Comings and Goings

After returning home from Portland, Stephen left on a business trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a few days. He was gone for 4 days and 3 nights, and we managed to stay alive in his absence. Go us!April2010

Of course we missed Stephen and couldn’t wait for his return, but I was surprised that I wasn’t really scared at night and that somehow I mustered the energy to take care of the boys 24/7 all by myself. I don’t know how single parents manage to raise children without a spouse, but it must be very tiring. I was exhausted!April2009

Stephen’s brother and sister drove down to Atlanta from upstate South Carolina to spend a few hours with him. They had a great time catching up with each other. It had been nearly two years since Stephen had seen his brother Tim.April2008

The next week, my dear friend Rebekah came for a short visit during her spring break from teaching online for a classical school. She was on her way home from California, and instead of a layover of a couple hours, she chose a layover of a couple days so she could be with us!April2001

Rebekah and I always have so much to talk about, which is a lot more fun in person than over the phone. Though it was warm, we walked through the Japanese Friendship Garden—a small spot of green in the desert. April2002April2003Silas and Cooper loved feeding the koi fish. April2004April2005After a picnic in the park, we cooled off with handmade ice cream sandwiches from Slickables on Mill Ave in Tempe. Yum!April2006 April2007That night I took Rebekah to one of our favorite restaurants, the Arrogant Butcher. So glad she could visit!

This past weekend was busy with food prep for our church’s Easter potluck dinner. Sunday morning definitely did not go as planned! April3003April3005Stephen ended up taking Silas to church while Cooper and I made a visit to the urgent care. Cooper had poked his eye with something Saturday night, and kept crying, rubbing his eye, and refusing to open it. Thankfully, no serious damage was done, and his eye is doing well. But what a stressful morning!April3004

Cooper and I missed the Easter service, but we made it in time for the meal. I didn’t get pictures of us with Stephen, but here are some of the Easter pics we took outside church while Stephen was cleaning up.April3001April3002

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Escape to Portland

My man and I took a babymoon last month. Babymoon=honeymoon trip without kids before Baby is born (just in case you’re not familiar with the term). We visited Portland for the first time!April1013

We stayed downtown in the Hotel deLuxe, which was not only charming, but convenient as it allowed us to walk most places or ride the public transit to explore the city. April1001Portland was sunny for three of our five days we were there. It surprised us each time we looked up and saw snowy Mount Hood in the distance. What a breath-taking backdrop for the entire city!

Portland is known for its diverse and unique foodie culture. Stephen and I were thrilled to indulge our little mouths with Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, Lebanese lamb and hummus, salted caramel ice cream, and Jewish deli pastrami—just to name a few dishes. We were adventurous and tried a mexican hot chocolate donut and a creme brulee donut from Blue Star Donuts.

Besides eating well, we walked downtown and along the Willamette River, where the whole city seemed to be exercising. April1005April1006There seemed to be a coffee shop on every corner, so we were well caffeinated. The aerial tram offered a new perspective on the city, and we learned why rain coats are necessary for Portland’s rainy days. April1011During one of those rainy days we browsed books at Powell’s bookstore—a store the size of a city block. April1012We walked the Pearl District, Nob Hill, and Pioneer Courthouse Square. April1009April1008April1003At the Saturday farmer’s market we found some cheeses and salami that made our hearts go pitter-pat.April1010

On our last day we drove the scenic route along the Columbia River and saw some gorgeous waterfalls. April1014April1016We ended up at Multnomah Falls. The waterfall was over 600 feet tall with two cascades and a bridge spanning the river just above the second falls. April1017At the base sat a quaint stone restaurant where we ate lunch before heading back to the city.

Of course we missed our little men, but they were very well taken care of by gracious friends. Stephen and I loved our couple’s getaway and the time we had to invest in our marriage before we become a family of five.April1018

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My Birthday Babies

Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, was my 32nd birthday. We spend a quiet day at home recovering from our trip. March3001Stephen and I just got back from a couple’s getaway in Portland, Oregon, while the boys were graciously taken care of by friends.March2009March2003

Silas desperately wanted to buy me a birthday cake and kept asking questions throughout the day like, “Why is it your birthday?” He made me a beautiful card with a picture of me in a princess suit and Batman next to me. Inside, he copied my letters to write out “Happy Birthday Mom.”March2002March4001March2005

It was sweet to open my cards and presents from family, and what a special time it was to be reunited with my boys and enjoy Stephen’s day off.March2004

Since this is my first birthday with a huge baby bump, I thought I’d get some pictures. (Full disclosure: the only reason I did my hair and make-up was to take these pictures.) March2006March2007Baby Girl is 27 weeks along, and we are now officially in the 6th month and 3rd trimester. Birthdays with these cabbage heads are the best!March2001March3002

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A Prayer for St. Patrick’s Day

I recently came across St. Patrick’s prayer both through a music CD and a luncheon at a church we were visiting. It’s so beautiful that I wanted to post it here to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and to encourage my heart to make this my prayer. Here is an excerpt from the prayer:

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through the belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of Creation.

...Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness, of the Creator of Creation.

~The Lorica, The Deer’s Cry, Morning Prayer, Breastplate of St. Patrick – 433 A.D.

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Just Some Happenings

I’ve been thinking of a couple blog posts I could write but just haven’t felt motivated to do it. So, here I am just catching you up on the exciting news that is our daily life.March1002 I think the less structured the post is, the more chance I have of actually finishing it today.March1003

The other weekend, Stephen’s company was moving offices, so the boys and I were on our own for the day. We went to a friend’s Toy Story themed birthday party at a new park we had never visited. It was a huge bash with a cookout, pinata, and cupcakes.March1006March1007

A local library was hosting a Firetruck Story Time led by the firefighters. Afterwards we walked to the fire station to see the firetruck and equipment and tour the firehouse. Each of the boys got a Junior Firefighter sticker and helmet. March1008The fire chief pointed out that when a fireman comes to rescue people from a burning building, he will sound funny since he’s breathing through a mask. But, even though he might look like Darth Vader, kids don’t need to be scared of him since he’s there to help. I thought that was an excellent thing to point out to the kids. I had never thought about it, but I’m sure a child caught in a burning building will already be so traumatized that seeing a funny looking person in a mask might add to their fright. They might try to get away from the fireman instead of letting him help.March1009

We checked out some books from our Goodyear library the other week. Cooper loved looking at this Knowledge Encyclopedia with all of its engaging pictures. March1005By the way, look closely at Cooper’s left foot in this picture. See how he’s crossing his second toe under the others? Silas, Stephen, and Cooper can all articulate their toes like that, and I definitely can’t! It must be a genetic trait. Can you cross your toes? I didn’t even know that it was possible to do until I married Stephen. Must be in the Moody genes.March1004

Two Saturdays ago I attended a Women4Truth conference over in Chandler. Elyse Fitzpatrick was the speaker, and I so wanted to hear her since I’ve read a couple of her books. She spoke about her new book entitled Good News for Weary Women. It was refreshing! I went by myself, and not only made new friends, but also met a girl whose blog I read. I recognized her from the pictures on her blog, but didn’t expect to randomly bump into her. So fun to meet a fellow blogger from Phoenix who is also due the day after me!

Baby Girl and I had our 26 week appointment last Thursday. I’m measuring perfectly according to the doctor, but I feel like my baby bump is already so big! Baby Sister is kicking and squirming a lot and is still nameless as of right now. We’re working on it. (I also need to take more baby bump pics. For now, here’s one of Silas as a little old man.)March1001

We drove over to Globe, AZ this past Saturday to see our friends, Yesenia and Jason. Jason pastors Central Heights Baptist Church, and we wanted to see their place of ministry and explore a new area. The drive to Globe was beautiful as we passed through the mountains and saw so many cool rock formations. We felt like we were touring the entire US on a small scale as we drove. Globe itself was the Arizona twin of West Virginia. It looked like the desert version of Clarksburg, WV. The small, multi-level homes stuck on the sides of the mountains, the curved bridge in the center of town, the bricks, stones, and varied architectural styles, and the mining industry all contributed to the West Virginia feel of the place. We had a fabulous time catching up with Yesenia and Jason. March2010There was so much to talk about that we hardly stopped for a breath! There’s nothing like connecting with friends over faith, ministry, and gospel-living.

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A Cowboy Valentine’s Trip

Tombstone, AZ was our destination for a day trip as we stepped back in time for some cowboy history on Valentine’s Day. February4003February4004Tombstone was impressive since so much detailed history is known and preserved. We walked along the boardwalk with our two little sheriffs. February6001At the OK Corral we learned about the famous shootout and the story of Tombstone.February6002February4001February6004 Then we watched a gunfight in the street before taking a trolley tour around town.February4002 On the tour we saw Wyatt Earp’s house, the original county courthouse, and Boothill Graveyard which we later went back to explore on our own. Most of the graves were marked “Unknown,” but there were some interesting epitaphs too. February4005February5001

My valentines were so handsome at dinner that I couldn’t resist a picture. February4007Though it was an unconventional way to spend Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing like being with the people I love most!February6003February6005

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Valentine Hearts

Ever since we were given our first onesie for Baby Girl, Cooper has been noticing hearts and pointing them out to me. At first, hearts were just for Baby Sister since the onesie has a heart on it. With Valentine decorations everywhere, hearts have been easy for him to spot.

I found these adorable felt envelopes in the dollar spot section of Target. February3002I had seen something similar online and had been wanting to make them, so these were a great purchase for only $1 each! Originally, I was wanting to hang them on the back of our kitchen chairs, but little grubby hands keep our chairs very sticky. So, I added ribbons to them and hung them on our bedroom doors for me to tuck valentines inside.

Last week was very busy and wore us all out, February3001but we managed a candlelight dinner on the back patio one night. (That is, until Cooper blew out our candle.)February3004I tried a new recipe called Crispy Baked Pasta with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Parmesan Cream Sauce from Serious Eats. The sauce alone was worth it! Such a complex flavor that I couldn’t wait for Stephen to get home to try it.February3003

Friday was our Valentine’s date. Silas and Cooper are enrolled in a private daycare, so we dropped them off for three hours while Stephen and I went downtown for Food Truck Friday. February3005February3006Each Friday, various food trucks gather in the Phoenix Public Market Cafe parking lot and offer lots of options for lunch. I had a four cheese grilled cheese sandwich, and Stephen chose the wood fire pizza. February3007February3008Then we split a Reuben-style hot dog and a raspberry cheesecake. Yum!

Baby Girl and I are now 23 weeks along. She’s developing some muscle to her kicks and squirms. Next year, we’ll have another sweetheart to celebrate on Valentine’s Day.February3009February3010

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Train Time

February weather in Phoenix has been beautiful—a little too warm for our tastes—but still beautiful! Two Sundays ago we thought we’d take advantage of the free train rides offered by the Maricopa Live Steamers, a train club north of Phoenix.February2003

Stephen and the boys took train, straddling one of the tiny cars. Stephen said the boys were so quiet, just taking in the experience. Cooper was especially enamored as he is our mechanical guy. Anything with cars, trucks, airplanes, or trains gets him excited. After a 10 minute ride, the guys explored the tiny train museum, and then boarded the train for the 10 minute ride back to the station.February2002

Since I couldn’t ride the train due to baby girl, I sat at the station and talked with one of the train club members. Their set up is pretty impressive with 18 miles of tracks, a playground, garden train, indoor train display, and a western town facade.February2001

Silas and Cooper drove a practice train in the club’s “Engineer’s School.” Cooper struggled with the lever, but did manage to drive the train up and down the track. After a little playtime on their wooden train playground, we finished off the afternoon with custard from Culver’s.

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A Four Year Old’s Perspective

Now that Silas is four, he tells me stories about ”when [he] was a little boy—when [he] was three and a half.” His questions are plentiful, and it’s fun to see him sort out his world. Silas is very quick to share what he’s learned with Cooper, instructing him on how life works.February1002

Here are just a few glimpses into the mind of S-I-L-A-S.

At a restaurant, the server commented on how the boys’ ice cream was “letting Mommy and Daddy enjoy their meal in peace.” When the server left, Silas asked, “How did she know your names?”

After pulling into the garage one night, I was very tired and sat in the car. Stephen teased and told me to go in the house. I teased back, “Yes, Father!” Silas quickly said, “He’s not your father, he’s your daddy!”February1001

While coloring at the kitchen island, I overheard Silas offer his coloring picture to Cooper. Cooper yelled, “NO!” Then, in a sincere attempt to be kind to his brother, Silas came back with, “This picture isn’t very cool, and you like things that aren’t very cool, so you can have this picture!”February1003

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The 50 Yard Line

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, this blog title seemed appropriate. Baby Girl and I are halfway through this pregnancy. We hit the 20 week mark this past Friday!January4001

Our kind friends are already beginning to shower us with pink outfits for our little girl. I think the clothes have helped Cooper realize that a baby really is coming. He kept finding the girl onesies and bringing them to me saying, “Baby has clothes! Baby has clothes!”January4002

On Sunday a friend surprised me with four boxes of second-hand baby girl clothes. Some of them are brand new and still have the tags on them. Wow! God uses all sorts of means to provide for us.January4003

I’m dreaming of a nursery that’s aqua & yellow with coral accents. We’ll see how much of that actually happens.January400420 weeks down, 20 to go.

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