Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I have written a reflective post every year for the past several years around my birthday. It's a chance to look back at the past year before blazing ahead to the new year. Here are my posts from when I turned 28, 27, 26, and 25. (Have I really been blogging this long?!)

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
I'll give you one guess.


The best thing was welcoming Cora into our family!

What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Pushing a baby out of my body.

What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Four years ago, we moved from Los Angeles to an LA suburb for Michael's work leaving behind our wonderful church from our dating, engaged, and newlywed days. We felt that 35 miles was simply too far to maintain a solid church community. After a series of events, we recently ended up back at our beloved church. If you had told me a couple of months ago that we'd soon be worshiping there again, I would have told you to be quiet. But, we are back, now with two kids in tow, and we feel like we've come home.

What was an unexpected obstacle?
Grace had really bad acid reflux as a baby. I told myself while pregnant again that the chance of Cora having it too was very low. But when Cora was just a few days old, I could tell that she had the big bad acid reflux too. We tried to manage it without medication for a while, but at seven weeks old we finally put her on medicine. I guess we just make refluxy babies.

What image best captures this year?

With whom were your most valuable relationships?
So many people. With each passing year, I realize in deeper and fresh ways how important it is for me to have friendship and camaraderie with a variety of people. The people that first come to mind are my sweet little family and my friends who have little children my kids' age.

What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Oh gosh, I feel like I don't have time anymore. Especially not time to waste.

What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Snuggling with Cora while she slept. The baby days fly by so fast. I'm so glad I've been able to squeeze in these moments.

What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
Parenting is teaching me to let go of control which has made me a more joyful person. Yes! 

What days will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I will always remember the day my sister, Andrea, married Jason; our June trip to Thailand; and the day Cora was born.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I have two: (1) Flying to Thailand and back while six months pregnant and with a sixteen month old in tow. (2) Growing, birthing, and caring for Cora while caring for Grace.

What was your biggest failure?
The times that I've been angry and impatient with my kids and husband instead of the gracious mom/wife that I want to be.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My sister's wedding and meeting our second kid.

What kept you sane?
This question assumes that I was sane this year. I feel like on many days there wasn't any sanity to be kept. But, the times that were sane were the times when I got decent sleep and was able to let go of expectations and fly by the seat of my pants.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Sleep. I just want to sleep. Last night, Cora woke up once between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. If this continues, I will wake up feeling like superwoman every day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday Photography Walk

When my brain and body feel cooped up, I sometimes go for a walk and take my camera along with me to capture whatever captures me. Here's the plunder.

The vast majority of planes flying out of our airport sport that bold Southwest color scheme. I do not recognize this plane.

Our local freeway, pre-rush hour.

Ah, there's a Southwest plane!

While taking this picture, there was blade of grass poking into my "nose hole," as my almost-two-year-old calls it.

Dark bark.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cora - Four Months Old

Four months old - that magical stage when a personality starts budding out and, theoretically, everyone starts to get some sleep.

Here's what we've seen so far from our four month old Cora.

Cora is super social! Cora loves being in the action, cooing, "ah-gooing," and smiling at everyone. When we were riding a crowded train at the Denver airport, Cora flashed smiles at all the travelers. People couldn't help smiling back. Cora even squeals, smiles, and converses with dolls and stuffed animals. When I nurse her, I have to try to not talk because the moment I open my mouth, she looks up at me, milk dribbling down her face, and starts cooing and smiling.

Cora is very physical. She loves being tickled, bounced, rough-housed, and held standing up. She also continues to surprise us with her strength. Since babies spend so much time sleeping on their backs, you're supposed to give them awake time on their tummies to strengthen otherwise unused muscles. With the craziness of having two kids, I mostly forgot about tummy time the first three months. When Cora was barely three months old, I plopped her on her tummy for the third time ever. You can imagine my surprise when she rolled herself right back over. I wonder, how early would she have started rolling if I had put her in tummy time bootcamp from day one? A week ago, I randomly decided to see if she could sit up on her own with just her hands propping herself up. Yup, she could. Am I bragging about my baby right now? Yes, I am!

Cora does not know what a schedule is. In the past month, we've had days on end where she only takes 30 minute naps. We've had days where she takes two hour naps. We've had nights where she wakes up three times. We've had nights where she sleeps 8-10 hours straight. Hopefully this stage of complete unpredictability will ultimately make me a more flexible, patient person. Right now it feels like it's just forging my insanity. Also, she nurses every two hours. I can't wait to start solids.

She sure is cute when she's sleeping though...

And she's sure cute when she's wide awake...

Two more pictures:

She got to meet lots of family when we spent two weeks in Colorado over the holidays.

She even got to meet her great-grandmother and namesake, Cora Lee. It looks like my grandpa is about to eat her!

Cora, you are an amazing kid. We are crazy for you!

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