all the amazing memories of this year and looking through all the pictures of when she was so tiny and how she grew, even watching some of our video of her from the last year. I have not stopped for one second to think about how far I have come and all that I have learned this last year. It blows my mind. Still at this time last year, 9:10 a.m., I had no idea how much I was going to learn. I did not grow up around babies, I think I had changed one diaper my entire life, I certainly had never fed a baby, and I had barely held any babies. And now being a mother is my obsession, it is every part of my being, mothering is seeping out of my pores. It's my constant thought and all of my energy. Considering where I came from last year, not knowing anything, to keeping my baby not only alive the whole year, but happy too, I deserve a little congratulations from myself to myself.

Below is an excerpt of this weekly email I get from Mamalife. It's a very modern, fun newsletter and apparantely they don't send them anymore after your baby is a year, so it's their final congratulations one and I appreciated it.

"congratulations, mama!
You made it through the first year! Take the time to reflect how far you've come. Remember when you had no idea how to feed a newborn, let alone soothe one? Or when you were terrified that you were somehow going to break the baby? Or when you were just starting to figure out how being a mama fit into your old life?

Well, you've come a long way and you're now one savvy mama. Your baby is so lucky to have you.

Enjoy the coming years of wonder as you watch your little one develop and grow into his own person. But remember to go easy on yourself as you both navigate each new step. Balancing all the wonderful facets of mamahood will be an ongoing adventure (and no, it won’t end when she leaves for college). You are truly doing an amazing thing – so give yourself credit, celebrate every achievement and enjoy your mama life.

go mama go!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA!!! I love you more than I could even begin to describe! It's going to be a great first birthday!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Best Playdate EVER

Last Friday, we had a playdate with 6 moms and 6 babies all within 5 months age of each other. It was the normal group, Sunni and Ava, Amanda and Jackson, Joshua and Melissa, and me and Ella. But also our good friend Michelle and her son Keegan, AND Kristin and her new baby girl Laney joined us!! It was the first of many playdates that little Laney will be at! And Michelle was in town from Houston last weekend, so she was able to come. It was a little crazy at times, but it could not have been more fun.

Ava and Jackson

Laney, Keegan and Ava

Laney and Ella

Ella is known in our playgroup as "The Pacifier Stealer"

Apparentely she also likes to take bows.

Jackson and Laney

Joshua and Ella

Ella and Laney

You would think that us moms would learn to take the baby group pictures at the beginning of the playdate. But if we did them at the beginning when the babies are in a better mood, I wouldn't get my hysterical, rolling on the floor laugh that I look so forward to due to all the crying.

I'm afraid Ella might have inherited my tendency to be a little over dramatic.