Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blueberries First

I remember my mom would have special days where she would pick me up from school for a "doctor's appointment" and we would spend the whole day together playing hookie. This meant a lot considering she had 4 kids, a full-time job, and 50 real dr. appts. a year to take us to. You can certainly question whether or not this was good for me by the kind of person I turned out to be. I could talk myself out of going to any meeting, or social obligation, or even school until I married my "faithful-to-every-commitment-husband" and he wore off on me. I am so thankful that God took care of me in this respect. My career and motherhood would have been a real disaster. However, on days when I would get a surprise call to the office and it would be my mom with that look on her face- I felt so adored.

Annie is only 10-months old now. Every time she smiles at me with those big blue eyes (about 30x a day), I find myself feeling that same way my mom must have felt about me. I can't help but want to give her special treats. Even though she doesn't even know that it IS a special treat. The best thing I can come up with is giving her the blueberries or yogurt melts first thing for lunch. I usually mean to give her the greenbeans first. I can hear all of those parenting books ringing in my ears about ruining her good eating habits forever, but I just can't help myself. I am a new mom and it is all too exciting seeing her light up over the smallest things.

Must be how God feels about blessing his kids. I am learning a lot about how He feels about me through this new gig.


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

I was tagged!

My friend Leah tagged me.

[1] Grab the nearest book.
[2] Open to page 56.
[3] Find the 5th sentence.
[4] Post the text of the next 2-5 sentences and these rules.
[5] Tag 5 peeps!

Little did Leah know that the books that are closest in reach to me these days don't have 5 sentences on one page and don't often have 56 pages or more. This one has only one sentence on the page, but plenty of pages. Here goes.

"'Go away, Nightmare, or I'll shoot you,' I said. I shot him anyway. My nightmare began to cry. I was mad... but not too mad. 'Nightmare, be quiet or you'll wake Mommy and Daddy,' I said."

There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer.

You are hereby tagged:

Jennifer P.
Leslie P.
Beth W.
Becky P.
Kayla D.

No hard feelings if you don't get around to it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

J turns in the pinstripes for TOMS

In case you are wondering why we changed our blog name from Polka Dots and Pinstripes, J started a new job! Not that he ever wore pinstripes (since Dell is business casual), but he is no longer a part of corporate America so I felt it was no longer applicable. He left Dell after almost exactly 3 years to create a non-profit called "The For the City Network" or "For the City." I couldn't be prouder of him.

Some of you might be confused, so I will give you some back story.

1) We read a book. (September 2007)
About a year ago we started reading a book with a group of friends called Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller. It totally changed our whole worldview: the way we thought about God, ourselves, eachother, and the people around us. One of the main things the book tears apart is our notion that we should give (money, time, care, etc.) because we feel that we are better or have more than others. It may be true that we (all Americans) have a lot (especially on a global scale), but that this shouldn't be the motivation for our giving or extending ourselves to people in need. The main motivation for extending mercy is that God was merciful to us. Period.

Luk 6:35

"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High;
for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil {men.}

Luk 6:36

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus gave, saved, loved, and helped us when we did nothing to deserve it and nothing to honor Him. What should stop us from overflowing that same undeserved mercy we were given to those around us and act like the One we love most?

Tough stuff in practice. We are still learning and God is not done with us.

2) J gets excited. (January of 2008)
So J, who is one of the most merciful people I have ever met, got pretty excited about organizing people and thinking about how we can be more strategic in helping people both in our church and outside of it. With a team of people at our church, J and the team started concentrating efforts to figure out how we can start mobilizing people to serve around the city and tell people about opportunities.

3) Build a building.
At this very same time our church was trying to decide where to build a building. Because our church has a vision to be a part of renewing the city, we bought land in an area where there is a lot of opportunity. Within the campus, we are building office space for non-profits to foster synergy among them. We are also creating the sanctuary as a multi-use space so that it is available for use for community/ city-wide events during the other 6 days of the week. There are going to be a lot of possibilities with these new buildings.

4) Memphis. (August 2008)
All along the way J was thinking this would be an excellent 2nd career, but was very happy in his job at Dell. Then he went to Memphis for three days. A lot can change in 3 days. He left discussing where we might move to get his MBA. He and his friend Travis set off to Memphis. Travis is J's exact opposite, except as it relates to journals and pens. In this way, they are identical. They complement each other really well. When we (me and Katie, Travis' wife) picked them up from the airport, he said that he needed to quit his job and do this for the rest of his life. If you know J, he doesn't mess around. He is not a dreamer. If the words make it out of his mouth, it is as good as done and he has already thought through the implications, so I reply "Alright. Sounds good," not knowing at this point even what he was talking about since he hadn't told me about the trip, yet. He proceeded to tell me about how Memphis has an amazing network of non-profits that all do what they are really great at, but are networked together to do the maximum good. He met with people who had lived in neighborhoods for 25 years mentoring, he met with non-profit community developers, he met with church staff, and many more. They all knew each other and they all worked together for the city. Beautiful. J and Travis love the name "For the City" as a result of it being a term they constantly say all week. They buy the domain name upon returning home, just in case.

5) J has a chat with his boss. (August 2008)
When J returns from Memphis his boss asks how the trip was. J frankly tells him that it was life-changing. His boss admits to his own dreams of doing something that helps people and makes a difference. Not what J was expecting, but very confirming. This was one person that he thought would try to talk him out of it.

6) Vision Series (September 2008)
Every fall our church has a series of sermons that cast the vision of the direction we are heading. This year it was called "A Church For the City." Pretty strange and has nothing to do with J or Travis.

7) J gets an offer! (December 2008)

8) God tests J. (December 2008)
While we were considering and praying, the day after J got the offer, J gets a raise and promotion. Haha. The "irony."

9) J starts his new job! (January 2009)
His vision for the non-profit is that it would be a network that would be a strategy leader, coordinator, and advocate for city renewal by creating partnerships, influencing and casting vision for improvement, generating new initiatives, channeling funds/resources, mobilizing and equipping volunteers, & meeting diverse needs.

There are so many more obvious things that the Lord did that I didn't write here. Ask me if you are wondering. ;-) We can't wait to see where He takes this!

* If you are wondering what Toms are from the title, here you go. TOMS. You will find them in most non-profit circles. I am merely using them as a symbol for all things non-profit, as I used pinstripes as a symbol for all things corporate. He doesn't actually own either.

Jackaroo turns 2

This is my one and only nephew Jack! He turned 2 yesterday! Some of his favorite things right now are trucks (big time- he even sleeps with them) and babies (he loves all babies). What a guy. Jack's trademarks are his utter sweetness and his 5 o'clock wake up time.

Here is newborn Jack!


Here is 1-year-old Jack


Here is our big guy now (or kinda close to now). :-)


Happy Birthday, big guy. I hope all of your birthday dreams of trucks and babies come true.

Love, Sally, Uncle J, and Baby Annie.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Turning a new leaf

A few thoughts for you tonight...

1) This blog was originally created and purposed to serve as an online, easy scrapbook for me and to keep my beloved friends and family up to date on my ever-changing daughter.

2) That being said... I apologize for my very one subject blogging. I don't think I would enjoy my own blog if it were not my own life. Did you catch my last blog? The better part of it was about napkin rings. Napkin rings. I think there might be some people out there that enjoy a good random anecdote, but I can do better.

3) I have been inspired by some of my dear friends on their blogs and have thus had my mind expanded and seen all the good that can come from blogs other than capturing cute videos of their kids.

4) There will still be cute videos of Annie. However, there is a lot about our lives that I leave out. I will aim to post about more subjects, give you excerpts of books I read, tell you some of our dreams that you might not know about, etc.

5) Don't expect too much. I didn't blog before I had Annie and would not be driven to update (even as little as I do) unless I felt the pressure to share her with those that miss her across the country. Be patient with me as I discover new blogging opportunities.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

They said it couldn't be done!

As many of you know, Annie is a big girl. It's not that she's extremely chubby, she's just big all over. She has always been about 95% or over when it comes to height and weight on the growth charts and it has never really surprised us considering Justin's size. In clothes, she's always a good 6-12 months ahead. At her 6 month appointment she still wasn't rolling over (2-4 months late). She did sit up on her own early and has always loved to be on her feet, but hates to be on her stomach. Because of the combination of her preferences and size the pediatrician told us not to worry about the rolling over and to not hold out a ton of hope for crawling.

Well, folks, she finally rolled over at 8 months! Woohoo! Not only that, she started bear crawling a couple of days after Christmas. She probably has been able to do this awhile, I just haven't put her on the tile (and that carpet is tricky stuff). I can't say that she is extremely thrilled about it. She still needs a lot of enticing.


Here is one unsuccessful attempt at enticing... take special notice of Justin's cruel trickery.

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and success!

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Hooray for napkin rings! These napkin rings have been entertaining children at my home for 3.5 years, long before Annie was around and long before I had any other toys. They have been enjoyed by Ellie, Samantha, Eli, Jack, Micah, Halle and now Annie in that order. They are magical magnets for children. They have been used to throw to the ground and make a huge clanging sounds, as symbols, as binoculars, as balls, as hockey pucks, you name it. Sometimes the bowl is filled with 12, sometimes with 3. Ellie came to my house every Thursday for awhile and would use them for binoculars like Diego. I was down to 3 and asked her where she put them last time. She said, "oh, they're under the couch." Sure enough. Not sure why. Pretty good memory, though. We retrived 9 napkin rings under my couch.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Decemberish Part 4

Celebrating Christmas with Annie was awesome. It was so cool to see what she ended up caring about. For those of you who don't know, Annie's favorite toy and snack is paper. So you can imagine how much of a hit the wrapping paper was this year. I don't know if we will be able to pull it off in future years, but some of Annie's gifts included batteries, bibs, and other everyday items all wrapped in her beloved paper.

Also for Christmas she got her two front teeth and a hippopotamus (stuffed). This we found ironic considering the Christmas songs about these very things. The stuffed hippo was a hit. You would have thought she opened her long lost best friend considering her reaction. Playing with the hippo consists of pulling it to her face and screaming as loud as she can and holding it's hands to dance.

Her other favorite... a big box with babies on it playing with a jungle toy from Nonnie and Tata (J's parents). The special part about this box is that it has a button you can push from the outside and it plays a (very addictive) tune . Annie has now mastered the command "push the button." This was really cool because it is the first time we were able to tell that she understands us. Big deal! Someday this jungle toy will come out of it's box, but we wanted to ride this out for as long as we can.

Annie with her special box.

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This video actually features Justin whistling the addictive tune. :-)

As many of you may not know, J is really into photography as a hobby. He picked up in college and unfortunately doesn't get to do it a whole lot. He had some time off around the holidays so decided to bust out the photo lights and get some pictures of Annie. We found this elfish outfit when we were out on day that said "B' JOLLY" and thought, "what more could you want?"


Hope your holidays were merry!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Decemberish Part 3

Part of Christmas is going down to the mall and standing in the line to see Santa no matter how long it takes. Not for us. We figure, with all of photoshop's capabilities, as long as you get a good shot of the kid and a good shot of the Santa- the rest of the magic happens at home.

Here are the pictures we plan to photoshop. Thoughts?


Merry Christmas to Annie and her daddy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Decemberish Part 2

Speaking of marriage (see my last post), Big Mike Roberts (one of our buddies) got married to Megan Jahnke (Yon-kee) (one of our other buddies) and she ended up taking his name so she is now Megan Roberts! Hooray! We are so happy for them!

The ceremony was awesome and sweet and the reception was so fun. The best dance time I've had in awhile. Part of what made this fun was the fact that I was filming so many of my friends dancing. After J and I reviewed these videos, he forbid me from posting them because we would like to keep these friends. They all looked cool dancing at the time, I assure you. I think the camera fails to capture the mood and only captures the awkward. Don't worry, friends! These videos can be purchased, if needed, for leverage. You know who you are.

Probably the best moment of the night was when J fell into the terrible predicament that every man faces...cake or dancing? Am I right, fellas? J figured out a way to take it all in.


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While we were dancing the night away, Annie was having a dance party of her own.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Decemberish

It has been awhile since I have blogged. Happy Holidays, by the way!

I tend to loose track of time around the holidays. From Thanksgiving through January is all really called Decemberish.

First of all... Mark Lopez (Justin's brother) is one of our favorite people in the world. A brief introduction for those of you who haven't met Mark. He is much like Justin in many ways, but artsy and really laid back. He is also stunning. My grandmother Mary said he was the "most magnificent creature" she had ever seen. Well... Markie got engaged! For all of you Beyonce fans out there... he "[liked] it"... and "put a ring on it!" He is going to marry Alli Bryan this summer, Lord willing. Alli is just as stunning as Mark, both inside and out! We can't wait to have sweet Alli in our family! They met working at Camp John Marc a couple of summers ago. Mark is finishing his last stretch of school at Savanna College of Art and Design in Georgia and Alli is starting her second semester at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Mark proposed in early December and we got to spend a bunch of time with them over the break- lots of fun! Congrats, you guys!

Here are some shots from the engagment! Mark proposed and managed to film the whole thing while Alli thought he was charging the camera. What a clever boy. We surprised Alli at Maggiano's afterwards.


This is for you, Alli!


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