Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jack's 11 Month Update

My not-so-tiny baby is less than a month away from his first birthday. I don't want to go all cliche on you, but good lands, where has the time gone?!?

{I also haven't done a specific monthly post on him since 7 months. This is a prime example of why I do not scrapbook.}

One of the few pics without the sign in his mouth.

My sweet baby son is all over the place and pulling up on everything. Somewhere in his 9th month he went from barely moving from one spot in the morning, to crawling into the kitchen to remove all of the contents of my Tupperware cabinet by the afternoon. The Lord showed me great favor and allowed it to happen on a day I was home from work. He is in the smallest of my details.

Besides that, we finally have some teeth! He's been warming up to real food for a while now, but eating toothless, I would imagine, is quite a challenge. His first taste of real food was a Little Debbie Christmas Tree cake. If you've ever had one, you can understand why that finally motivated him to eat real things. For the record, it has not turned him off of healthy foods, and I did make him share it with me. He'll eat anything I put in front of him these days, which of course is making me evaluate how healthy we are eating (i.e. limiting frequency of Little Debbie incidents.)

We just moved him into 18 month pajamas, which have historically been the first clothing item he's advanced in size. I think we're about to need new Levi's, and his winter coat seems a bit snug. All of these are signs of a healthy little man, who has charmed us to pieces. And on February 26, he'll be an entire year old!

Previous updates found here!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekending: Fort Worth Stock Show

Last Friday, we took in Cowtown's most illustrious event, the Fort Worth Stock Show. The joke around town is that the weather always takes a bad turn during the Stock Show, so it was no surprise when it came a 24-hour gully washer here earlier last week. And we are most grateful for it. Fortunately for us, Friday was a beautiful day to see the animals {and the red velvet funnel cake--worth every calorie.}

Jack got his very first pair of cowboy boots for Christmas from his great-grandparents, and I couldn't wait to put them on him. They also gave him a darling little pearl snap shirt. I nearly died when we opened it because it's so precious. (Cowboys can be precious until they are old enough to tell you not to call them that, right?) But that day he wore his Carhartt gear since we were heading to the farm after.

Clearly, my baby might need to go wander in the woods?

How does the {insert every barnyard animal under the sun} sound?

We spent Friday night and all day Saturday with my parents. My mom and I ran to Dallas Saturday morning for a quick round of shopping before we gathered with my dad's family to celebrate my grandmother's birthday. One stop we made was the Gilt City Warehouse Sale, which was kind of a madhouse.

I spent Sunday hopping from one place to the next, it seems, with church, housework, and other social commitments. That's just the way it is some Sundays, but I'm sure the next Lord's day will be much more restful. I try very hard to put away my list of "to-do's" on that day, simply so it's not treated as just one more day in the week. I mean, one of the first ten commandments God gave us was to keep it holy. Rest. Keep the day dedicated to the Lord. That being said, I did just enough laundry done that we'll make it until Friday and grabbed some groceries to get us through.

It's so fun on Sunday night after a busy weekend to visit Downton. I love Lady Mary more each week, but she is especially endearing herself this episode. I'm also wondering, "Where on earth are Daisy's parent's?!?"

I hope you have a great week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites: Amazing Cleaning Products

Since it's not all sunshine and Kate Spade bangles around here, I thought I'd share my favorite cleaning products. I think I've mentioned before that I do my own home-ec stunts, short of taking out the trash and the floors. (My love does that, and I'm grateful.) Here are two products that I won't go without:

Comet Bathroom Cleaner. If you have glass shower doors, you should make friends with Comet Bathroom Cleaner. No more scrubbing the glass! You simply spray it on, then wipe it off. The soap/hardwater residue wipes right off. It works better than the Magic Eraser, and you can quote me on that. I know this because I spent a year trying everything under the sun to keep that door clean after we moved in.

Bar Keepers Friend. I do not keep a bar because we don't drink anything stronger than Dr. Pepper. But I do keep this cleaner because it works amazing wonders to clean up my stainless cookware and my stainless sink. Seriously, the bottom of your pans can look like they are stained forever, and a couple of wax on/wax off motions with BKF makes them brand new. I used to use Comet powder, but this just works better. It also smells terrible, so there is a trade-off there. (Note: I like the smell of Comet powder. It reminds me of my childhood. Maybe that is weird, but my mom kept a clean house.)

I was not compensated to review these products. They were just on my mind as I scrubbed away Thursday night after putting the baby to bed.

Go forth into the weekend with a sparkling home!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Large (or EXTRA LARGE) Family Portraits

I've had home decor on my mind lately. (Hence, put a bird on it.) We've been in our home for 5 years this summer, and I still have some blank walls. And I'm completely okay with that. I'm not one to put something that doesn't quite belong just to take up space. I'd rather it be blank until I find the right inspiration, and I love the layered look our house has as it takes shape over time.

When the lovely Hailey asked me what I wanted for our photos back in the fall, besides a nice Christmas card pic, I told her I wanted something I could hang in my living room in a giant gaudy gold frame. (I prefer a good gaudy gold frame over a canvas, which I think is the en vogue thing right now.)

After receiving our photos, one shot stood out to me, and of course it was primarily of our tiny boy. I know that many people have used the pose, but I loved the entire composition of the shot: the ethereal look of the golden field in the background, the details of our rings and my arm party, the little look on our tiny guy's face, and those beautiful baby blues of his.

That little boy is the Creator's most beautiful art, to me.

In a bit of a "go big or go home" moment, I decided I would order an extra large print. And when I say extra large, I mean extra large. The photo alone is 24x36, and I think the frame adds an extra 6 inches. BIG. The more I got to thinking about it though, the more it made sense. I also found a photographer's blog post (which I can't find now) that validated what I was thinking. Back in the Mr. Darcy days, people commissioned beautiful, large portraits of their families. Why should I spend money on random art work when I can fill my walls with beautiful, large portraits of my greatest treasures on earth? The most beautiful art that God has created on earth, in my opinion. We thank Him daily for that sweet face.

I had a "what was I thinking" moment when this HUGE package arrived.
And that's unframed!

I love it. It may be a little bold, but somehow it makes our house feel a little more like home.

This angle is a bit deceiving. We joke that it is life-size of Jack.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hi! My name is Emily, and I put birds on things.

My brother sent me this YouTube video for what will become obvious obvious reasons. (See below.) I don't watch Portlandia, but this is enough to make me think I should watch it and/or move there despite my incredibly conservative values.

These are my people.

Put. A. Bird. On. It.

I even sewed that pillow in the window seat, then put a bird on it.

I probably have more, but these were the most immediate around me.

Real birds need not a apply.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Under the Weather & A New Skinny Recipe

After being up several stretches in the night with the tiny man coughing last night, I decided to stay home and carry him to the doctor's office today. I'll be glad when he's old enough for over the counter cough medicines so we can actually do something for him on nights like that one. Over Christmas he had croup (which was the most awful sounding illness ever), and today it's the runny nose and congestion. It's so sad to see him feeling bad.

Our pediatrician is just wonderful. She's a mom of not one, but TWO sets of twins. (!!!) So, even besides the MD thing she has going on, she knows what she's about. She is especially patient when I ask new mom questions. Half the time we go in there, she's probably treating me, honestly. Today was no different. She got us all fixed up with something that has provided relief before, and we were back out the door to home.

Normally I would just work from home on a day like today, but Jack is also teething which requires a lot more TLC than usual. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with work and tend to him, so it was for the best that he got all of my attention. After we got back from the doc, I put him down for a nap that lasted 3 hours. Poor little fella!

While he was sleeping, I used the opportunity to try out a new skinny recipe. This one is for a very delicious banana bread from Eat Yourself Skinny. I think you'll love it!

Grandma's Banana Bread (from Eat Yourself Skinny) 12 servings at 3 Points+ (using Splenda)
1/2 cup (1 stick) light butter, softened
1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend (or 1 cup sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer, or hand held, mix together softened butter and sugar until well combined. Then add in eggs and mix well. Next add in vanilla, sour cream and mashed bananas then, while the mixer is on, slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until completely combined, scraping the sides and the bottom.

Meanwhile, grease your pan(s) and lightly flour so that your bread won't stick. If using one 9x5 loaf pan, bake bread for about one hour. If using two smaller loaf pans, bake bread for about 45 minutes.
I used 1 cup of sugar. Running it through WW recipe builder, it calculated out to 4 points with 20 servings which is a really skinny piece of banana bread. Next time I'll try it with Splenda to cut down the points like Eat Yourself Skinny recommends and have a bigger slice. Have you ever baked with that before? Can you tell a huge difference?

Mr. G would like you to know that he approves this banana bread. Good for the whole family!

Monday, January 23, 2012


ETA: And the week changes on a dime! Jack coughed and cried all night last night (and he's teething), so if you need me, I'll be playing the role of Nurse today. Such is the life of Mama.

At last minute on Friday I decided to take off at lunch and come home to my guys. The beautiful weather, plus the prospect of spending time with both of them, was too much to keep me at my desk. Our church provides the wonderful gift of inexpensive childcare one Friday night a month, so later that evening Mr. G and I dropped the little man off with his little man friends and headed over to Chuy's for supper. From there, we ended up across the street at Target.

Such rebels we are.

I spent a perfect, lazy Saturday playing with Jack, deep conditioning my hair, painting my nails, and doing the laundry. It never does do itself, does it?

In the evening, I got all gussied up for a friend's 30th birthday dinner. But it wasn't just "dinner." We tried out a Murder Mystery Dinner, which was not exactly what we had in mind. I think everyone pictured something like "Clue" with a butler and other more sophisticated roles playing out the mystery, plus maybe a fine dining experience. (The tickets were pricey.) But instead, we showed up to a creaky old restaurant only open on the weekends, serving chicken fried steak (which was actually quite good) and a murder at a 70s disco. And every possibly 70s cliche you can think of, they threw down.

Oh, and we thought the dress was after 5. Nope, it was casual. I really don't think I've laughed that much in a long time! I had fun in spite of myself. It was definitely out of my comfort zone.

Me and Ashley.
Right as we got there wondering what we'd gotten ourselves into.

Sunday was church, relaxing, and preparing to go back for another week of work. I've got dinner all ready assembled in the Crock Pot (Skinny Santa Fe Chicken, actually), and I'm ready to go.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Little Luxuries

So Monday I treated myself to a bit of retail therapy. Nothing expensive, just one teensy little something to brighten my day. A girl can do that every now and then, especially if she has Christmas money. Behold, my options:

Little Luxuries

1. Kate Spade heart of gold bangle ($32). A solid addition to your arm party.

2. Fresh Sugar Lemon body wash ($19). I packed this for the hospital when I had Jack. The beautiful, light scent will always remind me of the first faaaaabulous shower I had after 24+ hours of labor!

3. NARS Heatwave semi-matte lipstick ($24). I read that this is the perfect shade of orange-red for all complexions. Make sure to dab it on with your finger instead of applying straight to your mouth for a less garish effect. I mean, we're not fashion bloggers 'round these parts of the Internet.

What's your favorite little luxury?

{I chose #1.}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Although, beauty is more than skin deep...

I'm a gadget girl. One of my favorite personal gadgets is my Sonicare toothbrush. I wish I could tell you that I'm kidding, but that toothbrush has traveled all over the USA with me. I do not leave home without it. (Well, except for that one time I rushed off to the hospital to deliver my baby and ended up with a terrible excuse for a toothbrush that the hospital probably charged me $20 for, but I digress. Next time I will be better prepared.)

So the Clarisonic was invented by the same guy who created my {beloved} Sonicare. It uses sonic technology to gently massage your skin to remove all of the dirt and other junk left by traditional skincare products. (Real details here. I'm paraphrasing what I can remember.)

Until I had Jack, I was using a traditional 3-step skin care regimen. After having him, I felt like I need more of an exfoliant--daily. Having a baby changed more than I anticipated, that's for sure. When I came across the Clarisonic, I was mostly worried that it would be too abrasive. I follow the lovely Eva Chen on Twitter, who is a flawless-faced beauty editor at Teen Vogue. One day I tuned in to her telling Kathie Lee and Hoda (no judgies! I watched a lot of Today on maternity leave) that she uses it twice daily, at which point I was sold.

My results from the Clarisonic have been noticeably smoother skin, and I daresay that my pores appear smaller. My makeup goes on smoother, and when I have my face completely on, it looks dewy and fresh, to me. One step closer to Lady Mary skin.

Anyway, it's not a cheap little apparatus, so I did a lot of research before I moved on mine. The brush is soft enough that you can use it twice a day without rubbing your cheeks raw. And I have to admit, it kinda makes washing my face fun.

{I wasn't paid to review this. I received my Clarisonic as a gift from my husband. Sorry if you think it's weird, but I asked him for it.}

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Easy Birthday Banner

Quick Note: Amy over at Total Tippins Takeover has a fun giveaway from Willow House. Go over there and win it!

As I was prepping my house on Friday afternoon for our company that evening, I realized the house was wanting in birthday decor. I love birthdays, so how could this be? I didn't have time to get the baby loaded and off to the party supply store, so I started racking my brain for ideas. In the age of Pinterest, none of us should have any shortage of ideas, amen? I headed to my little craft closet and took inventory. I have almost an entire bolt of burlap that my aunt gave me leftover from my cousin's rehearsal dinner last summer. I decided to put some of it to work.

I needed something simple - no time for the sewing machine! I always have to budget at least 30 minutes to wind the bobbin and thread the needle. I am sad in that respect. I made a quick little template from poster board that I very randomly keep hidden behind the hutch in my dining area. As for the template, I eyeballed it. Thinking that I would want to fold the top over whatever I used to string it together, I gave a little extra length.

Using my rotary cutter and self-healing mat, I made quick work of the banner flags. No one is more challenged than I am in the skill of using a rotary cutter. But usually even I get straighter lines than I do with scissors.

After my cuts were made and I had ironed my fold over at the top, I pulled out my faaaaaabulous Christmas present from my parents. A Silhouette Cameo!

(My cutting sheet is extremely dirty. I should work on that.)
One tip I found online for the Cameo: if your paper is tearing when you pull it off the sticky mat, blot it with a clean old t-shirt to lessen the stickiness. That worked for me.

With one sheet of card stock, I cut out 'happy birthday' to create a stencil. I just eyeballed the letter position on each flag and used silver glitter glue on the stencil because that's what I had on hand. After the letters were on, I grabbed some jute and spaced the flags to my liking, then hot glued the fold to create a little sleeve where I could adjust if needed.

When I hung it up on my mantle, I decided it needed a little color, so I ripped some scraps from my scrap bag and tied them on. In the end, a happy birthday banner in 30 minutes, made with things I had on hand.

A little hard to see the glitter in this light.

And where was little Jack during all this, you ask?

Rearranging the pantry, naturally.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Year, A New Look.

So I'm celebrating the new year with a virtual face lift and a new home on the web. You'll find me at www.beingmrsgentry.com, so please update your blog links and RSS reader to keep reading. You can also comment anonymously, so if not having a Google account has kept you from commenting, that's no longer an issue.

Thank you very much for reading!

Monday, January 16, 2012


This past weekend included my Friday off. It goes without saying that I love my Fridays off. Jack must've read my last post, because he allowed me to sleep in until 8:30. It was marvelous! We lunched with my friend Rebekah, who is waiting to go into labor. Her due date passed by last Tuesday, so I was hoping Jack and I could give her a bit of distraction from the waiting. We spent a good hour and a half talking babies over Chick Fil A and then grocery shopped in Wal-mart. Anything to pass the time!

Later that evening we met up with our supper club for dinner. After, we came back to our home for dessert, which in this case was birthday cake from Bluebonnet Bakery to celebrate Leigh! (She blogs over at The Art of Living.)

She is due with a little girl soon. Doesn't she look beautiful?

The ladies and children. When we started this supper club, we had only 10 adults. Our number has increased by 4 so far!

Saturday we lounged around and enjoyed having no plans. We took the red wagon out for a spin over to the park. Jack loves the swings, of course.

My house is spic and span and has stayed that way through today. My week is so much easier if I take the time to pick up the random things about the house before I go back to work on Monday. Clutter stresses me out, so I'm glad to cruise into the week stress free, house-wise.

We had another wonderful worship service on Sunday morning. Our pastor preached on abortion, and we heard some shocking statistics. In our county alone, 6000 abortions were performed in 2011. That's 6000 babies who were not allowed to live. It grieves my soul. Lord, deliver us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Happiness.

I have the privilege of spending the day with this sweet face and a friend of mine tomorrow. We have a busy, FUN Friday planned, and I can't wait!

I'm hoping my little human alarm clock will let mama sleep past 6:30 AM.

{one can dream?}

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


So not only does jumping back on the fit train require constant supervision of food consumption, it also requires exercise. You know what they say: "Reduce input, increase output." That's how to effectively lose weight, no matter how you slice it.

I've been making excuses for exercise since I went back to work after maternity leave. Here is my favorite excuse (and it's really good, you guys): "I spend so much time away from the baby during the day that the last thing I want to do is be away from him when I get home." (Being away from him meaning at the gym, outside running, etc.) It's a completely valid excuse and makes me sound like a wonderful, self-sacrificing mother. But really, not taking care of my health is not good for my child in the long run. Good health for me leads to a healthy lifestyle for him.


Since I can't go to the gym, I've decided to do a hodge podge of different things right in my home. On occasional Saturdays, I plan to take a local barre class or Zumba, and between those times I'll be hitting the DVD workouts. The goal set is 4 workouts per week. Last week worked well for me to come home, pick up the bebe, and Shred in the living room while he played with his toys/climbed on me during 1 minute abs. We are still interacting, but I am moving. He thinks watching me jump around and yell at Jillian is hilarious.

But I'm one of those people who will get bored with a workout quickly. I've been doing research (highly scientific, with the googling and all) to find great cardio DVDs. Surprisingly the one that was recommended here was for a So You Think You Can Dance workout. I plan on cracking that open this week, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Here's to a healthy 2012!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Skinny Recipes.

Recently I had the opportunity to take supper to a family that just had a sweet, new baby girl. She was so tiny, and all I could think was, "Wow, I can't believe Jack was ever that small!"

{It turns out that he was never that small--at least not outside the womb.}

Anyway, speaking of large and small, I'm sure everyone is getting back on the fit train with the arrival of 2012 and the impending swimsuit season on the horizon. Spring break is not that far away, my dears, and last year's "I just had a baby excuse" is going to be an entire year old very soon.

3 days old versus 9 months old
Barely relevant to this post, but he's so cute I couldn't help myself.

Today I'm sharing with you my current favorite skinny meal. 95% of the times I have used my Crock Pot, it has been for this. Delicious, filling, and skinny. I serve it up on cilantro lime rice (recipe below) like a Chipotle bowl. There are copious leftovers, and it reheats well in a skillet with a tiny bit of water added in. (Few things gross me out like microwaved chicken.) Both of these are from Skinny Taste, which I love since it lists WW points along with the calories. I've been a point counter for years, but I rarely try new stuff because I'm lazy and only eat things for which I have the points memorized. So thanks, Skinny Taste, for enabling my laziness while attempting to eat well.

This is also what I carried to the new parents I mentioned above, along with a colorful salad and a chocolate chip cookie pie, complete with Blue Bell. New moms need some indulgences after what they have endured. Am I right, or am I right?

And now I must ask, what is your favorite, easy skinny recipe?


Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken 4 Points+ for 1 cup
24 oz. chicken breasts (I usually just throw in 4)
14.4 oz. can of diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (I use 2 cans of Rotel)
15 oz. can of black beans
8 oz. frozen corn
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 oz. can of fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (you might cut down on this to keep it mild.)
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt in the Crock Pot. Season chicken with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half an hour before serving, remove the chicken and shred it. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice (extra points.)

Skinny Cilantro Lime Rice 5 Points+ for 3/4 cup
1 c. extra long grain rice or bismati (I use Minute Rice and follow those intructions)
1/2 lime, juice of (I use the bottled lime juice since I rarely have fresh limes on hand.)
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
3 tsp. vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp. oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off heat and keep covered and additional 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice, and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Report: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I finished a couple of books over Christmas, but I'll spare you the details on the project management one and just give you the better of the two. I had heard fabulous reviews about Unbroken from everyone who has read it, so I picked one up for myself and one for my grandfather for Christmas. I hope he likes it.


In Unbroken, Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit, which I never read or saw*) tells the extraordinary tale of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who was lost at sea, captured, and survived a Japanese POW camp during WWII. I had to keep reminding myself while I was reading that it was actually a true story, as in these things really happened. It gave me a renewed and incredible respect for the men and women of the Armed Forces who served or are currently serving our Great Nation. What amazing sacrifices they make and dangers they face to ensure freedom for citizens of the United States of America.

I'm not big into history reading, but this captured my interest and held it all the way to the end. It's just that compelling - similar to a movie! I feel like perhaps the ending was a bit rushed. (Funny, I felt the same way about The Hunger Games, but that, my friends, is another soapbox for another day.) But this is an amazing story of redemption and transformation, and I think you would love it too.

*Not all that into real-live animal movies, which makes it difficult to get excited to see Warhorse which everyone is raving about.

Monday, January 9, 2012


We have had a wonderful, slow weekend here at home. Friday night I worked late and got caught in traffic through Arlington. It seems I forgot about a tiny little sporting event scheduled that evening called the Cotton Bowl. So after finally getting home, I did Day 5 of the Shred and hung out with my guys.

Saturday Mr. G golfed while Jack and I ran to Waxahachie to meet up with my mom. She treated us to lunch at a charming little place on the square called The Dove's Nest. While they did not have a high chair, thus resulting in my little man's first adventure with a booster seat (requiring constant supervision and flinching to catch him any time he moved,) they did have a delicious chicken salad made with apricots, roasted almonds, and rosemary honey dijon mayo. I don't even like almonds, and I could've licked my plate it was so good. If you're ever in that area, it is a solid dining choice.

Waxahachie is halfway (45 minutes) to my hometown, so it's the perfect meeting spot. We occasionally meet my parents there for dinner, and it's a great rendezvous point to hand off grandchildren, so I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of it over the years. We spent the rest of the day shopping around town. It's so nice to not have an agenda on the weekend, you know?

Sunday we had a great day in the Lord. Today was the first day of our church's new worship schedule, with contemporary worship at 11 AM. It. was. amazing. Reports I heard said that both services were full, and it is just so neat to see the Lord moving in our congregation. Afterward, we had several couples over for lunch. I had fried chicken (pick up from Brookshire's, no need to be impressed) and the other ladies brought sides. It was great to get to know new friends! I feel like I'm just now getting my "entertaining" legs back under me since I had Jack, which is hilarious considering he is into everything and requires so much more picking up after! He's so fun though, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Right now I'm enjoying my super clean house (a benefit of socializing at home on Sunday) and watching the season 2 premiere of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater (which is now shortened to just plain Masterpiece so hopefully there aren't too many typos! If you haven't been watching Downton, you can watch all of Season 1 online HERE. It is incredibly entertaining, about the innerworkings of an English estate highlighting relationships of the servants and the aristocracy. That description in no way gives it the credit that is due. If you're watching, who is your favorite character? Mine is a toss up between Lady Mary and Anna, the ladies' maid.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And the new year begins.

Not only did we have a great Christmas day, we had a wonderful 11 days at home together over the combined holidays. Honestly, I think it was harder to go back to work this past Tuesday than it was to go back after maternity leave. Jack is so fun right now, and he's just now specifically wanting one or the other of us and shying away when other people want to hold or talk to him. Usually some sweet talking will get him to turn loose. It's so sweet and cute.

But as I mentioned, it was so hard to go back to work on Tuesday. I cried on Monday night over it for the first time in a long time. For me, working is a choice that I'm blessed to have at this point in my life. Jack has the absolute best childcare I could imagine outside of me staying home, and that is key for me to work. I'm enjoying my professional life post-maternity leave even more than I did before. God is blessing our family in this season. But I think I would be an emotional robot if I didn't feel some sadness about being separated from my baby for part of the day. It's normal, but it's not paralyzing.

A new year means new beginnings, more time to spend making memories with my little family, and more opportunities to love one another. The Lord has impressed it upon my heart lately to be intentional in loving others as Christ loves them. I want to be more like Him. That is my new year's commitment. It's pretty big because with it comes holding my tongue more (yowsa!), reaching out to people even when it might be uncomfortable, and showing more hospitality. (And hospitality does not just mean hosting more parties, although there will be plenty of that.) I'm a busy girl who's been pretty wrapped up in her own life lately, and the Lord has convicted me of it.

So bring on the new year!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given
us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:3
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