Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Something New

Another phase.
Another season.
Another blog.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's Best

I've been lacking in blog posts. I'm inspired but my time is precious. My free time is spent outside or resting these days.  We love this early spring weather!  Lots of wonderful things are going on at my house. Most of them baby related, of course.
I'm consumed and obsessed with my daughter. Her and I are two peas in a pod.  I'm convinced that having a daughter was the best thing God could have done for me.  He always knows what's best. 

And it's her. 

With that said,
I'm giving up Misinterpretations.

I have lots of things I'd love to blog about but most of them do well to just stay in my head for now.  I will keep writing periodically at my other blog,  Surrender Story.

If you want to keep up with the baby, visit   *here*  often. It's her picture site.

Thanks for all of the sweet e-mails, comments and connections you've offered over the past few years!

Much Love,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello personality!

I couldn't pick just one for the "official 6 month" photo because there is so much personality in each one. I love them all. So here you go, outtakes and all...

 Doing well at sitting up despite the fact that she acts like her teeth weigh an extra 10 pounds each so at any given time she holds her mouth crooked to one side and gets dramatic about it..

her hair still appears to be either dark blonde or light brown. 

she is super curious about everything especially ceiling fans and my mouth when I talk..

"there's only room for one of us in this shot. Get outta' here!"

"I'm sorry, come back"

"I love you, my Dahlia Jane bear!"

"But seriously get out of here.."


 *innocent and precious*

"If I lean back like this it makes my ears stick out a whole bunch"

"who dat?"

"Your shirt is pretty"

she's practicing her DJ skillz by doing a pretend turn-table move on the left..

She's full of personality..
We haven't a clue where it comes from..

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What a month, what a baby!

Who says the years go by slowly? Only people who don't have kids, I'm certain. 
As far as I can tell, my daughter is the fastest growing baby on record. 
All the cliche' sayings  about time flying,m especially after you
 have children are true, I'm afraid. 
Every month I mention how fast it's going. Seriously though.  I'll say it again..
A year is a significant amount of time. Half of a year is nothing nod at. I don't want to get all mushy and think of how this sweet, busy, sleepless phase of baby-ness will soon be gone. But this is me, being mushy about it.  Every month that passes brings more hurdles jumped fumbled over and new milestones reached. Still, time could slow just a bit.. I don't really get sad about her infant-self soon being a thing of the past. I'm just excited that she's growing well and am delighted at the large personality that this still little person contains. It's so fun, if not the funnest thing, 
watching her become.

So during month 6 we had some pretty intense happenings.
She was in the hospital with RSV- saddest thing ever. Watching a sick, miserable baby with an IV in that is choking on her snot and can't breath and is crying, crying, CRYING herself hoarse yet will not, cannot sleep or eat was well, AYE, AYE, AYE!!!!  I thought labor and delivery was hard. Nope. Not so much compared to this little 4 day adventure.  Who says exclusively  breastfed babies don't get sick? I'm not sure. But they are wrong.
I have pictures but I'll save you the sadness. It was pitiful.

She started teething the day after she appeared recovered and "normal" from her RSV bout. 
Things have been adventurous for us, to say the least.  And by adventurous I mean, sleepless and sore.

She has one tooth through and one visible little guy ready to pop through. Lesson learned: teething is intense, at least in this household! And as a result, if I had $1 for every time I've been anti-social or non-comittal this month, I'd have about $8. I'm out of the stage of explaining my "I have a baby" situation.  Maybe I am more affected than most by this stage she is in, or maybe others have quickly forgotten what it's like? Or maybe this is normal. I bet on that option.. In any event, Dahlia and I are appreciative of those who understand and are  still a part of our lives despite  OUR  lack of participation. She's a homebody. I'm a homebody.  I'm tired, she's teething. Going and doing everything just doesn't feel quite normal yet, you know? 
Read here for more on moms of only ONE child..

Where was I at? Oh yes, teething:

Another new things this month:
She gives kisses.
For real.
You pucker up and she opens a slobbery mouth and plants it right on your  mouth and just in case you weren't sure she was really kissing you, she wiggles it around and grabs both of your cheeks just so you know, "THIS is a kiss, my dear!"
Before I had Dahlia, I saw other kids do this, or they would do it to me, and I would almost gag from the amount of slobber and kind of thought it was like my mom's dog Jasmine licking me in the mouth. Gross.
Funny how things change. I beg Dahlia for about 500 kisses a day.

'Love this new thing!:
She's reaching.
For toys, for food, for remotes and phones but mostly for me. Can't beat that feeling!

She has a new skill:
She scoots backwards while laying on her belly and rolls like a ball. But not at the same time. That would be a tad strange.  If I put her on the ground to play with her toys and walk away,  I come back to either a.) a baby who has rolled herself practically to the kitchen b.) a baby that has half of her body stuck under the couch or c.) a baby that has scooted herself 3-4 feet in the oposite direction of where her toys are. A backwards crawler perhaps? :)

Also, new:
Clinginess and stranger anxiety is IN DA HOUSE!!! Her version of stranger anxiety is this: she buries her face and makes sad, distressed face and cries in the most heartbroken tone of voice you could imagine. It seems the very thought of someone who isn't me or John even looking at her breaks her heart and personally offends her to the point of tears. It's pretty cute, endearing and funny but makes the object of her anxiety feel like crap I'm pretty sure.

New food!
As a little reward for making it through RSV, I started giving her food-food. Cereal. Organic Brown Rice Cereal to be exact. I know, empty calories with no nutritional value. BUT it's what I wanted to do and she was excited, so we did it. She likes the taste (I mix it with my milk) but it's the texture she is getting used to. I have given birth to a Super Gagger Deluxe courtesy of John Culpepper  a.k.a "The Gagginest Man North of the Mississippi". I'm sure you've heard of him.  Getting her used to textures is quite the process.  We start our orange veggies today. I am excited about that. We'll see how she does.  It's funny, she knows that as soon as the bib goes on and the bowl is in sight that it's party time. She drops her toys and starts wiggling ecstatically only to take 3-4 bites and then try to attack the bowl and rub every once of cereal in her eyes and gag incessantly just for dramatic effect. That girl...who's is she? ;)

Watch here for her cuteness.

I'm pretty sure she says 'Hi'.
Everytime I go get her out of her bed after a nap she squeals with delight and then says, "hi". If she's trying to get the cat's attention, she yells quite dramatically (again,who's kid is this??) "HHHIIIII!!!" until Lola acknowledges her which, is rare unless Dahlia is in distress.
Lola and Dahlia are becoming friends though. It seems DJ is the first baby in history to gain the affections and attention of this crazy cat and Dahlia is delighted by her. So cute! If the baby cries, the cat runs to investigate. If the baby is in distress, Lola also lets our her distressed cry and runs to sniff the kid. Really??  This makes me really want to get "sister" pictures done with those two. I'm not kidding either.

A few other fun things:
She rolls around her crib and gets lodged in the silliest of positions.
She loves to look out the window when we are in the car, noticing everything.
She is overwhelmed by fast talkers and loud people..still.
She has a very serious side and somber with most people

She has a raspy voice and the sweetest laugh :) Listen here:

She notices and is very intruiged by "big kids"... babies who are
 walking and toddler age kids.

She enjoys the outdoors very much.

We have morning dance parties and we have quiet music time in the afternoon.  She enjoys  classical music, jazz,  and sleeping to Bon Iver (who doesn't?) James Taylor and Sigur Ros.

She loves playing with her friends

What a month, what a baby!

More photos of her 6 month self to come!!
Stay tuned..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Wednesday Funny

Saw this on Ellen the other day and laughed A LOT..
preface: I used to type "stories" on the typewriter when I was little. I wasn't allowed to touch our 5 inch screen Apple computer.
And I would type mostly nonsense and the word "toot" a lot. Then my mom would read it like she was reading a story and would do so with great enthusism. It was all jibberish and silly words and I laughed hysterically. Especially when she read "toootootooot" like it was a seriously magical concept in my story.

I like silly stuff.
Makes me laugh 'til I wheeze.

This website is going to be confusing to the ESL people but turns out it's just as hysterical as the word "toot" is to me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dancing with John

This is our blank creator, Lauren's, 10 year anniversary of when she started dating her husbnad. Hence, the love-themed blanks :) Get your own blanks and play a long at  The Little Things We Do!

1.  The love of my life is   John L. Culpepper.

2.   Falling in love is   so fun! And for me, it is something that has to be maintained and is a continual process! I loved John 9 years ago but I LOVE him now even though it's way harder, I think  .

3.  Marriage is   a dangerous adventure. It's like hiking in the jungle. Makes you sweat, cuss and sometimes you get lost and ate up. But as long as you have a partner you love, it's worth the trek. There is a lot of beauty to be enjoyed along the way. Why not enjoy it with your favorite person.

4. The longest relationship I've ever had was  9 1/2 years! (with John, of course) .

5. The key to a good relationship is  respect and compromise. Also, lots of love..

6. I feel loved when   someone says or does something that had real thought behind it. Shows they are thinking of me and love me well  .

7.  My favorite quote about love is   "The only way to find your life is to lay your own life down. And I believe that's an easy price for the life that we have found"  see below for source :) .

The quote is from this song.. and the lyrics pretty much sum me and John up.. even the specifics at the very beginning.  It makes me rethink the way I look at love and marriage. So when I feel like being selfish or we have a bad marriage day, I try to listen to this and remember  "that's what the promise is for".
Have a listen!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not here, there!

I wrote over at my other blog Surrender Story today.
Check it out!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday Night, Date Night

I've been watching Wheel of Fortune a lot lately. I think my post title would be a good Before and After puzzle, yes??
Sooo...the baby is napping, laundry is started, the cat box (gag me) is scooped and I have time still! :)
A filling I go:

 1. I started my blog because   I like to write. And "getting it out" helps me focus and is a creative outlet of sorts. It's also a way for family and friends (most, all far away) stay in touch with what's going on in our neck of the woods!

2.   One thing I love seeing on other blogs   are the real posts. I love project posts, I love trendy posts, decor idea posts but the ones that are "hey-this-is-where-I-am-at-FOR-REAL" speak to me much more and inspire me in ways that go beyond artsiness. That's something that lasts. I appreciate it.

3.  Something I love about blogging   the concept of ANYTHING GOES. Sometimes anything is a bit too much but all the same,  if you love it and you are passionate about it, it shows in your blog and others will love it and be inspired! Yay! .

4. A favorite blog post of mine is probably  my choosing one is always hard for me! I will give you my top 5... my Haiti mission trip post, pregnancy announcement, friendship series, birth story and month by month Dahlia posts.  Pretty rad if I do say so myself..

5. Something my friends in real life know about me that I've never before mentioned on my blog is    secrets, secrets are so fun!f I don't post about's for a reason :) Some things are sacred! .

6.  My new favorite blogs to read are  Making it Myself in Middlebury and that's all I have time for these days. Just that one :)  .

7.  Some things I tend to avoid doing on my blog are   being overly negative, acting like I have it all together. A fine line, my friends! .

{fill in your own blanks..get the weekly blanks HERE}

Enjoy your weekend!
My husband and I are going on our first post- baby date tonight.  Just dinner out. Him and I. Conversing exclusively about US (not the United States, us as a couple). Not the baby(this will be hard).
I would love to see The Vow (and so would John. He's a woman like that.)
But I'm sure it would be a waste of time and money because I would be texting our babysitter so much to check in on DJ that I would get kicked out of the theater by the people with flashlights (btw they really take their jobs seriously! Must be the fancy vests and bowties they wear...)

It will be short and sweet as to minimize my anxiety about leaving our girl this first time .
Baby steps are better than no steps, right?

We will work up to dates like this:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Month #5 continued..

She weighed in at 17.1 pounds and was 26 inches long
For those of you who like to know percentile (I do, even though I don't really get it)
She's in the 90th for weight and the 75th for height.
I thought she would be 20 pounds but I was wrong.
She's starting to level off a bit.
The doc told us she has a little tongue tie but that it might not even be a problem.
I wondered why we had such a hard time with latching at the beginning!
He gave us the go ahead for cereal,  veggies and fruits but I think I will hold off just a little bit still.
She sure is interested in my food but since she's still gaining and seems satisfied, I will probably start her at 6 months unless something changes.

She got her shots like a trooper.
She was MAD and she hurt but recovery time was way quicker than the last batch and the nurse who gave them was better at it. That made a huge difference.
I went back and forth about whether to immunize or not but after thinking about it too much and researching til my head hurt, I conceded to medical science and prayed that God would protect my baby if I was being an idiot. It's hard to know what to do, what not to do. My guts told me to do it.
It's different for everyone, I suppose.

Still, it's hard to see those little tiny holes in her leg. 

She's a healthy baby. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Month #5

Yesterday Miss Dahlia Jane Culpepper celebrated 5 months of being in the world by being in rare form. She was HY. PER. A very funny girl, who didn't nap but instead wanted to play and giggle most of the day.
I'm thinking, 5 months is very close to 6 months which is half of a year. She may as well be starting high school... My baby is almost in college!!!! AHHH!
Just kidding. It's not that bad. But time does fly, which, I know, I frequently mention. 
(Excuse all my misplaced commas for those of you who count my splices)

And in case you didn't get it the past 4 months, TIME IS FLYING!!
She's so fun, though. I've loved all of her stages just as much as the others..

Talk about personality! This babe is not lacking in that department..

New in Month #5:
This month she rolled over for real.  Last month she rolled but then forgot so I didn't really count it. This week she's been a machine.
Multiple times in a row. Front to back, back to front.
SO it's official, she's a little bit mobile. That's why most of my pictures now turn out like so:

She's a jumping machine..She loves her jumperoo with a passion. Usually before you put her in it, she starts kicking her legs and making fun noises, like she know the party is about to start so she's warming up.

She's very aware. So much so, that she will all but break her neck to find out what's going on. She knows she's cute. 

She smiles her life away..

not a bad way to spend a life

She thinks I'm hilarious (until John gets home)

(pardon the shot up my nose here..)

Her eyes are blue with some green.
Mine are green with some blue.
They don't look like they will go brown so much.
Sorry John, maybe the next one..
(note: this "next one" is not in the works yet.. )

She shows interest in certain toys. She loves Violet! One of the best Christmas presents she got, I think. It says her name, spells,, if it could just change her diaper and nurse her at 2:30 a.m...

As I mentioned, she thinks I'm hilarious until John gets home then she searches for him anytime he leaves as if to say, "Hey, where did the funny guy who tells me how beautiful I am every five seconds go??"
And as you can see this could possibly be setting the tone for our family dynamic..

"Love him!"

"Uh, whatever, mom"
My family say she is the spitting image of me, looks, personality, the whole enchilada.
She's silly like her daddy though. That's my favorite part.

 So, as you can see..
She's growing a lot. 
She's changing always..

 She's still small in so many ways.

We go to the doctor tomorrow. I am expecting that she will be 20 pounds-ish and 26-27 inches. I don't weigh her or measure on my own. I like to wait and be surprised. Daddy is taking the day off to go with us since it's a shots visit. And last time I was crying more than she was.
I will report back with her stats and how the shots went. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

A fun little discovery

I might be the last to know about these. I'm not sure. I kind of quit looking at blogs there for about 5 months but a fran of  mine shared the wonder that is Subscription Boxes...

I'm always mesmerized by all the fun and fancy things at the Sephora or Ulta check out lines. (the whole 2 times a year I am there to buy my Bare Minerals)
And I always kind of hope that I have a little extra to spend at the salon to get fun hair products. Which professional hair products are more than a "little extra" anyway.  I'm convinced if I had the money for either, I would be a walking advertisement for name brand cosmetics and high end stuff. And that's not my bag, baby.I'm cheap. And on a budget. And kind of in love with more natural things anyway.
OH! And I like free things. Man, do I love free things! But I'm still pretty girly when it comes to fun things like this. Unfortunately Fortunately, buying a full size anything professional or high end usually leaves me with a huge case of buyers remorse anyway. So when my fran shared this marvelous wonder, voila! A happy compromise was reached

I recently signed up for Birchbox which is the best idea I've heard of in quite sometime.
You get lots of little samples, save lots of money and feel like you get a present every month.
I like all of these things! It's not free but it's pretty close.
Yes, you pay. $10 to be exact but shipping is free.

When/ if the budget permits and Dahlia is a bit older, I want to sign up for BabbaBox too!

Looks so fun!
and quite affordable for most, I'd say.

Anyway. I'm excited for my next month's box to arrive.
My sample of perfume broke en route and scented the box and my sample of granola quite heavily but that's ok..Hoping it was just the super cold weather that day that made the glass super breakable. I didn't care enough about the scent to call them and complain. If it happens again, though, watch out BirchBox human resource people because I'm sort of obsessed with perfume ;)

I think there were 5 items in all in my box and I've used all but the granola and obviously the samply of Juicy, which I already had anyway.  Love them all so far! 

My favorite
(since I love having my nails painted)

Zoya brand polish in

its a lavenderish gray color. LOVE.
(it's the second one in from the left)

here is a little somethin' somethin' about it too which makes me like it even more:
Zoya pioneered the “Three Free” movement, creating colors without formaldehyde, tuolene, or dibutyl phthalate. Their shades are so safe that even pregnant women can wear them. Recently, they’ve taken it one step further by also removing camphor from their polishes. Best of all, their polishes last about 50 percent longer than other brands, which means you can sport a chip-free manicure for days and days.

Ooh, this means Dahlia can wear it too!!
(once her hands are OUT of her mouth on a consistent basis..which will be like in 4th grade, maybe?)

Thought I'd share. I'm not one to keep fun things to myself or hoard a good idea!

I'm hardly on top of trends these days either but I thought if you were like me and you like a taste of the fancy stuff but don't want to spend an arm and a leg to get a taste, this is the way to do it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New blog alert!

Quick post today!

Check out this new blog by Melissa Garner..

I follow her on THE facebook (as my grandpa in-law calls it) and she's always a.) encouraging and b.) making handy-dandy things that are the healthier, holistic option of everyday items.
I .heart. vinegar for cleaning and so does she. Melissas know where it's at. 
If you are interested in 
"... learning about how to make your home and your body a better place for your Spirit to live"
then check her out and show her love!

Go here  =======>

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Being unreachable

I think sometimes I could be a pioneer woman. Not the fabulous cook and rancherita but like a for real Laura Ingalls type person. Minus I really like air conditioning and heat.  Most other modern conveniences I think I could do without. 
I think..

You know your life is ruled by technology when :

~ People just start in on conversations with you based off their facebook status's, whether you read them or not. Or the phrase "did you see on facebook..."  Then when you are clueless about what they are talking about it's like unheard of .. hmmm. I'm a fan of face to face information giving. 

~  people can't put their cell phones away during serious times. Face to face talks, church, car rides with kids present, funerals... I know it's hard enough at the dinner table for some.  I've started turning mine off at mealtimes or leaving it at home when we go somewhere as a family. I don't carry it on my person at all times and I'm even getting to the point where I forget where I put it! 
I guess it won't kill me to be unreachable for a minute, hour, day or two.  It sure didn't kill my mom and Laura Ingalls was an awesome teacher and author. Oh, the things I could possibly do without my technology present at all times..

So, I am not bashing technology. That would be stupid of me.  I'm pretty sure I love TV also, cars and Skyping. BUT I am sort of bashing it's effect it has on my relationships. The choice to use it or abuse it. Fine line, that one. It's so handy and man, texting is where it's at and also where all hell can break loose.  I love a quick question and answer as opposed to all of the phone preludes involved with a call. I do like a great phone conversation though.. BUT have you ever texted someone and then got a reply where the punctuation or lack thereof leaves you wondering.."oh, man. are they mad??" "did I say something wrong".  OR maybe you didn't get a reply at all. Uggh! Reply time. That's another thing that can leave one wondering..."why no answer?" and if you are a super analyzer also known as a woman, you can get yourself into a tizzy or think yourself an outcast because you've texted the other person  a 5/5 text (which should be a phone conversation not a text!) and there is no reply. 

I guess we all kind of think others should drop what they are doing and pay attention to us when we barge into their daily lives via text or call. Sounds kind of like my baby. She yells or coughs to get attention. And if I don't respond ...well, you know what happens when you don't respond with kids.
 And some people do drop everything, even a face to face conversation to respond. Love it when others are saying "uh-huh" to you as they paw at their phones with glazed eyes. I'm guilty of this..

So. What's my point in all of this. The "rag on technology card" has been overplayed, I am well aware. What my smart phone, computer owning self is trying to say is this: use your time wisely. When you are with your family. Be all there. Facebook, on your phone, can wait. When you are folding laundry, close the computer and count your blessings instead. That 5 part text can wait. It was probably received all out of order anyway and you'll surely have to decode it. Use your technology to encourage, not creep. Facebook and phones, computers and tablets are all fun and very useful inventions. They aren't replacements for real conversations, real relationships or real creativity.  

I'm going to use the trump card here: 
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” 
― John Piper

:) Oh, John. You are correct yet again.

So, yes, I took the time to write this (while my daughter napped) but I think it needed to be written. I am writing to remind myself. To set it in stone in my brain.
I could be drastic and say that I am giving up my phone, closing my facebook account or never blogging again while Dahlia is awake but that would simply be for show on my part. And I'd probably creep using John's account or just hide all my blog posts. Sneaky me. But I won't do any of those things.
The Jist: Take the important calls, reply within a reasonable time to someone but all while being wise. 

As precious as time is especially now that I have a child, I should view it as such  no matter what. There are bigger chickens to fry (that sounds so good right now!) and large mountains to be moved by way of diligent prayerfulness.

Priorities. AGH! why are they so hard to get straight sometimes?
It's a challenge to be unreachable and see how God reaches me. I don't think he'll do it through a text message or on facebook..

Time. It was given to me for a purpose. And while I may not always get that purpose right, I can be mindful of it.

So Dahlia is stirring and my phone has dinged several times in the past few minutes...
Which to chose.
HA! Just kidding.

Or am I...

By the way. I really enjoy indoor plumbing too. I just remembered.